Following the results of GE2020, the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong said that the percentage of the popular vote that the party garnered in the election was not as high as he had hoped for.
Although PAP got a “clear mandate” in this year’s GE, the party only won 83 out of 93 seats in Parliament, and 61.2 percent of the popular vote. This is a drop from GE2015 where the party secured 69.9 percent of the popular vote.
“We have a clear mandate, but the percentage of the popular vote is not as high as I had hoped for,” Mr Lee said during the PAP’s post-results press conference on 11 July.
Although the party lost the new Sengkang GRC to the Workers’ Party (WP), Mr Lee stated that the overall result “reflects broad-based support for the PAP”.
Additionally, he also noted that the PAP will take its 83-seat win as an “endorsement” of the party’s policies and plans.
“We’ll take this forward and work with Singapore to realise those plans and solve the problems which we have,” he said.
Mr Lee continued, “Singaporeans understand what’s at stake and why we must come together to uphold out national interest”, adding that this was not a “feel-good” election.
“The results reflect the pain and uncertainty that Singaporeans feel in this crisis, the loss of income, the anxiety about jobs, the disruption caused by the circuit breaker and the safe distancing restrictions”.
Although Mr Lee said that the election results was not what he had hoped for, he had earlier said something completely different.
While addressing to the media at Deyi Secondary School on Nomination Day (30 June), Mr Lee said that the PAP has not set a numerical target for GE2020.
“I don’t have a target. I never have a numerical target for an election. We go in, give it our all, fight for every vote,” he said.
Mr Lee said this when he was asked by the reporters if “scoring under 69 percent” of the vote share might be viewed as a “lack of confidence in the new generation of leaders”.
The PAP’s chief went on further to state that the party has taken the election “very seriously”.
“We’re fighting for every vote, every constituency is contested, so it’s not a by-election, it’s a general election concerning the country at the moment of crisis,” he stated.
He added, “When you open the ballot boxes, you will know how the voters have decided.”
Now, it’s obvious that Mr Lee had given contradicting statements before and after GE2020. This brings us to the question of whether PAP has set any target at all for the election.
If that’s not all, it also makes us wonder if we can trust him to be frank with the people on what he thinks.