Tuesday, 29 January 2013

PAP: A victim of its own success

29th January 2013

THE voters of Punggol East have spoken - delivering a stunning defeat to the People's Action Party with a vote swing of nearly 11 percentage points against it.

The party's choice of Dr Koh Poh Koon as its candidate was sound. He projected himself as a pleasant, sincere, hard-working and approachable person.

The Punggol East voters were considered middle class, better educated, and enjoying a comfortable standard of living.

Before the election, the Government unveiled a slew of incentives to boost the birth rate, which logically should appeal to most of the Punggol East voters.

Why then the massive swing in votes?

Our Government is recognised worldwide for its excellent governance.
Unfortunately, it has also raised Singaporeans' expectations; many citizens look to the Government to resolve their problems. In short, the PAP is a victim of its own success.

In particular, the ruling party's emphasis on meritocracy and recruiting the best individuals to join its leadership, though irrefutably fair and creditable, is slowly fermenting a simmering layer of discontent, especially among the middle class.

This trend towards the politics of envy does not augur well for our future and, if left unchecked, could possibly degenerate into a "class war".

Singaporeans may wish to dwell more deeply on this ramification when they next cast their votes.

Cheng Seng Poh ~ ST Forum

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