Election Day (2003)

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“Election Day” documents a night on 3 November 2001 during the result announcement of the Singapore General Elections in 2001 at Jurong East Stadium. 

The stadium is one of the designated announcement centers for the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP), the main political party in Singapore since winning a landslide victory in 1959.  Through the announcement of the results, the film highlights the present political situation in Singapore, with one main dominant political party (PAP) and other political parties known as “Opposition Parties”. 

The film is neither biased against the PAP or the Opposition Parties.  Often the political case for the opposition is that there must be an opposition to balance the dominance of the PAP. However, the opposition lacks a visionary agenda that benefits and relates to the people. This is starkly demonstrated by the interview with Mr Low Thia Kiang from the Worker’s Party who retains his win in the Potong Pasir Electorate but with a much less percentage.  On the other hand, the PAP also defends its dominance ferociously.  Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam from the Worker’s Party was sued to bankruptcy by Senior Minister Lee Kuen Yew and Prime Minister Goh Chock Tong for defamation.  As a result, he lost his validity to contest in the elections and is reduced to selling his memoirs to raise funds. 

The opera “Madam White Snake” for the end credits is also chosen deliberately to represent the PAP (whose party colors is also white) and the present situation that the PAP faces in Singapore.  In the opera, Madam White Snake is a divine snake that has morphed into a human female because she has fallen in love with a human scholar.  She is kind and supports the scholar through the rough and difficult period before he wins his examinations and becomes an imperial court official.  However, on learning that she is a snake, he betrays her into the hands of a zealous monk out to subdue and capture her.  This is analogous to the current generation of Singaporeans who have not gone through the turbulent period of early nation building where the PAP guided the nation to independence and later economic success.

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