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Will the PAP win all 82 seats contested on 7 May?

Posted by singaporege2011 on May 1, 2011

Next week at this time of the night, the results of Singapore’s 14 general election will be known. Will we see the PAP making a clean sweep of all the 82 contested seats or the opposition making a breakthrough and deny the PAP its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament?

Both scenarios are considered ‘freak results’ at opposite ends of the spectrum, each with widespread ramifications for the future of Singapore. Do we want to progress towards a pluralistic democracy or regress back into a totalitarian state dominated by a single party?

PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew proclaimed confidently that the PAP will win the coming election (hands down) as the only hotspot is Aljunied GRC.

Some may be quick to dismiss Lee’s predictions and slam him for being arrogance, but being an experienced politician who contested in 13 general elections, his words cannot be discounted lightly.

While many expect the PAP’s percentage of votes to fall below 60 percent and even 55 percent, we must not forget that the PAP need only win slightly more than 50 percent of the votes in each constituency to make a clean sweep of all of them.

Lee Kuan Yew is a lawyer and he used his legal knowledge to introduce all kinds of repressive laws to curtail the political rights of Singaporeans. His son is a mathematician – surely he will use statistics to predict his own chances before the election.

The PAP has a ‘research unit’ under the XXX department of a ministry which does the background research on the ground before every general election. It conduct opinion polls, assess public sentiments and analyze voting patterns in the last election.

Even before the election is called, the PAP already knows which are the constituencies they are likely to win easily as well as the potential ‘hotspots’ to take note.

That’s why the electoral boundaries are usually announced a month before the general election not only to throw the opposition’s preparations off guard, but to maximize the accuracy of the PAP’s own predictions. Please remember: The PAP is never known to take any chances, especially when its own political survival is at stake.

Lee Kuan Yew’s response to the strong challenge posed by the Workers’ Party in Aljunied GRC is completely out of his usual character. He appeared almost nonchalant when he said that losing Aljunied GRC does not ‘mean the end of the world’ for the PAP. Will he be still so relaxed if Aljunied is in real danger of falling to WP?

Going by Lee’s temperament, he is likely to fly into a rage if Aljunied GRC is in any danger of falling to the opposition. Let us recall his reaction in three previous elections:

1. 1988: Faced with a formidable challenge from former Solicitor-General Francis Seow in Eunos GRC, Lee attacked Seow relentlessly in the mainstream media and accused him of being a CIA agent. With his moral character demolished and reputation in tatters, the papers ran pages after pages about Seow’s extra-marital affair. PAP only managed to win Eunos GRC by 0.3 percent of the votes, the closest the opposition ever came to winning a GRC.

2. 1991: Eunos GRC was a hotspot again and this time round, it was contested by a WP team led by Jufrie Mahmood, a charismatic speaker who was highly regarded within the Malay community. As expected, the PAP and state media launched a smear campaign against Jufrie, painting him as a racist and ‘Malay chauvinist’. With the Chinese voters hoodwinked by the PAP’s racist rhetoric, the PAP did slightly better by winning 53 percent of the votes. Eunos GRC was subsequently ‘absorbed’ into Marine Parade and East Coast GRCs, disappearing from the electoral map altogether.

3. 1997: The contest in Cheng San GRC was one of the fiercest battle fought in recent history. The WP team led by Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam and Tang Liang Hong were able to win substantial support from the voters and there were rumors that Cheng San may fall to WP. For the entire nine days of campaigning, the PAP sent its heavy-weight ministers to Cheng San including Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Hsien Loong and Goh Chok Tong to lend support to the team led by the languid Lee Yoke Suan. Tang Liang Hong was mercilessly attacked in the press and accused of being a ‘Chinese chauvinist’. PAP eventually won by 55 percent of the votes. Jeyaretnam was sued for defamation and bankrupted while Tang fled to Australia where he is residing ever since.

The Workers’ Party won only 43.7 percent of the valid votes in Aljunied GRC during the 2006 general election. George Yeo later revealed that he had expected to win more than 60 percent of the votes if not for the James Gomez fiasco which actually swayed the fence-sitters to the opposition.

