Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A different Johor means better and stronger oppositions in Singapore


What do I mean by a different Johor? It means a state no more a ‘fixed deposit’ for UNMO and Barisan Nasional. Voters (especially Chinese voters) in Johor will follow the mainstream voters in Malaysia in rejecting BN on 5 May 2013 and become less ‘influenced’ from Singapore.

Malaysian Nanyang reported yesterday BN may lose 10 federal and 16 state seats to PR in the coming election in Johor state. If this is true, this will be the first time, BN is losing so much ‘fixed deposits’ to the oppositions in Johor.  BN only lost 1 federal seat in 2008.

Because of this development, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin brought out the case of Singapore to caution and warn Johor voters. In today’s Sin Chew, the DPM said Singaporeans were worried about a win of DAP Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah parliament constituency and the aftermath of the slow development in Iskandar.   

Perhaps, he is referring to the People’s Action Party not the ordinary people of Singapore. The PAP, likes UNMO, has been the dominant party in Singapore for more than 50 years. A fall of BN government means the PAP may follow the same route years later.     

Alternative parties in Singapore would like to see a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) win in Malaysia GE 2013.  There are many things Singapore oppositions can learn from PR including the election strategies and recruitment of high quality candidates.

Singapore has more influences in Johor?   

Many Chinese Johoreans are working in Singapore. Their children are educating in Singapore schools and most importantly, they listen and watch Mediacorp programs (TV8, channelU, 958 etc.).  When Kuala Lumpur or Penang experienced reformasi movements or even Bersih clean election movements, Chinese Johoreans were less concerns about these.

They act and behave differently from other northern Malaysians.  Not only the Chinese are different, the Malays in Johor are also different.      
[Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Johor was very important for the coalition as it was the place where the struggle for modern Malaysia began. Najib said the state's culture of moderation and accommodation known as "The Johor Way" had contributed greatly to its success. He said "The Johor Way" included the moderate and accommodating practices adopted by the state Barisan Nasional-led government, which had seen Johor prosper and remain free of any serious conflict.]http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20130430-419314.html

‘The Johor Way’ looks more like a BN way and an UNMO way of deposit.   In some ways, it is also similar to the PAP’s ‘The Singapore Way’.   Group Representative Constituencies are the PAP’s way of election deposits.   However, we have seen the breakthrough in Aljunied.  So, the Johor voters saw this in 2011 and later they also saw the 2 by-elections defeats of the PAP.   As a result, they begin to ask why?   

The PAP is such a strong and capable political party in the world and yet it still can lose ‘election fixed deposit’, then how about Johor state? How about Malaysia as a whole? BN government in many ways is less efficient, less effective and less transparent than the PAP.  Even that the PAP begins to lose deposit as Singapore voters look for change!

So, Chinese Johorean voters saw the political change in Singapore. And now, they are given the opportunity to join the ‘change’ movement due to the strong presence of PR, especially the DAP.

A breakthrough in Johor is important to PR.  This is their strategy to gain more seats in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak so that they can have enough parliament seats to form the federal government.

A change of government is in the making in Malaysia. We welcome the change as we believe a stronger Malaysia is good for Singapore and Singapore oppositions.
[Pakatan Rakyat offers justice, peace and equality for all. This commitment will be met by implementing our clean administrative approach together with robust implementation of our policies. We are a clean and transparent government. Our administration is based on good governance guided by moral principles and universal values. Under our administration, we shall ensure fair and effective distribution of our abundant national wealth, resulting in a marked rise in the quality and standard of living of the people.]http://pakatanrakyat.my/files/ENG-Manifesto-BOOK.pdf

Look like the luck is at PR side.

Luck is not at Najib side

Malaysian PM’s intended visit to Chinese-funded Southern University College was to get closer to the Chinese community.  However, a supposed good publicity has turned into a nightmare to BN.      
[BN supporters molested us at Najib event, claim studentsTwo 19-year-old students of Southern University College have claimed that they were sexually molested by several BN supporters during caretaker Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's function at their university yesterday.]http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/228491
DAP Lim Kit Siang is quick to ask voters to think twice about voting BN. He said if a PM cannot control his own men, how can he run the country?

