Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday April 15th 2019

Six uncomfortable truth facing the PAP in GE 2019

The six uncomfortable truth facing the PAP in GE 2019:-

1. White versus white

For the first time in it’s 50-over years ruling history, the PAP faces someone who has turned against the regime in the mould of Dr Tan Cheng Bock – a six-term PAP MP who has recently received in-principle approval of his alternative Progress Singapore Party.

Even though Dr Tan is not in the mercurial mode of Dr Mahathir who has single-handedly turned the table against the Malaysian ruling party Umno in the recent election backlash across the straits, he can still gather ex-white dissidents and form a strong coalition with this disenchanted group.

Many critics have lamented that for the PAP to fall off its pedestal, there has to be another white group who will rise up in strength to dislodge it.

Moreover, Dr Tan is a former white MP and in all likelihood, he would have known the intricacy and winning formula of the PAP’s election machinery that is famed for being well-oiled and efficient – it will take an insider to exploit the inherent weaknesses (if any).

When Dr Tan announced that he will form a alternative party, many finally saw that there is at last some hope at the end of the dark PAP tunnel and only time will tell if he can do a similar Dr Mahathir in this coming election or many more to come.

Thus, the ruling party will focus their attention on Dr Tan and his party in the coming GE and the only opposition party in Parliament right now  – Workers’ Party – may for once come to realise that they are not the only dominant alternative to watch anymore.

For Dr Tan to continue his influence in alternative politics, he has to first win a seat and predictably it will be easier  to contest  for a win in a SMC so that he can cement his foothold in Parliament first. If not, he will just become another loud voice in a sea of unseated opposition politicians in our congested arena space.

This piece of unprecedented news must be the PAP’s worst nightmare in it’s sixth decade of power and not even our late strongman LKY could have envisaged such a happening – a white turning against another white.

Fear factor: 8/10

2. Loopholes and scandals

There must be at least five major screw-ups in our country recently and unfortunately for the ruling party, it all happened within the recent two years – leading straight up to the general election this year.

The recent demise and bankruptcy of Hyflux has put pressure on the government as it is very much owned by Temasek Holdings and a multi-million bail-out seems likely much to the dismay of the ordinary shareholders who will lose alot of money when they decided to plough into a sure-win golden calf many years ago.

As this time of writing, a disenchanted group of local investors will be organising a protest to voice their displeasure at Hong Lim Park over the weekend.

Moreover, we must have being the only country in the world that periodically leak out personal data from agencies that are supposed to keep confidental information private.

Blood donors, HIV sufferers, civil servants among others were exposed to the public eyes and many critics have pointed their finger at a government who is slipshod in the way they awarded IT contracts – often to a bogus company at the lowest bid.

Many foreign companies set up in our country are often shell companies with minimal pay-up capital and over-rated talent with ambiguous educational certification. Their integrity is in question right from the fishy start and it is no wonder that after a few years, many such info-tech start-ups have started to lose its sparkle and reveal it’s ugly truth.

It is unknown how much damage the government has to face in the run-up to GE 2019 and whether it will adversely affect their strong 70% mandate in the previous showing but definitely, the PAP will not be sitting comfortably in it’s current embarrassing frequent data lapses and high-level screw-up.

We are not even talking about the several other high-level corruption cases with one involving the PM’s ward Ang Mo Kio Town Council among others.

Fear factor: 7/10

3. Lim Tean

Out of the opposition rung rose a mercurial opposition leader in the mould of Cambridge-trained lawyer Mr Lim Tean helming a party he formed – People’s Voice Party.

He has ruled speaker’s corner since he quit National Solidarity Party (NSP) as Secretary General and has since became a household’s name by ingeniously using social media video with his magnetic booming voice.

Moreover, he has managed to gather a team of co-labourers over a short span of time and campaigned widely in Singapore – meeting many of his supporters in the process.

Not many opposition candidates have his zeal and energy and it is foreseeable that Mr Lim has the potential to win a seat in Parliament going by how popular he is in the social media arena.

Many of his own podcast videos garnered well over 6-figure views and if this is to translate into votes he can easily win a seat hands-down.

He has also organised several public meetings at the speaker’s corner – which is also a first by any opposition leader and has raised many issues which stirred public sentiments.

