Amidst the hope and euphoria, we should ask whether it’s a false dawn or a new beginning

There’s a saying, Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Haven’t Singaporeans been fooled before? Haven’t we seen this movie that we are now witnessing? What makes us think that things would be any different this time around?

The People’s Action Party (PAP)’s popular vote share for GE2020, although a significant drop from 2015, is still higher than 2011. The PAP lost a GRC for the first time in 2011 and had to do soul searching. It followed up with some position and policy changes and managed to appease ground sentiment and curtail the tide of resentment and unhappiness.

And so in GE2015, the PAP scored a landslide victory in the aftermath of Lee Kuan Yew’s death. The PAP saw this as a resounding endorsement by the people. It could do no wrong. The results of GE2011 were nothing but an aberration, to be consigned to the history books.

After the 2015 sweeping electoral success, water prices went up steeply, impending GST hike was announced, foreign influx continued, Parliament passed controversial changes to the elected presidency, the hotly debated online falsehoods Bill (POFMA) was passed. In recent months, handling of the COVID-19 pandemic became a contentious issue and a general election was called despite pleas and advice to hold back.

Many call GE2020 a watershed election. GE2011 was also dubbed a watershed election, the PAP losing a GRC for the first time. GE2015 was also called a watershed election, coming in the wake of Lee Kuan Yew’s passing.

If we start calling every GE a watershed election, when does it hold significance anymore?

For GE2020, the PAP was true to form, conducting its campaign in predictable fashion.

Ms Raeesah Khan of Workers Party

Raeesah Khan’s past social media posts were whipped up and made a meal of at the height of the hustings. To the PAP, it was an opportunistic strike par for the course. But many of us watched and winced because we had seen it all before, it was trademark gutter politics.

As for the calling into question of Dr Chee Soon Juan’s integrity, we have also seen it before. But the use of an analogy involving spousal violence to make a point – that we have not seen, and it made us wince.

Fear mongering? It happened. As with every GE, Singaporeans were told they could find the PAP losing power overnight and what’s more, winning alone wasn’t enough, the PAP had to win big otherwise investors would lose confidence.

In 2011, late Lee Kuan Yew told Aljunied GRC voters they would “repent” if they voted in the Workers’ Party. For GE2020, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong went to Sengkang GRC and told the voters, “Why settle for PAP-lite? The real thing is much better.”

He must have thought it was witty and amusing because he laughed as he said it. The Sengkang voters, as it turned out, rejected “the real thing” in favour of “PAP-lite”, otherwise known as the Workers’ Party.

But having asked voters to go for “the real thing” in Sengkang, the PAP repeatedly touted the fact that no matter what happens, there would be 12 opposition NCMPs in Parliament. Guess what, where this is concerned, voters would much rather prefer “the real thing” – electing an MP into Parliament is far superior to having a losing candidate as an NCMP.

So when all is said and done, given the results of GE2020, we can expect the PAP to conduct a post-mortem – like it did in 2011. We can expect some fine-tuning, even some position and policy changes.

As for a less divisive, more inclusive style of governance, embracing diversity and aspirations of Singaporeans – that, we shall have to see.

So it’s not yet time to get swept away on a tide of euphoria.

By all means, in the wake of GE2020, let’s look at the glass as half-full. The people have spoken, the rest remains to be seen.

The PAP said of Dr Chee Soon Juan during campaigning: “a leopard does not change its spots.”

The best we could hope for is for the PAP to prove that a leopard can indeed change its spots.

 

Augustine Low

 

 

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33 Responses to “Amidst the hope and euphoria, we should ask whether it’s a false dawn or a new beginning”

  • #1 reason for PAP lost:

    Overall, PAP lost 10% support.

    People beginning to realize they have been cheated.

    HDB $0, CPF very poor returns, no good jobs, cleaner jobs pushed by PAP with pride, high tax ,…

    Over the next 5 yrs, more of the PAP supporters and IB will know that they have been cheated.

