GE2020, a Watershed Election and Rebirth of Hope

For decades, many Singaporeans have suffered and struggled against the seemingly unbeatable Goliath – the People’s Action Party (PAP). We seethed at the way they messed with our Constitution and rammed through undemocratic repressive laws like POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act).

We shed tears reading how they gunned down vocal critics and destroyed the reputation and lives of opposition leaders like Workers Party (WP)’s JB Jeyaratnam, Tang Liang Hong and  Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s Chee Soon Juan. We were hurt and insulted by how they disrespected Singaporeans with their arrogant words and dismissive actions which made our people feel like second class citizens.

After the disappointing General Election (GE) 2015 where the PAP won almost 70% of the votes, many hopeful Singaporeans became despondent and frustrated as the PAP-ruling party tightened its control over us and accelerated its toxic brand of politics with the help its increasingly aggressive Internet Brigade (IBs). The sense of hopelessness grew with the implementation of laws like POFMA, which purportedly is to fight fake online news but which in reality has been weaponised by the government. The light at the end of the tunnel was dimming and some voices went silent.

This 2020 election changed it all and has brought a rebirth of hope

GE2020’s results on July 11 brought immense joyous relief to many people. The sheer happiness and loud crazy cheers that rang loud in the streets of Hougang and Sengkang at dawn reverberated across the island.

Indeed, we have much to celebrate. This was the second general election where all seats were contested since our country’s independence. That is significant. For many years, there were walkovers due partly to pork barrel politics and gerrymandering and many of us could not vote. Some only got to vote when they were middle aged! How galling! Hopefully, walkovers will never again happen here and all of us can exercise our right to vote including more than 200,000 overseas Singaporeans most of whom were upset at being unable to vote as there are only 10 polling centres worldwide.

A key milestone to note at this GE2020 is that PAP’s share of the votes dropped in most of the constituencies except for a handful. And its overall vote share fell from the whopping 69.9% in 2015 GE to 61.2%!

Contrary to general impression that the PAP is hugely popular, the party’s vote share at every election has actually been dropping since 2001 when it scored 75.1%. It plunged to 66.6% in 2006 and to 60.1% in 2011 before being bumped in 2015 when the PAP used Lee Kuan Yew’s death and legacy to manipulate public sentiments.

So what do the latest GE results mean? That it fell again in line with the downward trend shows the underlying unhappiness with PAP is still there and that there is growing widespread concerns over the PAP’s elitist and arrogant style of governing, its brand of gutter politics, its self-serving agendas and certain policies that do not really improve the lives and future of Singaporeans.

SCMP’s report yesterday quoted NUS political scientist Chong Ja Ian as attributing PAP’s marked drop in vote share to “less satisfaction with how the PAP has been handling policies from the economy to the coronavirus pandemic” Bridget Welsh, a honorary research associate at Malaysia’s University of Nottinghand was more blunt and said “in the Singapore context, this is a defeat (for the PAP)…(it’s the) worst seat performance and loss of popular vote”.

This election’s victories, seemingly small, are in reality significant achievements. WP, led by an astute Pritam Singh, gained much admiration for outplaying and outwitting the PAP and he significantly bolstered the image of the party which had taken a beating in recent years no thanks to the lawsuits instigated by the ruling party over Aljunied GRC.

WP won three constituencies and 10 Parliamentary seats, the most ever by WP. This was despite fielding several younger candidates like economist Jamus Lim and lawyer He Ting Ru against PAP’s political office holders including two ministers in Sengkang GRC. WP’s East Coast GRC group led by Nicole Seah lost but dealt an embarrassing blow to the group led by PM-designate Heng Swee Keat which won with a paltry 53.4% of total votes casted.

WP’s handsome wins in Aljunied GRC and Hougang were impressive in view of all the allegations and lawsuits thrown by the ruling party at WP over the past few years which led many to assume that voters there would not root for the team in blue again. Instead, WP gained a 9-point vote share from to almost 60% in Aljunied GRC, a testament to the wisdom of voters there.

Concerns over WP stalwarts Low Thia Khiang, Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat not contesting, proved unfounded. Hougang SMC, long our beacon of hope, also gained vote share with a strong 61.1% win by Dennis Tan.

