Singapore Election 2011

Latest news and updates about Singapore's 14th GE

Archive for April, 2011

Jeisilan Sivalingam: Singaporeans have lower purchasing power than Malaysians

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

During a rally speech last night, National Solidarity Party (NSP) candidate Jeisilan Sivalingam took the PAP regime to task for its perennial obsession with GDP growth at the expense of the welfare of ordinary Singaporeans.

Though Singapore’s GDP has grown tremendously for the last five years thereby boosting the salaries of PAP ministers, the median income of Singaporeans remain stagnant at S$2,500 monthly. Not only that, their domestic purchasing power is now longer than the Malaysians and Russians. (read more here)

Citing an internationl study done by Swiss bank UBS in 2010, Jeisilan said:

“Singapore has a lower purchasing power than Malaysians. Can you believe that?”

He added the influx of immigrants had also depressed the wages of local workers and led to an overall decline in the standard of living, which was supported by a Wall Street Journa editorial in January 2010.

PAP leaders have been harping on their ‘excellent’ performance in increasing GDP growth which has been abandoned as an indicator of quality of life by most prominent economists, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stilgitz.

GDP is simply the total economic output produced by a country and it can be artificially inflated for example, by mass importing cheap foreign workers to depress labor costs. It says nothing about the purchasing power or quality of life of the people.

It is strange that PAP leaders NEVER mention our poor domestic purchasing power which is a far more accurate economic indicator of the reality on the ground.

Many Singaporeans are ‘asset rich’ because of their HDB flats, but are ‘cash poor’ after spending the bulk of their salaries on housing loans and other living essentials, thereby leaving little spare cash in their hands.

In 2006, Singapore has a domestic purchasing power of 50.8 (by hourly income) which is less than half of Zurich (115.6). It decreased to a mere 38.8 in 2010 while Zurich’ remained stable at 110.

Though Singapore is purportedly a First World nation, the low domestic purchasing power of Singaporeans put it along the likes of Doha (Qatar), Warsaw (Poland) and Bratislava (Slovakia), far below the other first world cities in Asia such as Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong.

Singapore should not be misled by the rosy statistics churned out daily by the PAP-controlled media. The fact remains that after 5 years of PAP rule, our wages have remained stagnant, the cost of living has sky-rocketed and the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably, a dismal performance by the world’s most expensive government.

Read more here.

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PAP leaders continue to harp on their ‘fifty year track record’

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

Unable to provide any concrete plans to improve the quality of life of ordinary Singaporeans other than to import another 900,000 foreign workers on work permits, PAP leaders have been harping on the regime’s ‘fifty year track record’ in order to convince undecided voters to continue supporting them.

The message is likely to sway conservative voters in their 40s to 60s who live through the ‘boom years’ under the PAP and are apprehensive about their future if the PAP loses power.

PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew recalled the PAP’s ‘track record’ ever since it first came into power way back in 1959:

“What you want to see is the performance on the job, not the speeches they make. The reason why I’m here since 1959 is because I not only speak, I do. I carry out what I say. And at the end of the day, you’ve got to decide, can this person deliver? Never mind all the gloss, the panache, can they deliver? What is their track record?”

Even PAP newbie candidates with absolutely no ‘track record’ to speak of are quick to jump onto the PAP bandwagon with Lawrence Wong and former Malaysian Foo Mee Har highlighting the PAP’s ‘accomplishments’ in creating ‘good jobs’ to a widely ‘admired’ healthcare system.

Ms Foo, 45, a Standard Chartered banker, spoke of how the PAP regime’s “steady” hand had steered Singapore through past crises, including the recent financial turmoil, ensuring the country was relatively unscathed though the country’s two sovereign wealth funds reportedly lost billions of dollars in failed overseas investments which has yet to be accounted for to this very day.

The coming general election should be a referendum of the PAP’s ‘track record’ from 2006 to 2010 ONLY and not for the past fifty years or otherwise the PAP regime should hold elections only once in fifty years and not every five years.

The present PAP leaders should stop riding on their predecessors’ achievements for past achievements do not guarantee future successes. Furthermore, Singaporeans had already rewarded the PAP with thumping electoral victories in the past.

