The reality of the PAP is that they prefer the old way of consensus in the past 50 years. However, they are short of the political will and commitment as before. Hence, they do not have the necessary fighting spirit to gain back the consensus that they have lost.
Political commitment and fighting spirit are required under the new political norm. Unfortunately, the more they need it, the less they have it. This is the reality of the PAP and the sad story of this powerful party of the past.
Despite these negative factors, PM Lee still maintains his optimistic of retiring at age 70 and is this the consensus of the people or the PAP or only himself?
And the only political commitment that he can offer to Singaporeans is National Conversation.
There is no free lunch as the PAP always claims. If you don’t pay the price of commitment and fight to win in general election, how can you get your consensus and your mandate? Through National Conversation, may be. But this is far from the political will and commitment.
The past consensus is still the type of consensus that PM Lee still cries high and low. And the mainstream media continuously stresses highly about this type of consensus that is the ‘only’ solution for future Singapore:
PM Lee: Consensus, not the PAP, is bigger question
Without consensus on direction of society, Singapore could be caught in divisive politics(ST, 28 Sept 2012)
If consensus is the real question in future, then the political commitment (and fighting spirit) of the PAP is even a bigger question. Members and leaders of the PAP have not only lost their political commitment, so do their fighting spirit to win in election.
If the PAP believes that they are fighting for a consensus for the people; for the workers; and for the low incomers; then they should fight for it in an inclusive way. A consensus is to respect others – their views, their lifestyle and even their continuous rejection of the PAP.
A consensus cannot be 100% pro-PAP and it must have the elements of yes and no.
Today’s PAP is a party without political commitment and fighting spirit. Life is too comfortable for their leaders and certain members and so when things are not smooth, they quite. When they cannot get consensus, they blame the critics.
By now, we all know that Ong Ye Kung is leaving NTUC. He is the last losing PAP Aljunied GRC candidate to do so after GE2011. All the losing PAP candidates in Aljunied GRC have now kept a distance from politics. They have forgotten that failures are the mothers of successes.
However, even losing the election, Ong is given a respectable job with respectable salary to help the labor movements. With such a comfortable environment, he should take the opportunity to learn from the people and workers and strengthen further his political belief and commitment – the PAP way. Unfortunately, we see none.
If he wants to fight for the workers, he should stay within the NTUC. Unless, the NTUC itself is another ‘wayang’ – nothing to learn in terms of politics, nothing to help in terms of assistance, and of course, nothing to commit as there is no political belief, only a ‘do nothing’ so-called union movements.
The PAP is in the decline. Without the political commitment and the fighting spirit, they can only use the soft and easy approach of National Conversation to get consensus. And of course, this consensus is a chosen one with a selected theme.
They hope, perhaps, for a consensus like the past so that they can have an easy and comfortable job waiting for them. With this in mind, the PM can help a sweet dream and can plan to retire at 70.
But he has his reservation and hesitation as he is not sure whether the PAP will still have the majority in Parliament in 20 years’ time:
If there is a consensus, then having one party with a strong mandate would be possible. If not, it might mean Singapore being mired in the sort of divisive politics that has held up lawmaking in the United States and India, said Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
As such, he did not know whether or not Parliament would be dominated by the PAP in 20 years' time. "I don't know. The question is, will there be a stable consensus in the society on the direction we want to go?(ST, 28 Sept 2012)
He is still dreaming to have a consensus with one-party with strong mandate. He claims that more than one party is bad and it will lead to divisive politics.
Why must consensus have to do with one-party – the PAP?
What consensus are we looking for? The PAP suggested national conversation or others.
Even PM has admitted that the consensus may not be the one proposed by the PAP:
The important question regarding Singapore's political future is not whether the People's Action Party (PAP) will remain dominant, but whether society can maintain a consensus about what the country should be, said the Prime Minister. (ST, 28 Sept 2012)
Is he saying that the PAP is irrelevant in future as far as Singaporeans have a consensus of rejecting the PAP?