    PAP, you either undo all these or OUT you go!

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  • PAP kenna hammered:

    We can definitely call this GE a victory for patriotic singaporeans considering how uneven the playing field was (as always) for the oppositions.

    The young voters in Sengkang have proven many (who think they’re apolitical) wrong. The youth now are better informed bcoz of the social media. Many of my children’s friends in their 20s were actually following this GE2020 very closely and passionately.

    PAP had better wake up from their ideas of playing dirty tricks over and over again. Our young are righteous. They are fearless and they want justice.

    If not for the hundred of thousands of votes from the new citizens and also the ‘bo tak chek’ ah kongs and ah mahs, pap could possibly be the oppositions in the next GE loh.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Singapore sheeple never learn…after living an ILLUSION with Crumbs from the Banquet Table prior to GE…”Cheng hu see bay ho” or why Rock the Boat when it is a Sampan easily SUNK???

    Crisis??? what crisis??? nahhhhh other place lah!!! we are Singapore leh!!! everything is Fine lah!!! we are the Best…man made Jade-Garden-WaterFall you name it we have or make it…

    War??? what war? NS and our one target ONE SHOT will end all war leh!!! Commandos the Best…Planes next to the USA we are the Best…

    So why WORRY…we have NU Citizens to replace the Lost Generation and Future Generation…

    Wait a sec is this The Republic of Singapore or what???

    Absolutely NOT!!! it is SingaporeINC with 40% Naturalised Singaporeans & TruBlu Singapore Patriots fading out of SIGHT!!!

    MatiLah Singapura!!!

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  • FLASH "Weather Report":

    The “weather report” for Aljunied, Sengkang and Houggang is “NO LIGHTNING” for the next 5 years –

    BTW, WP is also setting up a manufacturing operation to make “lightning arresters” to be given out free to other GRCs and SMCs. (These were tested in Aljunied and Houggang and proved to be very effective.) This is for a “new and worst type” of lightning. It does not kill you quick and painlessly but instead “squeezes” to a slow and painful death. Your loved ones still have to pay you know who for your cremation. No Singaporeans “leaves” the country for good without paying one last time. BTW, GST increase also applies to cremation.

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  • Beastial meditations:

    (The PAP said of Dr Chee Soon Juan during campaigning: “a leopard does not change its spots.”)

    Can Pappy’s crowned double-headed AnaCONda disavow its serpentine instincts and labyrinthine initiatives on poor sheeples’ CPF savings?

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  • Yoda:

    The opposition has again made the same fatal mistake, by fielding all 93 wards hoping for a VTO! Have they not learned? Voters don’t trust the opposition to form the government! By fielding every ward, they scare voters into casting their votes for the PAP!

    The percentage garnered by the PAP this election is still higher than what they received in 2011. So talk of their decline is misleading!

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  • Sojoürner:

    In fact, if one thinks about our current situation in terms of the entire world, one sees a lot more examples of the devolution of democracy, of societies of relative freedom and liberty sliding into authoritarianism. That cycle can be argued to be just as valid.

    The current leadership actions have created a raft of unintended consequences that will lead to their dismantling. More young Singaporeans are registering to vote and engaging in the system. That resentment is not going away.

    The PAP govt. created a complex and conflicted system of checks and balances that make significant change difficult – The Internet and social media – both are new players in the fray. They influence the way we get information and how we understand the world. They fuel more division than consensus which will only exacerbate the inequality that caused the resentment.

    Two realities will place us in an entirely new historical context – long-term extrapolation of the population and the economy – perhaps triggering evolution’s built-in self-destruct sequence involving stark political choice for the survivors: figure out how to get along or go extinct.

    Seems as if our past is full of 2 steps forward, 1 step back progress. But history never repeats itself perfectly. In my more optimistic moments, I’ve had the thought that this election will turn out to be the grain of sand that gets into the oyster that produces the pearl.

