An Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) survey released in November last year disputed the theory of several socio-political pundits who predicted that the death of Singapore’s first Prime Minister did have bearing on the results of the last General Election (GE) where the People”s Action Party (PAP) drastically bettered their results from the 2011 GE.
The IPS survey said that the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew mattered very little to the voters who went to the polling booths in September 2015.
Blackbox Research, a prominent research company however disputed IPS’ survey and said the death of Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in particular was found to have a significant “multiplier effect” on the voters.
Now, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in an interview to Wall Street Journal, has confirmed that the death of Mr Lee had a profound effect on the voters in GE 2015.
He said, “I have no doubt that founding PM Lee Kuan Yew’s passing earlier that year had an impact on voters as well.”
In a wide ranging interview where the Prime Minister spoke on several matters, he commented on the topic of local politics and said:
“First, for ten years, maybe even longer, we have been shifting policies to adjust to a new phase of our development, shifting to strengthen social safety nets, shifting to grow in a different way, shifting to a balance which is more in tune with the aspirations and expectations of a new generation of Singaporeans who grew up well after independence.
We had a setback in 2011, but we continued on this path after that and by last year, 2015, when we went to the polls, I think people could see that what we were doing was yielding results and that our heart was in the right place. That it was a 50th anniversary and a moment for reflection and introspection was helpful. I have no doubt that founding PM Lee Kuan Yew’s passing earlier that year had an impact on voters as well.
But mainly, they had faith that this is a team which will do the right thing. People had to make a serious choice: which team do you want to lead the country? Do you want to vote for the opposition? They may become the government. It is not just a protest vote.
If you want the PAP, you need to show the PAP support so that they can work for you. The opposition went on a message that ‘Vote for us, the PAP will work harder’. I countered that the opposition was not up to scratch, vote for the PAP, make the opposition work harder. And fortunately, the voters believed me. “
Read the Prime Minister’s interview with the Wall Street Journal here: http://bit.ly/1q5GuTK.
Following clarification from IPS, article was edited after publication. IPS’ clarification in full:
“The story says: