Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spreading the fear of freak results and losing ministers in GRCs.

The PAP has this strategy of having each GRC helmed by a minister. The idea is make people fearful of "losing a minister" if they vote against the PAP in a GRC. The PAP then puts newcomers in a GRC who get into parliament on the coat-tails exploiting this fear among voters. Yesterday, PM Lee again played up this fear by saying voters "would have to live with the consequence" of voting for the opposition. So is it really that disastrous if a minister is voted out? We have a very expensive civil service which has highly paid permanent secretaries for each ministry and they are further supported by an also very expensive Admin Service. We have seen ministers without any prior experience, say Liu Tuck Yew who was from the navy, move around and head various ministries. This is possible because there is whole civil service infrastructure in place to support decision making. But suppose you're still not convinced and believe the minister to be a "super-being" without whom his ministry will collapse and all those civil servants don't know what to do unless he is around, just rehire him as "mentor permanent secretary" after he loses.

It is really strange how PAP can create this myth that a running small country like Singapore is almost like 10 times more complex than running the USA or UK and people believe them. You see the opposition in other countries, say in UK, taking over after a decade long absence without much problem.

The other favorite fear mongered during Singapore elections is that of a "freak" result. We see the PAP talking about this during every election. The only thing I find "freakish" about our election results is more than one third of Singaporeans vote against the PAP and this one-third is represented by only 2% of the members in parliament - no thanks to the GRC system. The PAP likes to paint a scenario like this[Link] : people actually want the PAP to remain the govt but somehow vote opposition in such large numbers that they become the majority in parliament. If people vote for the opposition in large numbers, it is most likely these people want the PAP to go. If the unlikely outcome of PAP losing the election occurs, it is more due to their tinkering of the election system in the past decades. Their "methods" of winning elections - use of propaganda, upgrading pork barrel and GRCs + gerrymandering - have an outside chance of backfiring badly on them. The PAP has become dependent on propaganda style of disseminating information which often results in oversimplication and one-sided arguments that many, especially the newer generation, find deceptive and this is being rendered useless by the Internet.  Increasing number of people now view their upgrading pork barrel tactics negatively and as something unfair and undemocratic. GRCs and gerrymandering with the electoral boundaries to spread out supporters in a way to gain as many seats as possible and spread the margin of safety. However, if there is an unforeseen swing in votes they will be hit badly losing more seats than if they had more concentration of support within a stronger GRC.

It is not expected for the PAP to lose this elections - despite what they have done in recent years, they still enjoy the goodwill from the 70s right up to early 90s. Reminds me of the Japanese LDP govt that went on and on for years long after they were bad enough to be thrown out. If the remote (I would say negligible) possibility of the PAP losing this elections occur, it will be because of their policies and tactics which have lost them many supporters in the last few years not due to voters making a "freakish" mistake of voting opposition when they really want the PAP.

The outcome most Singaporeans want in this elections is a more balanced 1st world parliament. They want more balanced policies and know they cannot get that with a parliament dominated by the PAP. Once the nomination is done and campaigning begins, it will become very clear where the "hot seats" are and it is a matter of Singaporeans overcoming their own fears to get what they want for the long term good for Singapore, a better future for themselves and their families. This elections, even die-hard PAP supporters have to agree (unless they are unreasonable people)  that the opposition has very good highly qualified people who can contribute. If these people don't win due to what many see as unfair PAP tactics, frustration with the PAP is going to mount further polarising the large segment of the population (now >33%) that don't support the PAP and that is actually not good for the PAP. There are genuine philosophical and ideological difference among the citizens. PAP policies don't benefit everyone and I would argue that in recent years they don't even benefit the majority. This country has to start changing direction soon or it will have to do so in a more abrupt manner in the future. I think in 2006, voters gave the PAP a chance to remake itself under a new PM. However, to their disappointment, the PAP appeared to have remade itself in the wrong direction - unbalanced policies like foreign talent policy became even more unbalanced, income gap got bigger, GST was hiked, minister pay increased and expensive public housing became more expensive. The PAP spent the last 4+ years demonstrating to the people the need for a strong opposition in parliament! ..and I believe this is what they are going to get in the coming election.
PM Lee: No by-election if PAP loses a GRC

By Rachel Chang

IF A GRC is lost at the May 7
General Election - and a Minister along with it - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
does not plan to call a by-election to try and get him elected and back into
government, he told the Lianhe Zaobao Chinese daily.

'Elections are a serious thing,' he said in an interview published on Tuesday 'The voters have
decided, and we will accept the voters' decision.'

