By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
At the 2016 Administrative Service Dinner & Promotion Ceremony yesterday, PM Lee boasted about PAP’s big win in last year’s GE.
He said that GE2015 results were “so significant for Singapore”, and a “big win for Singapore”.
He asked, “Because after the 2011 GE, many people were watching to see which way Singapore would go. Would we go further in the direction of divided politics feeding on angry voters? Accentuating nascent fissures and cracks in our society? Or would we pull together and face our challenges as one people – as we did in the 1960s and 1970s?”
“Singapore was at a critical choice point in the SG50 year. Singaporeans made a decisive choice and scored a huge win for Singapore,” he declared.
In the first place, PM Lee should ask himself this question – why are there angry voters in the first place?
Is it not because of his government’s ill-conceived policies which are really the ones accentuating fissures and cracks in our society?
Take a look at what happened in 2013. Singaporeans are not known to stage huge protests in public but his government’s ill-conceived policies angered Singaporeans so much that they went to Hong Lim Park en-mass to stage public protests for the first time in the history of Singapore.
The spark that ignited the powder keg was the 6.9 million Population White Paper endorsed by the PAP-dominated Parliament in Feb 2013. Already, some 1 million foreigners have been imported into Singapore to work and compete with Singaporeans in resources. Singaporeans are certainly not happy to see another million more squeezing with them on this little island.
Next we have the issue of ever increasing CPF minimum sums, which has been simmering for sometimes. Singaporeans want their CPF monies back but the ever increasing minimum sums keep shifting the goal post.
Roy Ngerng was an unknown blogger to the world but PM Lee’s defamation lawsuit against him over his writings on CPF issues brought worldwide attentions, culminating another big protest at Hong Lim Park in Jun 2014. Singaporeans want their CPF monies back.
Fortunately, PM Lee’s government is smart enough to quietly change its ill-conceived policies on the ground. Foreign worker influx has been curtailed somewhat in the last few years with new TAFEP and MOM rules in place to stop the over-hiring of foreigners in a particular company. PM Lee also announced in Aug 2014, after the Jun protest, that Singaporeans can get up to 20% of their CPF monies back after 65.
GE2015 big win due to LKY effect
PM Lee said in yesterday’s speech that his party’s big win in GE2015 was due to Singaporeans “pulling” together and not wanting pluralism in politics.
This may not necessary be true.
Many political analysts have concluded that PAP’s big win in GE2015 was a one-off event. Even PM Lee himself was surprised by the results.
Blackbox Research managing director David Black commented that in particular, the death of Singapore’s first PM Lee Kuan Yew was found to have a significant “multiplier effect” (http://www.channelnewsasia.
Blackbox Research does regular polling to gauge the political sentiments of Singaporeans. Analyzing the data from the public opinion polls, Mr Black said that following PAP’s dismay performance in GE 2011, public support for the ruling party was still affected by train breakdowns and the Population White Paper, among other issues.
But the “seeds of recovery”, Mr Black opined, were planted with the 2014 Budget, which was headlined by the Pioneer Generation Package, a one-off goodie package for the elderly generation.
Following the death of Lee Kuan Yew, there was a surge in national pride and support for the PAP, noted Blackbox,
Its associate research director Johannes Loh said, “In effect, the younger generation was reminded of Singapore’s achievements, and this is not to be underestimated … When (Mr Lee) passed away, the entire 50 years of achievements … were brought back to the surface, which to no surprise, boosted public satisfaction (with the Government) on many metrics we were measuring.”
Mr Black called this “the LKY effect”.
Surveys conducted by Blackbox after GE 2015 also found that the SG50 “feel good” factor and Mr Lee’s death were the two most-cited answers from respondents who were asked why they thought more people voted for the PAP compared with GE 2011.
“(Mr Lee’s death) had a multiplier effect. There was never really any doubt the PAP was going to get maybe the same (vote share) or above what they had the last time, but it was the kind of super-boost (or) adrenaline that was added that got them that much further,” said Mr Black.
Still, despite the strong mandate for the PAP, two-thirds of respondents indicated that a change in government was possible in the next five decades, Blackbox added.
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