The Singapore Bicentennial, commemorating 200 years since Sir Stamford Raffles set foot here, has been launched with pomp and pageantry. Many millions are being spent on year-long activities to build on hopes and dreams, to get Singaporeans to feel that they are part of the Singapore story.
At the launch of the Singapore Bicentennial last night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sounded like he was speaking at a National Day rally: “For we are never done building Singapore. It is every generation’s duty to keep on building, for our children, and for our future.”
Will the celebrations drum up excitement and nationalistic fervour and culminate in the calling of the general elections towards the end of the year
There are other signs that we are heading that way.
The two chosen ones – Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing – have in recent months been sounding dire warnings about the US-China trade war and how it could seriously dampen Singapore’s economic prospects. At election time, they will tell us what we have heard before – when dark clouds are on the horizon, you are better off with the People’s Action Party.
Even frosty Singapore-Malaysia relations can also be directly or indirectly turned to advantage – for the future of Singapore, for safety and security, go with who you know rather than who you don’t, go with the party with the lightning rod symbol.
We have seen this movie before.
And do not be surprised when goodies are handed out with the year’s budget because people have short memories and they are easily appeased.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The fact is, the PAP doesn’t need new tricks. Theirs have worked in the past. Why won’t they work again?