Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has emphasised the importance of the looming general elections by saying that the “coming general election will chart the course Singapore takes not just for the next three to six months, but for at least the next five to 10 years“. He further stated that “the election is really about direction setting.”
While preparations have been made to facilitate the imminent general election, a date has yet to be announced. If the upcoming general election is as important as Heng says it is, why has a date not yet been announced? If the upcoming election is so vital, surely it would be a priority to set a date?
Heng moves on to urge unity among Singaporeans. “Beyond party politics and elections, I hope that Singaporeans will focus on this one issue – how do we stay together as one people.”
The best way to ensure unity is to reduce the need for speculation and divisive rumours. By appearing to play cat and mouse in relation to committing to an election date, the government could unwittingly be feeding the rumour mill. So, if unity is paramount, why has the government not facilitated an even playing field to contest the general elections by setting a date for the general election?
Heng appears to tackle the dicey topic on the promised review of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic promised by Minister for National Development and Co Chair of the Multi Ministry task force, Lawrence Wong “when the timing is right“.
By saying that there is a time and place to review policy decisions and that Singapore is now “in the midst of a major battle on many fronts”, Heng is implying that this is not the right time for the promised review. However, if we cannot have the review because we are so busy fighting COVID-19, why are we having the general elections in the first place?
Surely, if we are amid a “major battle on many fronts”, we should not add on to it by also pushing ahead with a general election? Heng’s assertions seem to conflict each other .
It is also curious that Heng has raised concerns on a lack of global leadership to deal with the pandemic, when his own government is facing criticism for the same thing. Many have criticised the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) led government for its earlier inaction and reactive policies in relation to its dealing of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It would appear that Heng is trying to stress how important the PAP is to the future of the Singapore but there are just too many contradictory statements in his interview for his points to make any logical sense.