Under the PAP rule for the last five years, the median income of Singaporeans remain stagnant at $2,500 monthly and their domestic purchasing power are now less than the Malaysians while the prices of HDB flats have almost doubled, not to mention the various screw-ups such as the escape of Mas Selamat, the recurrent spates of flooding, losses in Town Council funds and the relentless influx of foreigners.

With the two opposition MPs contesting in GRCs, Singaporeans may end up having no elected non-PAP MPs in parliament for the first time since 1981. NCMPs have limited voting rights and have no influence over policies. Unless the PAP is denied its 2/3 majority in parliament, the status quo is likely to remain under the charge of Lee Kuan Yew.

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Lee Kuan Yew warns Aljunied residents against voting for WP

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

Using his trademark fear-mongering tactics again, PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew sent an ominous warning to Aljunied residents not to vote for the opposition Workers’ Party due to its ‘limited’ track record.

The Workers Party is fielding its strongest team which includes Hougang MP Low Thia Kiang, NCMP Sylvia Lim and top corporate lawyer Chen Show Mao in Aljunied GRC against a PAP team led by Foreign Minister George Yeo.

Speaking to Tampines residents yesterday, Lee claimed that Aljunied residents will ‘regret’ if they vote for WP:

‘If they choose the opposition, then I say, good luck to them. They have five years to ruminate and to regret what they did. And I have no doubts they will regret it. At the end of the day, if you are in Aljunied, ask yourself: Do you want one MP, one Non-Constituency MP, one celebrity who has been away 30 years, and two unknowns to look after you?’

He also warned that property prices in Aljunied will drop if the opposition wins without substantiating his claims:

“Five years, they’re in charge of your property and your lives… finally you have to make a choice. If you like to try your luck, well good luck to youIf you have the wrong government, your property prices go right down. Ask why in Hougang the property prices are not as high as their neighbours.”

A quick check on propertyguru.com.sg however, revealed that there is little difference in selling prices of similiar-sized flats in both Hougang and Aljunied GRC.

Lee added that Aljunied voters will have to pay a price if the PAP loses:

‘It may well happen that they win, in which case the people of Aljunied live with the results. The only way people learn is when they have to pay a price. From time to time we may lose, and the voters pay the price.’

At 88 years of age, Lee is already the world’s oldest living minister and MP. His continued presence in the PAP makes a mockery of its ‘self-renewal’ process.

With the two opposition MPs contesting in GRCs, Singapore may end up with no elected opposition MPs in parliament for the first time since 1981. Though 9 NCMPs are guarantee to enter parliament as ‘best losers’ this time, they have limited voting rights and lack a constituency to build up their support base.

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ST continues to smear SDP by linking it to ‘illegal protests’

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

Stunned by the rapid turn-around in the electoral prospects of the Singapore Democratic Party, the PAP-controlled Straits Times now tries to smear its name by reminding voters of the SDP’s ‘confrontational style’ and its previous run-ins with the PAP regime’s repressive laws to curtail the civil liberties of Singaporeans.

Sounding like an old broken record, Straits Times ‘journalist’ Tessa Wong wrote that some people wondered if Mr Tan Jee Say and Dr Ang Yong Guan, both former establishment figures, are a “good fit” for a party with such a confrontational style.

She also asked Dr Ang what he thought of Dr Chee’s ‘chequered’ past to which he replied:

‘He was young and idealistic. He was thinking that he could do things his way.’

Tessa then throttled out Dr Chee’s past conviction for illegal protests and then tried disingeuously to link Dr Ang to civil activism instead of focusing on the proposals outlined by SDP in its impressive election manifesto:

“Dr Chee has been jailed for illegal protests and bankrupted by defamation suits. It is his status as an undischarged bankrupt that bars him from standing for election this time around. Dr Ang is no stranger to activism himself. In 1978, he took part in a movement protesting against the Government’s enforcement of expensive bonds on medical and dental university students.”

In all first world countries, political rallies and protests are part and parcel of a proper, healthy and functioning democracy and civil activism is and should be an integral component of political parties.

Only in Singapore are such legitimate political activities vilified and criminalized by a totalitarian state bent on complete control in order to preserve its own political hegemony.

Peaceful street marches and protests are common occurrence in Hong Kong which is only a Special Administrative Region of Communist China.

