Why PAP won in every election despite a suffering population?

As Singaporeans faced yet another unjustificable slew of price increases in essential utilities this month – electricity tariffs and water – many are left wondering if both the companies are caught in the red resulting in the price increase.

On the contrary, for example, SP group has made an average net profit of almost $1 billion each year for the past 13 years but it has raised electricity tariff again – the third time this year of a hefty 16.8% in total raising doubts about its rationale.

There is also no tenable reason given on why it raises the price of both the essential services as electricity and water are household daily usages that no one can do without. In short, there is no need to explain why it has to raise prices as there is no one to account to except its loss-making major shareholders Temasek Holdings.

The government also tries to pacify the population by giving back an average of $300 in GST voucher to 1.6 million needy Singaporeans earning $28,000/ year and below but this is small change compared to the increase in monthly utilities bills they have to pay. With the increase, each household is expected to pay an average of 6-8% more in utilities on a permanent monthly basis compared to the one-off GST voucher to be handed out early next month.

So why does a intelligent-sounding government like ours kept increasing the cost of essential services that will naturally infuriate the average population though it has being making profits all along? Moreover, there is actually nothing much to gain from the percentage increase other than another tens of millions added to the two utilities’ giant coffers but to the average Joe earning less than $2000/month, it will definitely eat into the household’s consumable income.

They will have less to spend on the kids’ Macdonald outing, no more movies during the weekend or trips to the zoo. More significantly, its ability to be financially independent is crippled due to the tightening grip of the government on household expenditure.

One feasible reason we can think of the government’s move is in the politics of control. The more the country is in the firm grip of a totalitarian government, the more it will feel that it has no power to free itself of resulting in less personal empowerment to change things individually.

Alice LoCicero, a Cambridge-based clinical psychologist and researcher on leadership and terrorism says: “It’s easier to understand why it’s adaptive and common for people to bond to powerful leaders. In Darwinian evolution, the people who bonded with the leader survived. That instinct got passed along.”

We saw that here when many young professionals join the RC or CCC in the overt attempt to associate themselves with the ruling party so as to gain some flavour from that close association.

Thus, according to LoCicero, the more power a government holds over it’s people, the more they will feel powerless without the elements in control. They have effectively surrender whatever individual rights they have to the rulers sometimes voluntarily and often blindly without knowing the devastating result it has on totalitarianism.

Dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Gaddafi all enjoyed tremendous popularity with their subjects despite their autocratic ways and merciless purging of dissent. Millions died at their hands but yet people still adore them sometimes blindly. We also witnessed how the country went into a nationalistic mourning when Lee Kuan Yew passed away and though he is not in the tyrannical mould of Hitler or Stalin he is certainly no true democratic ruler.

Nevertheless, our government has so far control everything in our lives and has made a living hell out of many people. For example, there is no minimum wage so people could not earn a decent living – another stripping-off of personal empowerment as the population struggles to survive in the world’s costliest city without any reprieve in sight. So, the safer way to survive is to conform and play along and left the dangerous role of implementing changes to the few heroic ones.

If everybody is to earn sufficient wages and live decently, the need to depend on the government’s periodical welfare hand-out will be lessened as there is no need to depend on them anymore effectively loosening the grip of the rulers on its subjects. Giving out cash vouchers regularly is a cheap but effective vote-buying strategy and for the poor it is something that they will think of before casting their votes during election.

More than 15% of our population (estimated 300,000) live below the poverty line i.e $1500/month income and below and giving out money prior to a general election is a tried-and-tested way of getting in the votes and it is no wonder why the PAP is not keen on really trying to improve the livelihood of our working poor.

Thus, in a cruel attempt at total control, PAP has no desire to really improve the livelihood of the population and the poor struggles to get out of poverty often pushing them to the feeble welfare arms of social services to make ends meet. Besides weakening the poor’s personal empowerment at looking for a permanent change, it also drove them to the ones that could temporarily improve their condition abeit momentarily by way of cash freebies.

Nevertheless, totalitarianism also has its own personal appeal to the population as it leaves everything in control to the ruler – decades of absolute power means the people know nothing about exercising its personal right and often they witnessed how opponents are mercilessly crushed resulting in a climate of fear.

