PAP in the Bathtub

According to Lui Tuck Yew, our public transport systems are failing because we are at the tail end of the “bathtub effect“. But does he see that PAP is also in the same bathtub?

The bathtub effect refers to a phenomenon where there are high no of problems at the start of a system’s life cycle, virtually no problems during the middle years, and a sudden spike in the number of problems when a system is at the end of its useful life.

The problems in the early years are teething issues that, once overcome, lead to a plateau of smooth performance. Everything is broken in and run in, all systems are in their best shape, everything is within tolerance.

The problems in the twilight years happen because things wear out, technology becomes obsolete, repairs cost too much and support for older technology isn’t always as great as for new systems.

While the bathtub analogy applies to systems, I think PAP is also now living through its own bathtub effect.

It had its struggles in the early years– PAP was even in the Opposition for a while– but when it overcame its initial problems, boy did they have a good run! From 1972 to 2011, they won GE after GE, they got away with landslide victories, they had practically no problems (ie opposition) to fix.

Now PAP’s problems are coming with increasing frequency. They are wearing out, they are obsolete, votes now cost too much and support for their old ways of thinking isn’t as great from new voters.

2016 will be key to determining if PAP will sink in the bathtub or climb out of it to another new bathtub.


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

  1. Ivan says:

    No need to wait for 2016. The PAP have begun in earnest to rectify its shortcomings since the 2011 GE. In a year or so, I am confident it would have smoothened the political crinkles which beset it up to the 2012 GE. The only opposition party in Parliament, the WP, had not shown itself to be able to come up with any counter proposals which were feasible, workable or could effectively displace the education, housing, health or immigration policies of the govt. Prior to GE 2012, talks of opposition unity were scuppered prematurely because each party wanted to be the one to lead the charge to displace the PAP. The migration of some leading personalities from one political party to another clearly showed that those invloved in the migration rather up and leave than work out rational and balanced solutions crucial to party unity. Even so, the WP having fought hard and well to supplant the PAP at Aljuneid, and increased its majority substantially at Hougang, sacked the Hougang MP over the widely reported allegations of his extra marital affairs. The “No comments” saga did not resonate with its commitment to transparency and accountability.

  2. Pingback: Daily SG: 7 May 2012 « The Singapore Daily

  3. DD says:

    During a visit to a mental asylum, a visitor (name Lui) asked the Director what the criterion was that defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

    “Well,” said the Director, “we fill up a bathtub; then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.”

    “Oh, I understand,” said Lui. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.

    “No,” said the Director, “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed by the wall or near the window?”

  4. The Pariah says:

    Come 2015/16, the PAP together with scum and sludge from washing dirty laundry drain out into the public sewers ……. so long as we cap Newater to below 20% of total water.

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