Ruling People’s Action Party losing some credibility among Singaporeans, survey finds

The following is an extract from The Winnipeg Free Press:

SINGAPORE – Fewer Singaporeans consider the ruling People’s Action Party to be credible after the party’s worst election results since independence, a survey showed Friday.

About 73 per cent of those polled agreed or strongly agreed that the PAP is a credible party, down from 87 per cent in 2006, according to a survey by the Institute of Policy Studies, a think-tank within the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

“The political consciousness of Singaporeans has changed very radically,” said Chua Beng Huat, a sociology professor at NUS. “The PAP will probably continue to be the dominant party for the next twenty years, but we’re moving toward a more normal, democratic culture.”

The PAP has dominated Singapore political life since the country split from Malaysia in 1965. It won 60 per cent of overall votes in a parliamentary election May 7, the lowest percentage since independence, while the Workers Party won six of 87 parliament seats, the most by an opposition party since the PAP came to power.

Voter discontent has grown in recent years as housing prices soared while wages stagnated amid a surge in foreign workers. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged after the vote to reconsider PAP policies and governing style, and ordered a review of minister salaries, which are among the highest in the world.

But the government so far hasn’t expressed plans to make fundamental changes, such as establishing a minimum salary or easing the city-state’s economic dependence on foreign workers.

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