You will always find a voter who has cursed at the ruling party vehemently because of certain policies but yet they will cast their vote for the incumbent come polling day!

Repression is a multi-feared tool aims at repressing dissent so invaluable for regime change as it takes massive ground reaction to trigger change.

Many non-Singaporeans marvelled at the high percentage votes the ruling party receives for the last election even though hundreds of thousands of foreigners were allowed in to snatch away jobs from Singaporeans and the high cost of living has affected many people resulting in a mini exodus to JB.

In fact, many of the poor who are left suffering from the many erroneous policies of the government voted them back in for another five more years of pain and turmoil as they could not see how they can find another better alternative than the current totalitarian regime they are so used to. Thus, total control is psychological and sometimes it is so ingrained that to escape from its grip is unthinkable.

Propaganda has also driven a country to believe that without the PAP, our country will be in shambles and left to perish. We see them day in and out on our TV channels and gradually people start to believe that without the PAP our country will suffer.

Nevertheless, the recent regime change in Malaysia provided us with a glimmer of hope that if the people unite and rise up together, change is still possible!

Right now, we just have to suffer along with the majority who is still swayed by a totalitarian government and let’s hope that it won’t be for too long…

 

Gilbert Goh

 

* The author is the founder of Transitioning.Org, a support site for the unemployed.

 

 

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29 Responses to “Why PAP won in every election despite a suffering population?”

  • Boh Kia See:

    It is important to note that this phenomenon is the result of fear. Slaves obey their masters, not willingly but out of fear. That is what is happening to Singapore.

    For a long time now, Singaporeans have been bullied and pilloried for minor things, that has nothing to do with the Government. Personal items like : abortion, number of children, where you can live, even the kind of hairstyle you can have. They were all accepted be the citizens without any complaints.

    Now, the PAP has turned the citizens into malleable play dough, they are emboldened by their results and want to continue further.

    Times have changed, the economy is no longer robust and livelihoods are precarious. Citizens can see that the world is passing them by and the PAP seems to have made it worse with no new ideas and a “stuck in the mud” attitude. They are captured by the past and still remains there.

    For a better future, citizens needs to forge a new path away from the PAP. We must be more sophisticated to be able to asses ideas and values objectively. We must not be gripped by adulation of past and living but past leaders to the stage of almost idolatury. They are all just humans like we are-with the same weakness and strength that we also possess.

    These so-called leaders of the PAP do not have any ideas to solve current situations such as climate warming. Their solution is throw more money at such problems. Guess where do they get the funds? not necessarily from the “reserves” if there is one.

    Kick out the PAP if you want to solve any problems Singapore faces from a Singapore perspective for Singaporeans. It is the only way forward.

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  • mike:

    “The people deserves their government”

    And we have Singaporeans complaining about flaws of democracy in justification for totalitarian system such as CCP style.

    Yes, many will say “can we eat politics”, “can politics gives shelter over our heads” and ironically it is precisely that politics are affecting those basics.

    No doubt that our doctrine has created a generation or two of smart but not quite intelligent country folks. And perhaps our education system will continue to create conformist than revolutionist for many years to come. Strangely it is revolutionist that we need for change, ideas and inventions to extend the usable life of this little state nation.

    Or perhaps having ideas and inventions are exclusive rights of small fraction of the people who can afford Harvard, Cambridge and MIT, the born right of those born into elitist community.

    Only a totalitarian environment flourishes elitism.

    A free and democratic environment ensure everyone can be elite in their own community and their own way.

    Poverty is the best instrument for “weak people” and “strong” government. You need them much more than they need you.

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  • In Summary:

    No need to philosophize simple things,
    just call a spade a spade.
    The dead man said sinkies are stupid.
    He is dead right.

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  • LKY wakes from ashes:

    LKY made two big blunders
    To appoint his useless son as the future PM of Singapore,and to appoint HO CHIN as the CEO of termasik. If both appointments were based on merits LKY must be blind. Both are not fit to hold the office they are in. LHL lacks the spine and iron to sack his non performing ministers. Blunder after blunder but still an iron rice bowl.
    As for HO CHIN she has lost millions if not billions and she still sits on her throne. Even her pay is a STATE SECRET.