With nearly 20,000 voters being transferred to Aljunied from the PAP strongholds of Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade, it will be an uphill task for WP to defeat the PAP.

Based on Lee’s cavalier attitude towards Aljunied GRC so far, we can safely assume that the PAP is never in real danger of losing Aljunied GRC as Lee did not even bother to visit Aljunied to speak to the voters. WP’s candidates in Aljunied were also ‘spared’ being wacked by Lee’s ‘knucle-dusters’ and none of them were singled out for attacks by the state media like in the past.

The truth is: Lee Kuan Yew probably received reports that the PAP is likely to win all the constituencies comfortably which explained his confidence when he predicted boldly that the PAP will not lose the election.

The expected drop in the percentage of votes from native Singaporeans disgruntled with the PAP’s economic and immigration policies are likely to be compensated at least partly by votes from the new citizens who are grateful to the PAP for giving them a second chance in life.  Together with votes from the senior citizens, civil servants and conservative voters worried about the values of their properties, the PAP will still be able to win most seats albeit with a lower percentage of votes.

On 7 May, the all too familiar scene is likely to repeat itself – the PAP wins all the 82 contested seats. Scenes of celebration erupt in the PAP headquarters. PM Lee gives a speech thanking Singaporeans for giving the PAP another ‘overwhelming’ mandate. The status quo will remain. For the first time since 1981, Singaporeans will have no elected opposition MPs in parliament to speak up for them.

What kind of future will we be expecting under another 5 years of PAP rule?

Lee Kuan Yew has already proclaimed that Singapore still needs 900,000 foreign workers on work permits and no PAP MP will dare to rebuke him. With no opposition in parliament, the PAP will be able to pass any bills and laws without having to account to anybody. Once Lee opens his mouth, 900,000 foreign workers will be shipped to our shore instantaneously and we will have to welcome them with an ‘open heart’ as exhorted by his son the Prime Minister.

The stakes are very high in the coming general election – it is the last window of opportunity for Singaporeans to reclaim ownership of their beloved nation. Only 57 percent of the population are Singaporeans now. The percentage is likely to drop below 50 percent by the election after the next. Our voices and votes will be diluted and we will be stuck with the PAP forever.

The odds are against the opposition. A freak election result may happen and Singaporeans will end up with 87 PAP MPs in parliament.

Time is running out. It’s NOW or NEVER. We only have one week left to make a difference, after which we will have to live with the consequences of our actions or non-action. Every one of us has a role to play. Think of your future and the future of your children. What kind of Singapore do you want them to live in? Do you want them to pay the price of your indecisiveness now?

The 14th general election will be a watershed election in the history of Singapore. If we lose, we will have absolutely no second chance of redeeming ourselves ever again. The PAP never gives its opponents a second chance. We should not be expecting any mercy from them.

5 Responses to “Will the PAP win all 82 seats contested on 7 May?”

  1. T said

    PAP will have a “landslide” victory of 59 out of 87 seats….

    • Yung said

      Hi, an accurate analysis… hope more singaporeans get to read this and feel the urgency to vote with a courageous heart and wise head!

  2. Steven Tan said

    I will leave with the Foreign Talents and the Foreign Workers unless Opposition can have a viable solution to a fertility rate of 1.22 or 1.5 working adult supporting an elderly. Does oppostion have a solution? Otherwise, Singapore’s economy will collaspe. Vote wisely.

  3. Ben said

    Very tough. How many people will actually risk an opposition coalition with completely no experience? In the end people will lack courage and vote to keep the mandate for the known lesser evil. I feel they should have gone the more secure route by returning PAP to power while persuading people to give the remaining seats to the opposition. It takes longer but it is more reliable and the opposition can be given time and space to build up their experience in actual governance.

    Having said that, I don’t have an opportunity to vote so you guys enjoy! 🙂

  4. Nobb said

    Dun vote opposition for the sake of opposition. Similarly, if a Minister or MP is incompetent, vote him out. But if we vote out a good minister for the sake of voting in opposition, the country may suffer. A small country like ours cannot afford to make many errors and voting for a change may not always mean a change for the better.

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