In perverse fashion, the Malaysians might have done the PAP a favour

Photo: Facebook/People's Action Party

The consensus is that the PAP government has been dealt a major blow. But in one sense, it could be argued that the Malaysians have actually gifted a favour to the PAP.

The toppling of Barisan Nasional after 61 years in power has certainly woken the PAP up big time.

Prior to the shock election results, the PAP was seeping into a state of we-know-it-all complacency and omnipotence. Its stance was that Singaporeans should place unconditional trust in the government. Critics were being belittled (think Thum Ping Tjin) and the Opposition being intimidated (think Sylvia Lim) and even laughed at (Low Thia Khiang when he said in Parliament that the GST hike would be debated at the next elections).

But the Malaysian government got swept aside, and lo and behold, the PAP started playing a totally different tune.

Last week, in Parliament, the likes of PM Lee Hsien Loong, Chan Chun Sing and Heng Swee Keat were communicating in ever so soft and measured and cordial tones:
– heaping praise on Low Thia Khiang for his contributions to Singapore
– welcoming the Workers Party to play a role in Singapore’s political landscape
– promising that 4G leaders would listen with humility and respect
– assuring Singaporeans that they are free to disagree with the government
– imploring Singaporeans to put the interests of the country first

Overnight, the PAP went from being the odious wife to wanton mistress going out of its way to please and beguile.

The mother of all elections has given the PAP the mother of all wake-up calls.

So what happens, now that the PAP will try and wantonly go on the charm offensive and play it nice and smooth and easy?

Plenty of Singaporeans, I think, can be easily seduced by whispers, sweet nothings and niceties. Their first instinct is to not rock the boat, to give the benefit of the doubt and take the path of least resistance.

So people who keep talking about a Singapore electoral tsunami may be getting ahead of themselves.

While the PAP has challenges to contend with, not least having to deal with a different agenda of the Dr Mahathir Mohamad government, the big wake-up call has come in time for it to put on sheep’s clothing.

Will Singaporeans be able to see through the sheep’s clothing?

Augustine Low is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.


  1. Definitely Singaporean not stupid to rock the boat unhappy it may seems. Giving 20 seats away from 79 to opposition will say it all to knock down complacency and nose up attitude. After all , its a calling with high pay so work for it ! meritocracy society.

  2. Maybe it can be called that…on the ither hand, the ‘wake up call’ arguably applies less as a favour to the PAP per-se, and more to the Singaporean people.

    I am more concerned with the people getting what they need and less with which party actually accomplishes it; after all, the PAP was once the opposition

  3. So many taxes to pay : COE , ERP, road tax , petrol tax , coming carbon tax , Property tax , water conservation tax , water tax , electricity tariff , etc . And GST . Gov can give us early notice for increase but can we give our employers early notice to increase our pay . Gov can build big infrastructure but don’t increase our tax . The cost of living is very very high . We are suffering . Not tolerable . Please understand the common people .

  4. The fall of BN has shown that a monolithic incumbent cannot be changed from within, not even with an Anwar (or Tharman). The fall can only come swift and uncontentiously when the Rakyat has been milked to the core.

    Keep dreaming guys.

  5. Don’t fall into there deceit and curry flavour talk. Too early for them to feed us with sweets. Even chocolates and birds nest wouldn’t as close to Malaysia’s ridding away of there GST and there Fake news law. Take away our COE , ERP and all the housing subsidies gimmicks then we can talk

  6. The PAPies may have attained so sort of twisted enlightenment in this Malaysian election saga perhaps even picture themselves as the mirror result of what happened to N.
    Hence have this incident awaken just the papies , think not . The Malaysian might have done the sleeping Singaporeans a favor too .
    No use hugging the Buddha’s foot during the last min in attempts to win back more faith in the ppl of sg . It took old man Lee his whole lifetime to establish the trust of his ppl and it took young Lee a snap of fingers to destroy it all .
    Keyword hereby “his whole lifetime”… try harder as you only have a few years till next election .
    DR M will be watching