WP’s chief Pritam Singh proved to be an astute politician in planning the party’s success at this election. Fielding younger, smart and eloquent candidates like economist Jamus Lim in Sengkang GRC and Nicole Seah in East Coast was a master stroke that resonated well with young and old voters.

Sengkang GRC’s win by a group of relatively young but outstanding WP candidates, was the real surprise of the night. Thousands of households in Sengkang cheered loudly in the wee hours when the result was announced. Hundreds of thousands more across the island cheered along with them, ecstatic as we were over this huge achievement. The seemingly impenetrable GRC system had been cracked again by the Hammer and by many young families living there.

While we were disappointed that Progress Singapore Party led by well-respected Dr Tan Cheng Bock did not manage to win a seat, take heart that PSP as a new party managed to do very well in its first election, within a very short time frame, with vote share averaging about 40% for all the GRCs where it contested. Dr Tan’s team in West Coast also lost by a mere whisker with 48.3% of the votes.

PSP will also be offered two NCMP seats in Parliament thus further cementing their presence as a credible political party. Eighty-year-old Dr Tan’s poignant and heartfelt messages calling for political changes to improve the lives and future of Singaporeans and his criticisms of bad government policies have also raised extensive awareness and touched the hearts of many people both young and old.

Left- Dr Tan Cheng Bock formed PSP to try and right the wrongs he felt were causing unhappiness to Singaporeans. Right – SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah is the first Singaporean appointed President-elect of the US-based International Society of Infectious Diseases.
As for SDP which did not manage to win a seat, it shows it is a party to be reckoned with. The vote share of its two star candidates increased despite the PAP wielding the POFMA sword and casting aspersions yet again at them and their party. Dr Paul Tambyah, an infectious diseases specialist, scored 46.26% – the highest losing opposition candidate among all the SMCs. SDP chief Chee Soon Juan similarly saw a significant 6.4 per cent increase in his votes to 45.2%. All this shows that voters approval of SDP and Chee have gone up and that they stand a good chance of doing even better at the next elections.

We need to remember that this victory of this GE2020 is thanks greatly to the tireless efforts of all the alternative party leaders, candidates, members and their armies of passionate volunteers. With so many credible and capable candidates contesting all wards and walking the ground all over the island they were able to enlighten countless Singaporeans that there are many non-PAP people with the ability and the heart to represent us in Parliament.

Such a united effort on the ground and online would have made a substantial positive impact on voters. For sure, PAP, even in its worst nightmare, could not have imagined that its plan to hold an election during a pandemic, without election rallies, using only digital platforms, could have backfired so badly.

For a long time, many had lamented about the political ignorance and apathy of our people especially the youths who grew up amidst a culture of fear and propaganda in social studies. There was speculation that at this election, the opposition would be wiped out as many would vote for the PAP out of fear of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic and a desire for stability by trusting in the devil they knew best. We were gladly proven wrong.

This GE2020 showed us that in reality there are many Singaporeans who are discerning, not cowed by fear and who are willing to speak up and vote for positive change.

No physical rallies so what? The winds of change was palpable even on digital platforms. Elections news and messages were shared fast and furious, commentaries and posts drew immeasurable number of comments and robust debates on handphones, on computers on iPads, etc etc.

We have globalisation and social media to thank for this change. Better educated, more aware, more woke, the millennials, together with likeminded older Singaporeans, will reshape the political landscape and policies to be more human-centric and Singaporean-centric. Being more sensitive to social issues like fairness and inequality, many will no longer be easily fooled nor intimated should the PAP remain unrepentant and continue to mislead, bully and misuse its power.

Like many older voters, the millennials are not blind to injustice nor incompetence.

The PAP’s increasing incompetence weighed heavy on many of us. Trust has to be earned and not demanded. Past performance is no guarantee of success. Trust in PAP 3G and 4G leaders was justifiably withered as we saw how the economic policies were hurting many Singaporeans who struggle to cope with the high cost of living, the rising healthcare costs and the ignominy of having to compete so damn hard for good jobs against the overwhelming number of foreigners here.

