Be voters of high calibre

Counting assistants pouring out a ballot box for vote counting purposes for the 2011 General Elections.
Counting assistants pouring out a ballot box for vote counting purposes for the 2011 General Elections. PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Patrick Liew Siow Gian said that we should set our standards high when choosing candidates to be MPs at the forthcoming election ("The 4Cs of an MP"; last Friday).

I would add that we, voters, should also set high standards for ourselves when exercising our vote.

Most Singaporeans today are better educated and have had the privilege of wider exposure to the world than our forefathers.

Hence, it behoves us to exercise our vote responsibly, after careful consideration of the pros and cons of a particular candidate and his party.

There are certainly many issuesthat should be improved upon.

But, in casting our vote, we must remind ourselves that, collectively, our votes will have an impact on our country's direction. It is a responsibility that we must take seriously, and we must arm ourselves with proper information and weigh all the options before dropping the ballot into the box.

Politicians of all stripes stand for elections at a huge cost to their personal lives. We owe them a duty to vote only after careful consideration, and not impulsively as a reaction to some issue.

The world is a complex place, and we need to look at things with a telescopic long-term view, even as we inspect the candidates under a microscope.

Agnes Sng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2015, with the headline 'Be voters of high calibre'. Print Edition | Subscribe