Monday, 29 April 2013

两线制取决于政治人才和拼搏精神

好羡慕马来西亚在野党有这么多优秀候选人!也只有如此,才有可能制造国会的两线制,才有可能出现替代政府。新加坡在民联的激励下,能否有更多优秀人才和具有拼搏献身政治的人加入在野党呢?
马来西亚在野党联盟-民联三党在这次大选中推出来的候选人,如果不是和国阵旗鼓相当,就是胜过对方。再加上,民联的候选人和党工的拼搏精神,热心献身政治活动的精神,505换政府,也是应得的。

因此,我们希望民联能够迎头赶上,在否定三分二的基础上,顺利入主布城。创造一个更公平的马来西亚。说来颇具讽刺的,当年加入马来西亚的新加坡行动党,提倡的‘一个马来西亚人的马来西亚’很可能就将由安华来完成这项历史使命。 
【民联的承诺是为了确保人民的公正、和谐与平等。 
 人民宣言根值于四大基石──同胞互助、人民经济、人民福利及人民政府。 
 消灭一切族群歧视及社会各群体之间的挑衅,以保障人民和睦与团结】 
http://www.pakatanrakyat.my/files/MANDARIN-Manifesto-BOOK.pdf

看了尚达曼的海峡专访,再看张有福的早报专访,大家好像都认为他们坦白,说出事实。但是,在坦白和事实背后,很可能隐藏着一个行动党的大问题,大挑战:纳吉的困境,纳吉一马活动无法扭转选情,也不就是行动党的困境,行动党全国对话无法唤回人心的现实吗?

当然,纳吉的问题更加严重,为了胜选,他只要能够胜选的候选人,不管黑猫白猫,连极端人选都可以,而在肃贪问题上,也不尽人意。或许,人民行动党到了那一步,也会和纳吉一样,只要能够赢得选举的人,即使撕裂族群,伤害社会和谐,只要继续执政,就会不择手段玩政治游戏。天才会知道是否如此,到时再看吧。

张有福专访的深一层思考

优秀候选人还需要打拼精神
空降优秀候选人虽然是一个问题,但是,候选人的拼搏精神,党工的协助,团队的精神,党的支援等等都不容忽视。
【张有福说, 行动党现有的遴选机制更多是选出高学历、学业成绩优异的候选人。行动党需要打造更包容的形象, 过去我们能以我们的候选人学业成绩较优异取胜, 可是这次的补选显示, 这招已行不通。】(早报 428日)

张有福说的补选就是榜鹅东。或许,你看看工人党怎么样打这场补选,再看看行动党怎么样打这场补选,你就会分出他们的不同。

如果你看看民联是如何把最好的人才集中起来攻打柔佛州,如何调派党工,配合志愿人士,当地支持者,这种拼搏精神,这种为政治献身的勇气,或许,行动党要回到50,60年代才有。很不幸的,行动党失去了这个精神,对手却偏偏开始学习如何运用这些策略。

这一来一往,再加上民联胜选的鼓励,尚达曼所说的一个强大的反对党对新加坡有利,的确能够实现。而再进一步就是取而代之。

终于承认集选区占了便宜
人民行动党躲躲藏藏了几十年,不认集选区对行动党有利的谎言,终于被张有福给认了。 
【多人集选区的漏洞让行动党和反对党都占便宜, 因此张有福相信, 较小的集选区是较公平的赛场, 也让集选区制度更忠于确保少数种族代表的宗旨。】(早报 428日)

当然,他还是要把反对党拖下水。工人党才第一次得到甜头,张有福就把这笔账这么快的算上了。如果没有阿裕尼的突破,他会不会这么说呢?他甚至还说小集选区,即使两个人的集选区,也能确保少数种族代表。突然之间,集选区的目的和宗旨,在张有福眼中,可以来个大转变。

到底这是坦白,还是在现实面前低头。不得不承认集选区也是有风险的,赢得多,输得也多。行动党终于明白高回报也要面对高风险,不像以前那样,高回报,无风险。这个时代已经结束了。

