SINGAPORE: A Singaporean who allegedly would have been an asset to the ruling People’s Action Party is said to have surprised his acquaintances by deciding against joining it despite all the perks doing so would have given him.

His reason? According to the Reddit user who shared the man’s story, the PAP’s policies conflict with his own.

This particular anecdote was shared in the context of commenting on the Refresh PAP exercise, as PAP assistant secretary-general Desmond Lee said earlier this month that the party hopes to recruit more Singaporeans from different walks of life as the country’s population is growing more diverse.

A Reddit user shared a Straits Times piece on Mr Lee’s remarks, where the National Development Minister also said that Refresh PAP is not being carried out in the context of the next GE.

In a comment that has been upvoted nearly 600 times, a Reddit user decided to play devil’s advocate and shared that they once met a man who embodied the hallmarks of PAP’s leadership—“top in the cohort in NUS, extremely bright, extremely talented,” someone they called a “next caliber tier kind of guy.”

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And while this man seemed like a natural candidate to join the ruling party, to the surprise of those who knew him, he never joined the PAP because their policies were decidedly misaligned from his own, specifically those concerning work-life balance, wealth inequality, and the policies around allowing foreigners to work in Singapore.

Interestingly, the commenter also claimed that this high-calibre individual said that the PAP’s “brand image” among the youth had been “damaged so much, it just does more harm to him.”

The commenter went on to say that they tended to agree with this man, citing the example of Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC).

“Most of his proposals that were favorable to the young are being shot down before they even took flight,” he wrote, adding, “So he concluded that there was no point in joining their ranks when nothing will change.”

Since social media platforms tend to be echo chambers, many commenters agreed with his observations, or at least those of the man he had written about.

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“Turns out he was even more giga-brained than anyone thought possible. Props to your friend,” wrote one Reddit user.

Some brought up the recent “Friends of PAP” network, individuals who have come on board to support the party’s efforts. This initiative has been criticized by some quarters, especially since there are a number of influencers in the network.

Here’s Mr Tan explaining “Friends of PAP”:

/TISG

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