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Sunday 7 December 2014

A Deadly Serious Election

PM Lee has said that the next General Election will be 'deadly serious' as each constituency would be fought on national issues, not local issues. Each constituency will fight a National Election and not a By-Election.

In my humble opinion, PM Lee is by and large correct. Singapore is so uniformly run that we cannot say that the residents of East Coast GRC have overwhelmingly distinct and different issues from the residents of West Coast GRC. Local issues will not win and lose elections in PAP wards - as Aljunied GRC found to their dismay in 2011. They fought a local election (laying down municipal plans for residents) whilst the WP fought on a national slogan ("First World Parliament").

The WP will do the same again in 2011 - telling residents of Aljunied GRC that if they lose, the PAP will again be in control of all GRCs and the historic gains of 2011 will be lost. They will emotionally appeal to the residents of Aljunied to keep the fires of democracy burning. They will repeat the same in other constituencies, again telling voters that they are not ready to be an alternative Government, but please give them another GRC so they have a stronger mandate to 'check' the PAP in Parliament.

Ironically, the PAP's best strategy in Aljunied is to employ their losing tactic in 2011. I am surprised the WP has made such a hash out of managing the Town Council.

The PAP should ask the residents of Aljunied, and other residents this: even if Western-style democracy is an ideal, are they willing to continue paying the price so other Singaporeans - those that vote the PAP - can enjoy a 'check-and-balance', whilst they continue to suffer from terrible town council administration? Are they willing to be guinea pigs so that other Singaporeans can have their cake and eat it as well?

These are the issues that will decide the next GE.


  1. On the contrary, I believe Al-junied and Hougang were lost due to local issues. Singapore's elections have never been about national or international issues. It is all about bread and butter issues.

    Al-junied was lost specifically because:
    1) LTK stood there - moving from safe Hougang to an unknown.
    2) Ministerial pay(local issue, unless it is international because it is so over the top.)
    3) Jobs lost to foreigners
    4) Train break downs
    5) Housing shortage
    6) Hospital bed shortage

    Last, but not least, - you got 5 years to repent.

  2. 2,3,4,5,6 are all NATIONAL ISSUES. They are not LOCAL to Aljunied, Even LTK moving there is a national issue - if they don't vote for him, Singapore loses LTK.

    I think you misunderstand what are national issues (affecting all of singapore) and local issues (affecting only that constituency)

  3. You are right - my bad. They are national issues (I was thinking of 'national' as in international, affecting the nation). All the more worrying for the marginal GRCs and SMCs. East Coast, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Marine Parade, Joo Chiat, etc are touch and go.

  4. I agreed that these will be mainly national issues as Singapore is just too small to notice much differences in local issues.

    The dissatisfaction of the ruling party is mainly rooted in the influx of foreigners and the over focus of economic growth at all cost, even if this is at the expense of Singaporeans. The main purpose of economic growth (mean) should be for the benefit of Singaporeans (end). Unfortunately, the mean has become the end. This is made worse and further affirmed when the PAP decided to raise their own wages to match top Singaporeans earners at the worst possible time when Singaporeans are facing depressing wages on top of fast rising cost of living. Our self-reliant policies that we have to rely upon ourselves also add to the impression that our government is uncaring for the people it is suppose to serve, but seen merely as economical figures for manipulation.

    Fortunately, PAP woke up from their blindness to the ground after the last election and reverse of all the short-sighted policies within a very short period of time, which is highly impressive. But whether these effective changes is too late, will depend on the non-hardcore supporters, especially for those who have previously supported the PAP and decided to switch side in their last election because of the arrogance and complacent behaviours shown by the ruling party.

    At least the PAP that was completely out of touch with the ground for the last decade, is now touching the ground more than ever before.