How do you get the government to listen? Hit them where it hurts most – votes.
This is one electoral contest where the people could give the PAP government a report card of their performance since the watershed election in 2011 which sees the ruling party losing a GRC for the first time in history. The ground today after the election has been bitter and worsening each day as the PAP government failed to live up to their election promises in controlling the foreigner population and keeping reign on the HDB prices. Fresh issues like flooding and public transport breakdowns also top Singaporeans’ grouses especially with the mismanagement of the SMRT.
Despite the changeover of leaders in the Transport, Manpower and the National Development Ministries, the respective area of governance continue to see discouraging figures and news reported even by the PAP-controlled mainstream media themselves. Particularly in the limelight is Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, who have not only advocated “cost-sharing” of the supposedly-private transport operator’s operational losses, he also initiated a fare hike on the PTOs’ behalf when the PTO has been charting consistent and growing profits since inception. Although unfortunately Minister Lui Tuck Yew’s constituency is not available for a by-election, Singaporeans living in Punggol East could use the by-election as a National Referendum to table a resistance against untimely and inconsiderate policies.
The onus of the problems facing Singaporeans is the PAP government’s incompetence to get anything done. Unlike other governments, the PAP do not face any opposition strong enough to object against policies they proposed. Policies are often bulldozed across Parliament as the ruling party gets 93% of the seats despite winning only 60.1% of the votes. Housing affordability, over-population, widening income gap, falling birthrate and rising living costs have already been on Singaporeans’ agenda for the past decade, but the PAP government failed to use its political leverage to push for solutions or even be seen trying to find a solution. Instead of solving problems, the ruling party put more effort in conducting a massive public relation exercise called the “Our Singapore Conversation” and pushing for Internet Censorship through a “code of conduct”.
It has become apparent the present PAP administration has been the dose of bad government former Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew has warned Singaporeans against. They are not in power to solve Singaporeans’ problems, they are in power to stay in power. While it is encouraging to see more former PAP-supporters realizing the truth and converting to support the Opposition, a large number of them are still shackled by the ruling party’s vast economical and employment influence, and often vote the ruling party to safeguard their own interests. It is time we do more than just being changed politically ourselves, it is time we reach out to engage pro-PAP supporters to better test the “Opposition notion” and hopefully have them converted into good influences for others as well.
Lets start today, if you know of any friends or family members living in Punggol East, have them talking about what they wish Singapore to be, and most often than not, they may find themselves inherently Opposition-inclined after all.
Co-editor, Wiki Temasek