This election, held during a pandemic, also made us question the PAP’s agenda and competence even more when we saw over two million Singaporeans queuing under the hot sun and in crowded polling centres to cast their vote. It defied reason to endanger lives just so the PAP could gain a strong mandate.

Long queues formed at most polling centres leading to an unprecedented extension of polling by two more hours
All the feelings of anger, betrayal and disappointments…and hope went into the X we marked on the ballot paper on 10 July 2020.

The saying united we stand rings true. After so many decades of trying to make our voices heard it seems that our message is finally starting to get through – through our votes.

Speaking yesterday after the polling results, PM Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged that the election results show a clear desire for a diversity of voices in Parliament. In a surprise move, he said WP chief Pritam Singh will be formally appointed Leader of the Opposition and will be given the staff support and resources to carry out this role.

Through our votes, we have spoken and we have finally been heard. The road to real change is a long and arduous one but we need to find our rightful place as Singaporeans again. We need to make Singapore truly our happy home again. We can do this by being united in speaking up without fear and doing right by our conscience.

We can do it and we will get there.

 

Jentrified Citizen

* The writer blogs at Jentrified Citizen.

** More articles by the same writer on TRE.

 

 

yyy
SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT
Loading...

15 Responses to “GE2020, a Watershed Election and Rebirth of Hope”

  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Not a TIME for celebration but TIME to reflect for Singapore Patriots…

    There are Nu-Citizens Naturalised not Born & Bred +=30% or MORE…

    The Wicked Party will Ramp Up Nu-Citizens in the next 3 years and dilute the Gains of Alternates through Gerrymandering…

    WP-PSP-SDP and leaders of smaller parties should START working out a plan to counter the Wicked & Evil plans of the PAP…

    Form a Grand Alliance and Plan a Full Force Patriotic Assault in the next GE and NOT wait till the last minute to figure out HOW???

    There are many talents in the Alternate this GE and should be fully Exposed to the Public…walk the Ground and pound the streets and NOT wait till 2-3 months B4 a potential GE…Not forgetting there are By-Elections too.

    Majulah Singapura!!! in 2-3 years or Matilah Singapore???

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Zhenzidan:

    Provide Pritam with the manpower and resources? So is he going to withdraw the lawsuit against AHTC?

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • opposition dude:

    This is exactly like 2011 all over again. 60% vote share and 1 GRC lost. The opportunistic goondu of a PM thought he would get another strong mandate like back in 2015 and it resulted in 4 more opposition MPs in parliament PLUS an almost 9% reduced vote sgare instead.

    I have read people say that 40% of voters are new citizens before but I do not have the faintest idea where that percentage was derived from. It was reported that 95% of us cast our votes which was 2.5 million voters or so. 40% would be 1 million new citizens which doesn’t quite square up. Unless a lot of these new citizens voted for PAP this time round or a good number gave up citizenship then there is no way they number 40%.

    I know a good number of fellow Singaporeans are happy that there is more opposition presence now than there has ever been but I would advise caution. We were all bloody euphoric in 2011 when WP captured Aljunied and PAP behaved for a while up until 2013 when they announced the PWP or, as I like to call it, 6.9 million in 2030. I’m sure we all remember the protest at Hong Lim that followed.

    It’s nice to see PAP eating humble pie but knowing them they will be back at their worst before we know it. Once they get over the GRC loss it will be back to business as usual for them. Just you all wait, it’s going to happen. Their thinking will be that they have the supermajority and 8 times the number of people compared to WP’s 10.

    Don’t be surprised when they amend the Constituition yet again or ramming new polices down our throats once more, you all know full well that they are more than capable of doing that. And don’t be surprised should another minister make a huge error and isn’t sacked as well. I’m waiting to see if Jospehine and Kim Yong get demoted to MPs or not.

    So celebrate all you want, it’s nice to be happy after all. Just be mindful that PAP still governs and will definitely make life harder for us all again.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • As expected:

    The swing against PAP was expected…reading from the ground sentiments.
    This time it favors the Opposition.
    Hope both camp will listen to the people voice and work hard for Singapore in the years ahead…especially with the pandemic still not under control.
    The election result is a good outcome for Singapore Future….

