by Loh Kai Herng/
There is a very real and chilling possibility that Singaporeans will wake up on May 8, the day after election day, and find ourselves with 87 elected Members of Parliament (MPs) from the PAP, and none from the opposition.
If so, we will have regressed to the level of democracy seen more than thirty years ago. From independence in 1965 till 1981, the PAP controlled all the seats in parliament. Since independence, only a total of 5 non-PAP MPs have been elected to parliament. As a concerned 21-year old Singaporean, I fear that not having representation for people who disagree with government policies will lead to serious imbalances in our country, with irreparable consequences.
There is absolutely no chance that the PAP will lose power in a freak election result. Despite the online chatter, an overwhelming proportion of the population belongs to the “silent majority” and continues to support the PAP time after time. I applaud Mr Low Thia Khiang and Mr Chiam See Tong for leaving their SMCs to contest GRCs. But the stakes are high, and the time is ripe for PAP candidates to pick up Hougang and Potong Pasir. If Mr Low and Mr Chiam lose – and the opposition has always lost a GRC fight – come May 8, we will read in this newspaper that we will have no opposition MP in parliament for the next five years. We would have then done nothing but only succeeded in gagging ourselves, and killing our fledging democratic movement.
No one claims that our democracy is perfect. But if we continue to be apathetic and unwilling to give the opposition a chance, then be prepared to live for the next five years with no elected alternative voices in Parliament. My fellow Singaporeans, are you prepared for 87-0?