by Brad Bowyer
The 70/30 myth has been pushed so heavily recently, especially on my posts that I felt I had to address it clearly because when you analyse the election results of the People’s Action Party (PAP) era alongside key data points the trends are clear and it’s not what you are being led to believe.
The PAP came to power with a large majority and had its ups and downs under Lee Kuan Yew (LKY)’s leadership but never again achieved the euphoria and popularity of those early days.
From a then low point, Goh Chok Tong with his less autocratic and more people-centric approach recovered PAP’s fortunes but what has happened since he handed over the reins in August 2004?
There were some major points where decisions were rejected by the public but implemented anyway namely the Casinos pushed through in 2005 and then the high cost of housing after the HDB prices were inflated along with a massive influx of foreign workers through 2010 and both of these have been identified as major contributing factors to PAP vote share dropping to just over 60% by 2011.
In 2015, we had the combination of the Lee Kuan Yews passing and SG50 effect outliers along with the outcomes of the national conversation where assurances where made that the government was listening and more focus would be placed on the people’s needs which jumped the numbers back up a bit.
But what has happened since 2015?
The Casinos are going to be expanded with a $9 Billion expansion recently announced.
Housing is still seriously unaffordable only now we all know HDB’s will go to Zero value and there is much controversy around whether we really own them anyway.
Foreigners now account for almost 40% of our workforce and over 2 million of our population and the number 10m is being banded around again (worse than the 6.9 white paper many of us protested heavily).
And then you add to that list:
The farce that was the selected presidency which the PAP themselves say had a political cost.
A growing list of failures and other issues within government agencies, statutory boards and GLCs (Keppel corruption, the $880,000 bin centre and data leaks among others come to mind).
Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) failures and the appointment of paper generals.
A string of announced losses by Temasek.
Concerns on retirement and Central Provident Fund (CPF) effectiveness.
Stress levels, mental health issues and suicides on the rise especially amongst the elderly.
Rising unemployment and underemployment.
The rapidly increasing cost of living.
New taxes introduced and we are told to expect Goods and Services Tax (GST) to 9% after the next election.
A stagnant economy heading into a recession.
An air of unaccountability.
And what looks like a return to a very autocratic style with lawsuits, prosecutions and the new Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) act amongst others.
So, you tell me is their vote share likely going up or down?
Is it really 70/30 as the PAP want us to believe or are we closer to 50/50 or below territory because we are finally realising our country is being run more like a private corporation than a country and romantic ideas of the past can no longer mask the reality as much as they try and invoke LKY’s memory again and again.
A corporation I might add being run by scholars, paper generals and a plethora of family-related appointees all over the place and not a team of highly skilled entrepreneurs with business acumen and experience that you would expect in a private sector entity.
So, please don’t believe the demoralising hype.
Change can happen, and we can make it happen if we open our eyes, look past the propaganda and inform and embolden our fellow Singaporeans.
This was first published on Brad Bowyer’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission.