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Singapore Election 2011 – It’s Citizens vs Arrogant PAP



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May 07 2011
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Since independence in 1965, Singapore’s general election has been so boring that the results are predictable with both eyes closed, until now. It was like betting who would win the Formula-1 in the early 2000s when Michael Schumacher rule the tracks. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party (PAP) five-decade rule is being challenged by opposition parties namely Worker’s Party and Singapore Democratic Party.

The battle is for the 82 out of 87 parliamentary seats on May 7, 2011. PAP, who controlled 82 seats before the parliament dissolved last month is widely expected to win and continue to govern the country. If the number of Facebook page’s like is any indicator, this election could be the toughest for PAP considering its page is “liked” by merely 28,348 people compared to Worker’s Party’s 35,482. Compared with Malaysia’s political landscape, Singapore’s politics was extremely boring but that is set to change.

Singapore PAP Facebook Like

Singapore Workers Party Facebook Like 

Just like its neighbour, Malaysia’s recently concluded Sarawak state election, the Singapore’s opposition parties would have reasons to celebrate by reducing PAP’s seats or 60% of PAP’s popular vote. To capture the government from PAP is still impossible a mission at this moment. Singapore is miles ahead of Malaysia economically but is eating dusts when come to establishing two-party system, not that Singapore needs one as far as transparency and good governance are concerned.

Singapore General Election 2011 Seats

Judging from the huge crowd who attended the rallies, the opposition parties may win 10 seats, or 17 seats if they’re lucky. Seriously, there’s no reason to rock the boat as Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s PAP has worked hard in transforming the once fishing village to current metropolitan city drawing GDP per capita of S$59,813 from merely S$1,310. Singapore is the only Asian country with AAA ratings from Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

However, PAP is said to have become increasingly arrogant with its past undefeatable records so much so that the party believes the Singaporeans could not survive without PAP. The PAP was said to be out of touch with the ordinary citizens of Singapore. The PAP plays major role in instilling the culture of “Kiasi” and “Kiasu”. Singaporeans never have to worry about money, jobs, bills and any other external competition because the government takes care of almost everything, kinda like nanny baby-sitting the citizens, till now.

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions 

Most Singaporeans were and still are afraid of voting for the opposition parties because of the perception that their votes are traceable. The Singapore government kept drumming how they built Singapore and are very complacent that the voters would keep voting them in. However the escalating cost of living is putting tremendous pressure on PAP to the extend that it announced a whopping S$6.6 billion would be spent on benefits to ease the burden of inflation. The influx of foreign workers is triggering massive changes to the population landscape.

More than a third of Singapore’s 5.1 million population is made up of foreigners and permanent residents, whose growing numbers have led to increased competition for housing, jobs and education. Naturally Singaporeans who used to be in the mould of complacency could not accept the fact that slowly but surely they would become second or even third class citizens themselves. It was a brilliant tactical strategy from Lee Kuan Yew’s administration to kill many birds with a stone.

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions

Singaporeans have become less competitive due to complacency, an important commodity to ensure continuous support for the PAP party. Couple with low birth rate and brain-drain (yes, Singapore experiences brain-drain as well) to other countries such as Australia in order to enjoy better quality of life, Singapore has to replenish the brains migrated overseas. The immediate supply comes from none other than Malaysia whose racist policies is doing great favours to Lee Kuan Yew’s dynasty.

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions

Singapore GE 2011 - Spectators and supporters of the oppositions

The push factor of Malaysia not wanting any top brains of Chinese-ethnic and the pull factor of Singapore’s excellent education system, high currency exchange and equal level playing field work like magic in ensuring a continuity of PAP’s dominance. Foreigners and permanent residents are understandably grateful to be given the opportunity by PAP government and most of them would jump when offered the citizenships. Needless to say, they would obediently vote for PAP without question asked.

With intimidation from PAP government, Singaporeans especially young voters can only murmurs of discontent online. One in four voters in Singapore’s 5 million-strong population is under the age of 35, and the internet is a main source of their news. Still many are still novice in seeing through if PAP is serious about their promise to change and do better. An estimated 50,000 people crowded at an outdoor stadium during opposition Workers’ party may not necessarily translate to the polling booth, let alone voting for them.

Singapore General Election 2011 PAP Candidates

For all you know these angry people may just wish to release their frustration at the rally but too scare to do anything on the polling day. They’re still freaking scare that their ballots will be traced and their mortgages or jobs taken away from them if they vote for the opposition. Just like in Malaysia, perhaps the best achievement the opposition can score is to reduce the PAP’s seats and popular vote to wake up the arrogant government.

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