"What mistake has he made? You can take a minister and criticise him for not
delivering on perhaps housing and transport. Like Wong Kan Seng you can say he let Mas Selamat escape. George Yeo, what has he done to deserve this?" - Goh Chok Tong[Link]
Is Goh Chok Tong telling us to vote agianst Mah Bow Tan(housing), Raymond Lim (Transport) and Wong Kan Seng?
"Mr Lee assured Singaporeans that the government will take care of all Singaporeans, including the low- and middle-income group"
"We are upgrading Bishan Park. In a few months, you (will) have a new river in
Singapore, the newest river running along Bishan Park."
"That is something that our residents in Ang Mo Kio will be enjoying. And do you know how much this is going to cost? It's going to cost S$1.2 billion in the next five years - double what we spent in the last five years." - Today, 29 April 2011.
The PAP govt implement means testing so that the middle income people who get sick have to pay more when they visit the hospitals. 2 years ago, they cut the subsidies for the education of children with special needs and the parents of these children have to pay more. When the cost of sending the old to nursing home went up, one minister suggested we send our elderly to JB to save money. One minister went to parliament to explain why he would only increase the aid to the poorest Singaporeans by $1 per day when the cost of living rose.
There is no money to care for the sick, old and poor but the govt has money to build a $1.2B river. I hope highly stressed Singaporeans don't get other ideas when they see the river. When you don't take good care of the people for 5 years, you have to dangle very big upgrading carrots to get their votes. This artificial river in Ang Moh Kio really takes the cake
Pork barrel tactics are a large part of the PAP's campaign. They go round telling residents they will build this and that ...fountains, rivers, air-conditioned interchage, etc. using taxpayers money. These building programmes cost billions and could have been spent to provide better healthcare such as preventive care, better pre-school education for the poor[Link], treatment of children with congenital illness, etc. instead of buying support for the PAP govt.
When you don't do your job well for 5 years, and don't have a leadership vision, you resort to old tricks and tired tactics. One of which is smearing your opponents:
The last election was this big hooha about a form. This time they play up a matter involving a HUDC resident who sent a lawyers' letter "coincidently" on the 5th day of a 10 day election campaign to demand for Hougang town council accounts. You try getting your PAP town council accounts before they finish auditing and see if they will give you a copy.[Low Thia Khiang's explanation] We know while most Singaporeans are intelligent enough to see through such tactics, a few % of the people will fall for it because some doubt is planted in their minds.
The PAP is putting in a lot of effort to prevent a loss in Aljunied. But I suspect it is not going to be just Aljunied that is having a close contest. I've attended election rallies for the last 4-5 elections and I sense that there is a big shift in sentiment. There are some in the crowd that are visibly angry and you feel this growing frustration among Singaporeans. Many friends who have no interest in politics in past elections have started to show interest in the coming elections because they are wondering "what has gone wrong". It is really hard to guess what is going on in the minds of Singaporeans after 5 years.
The assumption that most Singaporeans will vote for the PAP simply because "our streets are safe at night" may not hold true because there are many other things that keep Singaporeans awake at night. The PAP added to the financial squeeze and stress in the middle income family - the large foreign influx caused the cost of cars and private housing to escalate and the govt implemented means testing which affected the middle income the most at a time when they are increasingly worried about rising healthcare cost. The shift in voting may mirror the rise in the number of people who have joined the opposition - people who don't normally join the opposition like Tan Jee Say, Dr. Ang and Chen Show Mao. My personal belief is that the outcome of this election is less certain that what most people think and PAP's poor campaigning has made it even more uncertain.