    LKY had propergated the idea that the HDB will continue to go up in value. Goh Chock Tong has called it assert when it was the BIGGEST liability of the common man in SIngapore.Singaporeans pay one of the highest contribution towards their retirement fund but have hardly enough money to have a decent retirement. They work into their 70s and 80s not because they want to,because they need to.The CPF is a broken system, the HDB is a broken system.The present generation of general ministers including LHL have no idea and will power to solve these problems.

    The four generation of leader are WEAK and lack the trust of the people.They fumble in parliament like Our future PM in waiting Ong Sweet Cake. Others like our minister of education flip flop of policies. SIngapore is TRULY DOOMED with such ministers.

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  • LKY wakes from ashes:

    First generation leaders turning in their graves looking at SIngapore today. LKY is still resting in his ashes,when will he get up and give his son the d**honourable one a tight slap and kick up his pink arse.

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  • mike:

    How many of you will print on the T-shirt or a Red cap which says:

    Make Singapore
    Great Again

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  • pap dies, sooner or later:

    In Summary:
    No need to philosophize simple things,
    just call a spade a spade.
    The dead man said sinkies are stupid.
    He is dead right.

    well said bro. agree.

    but there is hope. looking at HK today, we say there is hope for small island Spore.

    you see, as soon as 70% sheep coughs out blood due to high handedness of pap S$m money grubbing moves, pap dies.

    until then, no choice. the stupid 70% sheep behavior repeats itself over and over again. UNTIL 70% is coughing blood due to pap.

    what can we do?

    continue to vote OPPO aka vote against pap while waiting for 70% sheep to cough blood.

    it shall happen. a matter of when. not a matter of never.

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  • Alan:

    All I Wan For Christmas is VTO。

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  • Truth:

    60% cant have enough of the devil so mbe God gave them a new devil.However be warned people who honour the devil will eventually be destroyed.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Thanks for your long winded post, but there’s only one reason – COWARDICE.

    What’s the point of NS? Real life enemy charge, they turn tail and run.

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  • oxygen:

    THOSE WHOSE LIFE IS REDUCED TO dependency on meagre handouts from PAPpypolitics and PAPpynomics are already entrapped in slavery-like dependency. They fear their life-line got cut.

    STOCKHOLM SYNDROME!

    The more you whipped slaves, the more obedient they will submit to enslavement – need not be uttered of command.

    IT COMES BY INSTINCT AND NATURALLY.

    IN LIFE, IT IS YOU WHO TEACH HOW OTHERS TREAT YOU.

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  • Corporation over nation:

    Bottom line for the crony elitists is $$$ sense for their vested interests and secret salaries… and haha they jolly well salivating over your 20% ceeepeeeffff oi siguikia singkies….

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  • why suffered in silence:

    Frequently I am puzzled and amused by how gullible and naive sinkies are.Every GE regime use same tricks , giving peanuts yet rewarded with more votes.There must be something missing in their brain or something missing in between their legs.Prove me wrong this GE , I beg them
    and I will change my perception of sinkies

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  • No pain no gain:

    It’s like having S-M in s*x.

    Sinkies have over the decades been conditiioned to accept and like it. In fact, the more pain the better the pleasure.

    What do you think?

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  • FOG:

    Rationalization Extrapolates
    To The Earliest Time Of Evolution:

    In the interplay of psychology and logic,
    Rationalization is a defense mechanism
    In which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified
    And explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner,
    To avoid the true explanation,
    And are made consciously tolerable,
    Or even admirable and superior,
    By cunning, deceptive and plausible means.

    When the mind is in great pain or suddenly cornered,
    Struggling with the need to ward off Reality,
    It creates, invents and innovates
    Ideas and logics to counter the difficulties.
    This is nothing new and nothing wrong.
    This is totally understandable.

    Everyone does it
    Everybody uses it
    Though nobody likes to admit it.
    So be it!

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  • Think out of BallotBox:

    The ballot paper has no WATERMARK, as far as I know. I could be wrong. It has nric but if NRIC is watermark, why does dollar note need watermark?

    So, the NRIC is printable.
    It’s not a security watermark.

    The only UNQUE IDENTIFIER has been the X we draw onto the ballot paper.

    But now is my understanding correct thatGgey going to introduce a stamp chop of to mark the X ?

