Something has changed since my last door-to-door walkabout two months ago. Tonight there were fifteen of us, both candidates and volunteers, armed with newsletters and flyers, going about what has become a part of our lives – putting aside work worries, family commitments and leisure pursuits, to devote a little of our time to meeting fellow Singaporeans and offering them, face-to-face, our belief that we can be of service to them in ways big and small. And to ask them to vote for us, The Reform Party.
We knocked on as many doors the last time. And the faces that greeted us, were the same – a little surprised at first, and then a polite smile and finally a genuine attempt to accommodate our boldness as well as friendliness. Retired old man, non-English speaking housewife, foreign worker, young PR parents with school going children, Malay matriarch and daughters, Indian family in sweltering kitchen. Quite similar to the last time.
Those who opened up and spoke up more were still dwelling on the noise levels from the basketball court, the difficulty in meeting the incumbent MP face-to-face, the occasional occurrence of dengue.
And then it became obvious. It was not just the fact that we had six people the last door-to-door event and fifteen tonight. I mean, we had twelve people giving out pamphlets and selling newsletters in a crowded Choa Chu Kang market last Sunday, so it was not just the numbers. It was the fact that while on Sunday we were twelve amidst throngs of people, tonight, we were fifteen being beheld by each individual family each time a door was opened. Their eyes registered something I had not seen before – they registered that we existed. They did not just thought, imagined or heard. They saw fifteen people, armed with flyers and newsletters, acting as one, impressing upon them that we were here and we were coming to contest the elections. They did not see candidate or new volunteer or hard-core supporter – they saw a promise. A promise that there were young, educated, committed Singaporeans, working together for a cause that they believed in, with a spirit that was only dwarfed by the sheer absence of fear. We were happy to be sharing our vision of a better community life and a better Singapore and we conveyed our belief that we could do a better job, proudly. It must have given them a glimpse. Of what was about to come. A slow, steady overturning of the past. We are here. And we were not going to go away. That is what they must have seen tonight.
And it was not just the numbers. It was the clarity of purpose exhibited by each person knocking on each door, repeating well honed phrases, receiving a donation or two.
Someone in the group called it very aptly, “Momentum”. Yes, this must have been what has happened since my last door-to-door walkabout. Our Party has been working very hard, encouraging online and offline, more Singaporeans to join up. Tonight, it showed – Singaporeans have joined up, with a singular purpose. We have moved several Singaporeans out of their comfort zone and are now gathering Momentum.
In my gut, in my bones, I know – this Momentum is just the beginning. Before it becomes a Movement. In my mind’s eye, I too have had a glimpse. Of a possibility.
Yes, tonight, I did notice, something had already changed. For the better.
By Alec Tok.