An old quote by Singapore Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew regarding opposition parties in Singapore has resurfaced on the internet. The quote warns that one day, Singaporeans just may get tired of the ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP), and vote for the opposition.
Originally published in 2011, a book titled Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going captured the thoughts of Mr Lee on various issues concerning Singapore. Though the book was mainly centered on his thoughts regarding Singapore’s past as well as its future, one particular thought of his has resurfaced on social media, in light of the 2020 General Elections.
According to straitstimes.com, when asked about his own personal forecast of Singapore’s “survival”, Mr Lee responded by saying, “I think Singapore is safe for 10 years,” citing the group of leaders appointed to handle the nation.”Whether it will be 15, 20, 30 years depends on them getting a team of players very soon,” he said. “Part of the team is in place but you need a leader man. You need somebody who can communicate, who can mobilise people, move people. It’s not enough to have a good policy. You got to convince people.”
However, when asked about his thoughts of Singapore’s faring beyond that time-frame, his answer was intriguing, as he predicted that one day, Singaporeans would switch sides. “I think there will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let’s try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP and they say, let’s try the other side,” he said. “It must come.”
Today, as Singapore’s political parties rally for a unique experience of an election during a pandemic, much of the battle will be fought online. However, despite the change in terrain, this year’s elections seem to hold many surprises.
According to recent reports, opposition parties have been coordinating in order to ensure that more opposition politicians win seats in Parliament this time around. For example, in a commendable move, the Reform Party recently announced that it would cede West Coast GRC in order to give way to Progress Singapore Party (PSP) leader, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
As more talk of opposition members coordinating and uniting under a common cause fills Singapore’s atmosphere, Mr Lee’s premonition for Singapore has circulated various online channels such as Facebook.
The words of Lee Kuan Yew never really fail to stop Singapore in its tracks. Could his prediction come to pass soon? Have the people witnessed a decline in the ruling party? Is the PAP going to be voted out?
Singapore will know the answer soon.