    By the time any opposition movement gains actual power, hopefully, its velocity has not already begun to retard. Let’s hope this optimism marks the high point of this swing.

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  • opposition dude:

    Things won’t change much because the out of touch 3G is still in control and they will continue doing things their way. Old people are stubborn like that and they will never, ever, admit that they are wrong. Not only that they will always enjoy telling you that they have eaten salt more than you have eaten rice uh huh.

    So with the 3G dinosaurs hanging around for who knows how long you cannot honestly expect old dogs to do new tricks, it just doesn’t happen. Of course there will be policy tweaks to show that they are being responsive to voters but at the end of the day it won’t amount to much.

    What you can and indeed, FULLY should expect is more of what you are already familiar with. Say hello to 9% GST, yearly transport fare hikes and even more non Singaporeans on the island in the next 4 to 5 years. The same old excuses about not enough Singaporeans, not enough skilled people will be used yet again for sure.

    One silver lining will be that we are looking at the 4 WP MPs of Sengkang. If they are going to perform as well as we expect then we can most definitely expect WP to win another GRC in the next GE liao.

    As we can see in this election, almost 40% of us support the opposition. Who is to say this percentage won’t increase in the next 2 GEs?

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  • Ground sentiments:

    The ground sentiments was not so sweet for PAP this time…as shown by the swing.
    It favor the Opposition,especially the WP.
    Opposition better work hard for the people for the next 5 years.
    May not be so sweet for them the next time…

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  • WP and PSP:

    Congratulate WP for the good performance this time…
    While PSP is understandable disappointed,it is still a good performance in West Coast GRC with a nearly 27% swing.
    Doubt WP could do better there.

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  • cold chamber:

    WP may have a internal transmitter reloaded waiting for a devastating re-explosion. Defuse, remove or sacrifice a arm or leg.

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  • Sg is doomed with 4Gs:

    This GE has a clear message for the pappy millisters especially the 4Gs that none is on safe ground if they continue to be found wanting in the discharge of their duties.

    Ah heng almost got booted out even though he is considered a heavyweight and PM in waiting.

    Ah meng, lam parmin and ah mint are unceremoniously outvoted by a young talented alternative team.

    Time has changed.

    It’s time for pappy to wake up and not take citizens for granted.

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  • Billy ma:

    If HENG is in charge, things may change in tune with what he heard & learned in GE2020.

    If HENG is sideline, & lhl in total control, it is unlikely that PAP will move to the center.
    Looking at how lhl treats his own siblings & family members, one can tell that lhl is a cold blooded nasty character.

    So lhl can become really hit hard at those who voted against him.

    Making WP pritam as the official opposition leader may not be what it is on the surface.

    It could be the beginning of lhl fixing his opponents.

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  • No man is immortal!:

    Billy ma:
    If HENG is in charge, things may change in tune with what he heard & learned in GE2020.

    If HENG is sideline, & lhl in total control, it is unlikely that PAP will move to the center.
    Looking at how lhl treats his own siblings & family members, one can tell that lhl is a cold blooded nasty character.

    So lhl can become really hit hard at those who voted against him.

    Making WP pritam as the official opposition leader may not be what it is on the surface.

    It could be the beginning of lhl fixing his opponents.

    Stroke man was supposed to be sent on a kamikaze mission.

    Since it’s didn’t materialise, it upsets loony’s plan which is actually to stay on as naked emperor until his son is ready.

    Yes, need for plan B. Something sinister is brewing.

    Pinky has never been magnanimous when comes to treating oppos or even his family members.

    Wait and see…..

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  • Realistically:

    @ Billy ma:
    July 12, 2020 at 10:06 pm (Quote)

    >>Looking at how lhl treats his own siblings & family members, one can tell that lhl is a cold blooded nasty character.<<

    For me, the worse part of the character of the emperor without clothes is what I would consider a BETRAYAL of his parents, especially his MOTHER who was ADAMANT that 38 Oxley Road should be DEMOLISHED once they are gone. This is PUBLIC Knowledge, because both his parents had publicly stated this many times that they wanted 38 Oxley Road to be DEMOLISHED.

