With General Elections weeks or months away, Singaporeans are following closely to the reports of the various political parties before they undertake the most important decision in their lives – voting.
The boundaries have been announced last week. There are more seats up for grabs, smaller GRCs, more SMCs and no change at all to the opposition boundaries. Singapore first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has recently passed away and Singapore is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. In addition, the recent SMRT breakdowns and the fiasco about poor quality of public housing have fueled anti-government sentiments further.
For the opposition, the time to call for elections cannot be any sweeter.
This brings us to question – are there opposition members with enough quality to make this opportunity count.
We have veterans like Goh Meng Seng (People’s Power Party) who have contested with different parties for the past 3 elections. We have Low Thia Kiang (Workers’ Party) who speaks with fiery passion and has fierce support of the Chinese majority in Hougang. Mrs Lina Chiam (Singapore Peoples Party), the wife of legendary Chaim See Tong who has made Potong Pasir synonymous with his name till 2011.
There is no doubt to the passion and dedication of these individuals but are they good enough to lead Singapore – the only city state in the world that has reached miraculous progress in the past 50 years. A shining red dot nestled among geographically bigger and more resource rich neighbours in South East Asia.
Do they have what it takes to even be the Prime Minister of Singapore and lead Singaporeans achieve their aspirations and make them dream of infinite possibilities?
The opportunity is here. Opposition leaders have to make it count
People must not continue the practice of voting the opposition just to spite the PAP and because they do not want the PAP to be too cocky in their consistent “watershed victory”.
I mean have you seen Roy Ngerng (Singapore First party) and even Mr Jeyaretnam(Reform Party) speak at Hong Lim Park. The only people they attract were the retirees.
In fact, Singaporeans are so desperate that you could be a newly formed party and your manifesto could be “vote for the other guy” and chances are you will still end up with significant number of votes (albeit lower than the PAP’s). Ask Mr Chua Kim Yeow the reluctant candidate who ran for the Presidential Elections in 1993 and came to stage asking the public to vote for the other guy. He got 41.31% of the vote share. (Source)
The Workers’ Party might seem to be Singaporeans best bet for a credible opposition.
However, their AHPETC Town Council fiasco has shown that perhaps they are lacking in certain areas. Politics aside, they are firstly not able to manage fundamental town council accounts convincingly after several AGO audits. No matter how they manipulate the figures, they are still in the red and are possibly bankrupt. How are we suppose to trust the nations finances to them?
Secondly, they failed in their PR skills to manage the media and quell all the negative publicity surrounding AHPETC. Technicalities aside, a politician must be a master of the media. It is their bread and butter; to stoke emotions, to play to the public sympathy and to ‘wayang’ convincingly.
How else will they protect Singapore from distortions, rumours, misinformation and smears from the international media and represent Singapore on the global stage. You can’t do it just by smiling!
Just take a look at what Wall Street Jounal (WSJ) has done to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak over allegations of misappropriation of funds totaling billions of dollars. How about international speculation of racial tension during the Low Yat Plaza riots. Malaysia never recovered and is still suffering the effects of these speculations.
On the other hand, the current crop of PAP members has led us through SARS (2002), Asian Financial Crisis (1997) and even Little India Riots (2013). Singapore has emerged stronger than ever after each incident.
Do you think the current crop of opposition members can unite Singapore and lead us through such a national crisis?
We have to ask ourselves what we want to see in the alternative party and not vote them just to spite the PAP. How have they fared in asking questions and making good proposals in Parliament?
As the road to #sgelection continues, hopefully the candidates will shed more light on their agendas and convince Singaporeans of the choices they are going to make.