On 25 April 2010, thousands of Hong Kongers marched in the streets demanding the government introduce a minimum wage law to protect the low-income workers which it relented three months later. Hong Kong passed the law in January this year fixing the minimum wage at S$4.50 per hour:

Being nothing more but a propaganda mouthpiece of the PAP regime to serve its own partisan interests, the Straits Times has no moral authority or business in warning Singaporeans repeatedly of the ‘dangers’ of civil activism.

The Singapore Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and assembly. Only under the ridiculous and repressive laws of the PAP regime do they become ‘illegal’.

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Transcript of Dr Vincent Wijeysingha’s speech @ SDP Rally 28th April, 2011

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

The government of our choice  

Why are you going to the polls on Saturday next?

Because the government of our country is our choice.

Not the choice of the PAP.

And don’t be fooled by these fears that the PAP has put into our hearts for 52 years.

That things will be bad.

My friends, things *are* bad.

The PAP pretends that everything is good.

The PAP pretends that the $800 you receive next week will pay for the entire GST that you will incur next year.

And my friends there is no doubt, there is absolutely no doubt, that the government will raise GST once again after the elections have finished. Just like they did after the 2006 election.

Getting our national priorities right

Yesterday, the Prime Minister raised the usual fears that the PAP throws at the people of Singapore. Your family is at stake. Your job is at stake. Your childrens’ future. Your parents’ care is at stake. If you vote for the opposing party, things will go bad. Well, I say again, things are already bad.

The prices of basic goods are so high and still rising. In the last week alone it went up by 0.5% again. On healthcare costs: Even if you have very, very good insurance, large MediSave reserves, a single catastrophic illness like renal failure can set you back in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. What more for those who haven’t earned enough to save for their old age?

While we spend so much on defence, we spend so much less on the education of our children. What are we saying? That preparing our children for the future is less important than blowing up that future? Than sending bullets into their future?

Each time I look at a child I think to myself how important is her development. How important it is to let her learn and discover the world, to prepare herself for adult life.

An open message to opponents

My friends, at this stage, I would like to say something from my heart.

Some of you may have read in the headlines about me in the last few days. I’d like to say from this place that I have no anger towards those who caused me to enter the headlines.

Politics is a stressful activity. Not for me, but for other people.

People who haven’t had to contest their seats for the last 20 years.

But having said that, politicians make mistakes. We are human beings, we say the wrong things.

So Dr Vivian Balakrishnan may have miscalculated. These things happen.

I want us to move on and I want to say from this place. I want to wish my PAP opponents the very best of luck. And may the best men and women win.

Personal conviction and motivation

I would also like to say something about my motivation for being in politics, and the motivations of the Singapore Democratic Party which I love. Our party’s aim, has always been the people of Singapore. Not so much for those who can speak their views, although them as well.

But we are moved and worried by those who can’t, or don’t. The elderly aunties and uncles. Our disabled brothers and  sisters. Our children who are not doing well in schools or have gotten into trouble with the police. Our young couple who are struggling to set up a family and buy a flat. Our startup businessmen who are very good with business ideas but struggle with the cost of doing business in Singapore.

And the whole of our people who wonder Why the PAP are telling us things are good. That they know what they are doing. But why are we do we see more and more money being wasted, and we are asked to pay more in taxes, levies and subsidies.

SDP’s true agenda

This is our only aim: The people of Singapore.

This is the agenda of the SDP.

To help our fellow Singaporeans. To speak on their behalf. To ask the hard questions. To do the research.

And take us all into the future confidently, with no one left behind.

Let me assure you all and Singapore from this place:

I have no other agenda, than your agenda.

Why?

Because I am one of you.

I also feel the pinch of rising prices.

I also have to think twice about going to the doctor’s when I have the flu.

I also haven’t been able to afford a flat.

I also worry about my parents’ old age.

I have spent my whole professional life working with the underprivileged.

And it is they who move me.

And it is they who move the members of my party.

And if we have any radical idea, if we have any dangerous agenda, it is this:

That ALL Singaporeans deserve to be happy and fulfilled – not just some.

That all Singaporeans deserve to be equal members of this nation – and not just economic digits, as the Minister Mentor once called us.

Because after 52 years of government, the PAP is still unable to secure your future.

