Factors resulting in rise of anti-PAP sentiments
When the Messiah hacked Straits Times and the Anonymous hacker legion group said they are watching the PAP government, Singaporeans were united into cheering for the hackers. Even though the hackers did nothing more than petty vandalism on non-essential government websites like the Town Council’s, the acts made a good gauge of the anti-PAP sentiments.
Fast forward a month later, we have the Little India riot by foreign workers. Although many Singaporeans are disapproval of such violence, everyone agrees that this riot is the bitter outcome from the years of a cheap wage culture and rampant exploitation of manpower in Singapore. Notice during the riot, only police cars are overturned and government vehicles are set on fire. It turns out anti-PAP sentiments were brewing among the foreign workers all along, and it just took one emotional tragedy to become an outlet for the bitterness pressure-cooked inside them over the years.
Looking at how the PAP response to the riot through hardline measures (making multiple arrests in foreign workers dormitories) and utter denial (blaming the riot on drunkards), it is apparent the root cause of the problem has been largely ignored. A second riot is on its way, perhaps slowly, but surely. So long there is a disaster recipe of depressed wages and absence of workers’ rights, the law of nature dictates that chaos will ensue such unbalance without fail.
So as of now, both Singaporeans and foreign workers have become anti-PAP. The next key event before GE2016 is the imminent death of Lee Kuan Yew and the public criticism of Lee Hsien Loong by PAP MPs themselves. For the PAP to collapse, it must implode. And already the signs are showing with former civil servants and party members publicly expressing disappointment and disagreement with the new PAP administration.
There is no more hope in the present batch of PAP administration because none of them displayed leadership abilities they boasted themselves to possess. They claimed they can easily become directors or successful businessmen or lawyers in corporates and statutory boards, yet these 80 supposedly CEOs and Directors in Parliament couldn’t formulate strategies and engender charisma to make the people at least not hate them. Faulting the internet and an increasingly-informed population is not a valid excuse for failing their basic responsibilities. Scoring points through propaganda and misleading mainstream reports can only be effective when livelihood improved. Every now and then when a PAP leader speaks, it simply just rile people up. The people are frustrated with senseless and out of touch comments. Being anti-PAP is not a choice for common sense.
Most Singaporeans turned to the internet to vent their frustrations, others like taxi drivers simply made insulting the PAP their pet topic. These are the real Singapore conversations taking place, with true feedback and alternative suggestions. Place the same comments at the staged conversation in front of the PAP, and they will fall on deaf ear or be shot down with flimsy defences like “Singapore is unique”, which of course angered the people further. The truth turned out, it is the PAP themselves who created the thriving environment for anti-PAP sentiments.
The right amount of anti-PAP sentiments will cause PAP’s downfall, and the good news is the PAP is doing it right. They are actively angering Singaporeans and foreigners by stubbornly insisting their policies is the only option.
Alex Tan Zhixiang