The OTP* Series (II): Delusions

ST Report on PAP Thank-You Dinner for Retired MPs, 22 Jul 2011

THE [loss of a GRC] was ‘not entirely unexpected’, former party chairman Lim Boon Heng said. ‘It has always been a question of when we would lose a GRC.’

‘Prior to the general election being called, many within our party had felt that the loss of a GRC and a couple of single seats, with a 60 per cent share of valid votes, would be a good result,’ he said.

    [Political Writings] How can you put on this kind of brave face in public?

He attributed the drop in support for the PAP to the electorate’s desire for more diverse views and more robust debate. ‘That desire has grown stronger, and it has always been a matter of time when it would find expression,’ he said.

    [Political Writings] Why are you deluding yourself? People don’t want debate for the sake of debate, and diverse views for the sake of diverse views! People want change. They can’t get it by electing PAP candidates. They’re trying to get the message across to you by electing opposition candidates. And if they still can’t change your course, they’ll elect a coalition govt. Get it?

“This time, younger Singaporeans conveyed to their parents what transpired in the social media. Whereas in the past parents advised their children who to vote for, this time children were advising their parents.”

    [Political Writings] You’re a fool to think that people vote on the basis of what their parents or children tell them. You still refuse to accept that PAP lost the plot long ago. What happened in May 2011 was not caused by what PAP did in May 2011, or by what was said in social media in May 2011. The roots were planted more than 10 years ago.

He noted, for example, that while overcrowding on public transport was an issue and was particularly acute in Jurong, support for PAP in the west was stronger than in the east. “So overcrowding could not be the determining factor”, he concluded.

    [Political Writings] What shallow analysis for a million-dollar minister! Did it occur to you that Transport Minister Raymond Lim nearly lost to a WP team in East Coast? Did you notice that Raymond Lim got fired after the Election? And did you notice that it was RP which PAP defeated in the west? Yes, the RP that fielded clowns as last-minute candidates!

Mr Lim said that politics in Singapore is entering a “new norm”. Singapore can be better off if debate leads to more robust policies, he said, but its prospects will dim “if the engagement [with the Opposition] is destructive, as is the inclination in most democracies.”

“If negative politics prevail, and our younger leaders become reluctant to introduce right but unpopular policies, we will lose a strength of the past– that of being able to look long-term, to shape our future,” he added.

    [Political Writings] Parliament has not yet been called to session and already PAP thinks the outcome will be negative and destructive. It is sad that you have no idea what Parliamentary democracy is about. For the record: it means that the Govt must be accountable to the Parliament.

    PAP ministers have never had to account for policy failures. Never had any Bills defeated. Never had the budget of any Ministry rejected. Never had to resign for any mistakes they made.

    The new norm is that PAP cannot just get away with “It was an honest mistake”, “It happens once in 50 years”, “I stand corrected”, etc. When you take million-dollar salaries, you must take accountability. And when you introduce policies which do not benefit Singaporeans, you will be voted down.

* OTP = Out of Touch Party. This is an occasional series to provide commentary on how PAP is out of touch with Singapore.


About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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