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • No man is immortal!:

    opposition dude:
    …..

    Don’t be surprised when they amend the Constituition yet again or ramming new polices down our throats once more, you all know full well that they are more than capable of doing that. And don’t be surprised should another minister make a huge error and isn’t sacked as well. I’m waiting to see if Jospehine and Kim Yong get demoted to MPs or not.

    IMHO, I think JT and ah Gan will be promoted to SM before retiring so that they can enjoy higher pension based on last drawn pay mah.

    Botak and big nose will be made Senior SM.

    Wong Con Sing was made SM before retiring.

    What do you think?

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Realistically:

    @ Jentrified Citizen

    I don’t disagree with your commentary.

    However, I feel that sinkies now face the reality of the emperor without clothes incompetence and failures which he thought he could hide by taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to blindside the oppos………..it turned out quite badly for him.

    Thanks to the Internet, sinkies can find out most of the facts which the 158th had censored……about his epic failures.

    I have been saying many times before the GE that the pandemic would help the oppos by revealing the emperor without clothes epic failure and general incompetence over the years.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • AJ--HG-SK:

    Now,MO MORE ” mee siam mai hum”.
    At SengKang we now have ” LAKSA KEH HUM” from Jamus Lim signature,” it warms the COCKLES OF MY HEART”???

    Surely,it will warm the cockles of OUR HEARTS if WP TAKES LEADERSHIP ROLE TO UNITE OPPO MORE MEANINGFULLY.

    CHANGE CAN COME ABOUT ONLY WITH TRUE OPPO SOLIDARITY.
    Don’t bother with MAI HUM’s offer of FORMAL OPPOSITION LEADER WITH SECRETARIAT( maybe SECRET agents) and office space( tagged)?

    THERE IS STILL A LONG JOURNEY TO GO BEFORE 39 SEATS WILL BE WON.
    Meanwhile,be cautious.
    Remember 2011 turned into 2015?

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • opposition dude:

    No man is immortal!: IMHO, I think JT and ah Gan will be promoted to SM before retiring so that they can enjoy higher pension based on last drawn pay mah.

    Botak and big nose will be made Senior SM.

    Wong Con Sing was made SM before retiring.

    What do you think?

    I doubt that will happen. Goondu PM knows there is unhappiness on the ground and that his 4G aren’t as great as they have been made out to be nor his poor handling of the pandemic. It’s like 2011 when he was forced to demote Wong, Mah and Raymond Lim to MPs due to public unhappiness so it’s expected he does something about those 2 clowns this time too.

    Otherwise people will once again say that the PAP is all talk and no action and aren’t sincere.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Harder Truths:

    The main ways the communist regime will continue to usurp power in the next five years to win again are pretty straightforward. The regime reeks of arrogance and loathing for citizens if they do not do as they are told.

    They are even now discussing how to punish the electorate. This leeder is worse than the old despot – who wanted people who stood up to him to ‘beg and crawl’ (in his own words).

    This is a war and we are all targets.

    New laws, new restrictions on what we can and cannot do are being formulated. Possibly by trying to close down our beloved TRE, TOC and others.

    The direct silencing of opposition is being enforced from government agencies, authorities and their polis farce (remember how they did not want to respond and later, were hiding during the Tekka riots?). What happened in Aljunied will happen again in Sengkang – wearing down the opposition with bullshot, lies and political muscle.

    Bringing in electronic currency. With one keystroke they can take away your basic right to live. You can become a non-person, unable to perform the simplest of tasks.

    Bringing in Social Credit Scores like in China. This may already be in the works, dressed up as a COVID measure. Why are we all being regularly screened at every place of entry /exit? This has nothing to do with COVID – just for them to refine the system so you cannot do anything once they BAN you.

    Bringing in greater loads of foreigners, who are a threat to us, but a boon to them. The more FT the more the bigger their chances of winning. Already most of our private businesses, government facilities and everyday establishments are run by FT. How far down the food chain must we go? In their view – ALL THE WAY DOWN.

    Will there be another election in 5 years? Maybe.Most likely is will not matter. Five years is a long time and the Total Commmunism that even Russia could not create will soon be upon us.