在野党没有人才是过去式
不过,最大的风险,就是假设在野党没有人才,没有足够的候选人。这个假设已经不能成立了。虽然,新加坡在野党还不可能发展到马来西亚民联的地步,但是,随着外在的鼓励,再加上内部政治新常态,人心思变,年轻人要有话语权,行动党已经不能像以前那样,威迫利诱人们不参与政治活动。
【集选区制度只在反对党缺乏人才时有利于行动党, 如今反对党规模日渐壮大, 所谓的较弱候选人可搭较强候选人的顺风车进入国会的情况, 也可能发生在反对党, 因此把集选区缩小有助于减少这类有欠公平的情况。】(早报 428日)

张有福也承认,有些行动党候选人是搭集选区的顺风车进入国会。不过,他还是没有胆量建议放弃集选区这个不民主,不公平,而被行动党扭曲的选举制度。所以,我们有必要看清张有福坦白和说真话的背后,他和尚达曼的专访,是不是行动党在表演双簧,让人看不清事实的真相。

看不看得清楚,历史走到这一步,已经无法回头了。集选区造的孽,行动党现任和将来的领袖就要承担。当年设计这个集选区,的确让行动党拖延寿命,继续政权到今天。但是,这个代价却要由行动党目前的领导来接手负责。偏偏这个时候,行动党出现青黄不接,信心危机,人才减少,离心增加,精神不振等等问题。

行动党何去何从?会不会出现马华那样的乌龙广告?

http://sphotos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/20995_513951431974773_1202886731_n.jpg
(注意:广告里的行动党指的是马来西亚的民主行动党, 同时,回教党已经正名为伊斯兰党))

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Should we charge PAP infrastructure costs prior and during election?

Losing money building and selling HDB flats – is this another frog thinking of the PAP? 
Based on the pricing of HDB flats, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan seems to suggest YES.  We must charge the PAP for the use of public infrastructure. Besides considering the value of lands, he suggests we have to consider the infrastructure costs, like roads and MRT in pricing HDB flats.

Now compare this to every election in the past and the one in 2016. What are the infrastructure costs for the PAP before and during the election? Of course, these come from the use of public institutions, main stream media, the so-called public funded grassroots organisations, the friendly unions and not to forget the election department. Some may argue unions and MSM are not private-owned infrastructure and so they should be excluded.  You judge for yourself whether you accept this argument.
  
Accordingly to Mr Khaw, you need to consider these basic costs as there are no free lunches in this world.  But how come, we cannot charge the PAP for incurring these costs out of the pocket of tax payers.

Before I go further, here is the original speech of Mr Khaw:
"You need to acquire a piece of land; you need to reclaim a piece of land. All those costs money to tax payers and we are just trustees of tax payers and those costs are to be accounted for. And even when you have got that land prepared, and then land is only valuable when we invest in infrastructure, roads, MRT, etc etc. And all those costs billions of dollars. So to say that land cost is pittance and therefore should be excluded from total construction cost; I myself think it is not quite an appropriate argument." http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/hdb-is-not-making-money-out-of-building-homes-says-national-development-minister-khaw-boon-wan-1

So, the PAP is only the trustee of tax payers. Buying a piece of land for HDB flats costs public money. Establishing and making use of the public institutions, grassroots organisations are also using public money.  Why is the PAP not considering this a cost? Why only the PAP can have free ride on using these facilities and infrastructures?

Has the trustee of tax payers and public money fairly discharge its duty? There is no infrastructure cost when it is for the PAP, for example the use of community centres, schools, even libraries.  On the other hand, however, infrastructure cost is charged to flat buyers. Buyers must pay for the land and infrastructure costs.   

So, Mr Khaw talks about infrastructure cost.  Do foreign investors pay infrastructure cost? Why are we spending so much money in Suzhou Industrial Park to develop the infrastructure? Can we charge the investors?

We want investors to make contributions to our country. We invest and improve the infrastructure in advance. Otherwise, investors will not come. Public housing is an investment on the people. But HDB flat buyers are treated differently.  They have to pay the market value for the lands and the infrastructure costs.    

So, the government is not treating the selling of flats as an investment on its citizens!

What is the political infrastructure cost for the PAP? Oh, you may consider SG Conversation and all related publicities as one. You can also consider Population White Paper as another one.  They use the public infrastructure without paying the infrastructure cost. They are campaigning in advance for GE2016 without paying infrastructure cost as compared to HDB flat buyers.   

