Meet Ong Ye Kung, the PAP candidate for Aljunied GRC who threw in the towel in just merely a year after the last election. For a newbie politician with the PAP, he was well-endorsed by the Prime Minister himself who once touted him as a ministerial calibre. It must be a great disappointment for the PM, who is probably going to complain yet again why his PAP party is losing talents to the private sector because Singaporeans in Aljunied GRC gambled their future by voting a team of Opposition.
George Yeo, the former foreign minister, has also announced his retirement very soon right after his GRC was taken down by the Workers’ Party. Why is the PAP not able to retain loyalty when power and money is not gratified in return? This boils down to the fundamentals of the PAP political culture. They are supposed to be the best Singapore have, or so they self-proclaimed, and their elitist ego simply couldnt stand defeat especially when they are already empowered with porkbarrel political tools with the help of the Electoral Department’s blatant gerrymandering, the GST cash payouts, the GRC system, the People’s Association, the mainstream media and the “cooling off day”. Imagine how much worse would PAP fare if they are contested one to one on even conditions. The fact remains it is always harder for the Opposition to be elected in Singapore as compared to asian democracies like Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan where life goes on without any hiccups upon a regime change.
With rising discontentment and vocal young Singaporeans calling for Change, political opportunists could no longer rely on the PAP to get a sleeping job in Parliament. The Opposition may still be weak and disperse, but they are are at least attracting decent people who are truly serving Singapore despite the draconian hurdles legislated. Elites like Ong Ye Kung and George Yeo can always fall back on the government-linked companies if they ever fail in politics. The PAP selection process is an obvious failure to filter out politicians who couldnt afford to lose. If Singapore is to go to war, who do you think will take the first plane out of here?
Political opportunists plague the PAP because of the powerful economical links it have with every sector in Singapore. While we stop short of blatant corruptions like China, relationship and strings-pulling way of business is a common practise in government-linked companies. Grassroot leaders are widely known to get contracts through the section community they are serving, despite a tender system which is supposedly to stamp out such practises. The PAP today is not able to convince even its own people that they are doing the country a service because if we were to ban grassroot leaders from getting business contracts from the government, very few would serve. We could see a very quick tumbling of the PAP when Singaporeans vote them out of governance detaching them from the business links they monopolized througout the past decades.