by Augustine Low
To the People’s Action Party, the people who keep calling for elections to be delayed must be out of their minds.
A crisis such as this only comes along once in a lifetime. Singaporeans are shaken up and the opposition can easily be put to the sword. So why squander the opportunity?
A COVID-19 pandemic general election bears the hallmark of the PAP. It comes in the wake of a string of other happenings – not least of which is the 2017 presidential election with only one candidate. To call it an election is a misnomer, it was a coronation.
To turn that into an election reserved for Malays only, Wee Kim Wee was bewilderingly counted as Singapore’s first elected president. This is despite the fact that records from the National Library Board, HistorySG, Our National Archives and the Istana website all refer to Ong Teng Cheong as Singapore’s first elected president.
So a COVID-19 general election becomes Version 2.0 of the bizarre 2017 presidential election.
Who among us can forget the six-year saga of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, a protracted struggle that centred on three Workers’ Party MPs being sued by an independent panel acting on behalf of the WP-run AHTC as well as the PAP-run Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council.
A six-year saga that was kickstarted by the opposition’s “sin” of achieving the impossible – capturing a prized Group Representation Constituency.
Which is exactly what the government said when asked why since coming into effect, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been directed primarily at government critics and opposition parties or those associated with political parties.
The actual words used to explain this: “unfortunate convergence or coincidence.”
Coming in the wake of the elected presidency, WP town council saga and POFMA (just to name three among plenty), we have to say that a general election at the time of a raging pandemic is no less than what we expect from the PAP.
It is just the PAP being the PAP.