The ruling party must have being watching in dismay the popularity of this fast-rising opposition leader and know that he is very close to winning a seat in Parliament in GE 2019.

Fear factor: 7/10

4. CPF

The CPF issue remains a constant thorn in the PAP camp and many Singaporeans are beginning to distrust the government – especially over the automatic opt-in of a later withdrawal age at 70 years old unless the person decides to opt out.

Many people are sceptical of a government that constantly shifts the goal-post of CPF withdrawal mechanism and if given a choice they will withdraw all their money immediately though that option remains only for those who have given up on their citizenship.

At least one thousand Singaporeans have decided to give up on their citizenship yearly – many doing so because they want to cash out their CPF money.

Many have also speculated that the government has poured in alot of our CPF money into illiquid funds through the two sovereign funds – Temasek Holdings and GIC and there have being huge multi-billion losses recorded so far over the years.

With many Singaporeans nearing their retirement soon in our fast-aging population and many have solely depend on their CPF money for retirement purpose, it is not surprising that this issue remains the top-most agenda for voters in this coming GE 2019.

Political freedom and human right issue may not move Singaporeans much but when it comes to anything that hurts the pocket, our voters may vote otherwise if the opposition could seize the initiative and make this topic one of their main campaign slogan.

Fear factor: 7/10

5. Poor succession plan

The PM has being delaying his succession plan for a while and even though finance minister Heng Swee Kean is ultimately seen as to be the next PM-designate, many Singaporeans remained unconvinced that it is a good choice.

Called a “safe pair of hands”, Mr Heng will in all likelihood continue the policies of the government without much innovation and change.

Singapore needs a leader now who dare to steer the ship into unchartered waters and yet have the ability to coax a country to follow his leadership. Mr Heng does not appear to have the quality of a game-changer but more of someone who will follow the status quo and not try to rock the boat too much.

Moreover, he is leading a country which is caught in the tricky trade war between two superpowers – China and US – and with Dr Mahathir now helming Malaysia he has to manovure his way through the controversial water agreement and the terse water way. Though Mr Heng looks all articulate and professional, he will probably lose hands down to an old political adversary in the mould of Dr Mahathir.

We have being sailing comfortably into stable waters for the past few decades but truly we need someone who dares to challenge the status quo and forge a new direction for the country.

Our over-dependence on foreign investment viz-a-viz multi-national corporations (MNC) is most troubling and is an easy way out at the expense of our own local SMEs which are mostly languishing and merely surviving as most of it’s business is being edged out by larger foreign companies.

MNCs also tend to bring in their own people and the notion that they will train our own local people at the helm is but a myth – no foreign companies will do that and only our government could spread this propaganda to appease a country that is increasingly being sidelined through job replacement by incoming foreigners.

Unless the government dares to minimise it’s reliance on foreign investment and start focusing it’s attention on our lacklustre local industries, doomsday may arrive when something adverse happens to our country and scores of MNCs decide to pull out amass leaving us high and dry. There is no loyalty when it comes to foreign investment unlike local businesses as their livelihood depends on growing the economy at it’s own shore come what may.

Unless Mr Heng decides to change tact and goes against the grain, we will continue to see a very top-down kind of governance and Singaporeans will still face up to a ultra-high cost of living and widening social inequality.

Fear factor: 6/10

6. Lee Hsien Yang/Lee Wai Ling

The infamous pair of Lee siblings – Hsein Yang and Wai Ling – may prove to be the PM’s failing if they decide to spill more blood during GE 2019.

The two have began a month-long online tirade two years ago against the older PM brother which were picked up by worldwide presses – much to the embarrassment of the government.

Singaporeans are hoping that they will do the same in this coming GE so that voters can know the real truth and leadership of the current regime.

Asians tend to treasure character and integrity of their leaders alot and may tie their voting choice to the person despite their sterling performance in office.

The two younger Lee siblings enjoy a cult-like immunity from being persecuted and it is no surprise that during this GE 2019 they may spring another prolonged online tiff with the older PM brother to try and change the course of our political history.

If this happens, it will be the government’s most nightmarish experience in any general election ever.

Fear factor: 8/10

Written by: Gilbert Goh

Number of View: 98

Leave a Reply