How PAP regard Singaporeans

Mr Lee Kuan Yew says we need to be kicked to work harder. Mr Khaw tells us to send our elderly to old peoples’ homes in a foreign country. And Dr Balakrishnan refuses to increase support for the poorest of the poor, and then tells us to mind our own business when he overspends in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

What we have seen over these last 5 years, they have never asked us ’bout what we thought about the policies.

They never asked us if we wanted a huge increase in our population. They never asked us if we expected large numbers of people working for such low salaries, so that your salary will also be pulled down.

Did they prepare us so that we can be welcoming of these new migrants in our midst?

They never even asked us.

Did they prepare the country so that there will be community centres and social services, enough school places and flats and hospital beds to prepare for the increase in population?

They never even asked us.

Did they ask us for our advice on how our new migrants could blend into our community, so they could become loyal Singaporeans like you and me?

They never even asked us.

And did they ask us whether we expected our new citizens to serve in the army like all of us who have?

They have stopped asking us what we wanted. And they have steamrolled through policies, and we are now struggling. 

The true cause of our nation’s problems

And let us not make a mistake about the causes of these problems. Let us not forget that it is this government that have caused these problems not through one term in parliament, or two. But thirteen – over fifty two years.

That’s two generations of people. There are more people in this country today, who are not born when the PAP came to power. And it is those people whose lives are worse off now than they were then.

You know on the first page of the PAP manifesto Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says that they were not able to predict the global crisis in ’08. That is not true. There were several economists and thinkers and scholars who predicted that.In 2005, no one listened.

In fact in those few years, the Singapore government lost huge amounts of our investment money. And what did they do in the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council? They took $8 million dollars of your money and squandered it on toxic investments.

We knew at the end of ’07 that Lehman brothers was already in very choppy waters. But greed became more important than safeguarding your money. Mr. Goh Chok Tong says: “It’s only two percent.”

Let me say to him from this place, wherever he is in Marine Parade today, that that was two percent of your money, the conservancy charges that people have to struggle to pay on a monthly basis. They took it. They invested it. And they lost it. 

They gambled with our money.

This is a government that after 52 years, that is not able to manage, not able to give you the right you deserve. 

Where is all the expertise they say they have? Not after 5 years, but after 52 years.

(indistinct) Mr Mah Bow Tan said that if we ran housing services as a non-profit affair we would be stealing/raiding  from the reserves. Is Mr Mah saying that banking in huge amounts of money is more important than sheltering our families and our own people? If he does let him come out and say it over these next few days.

But might I remind him, that he was utterly silent when his colleague Dr Balakrishnan gambled away hundreds and millions of dollars, and refused to explain, and continues to refuse us a debate on these and other policy matters.

That man is the leader of a team you may well have as your representative, come May the 7th.

A man totally incapable of either managing his portfolio, or justifying his policies like a man.

In conclusion

My friends, voters of Holland-Bukit Timah, voters of Sembawang, Yuhua, voters of Bukit Panjang. Next Saturday you exercise a choice. A choice I remind you that people have died to secure for us.

A choice between arrogance and service.

A choice between gambling and prudence.

A choice between self-service and community service.

I invite you to listen to what both ourselves and the other party’s saying.

Take a look at our website and our Facebook page.Support us in any way you can, and on that day, put your family first, as the Prime Minister says, put your home first, and send these eleven people into Parliament.

Thank you.

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PM Lee: We ‘understand’ your hopes and anxieties

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

With the next election looming ahead, PAP leaders are making all sorts of ’empty’ promises to Singaporeans in a last-ditched attempt to secure their votes, the latest being the caretake Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Speaking at a PAP rally last night which was attended by a small crowd, PM Lee said the PAP is ‘aware’ of the dreams and worries of Singaporeans.

In his first rally speech of the general election, he sought to assure these voters that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is aware of their dreams and worries.

‘Like other groups, the middle-income Singaporeans want to improve their lives and they worry about housing, but they also worry about other things,. They feel pressured because of their children’s education. They worry about their careers. They worry about competition because of the Employment Pass holders, foreigners here working. They’re worried about taking care of their aged parents, the burden of looking after old folks at home,’ he quipped, trying to sound empathetic.

He added:

‘We understand these hopes and these anxieties.’

The uncertain future faced by Singaporeans is caused largely by the PAP’s flawed economic and immigration policies which has changed Singapore’s demographics beyond recognition.

