PM Lee was right. This election is about renewal, at least for PAP. Because after this election PAP will only exist in name as a political party. But for all intents and purposes, it will no longer be a political party.
Today’s PAP is made up of an inner circle of ex-generals, ex-civil service high flyers, and selected ex-civil servants, and backbenchers comprising low-flying civil servants and unionists with some lawyers, doctors, bankers, etc.
But practically none of them are career politicians!
Since they’re not politicians by choice, they don’t think like politicians, they don’t care about opinion polls, they don’t worry about elections. They’re bureaucrats and technocrats, doing what they think is right for the country, but without feeling for the ground.
They select their own to join them in their inner circle, by “talent-spotting” high fliers and “grooming” their successors. The risk of elections is minimised with GRC’s.
MP’s, on the other hand, are left to fend for themselves.
Is it any wonder why Wooden head has admitted defeat recruiting MP candidates from the private sector?
And why not? Would anyone want to go in, knowing that if you’re not one of the anointed “potential” office holders, you’ll probably never get into the inner circle? Would you go in, knowing that potential “office-holders” have already been chosen in advance, and your role is just to fill up the back benches and follow the party whip? Would you go in, knowing you can serve 25 years and never break into the inner circle, because you’re not elite?
For a successful lawyer, banker, doctor, etc who doesn’t need the MP allowance– why put up with all this, and the crap of being an MP? How much time do you really have to listen to residents’ problems? Would you really want to put up with all this?
So taken to its logical conclusion, I believe the PAP will soon no longer have politicians, it will have only bureaucrats, technocrats and ex-military and civil service elites.
The PAP that was a political party will be dead once the old man is gone. A new PAP will take its place. It will no longer be a political party, but only a bridge for the civil service/military elite to cross into government.
But hopefully, the old man’s prediction will come true, and PAP’s hegemony will be broken in the next 10 years.