Following up with his earlier post, Professor Inderjit Singh went on to explain further his insights on the 2020 General Elections, this time focusing more on the opposition and the candidates that stood in these elections.
Reflections on GE 2020 (Part 2 of 2)After GE 2015, I wrote my analysis of the GE and this is a quote from that 2015…
Confidence and Trust in Government and PAP Leaders
He cites how voters lost confidence in the ruling party due to PAP’s lack of focus on voter issues. The problems raised by voters included those such as the “Elected President, change of constitution for the conduct of the GE, the population white paper (a 2013 issue that is still on people’s minds), the foreign talent issue, HDB leases and the uninspiring Committee for the Future Economy (CFE) report.”
These, in addition to the existing problems caused by the prevailing pandemic, was what Professor Inderjit states led to people’s loss of confidence in PAP and its ruling methods.
PAP has failed to shed its general image of “arrogance, an elitist, natural aristocracy who project a “we know best” attitude” and its lack of action taken to establish a healthy mode of communication with the people to properly hear them is what led to their loss these elections.
In addition to this, PAP lost its credibility when it failed to tackle the COVID-19 in an efficient manner.
“Tharman was called upon to present the strategy the government will be adopting to take care of Singaporeans. Had this not happened, the PAP vote could have gone below 60%.”
He compared both WP’s and PAP’s candidature explaining how PAP had retained its usual rhetoric of presenting candidates from humble backgrounds in a bid to resonate with citizens but WP had firmly established brand equity and because of that, inspired voter confidence that they would indeed select quality candidates.
Lessons for the Opposition
Through these elections, he hopes that the opposition would learn that a united front is the best way to capture voter confidence and that in future elections, opposition parties will provide a united front so as to capture a larger voter demographic.
“Remaining fragmented will not be useful for the opposition if they want to gain further traction. This opposition disunity worked to the PAP’s advantage this time,” explained Professor Inderjit.
Professor Inderjit went on to explain how these election results were a reflection of Singaporean feelings towards the 4G leaders proving that PAP’s mandate was not as strong as they claimed it to be.
He warned that if PAP failed to reform, it would mark the beginning of a downward spiral for the ruling party.
“Young Singaporeans want to see that the government and people can work together to solve problems. There needs to be more communication and collaboration and not top-down instructions from the government.”
Professor Inderjit concluded by reiterating the importance of trust in the government. He urged PAP to regain and more importantly, deepen the trust of the people in the upcoming years.
Netizens agreed with his points with many slamming PAP for their campaigning tactics in the recent elections.
One netizen, in particular, raised the point of how Tharman should have been considered as the future PM as opposed to Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister Chan Chun Sing, a recent point of contention following the 2020 General Elections.