First of all, I still stand by what I wrote several months ago: “If Chan Chun Sing becomes PM, it would be positive news for the Opposition. If it’s Heng Swee Keat, Singaporeans can harbour a slim hope that things could change for the better.”
But hot on the heels of the elevation of Heng to prime position to be the next Prime Minister, the warning bells have already been rung.
Unless Singapore gets its politics right, the people will suffer, declares Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.
This is a clear signal and indication that it could be business as usual.
Does getting its politics right mean that the People’s Action Party will inevitable have to conduct politics the way they have conducted it for decades?
Which means one-party rule above all else. Which means that economic growth does not have to be correlated with civil and social progress, with tolerance, inclusion, and political rights and freedom.
Which means that the Internet and social media has to be policed, civil society and dissent reined in, and media freedom restricted.
Which means that ownself check ownself is the order of the day, and elitism and cronyism and meritocracy as practiced for decades rule the roost.
Perhaps we are jumping the gun here and Heng, if he takes the helm, will move Singapore forward on a different footing.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Will Heng prove to be the right man at the right time for Singapore?
There is a sliver of hope. But just don’t bet your house on it.