Like the rest of Singapore, my colleagues and I have been swept up with the excitement of the General Elections 2015 over the last few weeks. I know many overseas Singaporean friends who have avidly followed the hustings and Polling Day proceedings through social media and online platforms like the Channel News Asia and Toggle websites that provided live streaming of all the political rallies.
After a very long day (and night) of voting and counting, the votes have been cast and the MPs elected. Looking back on this eventful occasion, we invited a few friends who voted overseas to share their thoughts on what Polling Day was like for Singaporeans at the 10 overseas polling stations.
I thought the process was characteristically efficient and smooth, making it easy for us to exercise our right to vote. My friends are hosting an elections party this evening. The atmosphere is very positive and festive - everyone seems upbeat and hopeful for a good result for Singapore!
– Tan Liang-Ying, New York
Singaporeans back home are happy because they get a public holiday but for me, it’s a choice to take an annual leave to exercise my right to vote. But sacrificing one day annual leave every few years for the country? I think I can survive without 1 day of holiday.
– Angela Lee, Sydney
I didn’t realise there were so many people from Ang Mo Kio until I saw the long list of names under AMK GRC which the election officer had to cross my name off from. It’s good to know there are neighbours living in Tokyo!
– Melissa Boey, Tokyo
If I had known that being the first voter in Shanghai would have landed me a potential mention on the papers, I might have reconsidered my casual Friday outfit
– Jacqueline Ho, Shanghai
For me, one of the highlights of Polling Day was having a legitimate reason to visit the Primary School in my neighbourhood. Once past the front gate, we were shepherded to the school canteen where the voting took place. Pushed to one side were squat long benches for little school children, which brought back so many memories. Memories of fishballs on sticks, coloured Fanta drinks at 10c a cup and ice cream wrapped in coloured bread.
It all began here really (The school I mean, not just the canteen,That marks the beginning of my love-hate relationship with delicious calories), in the adjoining school hall where I recited the Pledge and sang our National Anthem. I imagine it's even more poignant for the MOE teachers performing election duties in public school, serving the nation in a different capacity.
Several of my colleagues were also tasked with election duties. Did you know their reporting time was 6am in the morning and the work didn’t end till 830pm or for some, till the wee hours of the morning? The work was even tougher for our local media who worked through weekends and countless nights. Their work began before the hustings and didn’t end even after the results were announced, with detailed coverage of the electorates’ responses.
It’s been an intense month. Even as we gripe or celebrate the results, let us not forget the many Singaporeans who strived to keep things going well and without a hitch.