The following is an excerpt of an article published on 1 April 2011 at FreeMalaysiaToday.
by Maxwell Coopers
It is election season in Singapore! And there is good reason why the ruling Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) should be thinking of calling a snap election before June.
As always the economy always gives the best clue.
To everybody’s surprise it romped home with 14% growth in goods and services. That not only put state-owned shipping company Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) back in black, but created just the kind of jobs that many in the West are still struggling to find.
Before that euphoria could settle down most of the nation’s populace did after all find some kind of ‘solace’ when the government said it would limit the intake of foreigners who have been blamed widely for snatching jobs away from Singaporeans.
Yet the depth of disenchantment with rising prices, crowded places, and fierce competition for jobs and houses has been blamed widely on foreigners.
“I am quite sure that the issue of the influx of foreigners into Singapore is more significant than many people would care to admit openly”, declared scholar Derek Da Cunha in the city-state’s Today paper.
His views give vent and echo the sentiments of the country’s first premier and strongman Lee Kuan Yew who not too recently, said the straw polls could not be an accurate gauge because respondents usually give politically correct answers.
Yet there is a certain ‘excitement’ this time around.
Not since the country first attained independence after separating from Malaysia in 1965, has the electoral landscape changed so very dramatically.
To read on, click here.