He added that voters, too, would have to live with the consequences of their choice to turf a Minister

'There are no safety nets in real life. So it's best not to take
the risk.'


Anonymous said...

i find it boring that PAP has to always play on the fear card... heck if AMK GRC looses... we will be without a PM, that would even be more mouth watering :)

Anonymous said...

If there is a freak result, it is their own doing.

Singapore as a country must have the resilience to withstand regime change.

It is not a question of will PAP fail one day but it is a question of when. In history, no dynasty, political party and kingdom can rule forever.

If Singapore cannot withstand a regime change then it is destiny for Singapore to be gone like the ancient lost kingdom.

Amused said...

'There are no safety nets in real life. So it's best not to take the risk.'

That is the worse thing a PM can say to its young citizens. With that kind of ingrained psyche, a nation is doomed. No wonder there are no entrepreneurship in Singaporeans. That's why the PAP is filled with YES-men because no one wants to rock the boat.

Anonymous said...

"There are no safety nets in life"

How come the PM doesn't apply this rule to himself as well? Should he not accept that his position should be earned?

Why is there a cooling off period? If there is no safety net, why have a cooling off day?

Singaporeans who migrated from Singapore are precisely moving to countries where there is a safety net for competence and compassion.

We would be risking our future if we put all our eggs in one PAP basket. Lately, I've observed smear tactics from the incumbent yet again.

There is still a long way for Singaporeans to go. But I suppose you can't stop the people from wanting change.

I read with disgust when I saw a news clip where Minister Mah got and obviously trimmed clips of Singaporeans being contented with their BTO.

THis is a misrepresentation of what is happening on the ground as young Singaporeans DO NOT want to wait for 3-4 years for their nest.

And he is still as stubborn and deaf as ever, so we need to send a message before he screws up the HDB problem even worse that WKS letting Mas Selamat go.

Anonymous said...

I keep changing constituencies for every election even though I live in the same flat in Jurong West. How does one always change constituencies when one's HDB flat is still in the same spot?

Pray explain this logic to me. Redrawing electoral boundaries are actions of hybrid regime. Where is the democracy? Democracy first, then talk about bread and butter issues. Without democracy, you can't even buy a loaf of bread.

Anonymous said...

Freak results? That's what we have been getting in all the past elections where opposition only wins 2 seats out of a possible 84 seats.

Let's hope more people realise that it is now or never to get as many oppositions into the parliament.

Anonymous said...

What PM Lee said is understandable.

But what is understandable may not necessarily be what is right.

Suppose you ask a porridge seller "Is your porridge delicious?"

If he said yes, that of course is understandable.

But that doesn't really mean it is delicious, or at least to your taste. And obviously it will be judged after you had tasted it, and regardless of what the seller says.

So, please don't get too work up with all those talk (negative, positive, big, small, below or above belt, etc etc) from the PAP or opposition, as it is understandable.

Vote according to your "taste".

And whichever side which fits the "taste" of majority voters wins the election! Simple as that.

Noise pollution said...

Absolutely spot on, Lucky!
I have had enough of the fear-mongering and arrogance of the MIW. I am going to vote them out to shut them up once and for all. Very noisy bunch!

Ben said...

I have never voted before and I think I will not get to vote this round coming from TPGRC. I have done what I am able to do by donating to the opposition parties the total amount of Grow and Share dividends received. Please join me.

Anonymous said...

And so what if I lose the current Minister of Education.

Nothing will change.

My kids will still require private tuition because the schools do not have enough teachers and resources to adequately cover the syllabus.

Class size will remain at 40 plus students per class.
Unless it's a GIFTED programme class.

I'd rather have a monkey as the Minister of Education.

At least I can pay the monkey peanuts for doing nothing.

Tell me honestly.

How many of you out there know the name of the current Minister of Education?

GoBlok said...

Dear readers, for further information on how the PAP run our country, plse read the following research at.....
Hopefully it will explain why the PAP is chest beating.

hayek said...

My kids will still require private tuition because the schools do not have enough teachers and resources to adequately cover the syllabus.

I can tell you as a former teacher that MOE is corrupt beyond your wildest imagination.

Kids going to school nowadays are being poisoned by a bunch of crackpot, eunuch, harlem-bitch and whore.

Our education system is being bail out by private tutors. Yet MOE continue to brag and brag.

GoBlok said...

Oops sorry netizens, heres the full link....

Anonymous said...

I think it is critical that the electorate is reminded of the importance of GE 2011.

Lucky’s article above is a very important reminder of how things will play out in the next few days. As I see it, the main moot point will not be housing, cost of living, foreigners etc. As we draw nearer to May 7, the PAP will increasingly play the fear card, they will continue to drum the unfounded concern of a “freak” election result in the minds of the electorate.