    As for the main issues in this thread, I don't want to add to what I had previously stated.

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  • Realistically:

    Just to add that the so-called oppos should have made this a campaign issue, but failed to do so. Pity.

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  • Haniff Abdul Razak:

    When you are arrogant and over bearingly confident, you do stupid things. So learn to be humble, respectful and sincere.
    To start listen very carefully to this beautiful piece of song – Sounds of Silence. Some great lessons for you to learn.

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  • AJ--HG-SK:

    We must realise 10 seats vs 83 seats is not going to change things much.
    10 WP MPs can argue till the cows come home and PAP will still pass whatever BILLS they wany including MORE FTs and MORE GST and LEVIES.

    OPPO STILL HAVE A LONG JOURNEY.
    WP MUST WALK TOGETHER WITH OTHER OPPO SGS.
    Else,CHANGE IS ELUSIVE.

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  • $100 B Question?:

    I want WP to ask PAP how the $100 B has been allcated,TO WHO N WHY?
    Yes,why needier sgs are getting only $600?
    Where the $100 B goes to?

    I also want the WP to table motion to remove GRC since Lee HL says he wants to dialogue instead of MONO-PAPylogue and GROUPTHINK.

    I want WP to ask PAP to return our CPF.
    I also want WP to push for retirement villages with units priced affordably.
    Keep MEDICAL COSTS LOW N REMOVE GST FOR MEDICAL BILLS FOR JOBLESS sgs and elderly.

    Keep Sg Clean and resolve Dengue.
    Cut down on FTs coming here.
    Keep the population below 6.5 million.

    WP must speak out for the VOTERS.

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  • Tracey Ching:

    Do not buy into pappy’s propaganda!!! Opposition is still weak. 10 vs 83. Pappy can still amend the constitution at will. With the next election, boundaries will be redrawn. Sengkang grc might be absorbed or disappeared.

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  • PAP First Priority:

    The first priority for the PAP is to sack at least half the FTs and replace them with Singaporeans. This is important because many local PMETS are unemployed or under employed and have problems bringing food to the table.

    If PAP is not going to do this, then all of us will continue farking the PAP and to seek revenge.

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  • Foolish Fools Fooled Again and:

    Someone posted online the PAP’s vote share for the past several elections. It’s mostly in the 60 to 60 + percentage. Only in 2001, it went to 75% because of 9/11 and 70% when LKY died.

    But the 60% in past elections saw little opposition voted in. Unlike now Perhaps this election is the REAL thing – the real watershed election. Turns out the Covid 19 card did not work for a clean sweep.

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  • Be sincere and serve:

    AJ--HG-SK:
    We must realise 10 seats vs 83 seats is not going to change things much.
    10 WP MPs can argue till the cows come home and PAP will still pass whatever BILLS they wany including MORE FTs and MORE GST and LEVIES.

    OPPO STILL HAVE A LONG JOURNEY.
    WP MUST WALK TOGETHER WITH OTHER OPPO SGS.
    Else,CHANGE IS ELUSIVE.

    Bro, agree totally.

    No way for pappies to ever want to change. It’s not in their DNA.

    In fact, the NIGHTMARE is going to start again soon for 5 more years.

    Top priority is to fix oppos.

    Hang on tight …….

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  • Voters condone failures:

    I think the verbal attack on WP Malay MP backfired resulting in swung votes from typically pap Malay voters.

    It’s an own goal.
    Fully enjoyed.
    Better than fun with Ivan .
    NCM et al too funny!
    Wangsha yefong.

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  • Kidding:

    Urm.leopard doesn’t change spots – fact. Can the rich sell all and give to the poor? No. Can you? No.

    Nice try.

