by Wee lee Sum
As always, it’s been a pleasure reading your articles and posts, in addition to appreciating the numerous sacrifices you all have made towards the democratic struggle against autocracy and elitism in our Country, just as the various political leaders like Mr Lim Tean whose post speak right to the heart of the average Singaporean.
However, reading recent developments in the political scene anticipating GE 2019 or 20: [GPGT] Tan Cheng Bock met Lim Tean to discuss Opposition plans for coming GE and Former National Solidarity Party chief has applied to form new political party has had me wondering if such a tiny island State justifies requiring so many political parties to vie for seats to lead the Nation?
I feel that such moves only feed into the propaganda of the ruling People’s Action Party which claims that a “rojak” parliament would contribute to instability in Singapore as well as the argument that numerous parties also meant that the various leaders could not see eye to eye with one another, such as the infamous Mr Loh Thia Khiang! The PAP has been over utilising the excuse that democracy is alive and well in Singapore and the proof is in the numerous political parties that are formed and in operation.
We currently only have two main opposition leaders, the Workers’ Party in form and the Singapore Democratic Party in substance. While the WP is trying to entrench itself in the East and Northeast, the SDP is already deeply embedded in the Western and Northwest areas with the exception of Jurong GRC. That leaves us with the central catchment area and some outskirts.
While I’ve always believed in a multi-party representation in Parliament to prevent complacency in the incumbents, I’m not so sure if fellow Singaporeans are ready for this and hope that social influencers and the various political party leaders themselves can help set the tone on what kind of representation do Singaporeans truly want to shape discourse for our future and prevent abuses to the State Organs?
Editor’s note – I disagree with having less political parties, and parties should be encouraged to be formed and touted to voters. The problem with having more political parties in Singapore is the aversion to having three or four-corner fights or the flawed practice of allowing parties to claim ownership of wards during elections.
Examples of this, are like Reform Party claiming stake of West-Coast GRC because they contested there the last election even though no walkabouts are being held, or People’s Power Party to given absolute rights to contest in a straight fight with PAP in Choa Chu Kang GRC even though it only has two active members with no grassroots presence. The abled parties should be allowed to contest and the residents should not be deprived of their rights to vote for a better party. Just because someone planted their flag, doesn’t mean a better party or candidate cannot seek to contest the ward. The hardcore 30% might take whatever that comes their way but not the fencesitters who are concerned about their town council and the risks that involve the unknown.
As proven in the case of the Punggol-East By-election, the lesser parties will not be unable to force votes to be split.