07 March 2010

There is only one party to vote for

Your reading for the week:

Shirley Tan, "To the Memory of Goh Hung Chuan, PBM, my grandfather"

My grandfather sits by a stone table in the courtyard. As an aunt walks out of the main house, my grandfather calls: "Come."

Dutifully, she heads towards her father. Without saying a word, she picks up a red China graph pencil and marks a cross in a box next to the PAP logo. Then, she leaves.
Grandfather wets his right index finger with his tongue and wipes away the red cross.
Another aunt prepares to go to work. "Come," grandfather calls out to her.
This is repeated with every grown up aunt and uncle every day during that holiday which I spent with my grandparents.

I did not understand why until I was of voting age.

Grandmother told me: "Your grandfather also made me practise every day, so that there would be no mistake when we went to the voting centre. I would always be in front of him in the queue to collect our voting slips and we would time ourselves entering and exiting our individual booths. I would always show your grandfather that I had voted for PAP, before dropping my voting slip into the box."

Grandfather wanted his whole family to vote for PAP. So he schooled everyone who could vote that there is only one party to vote: PAP.

Story continues here.