“I was in politics for 23 years until I lost in the last election. The opposition leader who beat me, when he was interviewed, said: "We won not because my opponents [meaning me and my team] did not do a good job, but because people wanted us in Parliament." I thought if there was not something that I could change, because it was not something about me, maybe it was time to open a new chapter of my life.”(http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1059881/handling-it-military-precision)
After reading the interview of George Yeo with the South China Morning Post on 13 October 2012, we can conclude that George is acknowledging the political reality in Singapore: voters want to see more opposition in the Parliament even the PAP did nothing wrong.
What happen if the PAP really does something wrong? For example, wrong policy of immigration, housing, transport, education, CPF and even our reserve. Then the demand for opposition voices in the Parliament will be even stronger. Perhaps, George and the PAP leaders have to think twice whether they have done a good job for Singaporeans as good as 20, 30 years ago.
Average Singaporeans will not enjoy the life of a paradise as the Swiss standard of living is no more achievable. However, to the PAP leaders and the rich in Singapore, life is still like a paradise except those losing PAP candidates in 2011. They have to humbly accept the life of ‘businessmen’.
By acknowledging the fact in Singapore politics, George sees no chance of winning back Aljunied GRC in 2016. He could not change the reality and so he decides to be a businessman and escapes from the PAP paradise. The paradise of winning election is just like a piece of cake and drawing the highest ministerial salary in the world need no due justification.
The interview tells us the picture of the future PAP and why they need to have an election campaign of National Conversation as early as possible. They know there is no more paradise of easy election wins even with the strong backing of the government machinery, NTUC, PA, and even GLCs.
It is very likely more opposition candidates are to be elected in the next election and so the preparation for the PAP has to start early rather than later. This can help to reduce the losses of the PAP and may be maintain the status quo – no increase in opposition seats in the Parliament.
George is telling the new political norm: no more paradise for the PAP and to face more competitions, more opposition members of parliament in future.
There is an uncertainty that may be change the reality in Singapore and helps to keep the paradise of the PAP. That is the economy. The Singapore economy is expected to slow down and we have yet to see the impact and seriousness. Being the masters of economic progress and achievements in Singapore, the PAP may once again play the card well and stop the opposition advancements.