The Discomfort of Getting OFF the Fence

Perpetual neutrality on my part will inevitably pass the cost of perpetual abuse to my children and theirs.

by Goh Keat Peng

No matter how uncomfortable a fence may be as an improvised seat, the alternative to sitting on it, that is, to get off from it may for many be not a very comfortable option.

The human anatomy having got used to a certain position or posture may prefer to stay in that position rather than change even if the new alignment will in the long run be good for the person’s posture and long-term wellbeing. In other words, if we have so long been on the fence, the prospect of getting off from it may not be an attractive proposition. “It has served me rather well for such a long time, why change now?”

Accordingly, many have chosen to stay immovable on the fence.

To be sure, some have little choice but to stay on the fence at least outwardly for reasons of their employment, business, association, family ties, and even personal temperament, etc. This is especially so when it comes to the matter of political partisanship. One’s job or circumstance may be such that to stay politically-correct (which may mean to stay politically neutral) may be the proper thing to do. Indeed, many who wish to be more involved have found themselves caught in such a predicament and often feel forced to remain more silent and still than they otherwise may wish to be.

Under such circumstances, it must be recognized that membership with a political party is thankfully not a prerequisite for a responsible citizen who wishes to engage the political process, that is, have his or her say about critical issues which impacts not only the governance of one’s country but impinges on the everyday life and aspirations of its humblest citizenry.

If, however, continuing to sit perched on the proverbial fence means that the citizens of a country want nothing to do with how the elected government of the country go about its business of running the country, and don’t care about how tenets of the country’s constitution  is being interpreted or summarily amended, and how the courts conduct cases brought before it, or how the police, anti-corruption agency, elections commision and civil service go about their business, etc., then for sure by sitting on the fence we won’t just be plagued with a sore bottom.

Something far worse will affect us as a nation. Indeed, the nation has for some time already been inflicted by a deadly ailment

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