Voters MUST be reminded of the following 3 salient points:

1. There is no such thing as a “freak” election result. Election results are the will of the people. It is the will of the people whether or not the PAP loses its 2/3 parliamentary majority, whether the PAP loses 50% of the seats or whether the PAP returns to power with all 87 seats. Voters must not pressured by the scare tactics of the incumbent, indeed I believe the PAP will use this unfounded concern that many Singaporeans embrace as leverage against the electorate as May 7 draws closer.
2. No minister is indispensible. Likewise, Singapore will not languish if the PAP is not returned to power. There are many credible and extremely well qualified candidates in the opposition who have a proven track record and who can craft better policies to run the country. The Civil Service is also present to assist in the running of the Government.
3. The opposition has Singaporeans interests at heart. The opposition does not want to destroy the country, nor the economy, nor the social fabric of the nation. Instead, the opposition wants to give Singaporeans a voice and make this country a more livable, inclusive society for Singaporeans from all walks of life. The opposition needs the mandate from Singaporeans now more than ever.

Therefore, can I humbly suggest that all opposition parties hold a joint press conference on 5 May 2011 before cooling-off day to address this issue.

The solidarity of the opposition in wanting to champion the rights of Singaporeans to make this country a real home MUST come across to the electorate.

Anonymous said...

I second the point brought out by the above anon.

But I would suggest that the meeting take place. Have a good moderator but keep the meeting short, so that it won't encroach too much on the walkabouts that is needed.

After that meeting, CNA could broadcast it too just before cooling off day.

The opposition should debunct every single blatant misrepresentation that the government puts out.

I agree with many netizens that this government has lost its way.

This 7 May, let's vote for change. Let's vote for justice.

Anonymous said...

Before the 'freak' election result, the PAP People are already in great freakish mood.


Anonymous said...


For those of you who are looking for regular updates on Temasek Review, you may do so by setting up a Facebook account and then subscribe to Temasek Review in the account.

You will be getting commentaries and exchanges with Singaporeans without being impeded.

Unless, of course, Facebook's connectivity is being tampered with.

Good luck and Majulah Singapura!


Anonymous said...

Take your family out and enjoy their company on Cooling Off Day.

Let the MSM spout whatever last minute 'propagada' that it wishes.

Anonymous said...

There should probably be no fear of freak elections results if communications between the people and the government has been a 2 way process. Unless or apparently it has not been the case for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

To re-quote a famous quote taken from a real hands on lead in the front and always for the people politician Mr. Theodore Rooselvelt in his key speech...

"We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear itself".

A honest politician and one who factually and truely took care and stood by his citizens.

And this is a truely wise politician Singapore must and need to have. Google/yahoo/wiki this real great man who fights for the people and the poor and those who can't speak!

We do not need pesudo scholar politicians who are certified on bits of paper as intelligent...but has shown in so many ways and too many truely lacking they are in the most critical area...which is real wisdom.

Good day!

Alan Wong said...

Our PAP leaders still think that the typical Singaporean especially the younger generation do not have a mind of their own and still treat us like fools for granted.

See how he has learned all the bad tricks from his mentor father. Instead of telling voters to vote with confidence what they thinks is best for themselves and the country, he threatens them that they will lose out in upgrading benefits if they do not vote for the incumbent.

Is that the kind of PM we want ?

Anonymous said...

We cannot access this link:

Any netizen cares to reproduce it for others to read if it is an interesting report. Thanks.

Kaffein said...

Funny thin is there is already no safety-net now. So what is PM Lee really referring to? If you vote opposition, there are greater chances of safety nets.


Amused said...

The full address is:

[One line]

Anonymous said...

it is pathetic hiding behind the undemocratic curtain trying to sway voters in this internet era where real information comes and goes for all to see without self censorship, hypocrisy, or pretense.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 27/4/2011 11:16
Well, the statement that the incumbent party will allow for 9 NCMPs from the best of the "losers" in the elections to allow the people's voices to be heard sounds like a statement that gives away that the incumbent really does not know what the average person on the streets worry about.

Anonymous said...

Thank you GoBlok!!

The article really hit the nail at the right place.


But this interpretation of Confucian ideals was highly selective, and often
intentionally perverse (Beng, 1995:28-31). And as Sen notes (1997:34),
[T]he reading of Confucianism that is now standard among authoritarian
champions of Asian values does less than justice to Confucius’s own
teachings…Confucius did not recommend blind allegiance to the state. When Zilu
asks him ‘how to serve a prince,’ Confucius replies: ‘Tell him the truth even if it
offends him.’ The censors in Singapore or Beijing would take a very different view.
As a result, it appears that Lee’s application of Confucianism was not a direct
reflection of his personal perspective or his desire to integrate its principles, but
instead an extension of his desire to utilise religious ideology as a tool for


Anonymous said...