Due to the relentless influx of foreigners, they now make up 43 percent of Singapore’s population. Of the remaining 57 percent who are citizens, an increasing number are born overseas. Under PAP rule, the median income of Singaporeans has remained stagnant at $2,500 monthly and they have lower domestic purchasing power than the Malaysians.

PM Lee also proclaimed that the PAP regime is “managing” the inflow of foreign workers, ‘making sure that we do not have too many which will overwhelm us’ which appears to contradict what his father has said earlier.

One week ago, PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew said:

“Please remember: We still need 900,000 foreign workers on work permits.”

The figure does not include foreigners on S and E passes and neither did Lee explain how he arrive at it.

With the two opposition MPs contesting in GRCs, Singapore may end up with no elected opposition MPs in parliament for the first time since 1981.

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Tan Jee Say: How much monies did GIC lose?

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

In a speech made at the SDP rally last night, SDP candidate for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Mr Tan Jee Say took the PAP regime to task on the investment losses made by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) during the global financial crisis in 2008.

GIC was headed by PAP paramount leader Lee Kuan Yew. His son, the prime minister, is its deputy chairman.

A former principal private secretary to then DPM Goh Chok Tong, Mr Tan estimated that the PAP regime had accumulated hundreds of billions of dollars in surpluses over the last decade and $60 billion was just a small percentage of that.

Mr Tan had earlier proposed investing $60 billion dollars from the reserves in Singaporeans for which he was taken to task by his opponent Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

‘Manage your own ministry’s budget before you criticise other people’s figures!’ he said to large applause from the crowd who filled almost the entire Jurong East Stadium, in reference to Dr Vivian bursting the YOG budget by more than three times last year.

Mr Tan’s running mate in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Dr Vincent Wijeysingha sneered at DPM Teo Chee Hean’s description of the PAP reserves as a ‘source of comfort’ for Singaporeans.

“Teddy bears are for comfort. We need affordable housing, support for our elderly and our young!’” said Dr Wijeysingha.

According to a Wall Street Journal editorial, GIC reportedly lose some $41.6 billion dollars in its failed overseas investments. (read here)

Unless Singaporeans vote in sufficient number of opposition MPs to deny the PAP its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament, the amount of taxpayers’ monies lost by GIC is likely to remain a mystery forever.

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Poor turnout at PAP rally at Jurong West stadium

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

Only less than one hundred people turned up at the PAP rally at Jurong West stadium tonight with most of them appearing to be senior citizens in their 60s and 70s:

[Source: TR Facebook]

In contrast, the SDP rally at neighbouring Jurong East stadium managed to attract a crowd of more than 10,000 people:

[Source: sgrally]

PAP’s Cedric Foo will be contesting against NSP’s Steve Chia in Pioneer SMC.

The poor turnout at the PAP rally expectedly brought a chorus of sneers from netizens.

Kelvin Low wrote:

“I see 200,000 ants…..Hahaha!”

Jarod Ong added sarcastically:

“The foreign workers need today. Tomorrow all will join the PAP at their rallies instead of going to Little India.”

The size of turnout at election rallies is not an accurate predictor of the level of support for the opposition parties. During the 2006 elections, the PAP rallies had poor turnout too compared to the opposition’s, but it still win 66 percent of the votes on polling day.

There are large numbers of Singaporeans who don’t bother to attend the PAP rallies and will cast a vote for it on polling day.

The stakes are never as high as before in Singapore’s 14 general election. With both opposition MPs Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Kiang contesting in GRCs, Singaporeans may end up not having a single elected opposition MP in parliament though the PAP may suffer a drop in its percentage of votes.

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Lee Kuan Yew: Half of jobs created last year go to Singaporeans (only)

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

Though it was supposed to be his son’s general election, PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew appeared to be hogging the headlines lately as he dispensed his usual ‘pearls of wisdom’ to Singaporeans.

Speaking to his entourage of reporters and spin doctors at Tampines Central yesterday, Lee provided statistics to counter opposition’s claims that foreigners in Singapore were taking away jobs from Singaporeans.

According to Lee, total employment in Singapore rose by 786,000 between 2006 and last year and in 2010, 115,900 jobs were added, with half going to Singaporeans. This means that a shocking 57,950 jobs went to foreigners!

