Ten Challenges PAP Will Face In The Next General Elections

1. Resurgent Workers’ Party – the resurgence of Workers’ Party continued even after the GE 2011 as they recaptured Hougang SMC in a by-election contest and even took over Punggol East SMC when Speaker of Parliament Mr Michael Palmer was caught in a extra-marital affair.and subsequently sacked triggering a by-election election.

Two days after the loss of Punggol East the PAP announced the 6.9 million population white paper in a desperate bid to arrest the free-fall popularity slide of the ruling party.

Workers’ Party remains the number one choice of most Singaporeans when they vote for the opposition and in GE 2011, the average vote for most of their contested wards was at a high 45%.

The ruling party knew that WP will feature strongly in the next election and has targetted them for negative propaganda by giving them black marks for the way they run the Aljunied town council.

However, this may backfire on the ruling party as many voters believe that the government is fixing the opposition party and continue to vote for them out of sympathetic anger.

WP is expected to retain all their seats and win over East Coast GRC and one more single seat in the next election.

2. Lack of good on-the-ground candidates – the ruling party is having a hard time convincing credible candidates to stand for election.

During the last election, one could not really spot anyone who is very good on the ground and is seen as credible. Candidates such as the controversial Tin Pei Lin was put up for candidacy and this truly reinforced the belief of many people that the PAP is having difficulty attracting real talents.

Most candidates have excellent educational qualifications and solid work experience but many lack the ground feel to be connected with the common people. They seem aloof and distanced when they spoke in poorly-attended PAP election rallies.

Most new MPs who were voted in also contested together with heavyweight ministers in GRC and have little experience on the ground except for the parachuted-in feeling.

Because of their prestigious academic background and gleaming work experience, many MPs could not really identify with the hardship of the common people.

Voters in Punggol East also voted in a commoner from WP and a distinguished doctor from the ruling party was given the boot.

Unless the PAP could get candidates who have work the ground for a long period, it is my fear that more upsets are on the card for the next election.

3. Maturing of social media platform – the ruling party lost heavily on the social media platform as they underestimated its inpact.

Political websites like TOC, TRE and TRS all reported alternative news regularly and attracted close to 200,000 readers daily together.

Many also ditched the pro-government media for good and rely on social media for their regular news feed.

The goverment has tried to curb its influence by asking the site editors to register with MDA but it will not be easy to totally eradicate its impact especially for those who belong to the younger electorade.

This lot relies heavily on social media for any mews update and they will be probably following our alternative news coverage for the forthcoming election campaign.

It is envisaged that more sites such as TRE will be hauled up next year for registration by the government in an attempt to try and curb its influence on alternative news reporting online.

4. Population white paper – the hugely-unpopular population white paper (PWP) was passed two years ago and Singaporeans face its onslaught soon after when many were displaced at the workplaces and travel on public transport becomes a daily nightmare.

Wages are also been depressed as incoming foreigners settled for lesser wages in order to gain a foothold here further aggravating the misery of many Singaporeans.

Many Singoreans also find themselves reporting to foreign managers at the workplaces and are often bullied by certain groups if they happen to be in the minority.

It is envisaged that the negative impact of the PWP will weigh heavily on the mind of many voters as they contemplate their future with the ruling party.

More than 80% of Singaporeans are estimated to have gone against the PWP and the government is expected to try and build up positive propaganda for the population growth emigration policy during the election rallies but it will be a tall order.

5. Another five more years of suffering – Singaporeans must have gone through its worst five years under the ruling party since independence with recent run-away cost of living prices and depressed wages.

Many displaced older PMETs also have no choice but to take up taxi driving in order to survive further adding on to their misery.

Under-employment Is a national problem now and many experienced PMETs work on short-term contract which often expires within a year or two.

Their anger is exaceberated when they see their foreign counterparts taking on permanent roles with better perks.

None wants to experience another five more years of misery under the ruling party and decides to wager on the alternative as there is nothing to lose anymore.

6. More outspoken electorade – the past two years saw the resurgence of people’s power and thousands turned up at the PWP and Return-My-CPF protests.

It is envisaged that many will turn up at opposition election rallies lending unity and credibility to those who will speak up for the voice of the masses.

Many people have felt that Singaporeans have finally unite themselves together recently because of several unpopular government policies and this common bond may spell disaster for the ruling party which has all along adopt the divide-and-rule method.

A united common people may eventually topple the current regime.

7. Better candidates from opposition party – against all odds, the opposition parties finally got its act together and contested all the seats less one Tg Pagar GRC during the last election.

We also saw better well-qualified candidates offering themselves for election in 2011 and many are expected to return for the next one.

Top ex-civil servants like Mr Tan Jee Say, Dr Ang Yong Guan, the scholar couple Tony and Hazel Tan all contested previously and are expected to contest once more in the next election.

Many analysts have commented that if there are better-qualified credible opposition candidates, many voters will not mind voting for them especially for those fence sitters. Some Singaporeans somehow still believe in minted degrees and high-powered work experience.

8. Overseas voters – voters from abroad voted for the first time in embassies during the last election and many will likely vote again.

However, less than 15% of overseas Singaporeans vote abroad in GE 2011 and currently about 300,000 Singaporeans work and live abroad so their vote count is significant if everyone seriously consider voting in the next election.

Opposition parties should consider venturing abroad where there is a large concentration of overseas Singaporeans and encourage them to vote in the next election. Australia alone has 30,000 Singaporeans living and working there.

A large percentage of overseas Singaporeans is seen as anti-establishment and that’s why they have pack and go.

Many however find voting abroad inconvenient and the ruling party is not making things easy for them.

Its still too soon to predict how many will find their way to embassies or return home to vote in the next election but their strength is huge and growing.

9. Lack of solid reason – there is also this lack of a solid reason to vote for the ruling party wholeheartedly especially when WP and other opposition parties could provide a good alternative.

In the past, many Singaporeans either could not vote because of a walk-over or the alternative wore sleeper to the polling station but with better choices now, the ruling party candidates has no certainty that they will be voted in. Even the popular George Yeo was ousted from his seat as foreign minister when he lost in Aljunied.

The previous election also saw the final break-through with the fall of Aljunied GRC and this must have sent a nightmarish chill through the tired back of the ruling party.

10. Fall of a GRC – PAP finally lost its first ever GRC to WP during the last election and this is considered a major setback to the party.

There is this fear that other GRCs may give way to the opposition in the next election as the yoke has been broken thus triggering the eventual collapse of the ruling party.

However, this sudden collapse is unrealistic though it is probable that East Coast GRC may be the next to go for the next election.

The loss of a first-ever GRC plus the shocking heavy loss of Punggol East by-election last year have shook the confidence of the ruling party immensely and it is still reeling from the two setback.

By announcing the hugely-unpopular PWP two days after the historic heavy loss of Punggol East SMC, the ruling party is desperately trying to tell the people that it is still calling the shots.

It is envisaged however that PAP will see its majority votes sliding away for the next election probably down to the mid 50 percent mark and they may lose East Coast GRC too.

Only the tricky foreign new citizen votes will provide a ray of hope for them.


Source: www.therealsingapore.com

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