    If so, it means there is no more unique handwriting made by us on the paper.

    I am not SAYING THAT THE STAMP CAN BE USED TO STAMP MULTIPLE COPIES.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Think out of BallotBox:
    The ballot paper has no WATERMARK, as far as I know. I could be wrong. It has nric but if NRIC is watermark, why does dollar note need watermark?

    But now is my understanding correct thatGgey going to introduce a stamp chop of to mark the X ?

    If so, it means there is no more unique handwriting made by us on the paper.

    I am not SAYING THAT THE STAMP CAN BE USED TO STAMP MULTIPLE COPIES.

    That’s why never leave a blank voting slip, it will be easier for someone to vote for you during counting!

    So what if the votes can be traced. If it does not void my vote, I could also write my name on the voting slip. I always vote for the Opposition.

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  • Party of the Left-Hand Path?:

    RE: “I am not SAYING THAT THE STAMP CAN BE USED TO STAMP MULTIPLE COPIES.”

    You’re saying that Ah Gong who forced his cronyism into our once-upon-an-80s-time healthy capitalism has descended into Samseng Kia Existentialism?

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  • Aiyo:

    Some people will sell their vote for a bus ride and tarpau food https://youtu.be/zQ9fHdAi6rQ

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  • DieLah:

    Sin.

    Barked up the wrong tree – Those who seek cover under the tree of its seductive wisdom for perfection or excellence(be godlike)

    You put a man in the seat of power he will expect and demand your worship or submission, at the cost of excellence.

    And people will buy excellence/life(self interests) at the expense of life itself(others)…and the earth.

    Only one way out but you have been screwed by religion(they can’t show you the way out[because they are as ignorant and foolish), can they] so….die.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Gilbert; UN’s 2018 estimated 46% of Singapore population are immigrants.

    All these new citizens are of voting age. But not all 54% of true blue Singaporeans eligible to vote. Bukit Batok by-election proved my point.

    So you see why PAP always win!?? PAP has never worry, not at all!!

    If PAP still the government, there will be more than 50% of new citizens. True blue NS-serving Singaporeans will be minority.

    So help us God!

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  • Vice versa:

    Vice versa, how about the other angle ?
    Article title should be …..

    ” Why oppositions still lost depsite a suffering population? “

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  • Harder Truths:

    hahaha

    People in other countries will not believe how greedy, selfish and balssless the $G population really is – unless they stay here.

    Expect no different the next GE. 70% of voters are whiners and backstabbers.

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  • HEAR YE HEAR YE:

    They’ve been able to fool people.

    https://www.singapore-hereld.com/980/

    MAS and state owned banks instructed by guess who to overlook 1MDB.

    Must read before it magically disappears!

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  • WakeupSG:

    Ronald Reagan once said, “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

    That’s worth keeping in mind the next time we think about granting the government more power to regulate our lives. And it is worth remembering the next time some politician promises that he will get some law passed because it is for our own good.
    -Michael D. Tanner

    Ask yourself:
    Is PAP govt over-controlling us for our own good going beyond its limits with POFMA Bill, CPF drawdown age, Compulsory Medishield Life, etc?

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  • Many Clones of Familee:

    Vile and Diabolical Egotists rule over us; and your neighbour too is none other.
    Twilight Zone….

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  • Harder Truths:

    Whenever I voted since early times all I saw was people who wanted to know what they got out of it. Never mind ISA or land-grabbing or HDB / CPF stealing monies. Or Cold Store or National Service or FT.

    It was always the same answer – “what’s in it for me? My needs come first.”

    Always “Me me me”. There is no nation that can survive on “me me me”.

    The citizen’s cry of “me me me” is now the beggar’s cry no politician or FT is listening to.

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  • Watch the Ballot:

    NotMyProblem: That’s why never leave a blank voting slip, it will be easier for someone to vote for you during counting!

    So what if the votes can be traced. If it does not void my vote, I could also write my name on the voting slip. I always vote for the Opposition.

    A Mickey or wrong X can at least show the voter it’s really his ballot he wrote. Can a stamp chop identify anything?

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  • Thinking out of the ballot box:

    There should be signature or thumbprint on the ballot paper to avoid a potential flaw in the system.

    If I print your nric and name on a laser printer, can I only print one?

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