    The stake is much higher and you are not even close to smelling it

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  • WP show:

    Now that WP has 10 MPs…it is WP show.
    Sad for Singapore if it still cannot perform.
    Many have put much hope in them please don’t be PAP lite…
    They don’t vote you for that….Please don’t disappoint Singapore.
    No excuse…Work double hard for the people.
    Many are suffering..they don’t have $16K pm…

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  • pap Heng is unwanted:

    pap is truly a government of one law two interpretations.

    any small matter today the pap PA paid IBs make police report.

    POLICE REPORT.

    you say something true in 2018, but hard to prove in all actuality, and 2 years later in 2020 pap PA paid IBs make 2 police reports.

    as a maturing nation, surely, there is such a thing called common sense?

    unless it is pap, surely, we are all fair and honest adults?

    look. pap played the race card during PE and lied that the nation of Singapore needed a malay president and proceeded to appoint an INDIAN one. in one stroke, pap broke the nation’s pledge to be one united people regardless of race language religion and at the same time lied publicly.

    so. pap is worse or that WP candidate is better?

    Sengkang bro’s and sis’s are saying, the WP candidate is far better and wiped out pap minister, pap senior minister of state and pap parliamentary secretary with one vote each.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Haniff Abdul Razak:
    When you are arrogant and over bearingly confident, you do stupid things. So learn to be humble, respectful and sincere.
    To start listen very carefully to this beautiful piece of song – Sounds of Silence. Some great lessons for you to learn.

    Have you seen a Peacock dancing before a Peahen??? or a Jungle Cock in full Glamour on top of a Tree in Ubin???… Nature lah!!! my Friend it is in their DNA leh!!!

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  • Trimer:

    The manipulation is still there, that’s the nature of politics, that’s the leopard with the fishy spots that will never change and the selective hearing/action problem with anyone who take side with parties or control any form of medium will persist. You will still go back to your old ways…high cost of living, foreigners problems, HDB over priced, too many pte housing to jobs don’t stick and rich still getting very rich with or without oppoitions(opposition don’t balance the inequality/power they just come up with different ways to spend your money basically while taking home fat pay cheques).

    And Someone got promoted with higher pay cheques that’s all.

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  • We are Singapore:

    Although there is now 10 elected MPs in Parliament now, by right, I feel that PAP should only have 61.2% of 93 MPs to reflect the popular vote percentages.

    I remembered when LHL first took over the PM post, his promise to us then was to be more inclusive. How was he more inclusive when he introduce the selected president and the pofma laws into our society?

    He nevertheless kept his promises!!!

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  • pap clown lies everyday:

    We are Singapore:
    Although there is now 10 elected MPs in Parliament now, by right, I feel that PAP should only have 61.2% of 93 MPs to reflect the popular vote percentages.

    I remembered when LHL first took over the PM post, his promise to us then was to be more inclusive. How was he more inclusive when he introduce the selected president and the pofma laws into our society?

    He nevertheless kept his promises!!!

    you believe what pap clown says?

    just as Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling.

    still want to believe what pap clown says?

    google and review what pap clown said about FIXING opposition in parleement.

    believe pap die. believe pap clown die faster.

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  • The Manchu Pigchu takeover:

    (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong went to Sengkang GRC and told the voters, “Why settle for PAP-lite? The real thing is much better.”)

    His old man and him really macam Manchu invaders over Chinese Confucianist civilization: They make use of you, while they fix you, and abuse you according to their whims and cunning. Paying-and-paying their narcissitic selves money piled high as the sky to kingdom come who knows when…. heeheehee who’s next in the dynastic lineage?

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  • Nathan Chen:

    Absolutely correct. No change. PAP will remain the driver in total control. The WP will continue to be co-driver. Singapore political culture will continue to be without check and balance. No transparency,no accountability from the power that be. And of course the PM’s son is still waiting in the wings for the right time to sneak into office by the next GE.

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