If the ruling party loses, it is very likely some of their policies and attitude did not go down too well with the broad segment of the electorate. Similarly if a student fail his test, it is very likely he did not put in enough effort in his studies. I dont know what to say. What so freakish about the result if it is one's own doing. Politics is no rocket science.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps LHL should also clarify what would happen if a minister is not elected as MP, would he be "sneaked in" into other government agencies? The cost of failures should be high to ensure that MPs & ministers are not complacent.

Anonymous said...

Who will help or listen to us, poor voters?

Trebuchet said...

Of course we can afford to lose a minister. Here are the words of Goh Keng Swee, 22 Feb 1981, Singapore Conference Hall, inauguration of Schools Council:

"There is one extraordinary fact about a government minister — here or elsewhere — which few members of the public are aware of. This is that his ignorance of the subject he is in charge of greatly exceeds his knowledge of it. Ministers naturally seldom draw attention to this, but I assure you that this is true; anyway, in my case, it is.

This is not a public confession and the position is not as alarming as it looks. In modern society, it is not possible for the head of an organisation to know more than a small fraction of what goes on within it. It may be otherwise in primitive societies. The chief of a small group of primitive savages is better informed of what goes on in his village than, say, the President of General Motors is about his corporation.

The modern executive chief may be armed with a whole battery of computers while the village chief is not, but he knows less. Even so, the village chief may not understand everything, and so he usually has a witch doctor upon whom he depends when events pass his comprehension. Perhaps the only creature who possesses a total information system of which he has complete grasp is the patriarch of a troop of baboons. I have not come across any reference in the literature to the practice of witchcraft among baboons."

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this freak election results of seeing, WKS, MBT, RL and even GCT and VB saying bye-bye to their front row seats in parliament.

1sly, tax payers will save a couple of million of SGDs.

2dly, these are non-performing ministers who didn't improve the standard of living for me and my family. Congestion on the roads, shopping malls, public transport...

3rdly, their arrogance and they are truly out of touch with the concerns and daily challenges faced by ordinary Singaporean.

I want new fresh faces looking after my concerns. The PAP MPs are broken and needs to be changed.

Anonymous said...

Don't just talk

Vote for Opposition Party

Any opposition party will do

Just vote the PAP out, Vote for the Opposition Party for the sake of your fellow Singaporeans, for the sake of your children and for yourself

Despite what the PAP has done for the past years, if Opposition Party still cannot get a strong mandate this election, i cannot imagine what future lies ahead of the Opposition Parties and Singaporeans

People in Aljunied, Bishan Toa Payoh, Tampines, Potong Pasir and Hougang, you are our best bets. All eyes are on you! Please do all of us a favor

Anonymous said...

I agree with PM Lee that there should be no by elections once we voters vote to throw out a minister. That's the whole point of elections to begin with, isn't it? That we vote for the team that is most able to represent us, and discard the self-serving ones.

PM Lee's ineffectual threat reminds me of a desperate merchant who tries to sell by saying "Last day offer only. You walk away, no more! "

Singaporeans have to remember who are really the masters of this country.


Anonymous said...

speech from chee soon juan nearly hit 100,000 just a few days.

Anonymous said...

We ain't scared anymore. I have never voted for PAP and never will. They have caused too much pain and suffering for many of us. I am in Ang Mo Kio GRC and PM Lee how I wish this is my farewell note to you and your A team. I say vote the PAP out and make them history. Thank you

GeekyCoder said...

Please remember for those who harbour the thought that if you vote the opp party, you are essentially losing good minister. This is pure nonsense as this doesn't have to be this way if Singapore truly a democratic society. Who create the rule to play this game ? It is none other than MM Lee and PAP. Just as they create this rule to create dilemma, Singaporeans can choose to abolish this rule.

The rules are to be made for benefit of Singaporeans, not to be mis-abused by the incumbent party. We the citizens decide whether the minister deserve to serve the people of Singapore, not PAP nor any party. Let this be clear.

If the minister is good and love the country, he will be more willing to serve the country regardless of pay reduction, and this is best legacy a minister can give to himself (eg George Yeo).

Anonymous said...

Nobody is indispensable...there must always be in place a succession plan

So this is just will not work!

Fool us once shame on us, Fool us twice Shame on You said...

It won't truly have success, I consider this way.