Ten reasons why the PAP is so afraid of GE 2015:-
1. Resurgence of people’s voice
Singaporeans, by and large, are very compliant and submissive to the leadership of the ruling party. They are ruled with a iron fist thus far and any dissent is being knocked down readily.
However, the rise of social media plus numerous open public protest at speakers’ corner have provided hope that the people indeed now have rose up in defiance against the dictatorial ruling party.
There is so much that they people can take and for the past few years we have seen a huge increase in activism – showcased publicly by the social media.
2. Rise of alternative voice via social media
We witnessed the rise of social media in GE 2011 as alternative sites took to the stage for the first time to combat against the government-controlled mass media.
More alternative sites sprouted up after GE 2011 and by now we should have close to ten alternative voices battling for the hearts and minds of the people.
Many enjoy wide readership as people have forsook the propaganda mouthpiece of the major newspapers here.
It is believed that GE 2015 will be deemed the people’s election as with the click of a mouse they can enter into the election fray virtually unknown influencing thousands if they are creative and enterprising.
TRS was shut down recently by the government but there are at least ten other sites entering the closely-watched alternative cyberspace right now – all jostling for a piece of the action.
3. More professionals joining the opposition camp
More professionals are joining the opposition camp now than ever before and we saw professors like SDP’s Paul Tambyah and WP’s Daniel Goh joining the fever for this coming GE.
I also heard a Cambridge-educated young female lawyer is joining WP team.
Such distinguished field of opposition candidates gave hope to the voters that they are voting for someone who is both intelligent and capable and not one who wore slippers to the election department hoping for a miracle.
Besides voting for a credible party, voters also look at the credentials of the candidates before parting with their votes.
Credibility features highly on the mind of many voters here and those parties who could showcase the distinguished educational and professional portfolio of their candidates seem to have a better head start in the campaign.
For change to happen, capable Singaporeans must rise up and sacrifice for a better Singapore as politics can be dirty and unscrupulous.
Some may get hurt in the process but one must be ready to pay the price to be an agent for change.
4. Lack of confidence in PAP camp
The prematured resignation of transport minister Lui Tuck Yew plus the recent mass resignation of many PAP MPs do not augur well with the public as it is unprecedented for a minister to do that so close to the coming election.
It spoke volume of the unsettling atmosphere residing right now with the ruling party who always enjoy much confidence weeks before any general election.
Gone are the care-free relaxed ambience of the PAP before a general election and even the recent PM’s national day rally speech is punctuated with traditional rhetoria – nothing which can stir the hearts of the country to part their votes with the incumbent.
It is also the first time the ruling party looks increasingly defensive in a election as it has to handle mass public dissatisfaction with the huge transport and over-population issues.
5. Post-LKY election
Its the first election which will not feature LKY at all and many have mention that his appearance at any ward during campaigning will influence at least 10% of the voters to its camp.
His presence will be sorely missed by the incumbent as it struggles with many issues that are still unresolved after GE 2011.
Many elderly voters may simply swing their votes to the opposition camp as the loyalty factor is not longer valid now as the former patriach is gone forever.
6. Population white paper
Grievances heard from the ground were mostly related to the population white paper and it is widely believed that swing voters will have that in mind when they take to the polls.
Singaporeans are by nature very down-to-earth practical voters and bread and butter issues remain top-most on their mind.
They can do away with some personal rights or even sacrifice some of their dignity but when their livelihood is being compromised it will make them reconsider their choices at the polls.
The population white paper has affected all Singaporeans from the recent transport problems to job insecurity – stuff that most people feel passionately about.
Years of draconian rule has hardened the people to accept a communist-like democratic system but if they could not put food on the table for the family, they will rebel with a swing vote to the opposition camp.
7. Opposition unity
There are glimpses of a opposition unity floundering especially with the Goh Meng Seng-led Vote for Change button.
Its a campaign led by four other parties to vote for change in this coming election and though opposition giants WP and SDP are not in it, the sign of a united opposition front is promising.