    It is only a matter of time. Already I do not recognise $G from even twenty years ago. Five yeas again can change a lot of things against the citizens.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Really enjoyed this article. Spot on commentary and analysis. You guys should red the flattering artcle on DPM Heng in Mothership.sg.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Voters condone failures:

    The GE prices the voters mindsets :

    1. Voters condone Failures as if they never happened as long as they perceive the failures did not cause them damage.

    Dormitory fiasco and cotton sheep audio leaks +2.

    2. Voters hate confrontational opposition leaders who are not wrong in their logic. Lim Tean is a victim of the voters mentality. Voters themselves have never been pofma’d and so they do not really care pofma just like dormitory fiasco. Voters will vote against pap only if they can discern they are directly hurt by the failures. They won’t care if society is hurt. It’s all man selfish greedy heartless care for ownself only.

    3. Voters want a PAP type of policies with some opposition presence. They do not want GIC TH transparency. They have not discerned how those has impact on their lives. Bochup.

    4. YouTube view counts proves less than 1% Singaporeans even bother to find the GE videos. This is across the board for all sg ge2020 videos.
    Apathy is proven. This indirectly correlates to level of ignorance . Too many do not believe in democracy. Only money. Too little empathy and compassion for the society. Only for self.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Do right by your conscience:

    “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive…. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

    - President Thomas Jefferson

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • pap Heng is unwanted:

    Zhenzidan:
    Provide Pritam with the manpower and resources? So is he going to withdraw the lawsuit against AHTC?

    pap clown where got balls to go against WP now?

    sue WP for S$m? citizens donate in 24 hours whatever pap fines.

    pap will be careful not to fix WP too much since Marine Parade and East Coast all hanging on thin, very thin, thread.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • pap Heng is unwanted:

    Voters condone failures:
    The GE prices the voters mindsets :

    1. Voters condone Failures as if they never happened as long as they perceive the failures did not cause them damage.

    Dormitory fiasco and cotton sheep audio leaks +2.

    2. Voters hate confrontational opposition leaders who are not wrong in their logic. Lim Tean is a victim of the voters mentality. Voters themselves have never been pofma’d and so they do not really care pofma just like dormitory fiasco. Voters will vote against pap only if they can discern they are directly hurt by the failures. They won’t care if society is hurt. It’s all man selfish greedy heartless care for ownself only.

    3. Voters want a PAP type of policies with some opposition presence. They do not want GIC TH transparency. They have not discerned how those has impact on their lives. Bochup.

    4. YouTube view counts proves less than 1% Singaporeans even bother to find the GE videos. This is across the board for all sg ge2020 videos.
    Apathy is proven. This indirectly correlates to level of ignorance . Too many do not believe in democracy. Only money. Too little empathy and compassion for the society. Only for self.

    we live in aljunied but we did not search for any youtube. we did not even visit TRE during this period.

    WHY?

    we were so disappointed by GE2015 results that we actually gave up hope on then 70% sheep, now renamed 61% sheep.

    every WP rally during GE2015 was filled to the brim. we were in UK. but we flew back to vote. alas. the 70% sheep then, now renamed 61% sheep, were sure disappointing.

    BUT after GE2020, and seeing how East Coast, Marine Parade and West Coast folks are voting, we have hope once again.

    what is the point? were we pathetic during GE2020. YES. we couldn’t care less.

    even so, we marked X on OPPO on polling day. we did not even bother who is who. as long as NOT pap, we gave our votes.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system
  • Dun Bluff Mi U Tink I 2pid?:

    True Blue Sinkies are DAFT.

    Complain so much yet vote PAPpies into power again.

    They still have the super majority and can suka-suka pass policies anyhow they like.

    New Sinkies almost guarantee will vote for PAPpies.

    Good luck Sinkies. Don’t be too happy another GRC has fallen. Will suffer for the next 5 years. Everything up except your salary.

    GD Star Rating
    a WordPress rating system

Leave a Reply

 characters available


Scroll Down For More Interesting Stuff


Member Services
Self-SupportMembers LoginSelf-Support
Sponsored Advertisement
Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement
Announcement
Advertisements
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic
Advertisement
Recent Comments

UA-67043412-1