Some Singaporeans have privately suggested that they would spoil their votes in the event of a Reserved Presidential election, while some netizens have encouraged their fellow citizens to do likewise with a view to teach the PAP a lesson.

However, while a sizeable number of spoilt votes would have serious short-term consequences for the PAP, it would have unthinkable long-term consequences for Singapore.

Regardless of one’s political persuasions, the group of Singaporeans who would be taught the cruellest lesson in the event of a large percentage of spoilt votes is our Malay community.

Beyond general damage to our multiracialism, such an outcome could most worryingly be interpreted by some of our Malay friends and compatriots as a lack of faith or trust in them by their fellow Singaporeans of other races.

The political system in Singapore hardly represents a desirable state of affairs. But the upcoming Reserved Presidential Elections or any Reserved Presidential Election for that matter should not be mistaken for a platform where the political differences of rational and reasonable Singaporeans are contested. Nor should it serve as the arena where political lessons are dished out.

Whether it is a vocal few or a sizeable number of Singaporeans who share this view, the price of such a lesson would be much too high for Singapore’s future as a multiracial society.

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