Singapore — Speaking at a virtual conference held by the People’s Action Party on Sunday (Nov 8) that was broadcast live on social media, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he never believed the claim of a landslide victory for the PAP that several commentators predicted in the General Election this year.

He referred to the claim “PAP bao yia” (sure win) and added that “the opposition even used this to scare Singaporeans, claiming that they feared a wipeout. I never believed this”.

He also said he was “not surprised” when the election results fell short of the party’s expectations.

“Despite strong government support over four Budgets, quite a few had lost their jobs, or suffered falls in income,” he said, adding that “many were worried about their livelihoods and future, and that businesses were also frustrated by the impositions placed on them.”

“The anxiety was palpable, and it cost us votes,” Mr Lee said.

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He noted that there was “a broader desire for more alternative voices”, which has been around for “several elections, and grown over time”.

Such a desire resurfaced once the election was called, especially as the opposition “played it up”, he said.

Mr Lee commended PAP activists in the opposition wards, who have had “the most difficult task”, adding that the PAP is “disappointed not to have done better” in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC. He also said that Sengkang GRC, which was “narrowly lost”, was a “painful loss” to the PAP.

He added that the PAP will not give up in these opposition constituencies and said that the party activists will maintain their presence and strive to win back the voters there. /TISG