Of course, these costs are not included in the election declaration of expenses for the PAP candidates.

No wonder, the PAP is enjoying huge economic profits as I argued in my previous postings. The PAP’s mind-set is these are not costs to them. Anywhere, tax payers have to settle the bills of infrastructure development.

This is why there is a double standard here. HDB is not making money in fact losing money for every flat sold because it needs to pay for the land and infrastructure.   Any costs incurred will add on the selling price of a flat.  

However, the PAP is not paying the use of public institutions before and during election.  How can we ask them to pay the infrastructure costs? Perhaps, the only way is to vote them out.   

Back to the frog and butterfly story, the PAP thinks of themselves as butterflies and treats the citizens as frogs. Once we look at the infrastructure costs, we begin to realise who is the frog and who is the butterfly. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

蝴蝶声影青蛙动作,怪怪的新加坡?


尚达曼最近接受《海峡时报》两小时访问,提出一些有别于人民行动党的一般言论,让人耳目一新,展现出行动党开明的一面,尤其是他认为在野党和社交媒体能为国家做出贡献,国人网民对政策发表意见是一种健康的进化进展。但是,他的回答即是青蛙也是蝴蝶,尤其是没有考虑到外在的互动,选民和在野党的素质变化。

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6lFHuBKKn6w/UFHmAM5eQBI/AAAAAAAAHXU/d6QOBFjXcfw/s1600/frog+and+butterfly.jpg

为什么说新加坡怪怪的呢?我们一方面强调包容性,全国对话更要在素质上探讨人文生活,但是,另一方面,又要收紧,作为国际化的城市,竟然自我封闭,看不出开放。或许,这是行动党的更年期,情绪的 好坏说不准,有时可以,有时不可以。看来国人还要给行动党一些时间来处理心理问题。

新加坡最近有点怪怪的。时而有青蛙出现,时而蝴蝶飞舞,搞不清到底我们在思维上是否有所突破,还是原地踏步。在《行动党的推理:客观蝴蝶乐,主观青蛙悲》http://pijitailai.blogspot.sg/2013/03/blog-post_11.html 一文中,行动党希望人民客观的看问题,不要做主观意识很强的青蛙。

那么,到底我们是主观还是客观的对待以下的问题:

评论政治的漫画工作者,作品具有煽动性,被逮捕被调查,到底谁是蝴蝶,谁是青蛙?

五一劳动节的芳林公园集会,需要警方的准证,非新加坡公民不得参与。新加坡作为一个国际城市,难道还要以青蛙心态来面对外来的蝴蝶吗?

马来专业人士协会的一位董事,因为参与政党活动和芳林集会,两位部长表示关切,政府考虑不给于协会财政津贴。因此,是谁在扮演青蛙,是谁在扮演蝴蝶?

我国车牌,马来西亚车主,插了民联的旗帜,在马来西亚行驶,到底有没有青蛙蝴蝶梦?

游子回家投票,影响我们人手短缺。当我们看到人家为了争取一张选票的投票权,而做出个人牺牲,是否觉得自己是青蛙看到了花蝴蝶的影子了?

超级富豪花5万元来新加坡玩,到底他们是来看青蛙跳跃还是蝴蝶飞舞?


白衣人的背后,青蛙与蝴蝶齐飞。

在野党的贡献
在尚达曼还未认可在野党的贡献前,选民已经认可了。只是当时这些选民属于少数,在安顺,在波东巴西, 在后港。因此,尚达曼公开表态认可在野党的贡献和制衡作用,被认为是开明之举。 
【我不知道多少(在野党议员)的人数(才合理)。但是,我们必须接受一个健康的政治体系应该要有足够数量的在野党议员在国会内外活动。一个负责任的在野党,在我看来,应该能为新加坡做出贡献。】I don't have a number in my mind but we have to accept that part of a healthy political system is one with a decent opposition presence in Parliament and outside, and a responsible opposition will, I think, be able to contribute to Singapore.http://www.singapolitics.sg/features/ask-dpm-tharman-full-transcript/page/0/2
坦白说,行动党和在野党议员人数多少才是合理,应该由选民决定,尚达曼心理没有这个数目,也是合理的。只是,我们要如何定义“负责任”。什么是一个负责任的在野党?行动党有一天变成在野党,那它又是不是负责任的在野党呢?