Lee did not provide any details on the nature of the jobs taken up by Singaporeans or if the jobs going to foreigners could be done by Singaporeans instead.

He claimed that his PAP regime has ‘created more jobs than Singaporeans can fill’ and that ‘no country has done that except Singapore’ without substantiating them.

Lee added that the overall unemployment rate was 2.2 percent last year and he resident jobless rate was 3.1 percent, the second lowest over the period of 2000 and 2010 while forgetting to mention that fact that the figures include both Singapore citizens and PRs.

Due to the PAP’s ultra-liberal and pro-foreigner policies, foreigners now make up 40 percent of Singapore’s population, up from 14 percent in 1990. Of the remaining 60 percent who are citizens, an increasing number are born overseas.

In a recent speech made at a community event, he said:

“Please remember: We still need 900,000 foreign workers on work permits.”

Lee did not explain how he arrived at the figures which does not include foreigners on S and E passes and he will never have to so long the PAP retains its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament, thereby enabling it govern Singapore at its whimps and fancies with little accountability or transparency.

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ST tries to whitewash PAP’s ‘track record’ in ‘gutter politics’

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 30, 2011

After seeing their clumsy attempts to character assassinate opposition candidates backfired dramatically, the spin doctors of Straits Times are called in again to save the skin of the PAP from the PR fallout.

In a full-page editorial published on page 2 of the Straits Times today titled “GE 2011: Tough on ideas, civil on opponents?“, ex-ISD officer Chua Mui Hoong tried desperately hard to portray Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as a ‘gentleman’ whose “approach to electoral battle seems defined by a desire for fair play.”

She added that the first generation of PAP leaders like Lee Kuan Yew had to use the “sledgehammer approach” as his “opponents included ‘communists, communalists and crooks'”

It was disingenuous of Ms Chua to distort history and replace it with fairy tales in order to whitewash the PAP’s ‘track record’ in ‘gutter politics’ so as to repackage it into a more ‘palatable’ form for the younger generation of voters.

According to recently declassified documents from the British archives, the Barisan Sosialist leaders who were detained for lengthy periods of time by Lee without trial were not communists and none had any liaison with the Malayan Communist Party.

After the threat of communism and communalism receded in the 1980s, Lee still used a sledgehammer to utterly demolish the only opposition MP in parliament at that time – Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam.

“Put it this way. As long as Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for — a thoroughly destructive force — we will knock him. There are two ways of playing this. One, a you attack the policies; two, you attack the system. Jeyaretnam was attacking the system, he brought the Chief Justice into it. If I want to fix you, do I need the Chief Justice to fix you? Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

Character assassination, smear attacks and gutter politics are the forte of the PAP which would single out an opposition candidate for attack in every single election since 1988, assisted ably by the state media.

The former Solicitor-General of Singapore Francis Seow was painted as a CIA agent in 1988, Jufrie Mahmood a Malay chauvinist in 1991, Tan Liang Hong a Chinese chauvinist in 1997, Dr Chee Soon Juan a crankpot in 2001 and Dr James Gomez a liar in 2006.

The ‘James Gomez’ saga cast a shadow over all other issues during the 2006 elections and continued right up to the eve of polling day before the PAP realized belatedly that its smear tactics weren’t working.

And who can forget Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s ‘promise’ to fix the opposition if more of them were to get elected into parliament:

“But supposedly you have a parliament with 10, 15 or 20 opposition members out of 80, then instead of spending my time thinking of what is the right policy for Singapore, I have to spend all my time thinking of how to FIX them and how to buy my supporters over.”

The PAP has not changed a bit at all in this election. First, Dr Ng Eng Hen questioned the political motivations of WP’s Chen Show Mao after being away for many years and then Dr Vivian Balakrishnan tried unsuccessfully to paint Dr Vincent Wijeysingha as a ‘gay activist’ with a hidden agenda to pursue in parliament.

If not for the massive backlash, the PAP may well continue to harp on the two men to divert public attention from its own policy failures over the last few years.

As the saying goes, ‘the leopard never changes its spots.’ It is foolhardy to expect the PAP to change overnight. Only when it is taught a lesson it will never forget at the polls will it start to treat its opponents and Singaporeans with more respect.

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