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Straight Talk: PAP’s winning strategy

TISG interns speak to PN Balji and Tan Bah Bah to get their take on the General Election




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By Aretha Chinnaphongse, Jillian Colombo, Misaki Tan and AJ Jennevieve

Four interns ask two veteran journos a tricky or cheeky GE question.

Question: Is PAP improving itself or pushing the opposition down to appeal to voters that they are the better choice?

PN Balji: It is doing both, giving itself a pat on the back for the way it is handling  the Covid crisis and attacking the Opposition every step of the way. Both have downsides. The government has tried to keep its initial missteps under cover. But it is their ignorance of the dormitory issue that has forced a lockdown on us for so long. If not for that, we would be moving about outside our homes feeling less fearful of Covid. The incessant attacks on the Opposition may not go down well with educated and moralistic youths. Singapore is changing and the old political tricks may not work.

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Tan Bah Bah: Both. The two are part of the same strategy. First, it’s OPO, OPO, OPO – Ownself Praise Ownself sky-high all the time. We are rare world class talents. We all possess the passion to serve. We are forgoing many billions which we could have earned in the private sector. Wow. Second, take every chance to put down the Opposition – “look at Chiam, what kind of degree does he have? Our man has triple distinctions in nuclear science and is a member of Mensa..”

But, to be fair, the PAP seems to have changed. Now, everyone springs from a humble background. Now everyone wants to take care of the vulnerable. And every other minister is keen to have conversations. Well, we, the citizens, are also listening. 


This is part of a GE series, Straight Talk, that will be published daily up till Cooling Off Day on Jul 9.

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

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