Singapore—A tweet from a netizen saying that the ideas of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) do not reflect the rest of the country is going viral.
On July 11, after the results of the previous day’s General Election had been published, a netizen going by @sharankaur tweeted,
“The GRC led by an Indian minister outperformed both the PM and DPM.
An opposition party led by an Indian man has given us the best opposition result in history.
I think it’s time for PAP to consider that their ideas about race and representation don’t reflect the country’s.”
In his first sentence, the netizen was referring to Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who had ended the election with the highest percentage of votes among all the teams that contested this year. After the polls closed on Friday night, the tally from Jurong GRC showed where SM Tharman had led the People’s Action Party (PAP) team had gotten 74.62 percent of the vote versus Red Dot United’s 25.38 percent.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had gotten 71.91 percent of the vote against the Reform Party’s 28.09 percent at Ang Mo Kio GRC, and in East Coast GRC, where Deputy Prime Minister and PM-in-waiting Heng Swee Keat anchored the PAP team, the ruling party only got 53.41 percent of the vote, against a strong Workers’ Party (WP) team’s 46.59 percent.
In the second sentence, the netizen was referring to Workers’ Party (WP) head Pritam Singh, who had led the WP team in Aljunied GRC and ended up with 60 percent of the vote, besting PAP’s team.
The ruling party came under fire last year when at a forum at the Nanyang Technological University DPM Heng said that older Singaporeans are not ready for a non-Chinese prime minister. He had been asked by Assistant Professor Walid Jumblatt Abdullah of NTU’s School of Social Sciences’ public policy and global affairs programme, “Is it Singapore who is not ready for a non-Chinese prime minister, or is it the PAP (the ruling People’s Action Party) who is not ready for a non-Chinese prime minister?”
@sharankaur’s tweet was retweeted over 200 times, and then posted on Facebook, where it was widely shared.
#majulahsingapura #hope #ge2020 #ge2020sg #colourblind #regardless #regardlessofracelanguageorreligion #singapore
Commenting on one of the shared posts, a netizen named David Tay wrote, “If I may have the permission to add: the Chinese-educated leader of the opposition party handed over the reins to his Indian counterpart, with full confidence and stepped away. It’s strange that only the PAP thinks along racial lines in this area but the rest of us are not…” referring to former WP head Low Thia Khiang, who had passed the baton of leadership to Mr Pritam in 2018.
Another netizen who re-tweeted the post wrote, “This is a good pithy encapsulation of where we’re at in Singapore.”
This is a good pithy encapsulation of where we're at in Singapore. https://t.co/WrDzgRx52d
— Harveen (Unbearable) (@hiharveen) July 11, 2020
@sharankaur later added, “HOW COULD I FORGET. The WP Aljunied team now has 3 ‘minorities’ – Pritam, Leon, Faisal. We don’t need quotas.”
This was echoed by at least one other netizen on Facebook.
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