by Yoong Siew Wah
There is a perceptible euphoria in the air not unlikely created by the People’s Action Party (PAP) leadership following their lacklustre performance in the general election in order to boost their flagging stature.
It is the acme of irony that top PAP politicians who pay themselves millions of dollars from taxpayers’ money to consider themselves people servers but equally ironical that there are considerable guillible Singaporeans who believe them. On top of this you have the prime minister’s wife Ho Ching whose probably enormous salary as CEO of Temasek Holdings remains a state secret.
That there is a voters’ swing towards the opposition, especially the Workers’ Party, is a severe slap to PM Lee Hsien Loong and the PAP leadership which could not have escaped the psyche of PM Lee and his sidekicks and could have sent a warning to them that it could be a precursor of some revolutionary changes to the political landscape of Singapore in the future.
The dynamic performance of the Workers’ Party in the GE must have put them in a state of acute pessimism as the WP will be like a tornado even in their dream as their Nemesis. On the other hand the voters have shown very clearly that they have been satiated by the guiles of the PAP for too long and have reduced the political standing of their ministers, even PM Lee himself, by reducing the percentage of their votes rendering them as caricatures of their former selves. They even dispatched an eminent minister in Sengkang in the hustings.
PM Lee could not have been so myopic as not to be able to see the writing on the wall. So he and his deflated ministers are now working desperately to regain the confidence of the voters by making unprecedented promises to ameliorate the livelihood of Singaporeans.
Whether this will go down well with Singaporeans will depend on whether the pledges will be just a perfunctory exercise or a genuine effort to improve the livelihood of Singaporeans. Even the PAP mouthpiece President has thrown in her lot to call upon the people to support the new PAP government. It will be interesting to watch how the promises will evolve from now on.
It is a good omen for Singapore that a large number of Singaporeans are more politically conscious of their inherent inheritance of their inborn endowment to decide on their own destiny.
Mr Yoong Siew Wah, was the Director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) from 1971 to 1974. He was Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in the 1960s, and had a distinguished career in the Singapore Special Branch in the 1950s.