这就要看是青蛙还是蝴蝶心态了。青蛙的话,就是井里面能够齐进多少人就多少议员。蝴蝶的心态就不一样,无所谓,大家自由的飞来飞去,随选民的意愿来决定。可惜,行动党很可能不是这样想,负责任的在野党议员人数,不能太多,太多就很可能出现不稳定,影响投资者的信心,影响超级富豪来新加坡游玩的雅兴。

尚达曼同意一个强大在野党对行动党和新加坡有利。2011年大选后,局势的发展也更为良好。 
【我想新加坡现在更好,更多人参与。更多人为新加坡着想,发表他们的意见。】I think Singapore is better off because people are much more engaged now. Many more people are thinking about Singapore, expressing their views.

活跃社交媒体的好处
意见的发表,当然就跟社交媒体有关了。 
【事实上,有个活跃的社交媒体是个加分。它会经过几个阶段。这还在演化中。我们现在还是处于绝对批评政府的阶段。】the fact that you've got an active social media is a plus. It'll go through phases. I think it's still evolving. We're still in a phase where it is overwhelmingly critical of Government
尚达曼希望社交媒体可以进化到在网上进行辩论。但是,最后的结局: 
【社交媒体可以尖锐的批评政府,或许,都是如此。社交媒体是一个有用的制衡。但是,人们对网上的言论也应该多加存疑。】The social media can be critical of government and probably always will be. It's a useful check. But people have to be a lot more sceptical about what's put out there as well.
一方面肯定社交媒体的贡献和制衡作用,一方面要对它存疑,是不是说有时要做青蛙,有时要扮演蝴蝶,这可不容易拿捏的准。行动党可有这个高智慧,做青蛙和扮演蝴蝶,两者都很像。

尚达曼认为,行动党有这样的人才。他认为,年轻部长中,有这样的总理人选。 
【是的。我认为(现在这一批年轻部长中有未来的总理人选)。但是,我不告诉你他是谁。】 Yes, I do but I can't tell you who I think it is.
这个人是谁?他是青蛙型的,还是蝴蝶型的?或许,尚达曼也没有看清楚。无论如何,这只是行动党的理想境界。它没有考虑到外面的世界,在野党的变化,选民的偏好,还有网民的评论。

现任总理想做到2020年,当然,2016年大选,行动党再度执政,这个当然有可能。之后呢,这就很难说了。行动党一直假定在野党没有人才,没有足够高素质候选人,当然,就不会对它造成威胁。

事情的演化,往往出人意料,或许,行动党这只自认的蝴蝶,演化成青蛙,没有看到整个局势的变化,最后,只能在井底看天下。

对行动党来说,下面这条新闻,简直就是一个恶运。
【马大民主与选举研究中心民调显示,43%受访选民认为公正党实权领袖安华有资格担任大马首相,而原任首相纳吉却只得39%人支持。两人微幅差距4% 
不过,单就马来选民而言,安华与纳吉的差距拉得更大,安华获得54%的支持率,而纳吉有28%,差距高达26%
对首投族来说,48%认为安华有资格担任首相,而纳吉以25%落后,两人差距23%http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/228048
或许,命运的安排就是如此。尚达曼或许是行动党的一只蝴蝶,但是,行动党还有更多的青蛙,这些青蛙根本没有看到自己的将来,也不知道为何会出现上面怪怪的事情。

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sustainable Economic Profits for A Dynamic People’s Action Party?


Executive Summary

Introduction

Singapore Inc., as it is called internationally, is how Singapore as a country is run by People’s Action Party (PAP). Business excellence and strategic tools are frequently used in public administration and companies to achieve Singapore Quality Class and Award.      

Strategist’s toolkit is suitable and relevant to analyze the PAP performance. A ‘new normal’ political climate has arrived and more competitions are expected. The development will reduce the PAP’s economic profits in the coming elections.
   
Economic profits mean the PAP is getting more parliament seats in proportion to the votes obtained in the election.

Situations, Problems and Solutions

The PAP is a dominant political party and since 1959, it has been in power and faces little challenges except in the early years.

