Dr Bilveer Singh, an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Political Science, has predicted that it is unlikely for the ruling People’s Action Party to hold on to as much power as it has today, after the next 15 years, in his new book “Is the People’s Action Party Here to Stay”.
In his book, Dr Bilveer forecasts that there are “only three basic scenarios for the PAP in the next 50 years.” The first scenario would see the PAP maintaining the status quo and controlling 85 to 90 per cent of Parliament even if they become less popular among the people. In this scenario, the opposition would control a maximum of 12 seats.
Dr Bilveer said that this scenario, where the PAP maintains the status quo, is “possible” for the next 15 years or the next three election cycles. After that period, however, he feels it is “unlikely” that the PAP would be able to control Parliament like it does today in subsequent elections.
In the second scenario, Dr Bilveer said that the PAP would retain control of two-thirds or at least more than a half of Parliament while the opposition forms the remaining one-third or less-than-half of the seats.
Dr Singh believes that such a scenario is “likely” in the next 15 years or the next three election cycles. He believes that such a political system may even be “possible” after that – for the next 30 years following the first three elections.
In the final scenario, which Dr Bilveer calls the “Two-Party Pendulum Scenario,” a single opposition party or an opposition coalition would win the election causing power to shift between the PAP and the opposition entity. Dr Singh, however, believes that such a scenario is “unlikely” to occur in the next 3 elections or within the next 15 years.
After the next 15 years, however, he thinks that such a scenario would be “possible” in the 15 years after that period and even “likely” within 30 years after the first three elections.
Expressing doubt that the fourth-generation PAP leadership would be able to retain the popularity the PAP has maintained thus far, Dr Bilveer forecast: “Basically, all these scenarios foresee that the PAP will face a challenge to retain the same degree of control over Parliament as it has had in the past.”
He also serves as Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and President of the Political Science Association of Singapore.
His latest book – which extensively analyses several up-to-date developments, like the finalisation of the PAP’s 4G leadership, the Workers’ Party town council saga, and the efforts to form an opposition coalition led by Dr Tan Cheng Bock – is now available at major bookshops in Singapore like the Kinokuniya chain of stores. -/TISG