To counteract that, the ruling party has just issued a warning that opposition parties are not to participate in each other’s rally campaign for fear that this will breed more unity in the opposition camp.
If the opposition parties will one day unite and form up a huge platform like Bersih to challenge the ruling party at the polls, it is envisaged that the end will be in sight for PAP.
The country is due for change but the opposition parties need to unite as one big force to challenge the incumbent.
8. More uniformed people joining the ruling party
More uniformed personnel are joining the ruling party and this does not augur well for the people.
For example, the ex- army chief and asst commissioner have resigned to join politics and both are believed to be ministerial material.
Army generals joining politics and later promoted to be ministers look like a norm in our politics these days but not many of them do well from the internal transfer.
For example, ex-Admiral Lui Tuck Yew stepped down from politics after a horrendous experience helming transport and ex-army generals like Tan Chuan Jin and Chan Chun Sing were hammered by netizens for failing to speak wisely on sensitive issues like the cardboard collectors and foreign labour.
Its still questionable how effective these unformed top-brass have been while they transitioned to politics from a regime-like environment.
Long used to having people obeying their commands for a very long time, now they have to bend their body and even dirty their hands on the ground to serve the people.
Its a steep learning curve for many of these paper generals and there do not have much time to adjust on the job.
Even if they are promoted to ministerial level, they have to persuade gently rather than speaking as if everyone will listen to them – like those days in the army or police where dissent is not tolerated.
Ministers like Lui Tuck Yew who could not adjust or tolerate much dissent both on and off line will simply pack their bag and left.
It is hope that more private sector people will come in and serve as ministers as this lack of working experience in the outside world is hurting Singaporeans as policy-makers do not have a real feel of the problems on the ground.
9. On-going movement around the world for change
There is also this on-going movement around the world egging for change.
People living in autocratic countries are all rising up together as one voice to go against dictatorship.
Centuries-old monarchies like Egypt and Tunisia were overthrown by the people desperate for change in a very repressed society.
Democratic societies in Europe have also voted for a change in government due mainly to the damaging immigration issue.
Many have mentioned that Singapore is still alright as we have food to eat and a roof to live in.
However, the current foreign influx has forced many Singaporeans to rethink if this country is truly meant for Singaporeans.
Jobs were lost and more importantly our national identity is being diluted by the current influx.
300,000 Singaporeans have emigrated and nobody aspires to return anytime soon – so long the ruling party is in power.
10. Growing pool of young anti-establishment voters
Each year, more than 20,000 voters are eligible to vote as they turn 21 years old – all ready to vote for change.
Many of our young adults are not used to the traditional draconian rule and it is believed that 70% of them will vote for the opposition.
They want change and a better Singapore whereby one is free to express our opinion and not get knocked down every time you speak up against the establishment.
With more pro-PAP elderly passing on with each election and a growing pool of young anti-establishment voters, it is only a matter of time before the incumbent gets knock off it’s 50-year-old power pedestal.
11. Recent fall of European governments on anti-immigration sentiments
Swiss voters in February 2014 approved a measure that tightens immigration quotas despite threats of penalties by the EU, though the vote was close. France’s anti-EU National Front party, which supports limits on immigration, won control of up to 15 municipalities in elections Sunday, more than tripling its previous high of four municipalities in the 1990s (source: USA Today March 31 2014).
Such sentiment is also strong in other countries such as Sweden, the Netherlands and France, where France’s National Front is now supported by one in four voters in the country, recent polls show.
Will the same thing happen in the coming election here?
Many of the immigration-related problems face by Singapore are experienced by the European Union which is borderless.
They face the same problem as us – over-crowding, job competition and weak integration.
Immigration should be the main election topic in this coming election and the one who could argue well against the 6.9m population white paper will probably be able to swing more votes for his opposition team.
Moreover, Singaporeans have never before unite so strongly against one policy and this time round, the ruling party has its work all cut out.
Written by: Gilbert GohNumber of View: 2382