Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing is a dead giveaway.
He started calling Halimah Yacob “Madam President” even before she had resigned as Speaker of Parliament to contest the presidency.
Over the weekend, Chan gave the surest signal that the general elections are not far away. He kicked off his election talk – well, more like snake oil salesmanship, to be precise.
Chan went to great lengths to emphasise that the political stability of the country must be taken “seriously” amid changes and challenges in the global environment.
He urged Singaporeans to send a “positive signal” to the world as the country prepares for leadership transition, so as to “inspire confidence in all investors to want to invest in Singapore and create good jobs for our people.”
Investors will not put money in a country if they do not know what is going to happen there in 5 to 15 years’ time, he stressed.
We will be hearing a lot more of such talk in the weeks and months leading up to the general elections.
The script goes like this: Unless the people vote overwhelmingly for the ruling People’s Action Party, the world will sense instability and investors will pull out or stop investing in the country altogether and Singapore will sink into economic despair, resulting in hardship for everyone.
Such a scenario is presented to Singaporeans every four years.
We have to wonder why politicians like Chan Chun Sing have nothing else up their sleeve. If such talk is so invigorating, why have governments around the world not latched on to it as a tactic for fear mongering?
Perhaps the likes of Chan Chun Sing genuinely think that they are being intellectually stimulating by indulging in such messaging.
This is even worse. The thought that politicians with such a mindset are supposedly the best the country can come up with ought to give us cause for concern.