Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the US Presidential Election, has been publicly called a “liar” by the number of smear campaigns from the Democrats. While his reputation has tanked due to some of these truthful or possibly baseless accusations, he has never once resorted to defamation lawsuits to silence his critics. Like the PAP, the US Republicans have an army of lawyers to twist and turn and probably could have won many cases contested in federal courts in Republican states like Nevada, and also be politically leveraged when their opponents resorted to “illegal” means. But they don’t do that.
It could be ingrained in their culture but the US citizens have a lot of rejection for fascist authority. Suing your political opponent into bankruptcy so they could no longer contest in an election is fascism, if not cowardice for it measures how narrow-minded one is when faced with criticisms baseless or not.
This is the type of non-aggressive politics that have brought US the Change they very much needed to turn their economy around. However this is not so for the PAP, they have won a number of defamation suits against the Opposition and till today, is still forever ready to threaten lawsuits if one does not apologize for or “rectify” his baseless comments. Having lived in such repressive political climate, Singaporeans turned extremely cautious(and some paranoid) seeing the fate of these PAP’s political opponents sensationalized in the PAP-controlled mainstream media.
The main fault of the PAP lies in their ardent belief that their political domination is the only way Singapore can move forward because they have the country’s best people(which justify the best pay and so forth…) knowing the best for Singapore. It is such elitism that stem the outright condemnation, or disdain, of the general public like a social class system. They believe whatever alternatives from the public are inferior, and if the proposer were to be that good, the PAP mechanism could have cherry-picked them early in life to be a MP or a top seat in one of the Government-linked-companies(GLCs). What the current PAP administrations doesn’t realize is that such a system could result in the country falling in the wrong hands, and that possible new dictator could be that next prime minister the PAP has earmarked in their succession plan.
Singapore is currently having its good sail propped by the rise of the Asian market, and that could go possibly for the next few years provided the system doesn’t implode when any inherently structurally-wrong programs like the CPF goes bust. That is, when Singapore is faced with a deep recession like the US had in 2008, we would not be able to turn around and stand again like the US because the single-party state will continue their insistence that they know whats best for the country and refuse abdication. Then, they will play up the old strums “what have we done for you in the past 55 years” with their mainstream media, inject more fear into the people by putting up one or two opposition members into bankruptcy, and do anything ostensibly in the name of helping Singaporeans(like raising GST to fund GST-Credit cash payouts) when in fact they are further struggling for political dominance.
For the trained eyes, we could see that we do not have to wait for an armageddon to befall upon Singapore for PAP to show its true nature. The recent “National Conversation” is an obvious effort to maintain their powers over the country. The PAP recognize that they have never listened to the heartlanders or the inferior crop who didn’t make it to the PAP talent radar. They recognize that people wants recognition, and giving some of these critics a form of acknowledgement, albeit a shallow one, ropes them into the “National Conversation” and have them thinking the PAP cares for their opinion after all [Source].
In an unprecedented move, the PAP leader invites bloggers to his house for a “conversation”. The net result: all of them left the house with only good words for the Prime Minister and they went home blogging about how good a person the Prime Minister really is from their short encounter – with photos allowed(the only occasion photo-taking is allowed in the security-obsessed Istana). The untrained eyes are convinced that this is not a wayang and would go even to the extent of defending their(and PAP’s) name. How wonderful. Just one meeting with an experienced politician and they get bowed over. Easy targets who could not politicize a political event. How apt.
This “National Conversation” is held for the first time after decades of political domination and it is apparent that the PAP do not like this idea at all since they first took power. To hold your disdain for what you not like to do is a big sacrifice especially when you are in the authority to do anything you like. But since it is going to keeps PAP in power, what is a little sacrifice spending an hour meeting up and coddle up a few lesser mortals who can help spread good words about the party?