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US polls scenario possible here

I agree that in this current state of world affairs, where fake news stories can sway a major election, the price for ignorance or folly will have to be paid ("When reality bites in a 'post-truth' world"; Nov 27).

The price itself, though, would be different for the United States, compared with Singapore.

Being a huge country which offers space and stability in every sense of the word - whether economically or politically - the US can afford to be shaken by such an electoral upheaval and still live on to lick its wounds.

Singapore cannot. It has no room for such a setback.

To envisage such a problem happening in Singapore today would be an over-dramatisation. Our Government is strong and so are our people.

But to think this will be the status quo in the next 15 to 20 years would be unrealistic.

I am concerned because the ballast of this society will be fading away by then. By this, I mean the educated, greying Singaporeans who read widely and consume mainstream media. They will be replaced by a generation who have shortened attention spans, indulge in social media excessively and do not bother to check whether facts are indeed facts.

By then, the chance of a Trump election scenario happening in Singapore is a big possibility.

This possibility will be reinforced if the current term of Mr Donald Trump as president ends well.

It will engender a sense of complacency among young people here that a Trump scenario in Singapore is of no big consequence, as the unintended winner of an election will end up doing just as well.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'US polls scenario possible here'. Print Edition | Subscribe