by Teo Soh Lung
It is the same old story. Three minutes of air time for each candidate for the coming general election. Election rallies have been abolished. In its place, there will be e-rallies at subsidised rates if the opposition can afford. If not, then such rates will be used exclusively by the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the minds of Singaporeans will be saturated with PAP “goodness”.
Fair for the opposition? The Elections Department (ELD) is under the control of the prime minister. So what can we expect?
The PAP is sure to contest all 93 seats. So it will have 93 x 3 minutes while the opposition made up of several parties, will have less exposure time each. The intent is of course to handicap and silence the opposition.
But then, since when has the PAP played fair and behave like a strong victor, unafraid of competition? Since when have they allotted more time for candidates from smaller parties so that the battle ground can be a little more level? Since when have they helped minorities?
The PAP has never been fair to the opposition. Indeed, the opposition have often been hounded and sued during election times. The PAP is only interested in winning big – 90% of votes if possible even though such a percentage reflects badly on a democracy. That it is seen as a big bully does not bother the PAP.
They have thick skins when it comes to winning elections. Their skins turn paper thin when some unflattering statements are made about them. We have witnessed that many times when poor election candidates have not only lost the elections but have been threatened and sued during elections. The PAP’s lawyers are all on high alert.
So the unequal battle will soon be fought.
The conduct of the PAP as electionnears tells much about the character of its leaders. They do not believe in fairness. They are fixated on winning even when it means putting the people’s health in danger. COVID-19 can be ignored because it is more important that the PAP wins big with all the carrots that have been distributed to the people recently and all the restrictive election rules in place.
But knowing the character of the PAP leaders, why are we still drawn to voting for them?
In 2015, we gave them 70% of the votes while the opposition received 30%. Translated into seats in parliament, only 6 out of the 89 went to the opposition Workers’ Party. Thirty percent of the votes should have garnered at least 27 seats for the opposition in parliament. So what happened to the 21 seats?
The PAP has never played fair and will never play fair. Having a super majority in parliament means they can do anything – enact more oppressive laws and remove more of our rights, implement policies to our detriment and be really harsh on us. We see that in recent times. PAP ministers have bullied citizens by issuing various POFMA notices under the Prevention of Falsehoods Manipulation Act.
The ministers have a POFMA office paid for by us to scrutinise everything we write. But even this is not sufficient for the PAP. Their members of parliament hound citizens. Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng has recently attacked our national playwright, poet, author and public intellectual, Alfian Sa’at using the PAP website. He is the second MP to harrass citizens. The first was Seah Kian Peng.
BEWARE SINGAPOREANS! Expect more salvos from PAP. Unless we take action and vote more opposition members into parliament this time, we will forever be under attack. Don’t repeat the outcome of the 2015 general election. We should deny the PAP of its 2/3 majority so that they will not be able to do monkey business with our lives.
The PAP is guaranteed to form the Government. We need 32 opposition members in parliament to make a difference. The calibre of opposition candidates are better than the PAP’s who are mainly from the military and the civil service. We don’t need more of the same.