Moving forward into the next 5 years, my hope is to see a greater level of fair play in our political arena to avoid unjust results.
For instance, the loss of well-loved George Yeo and the election of the infamous Tin Pei Ling exposes the shortcomings of the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system that was meant to defend the PAP’s stronghold.
The GRC also doesn’t give an accurate reflection of the support to the team of candidates. As my vote is just not for him, but for the whole team which might include weak candidates. And that was what I had told my MP: “I know you personally and see the good work that you are doing for our residents, but I’m not able to say the same with your other team candidates.”
Key changes to address
Moreover, the ruling party has been using this to their advantage in bringing in more numbers and newbies into the parliament. So abolishing the GRC system is the right way forward for fair results in future elections to reflect the true representations from the people.
And it is also a means to secure votes to its favour since the boundaries are drawn according to analysis from past GE results (read this TOC article).
The other more obvious correction is to replace the state-controlled media with a free media that doesn’t report with biasness or favour towards the ruling party.
The PAP using the state-owned media to its advantage by shredding the opposition in pieces with smear tactics that cast doubt over their credibility. The PAP has the right to accuse while the oppositions mostly do not have the right to respond in clarifying.
But if the media still intends to control the media, the very least that could be done is allow more private media agencies to be set up as alternative voices. That would also allow fair play and give voters more sides of the story especially for the older voters who do not rely on the internet but hugely depend and trust on the mainstream media for news.
Finally, there is a need to de-politicised our grassroots groups and agencies which has largely been influenced by the PAP. This machinery has work successfully for the ruling party in garnering support and votes over the years (read this CIA report).
Having said all that, I’m not hopeful for these changes to happen. If these changes do take place, then I would say that the PAP has truly transformed as what has been said in order to be opened and to connect emotionally to the people.
So, in the next GE I think the best approach for opposition parties to contest next time around would be focusing on GRCs by concentrating strong and quality candidates in them instead of contesting SMCs that would spread their limited resources. Winning would accelerate the process towards a first world parliament.
But the true winners at the end of the day are Singaporeans (rich or poor, old or young, educated or not-so-educated, male or female). Because of this GE, many got to vote for the first time (including myself). And because of that became more politically awared and engaged due to the responsibility to vote seriously.
As what good is it to be a citizen if we do not have the right to vote during elections? Therefore, much thanks ought to be given to the opposition for uniting and giving a good fight inspite of the adversities and risks involved in order that we can exercise our right to vote. THANK YOU!
And now for us Singaporeans to unite and move ahead with the newly elected govenment for the next 5 years!