It usually controls more than 90% of the parliament seats and so this is called a ‘one-party’ state.  Things have begun to change and in the election in 2016, the PAP may lose its two-third majority in parliament. Or in the worst case scenario though a remote chance, the party may lose the government in a freak election.

Economic profits are derived mainly from monopoly power, design capability and innovation dynamics. When facing past political challenges, the PAP is always able to tackle the situations, solve the problems and come out with relevant solutions. Monopoly, by preventing entry or creating obstacles, is the key success factor contributing to PAP’s economic profits.   

External and internal environment do not paint a good picture for the PAP. Governments changes outside Singapore whether peacefully or violently are common and even take places in nearby countries.

The environment analysis indicates more dissatisfaction, more demands, and new technology challenges.

Young and educated voters are pro-oppositions. The social media and internet provide alternative communication channel to them.  The PAP controlled mass media has lost its effectiveness and reach. There are unsolved economic problems like high cost of living, medical care and rich-poor gap etc.


SWOT Analysis stresses the need to emphasize reputation and switching cost, strengthen supports and face more and stronger oppositions. 

The PAP has good reputation locally and internationally. However, grass roots support has weakened and the party is out of touch with people. It can continue to capitalize on switching cost as voters are still afraid of a change of government.  But the challenges from oppositions are getting stronger and stronger with improved image and good quality candidates.


From monopoly to open competition
This is the message of Five Forces Analysis.

Threat of Entry
The PAP finds it hard to prevent oppositions from contesting the election. The high sunk cost, competitive advantage and retaliation are no more effective strategies. More open competition is expected and the ‘threat of entry’ is gone.

Threat of Substitutes
Many young voters express their willingness to change, however the switching cost is high, especially for the older voters. If Singaporeans change their government, an ‘inexperience’ party will take over. This switching cost consideration can add value to the PAP.

Bargaining powers of buyers (voters)
This works against the PAP. The voters are more demanding than before. There are common national issues that voters can come together to voice their concerns. There are also more good quality opposition candidates. The past ‘divide and conquer’ tactics are not effective any more.  

Bargaining powers of suppliers (PAP associates)
The PAP has used up almost all the possible supports in the past 50 years. Although suppliers follow instructions, their willingness and commitments are passive.  Supporting organizations also complain about the inaction to their feedbacks.

Intensity of rivalry (oppositions)
Since the PAP cannot stop the entry, more and more opposition candidates are now standing for election.   At the same time, the PAP finds it hard to find good quality candidates due to potential losses in election. 


Alignment and Sustainability Challenges under Capability Analysis
 
The capability analysis shows that the PAP has alignment and sustainability issues.  In the capability value chain, there is little value created by real Design and Innovation.

Capability value chain
The usual value chain of ‘Supplier - Manufacture – Distribution – Buyer’ can be described as follows:

Supply: The PAP has good supply bases from various private and public bodies. For example, government funded People’s Association, trade union, election department, chambers of commerce, business associations, racial and cultural groups, and even some NGOs etc.

Manufacture: Potential candidates will invite to tea party and assign to grass roots for training, internal selection, background checks, promotion, etc.  

Distribution: Detailed study of electoral districts based on population and feedback including re-drawing of constituency boundary; election budget and deployment of candidates etc.

Buyer: Voters have little time to know alternative polices and opposition candidates due to short campaign period. The main stream media on the other hand provides publicity and coverage to PAP candidates.

No Dynamic PAP, No Competitive Life Cycle and the environment is good for a monopoly.

There is hardly any Competitive Life Cycle in Singapore. There is no shakeout or disruption in the parliament election. As a result, the PAP only needs to focus on management of changes (preventing entry, high cost for political participation, game rules to its advantages, press freedom and detention without trial).

The three phases of Emergent (Annealing) – Growth (shakeout) – Mature (disruption) have not happened. The “election’ market remains a single brand industry without strong alternative and competitor.  Shakeout and disruption only happen to the opposition parties.

In short,
-       Mature phase is long and dynamic change is incremental (controllable and manageable).
-       Emergent phase is short and a dominant brand (PAP) becomes the monopoly in the market.
-       Growth phase is short too and with just one general election in 1959, a situation of ‘winner takes all’ occurs.

Hence, the overall development for this unique political market is once the market leader is established, the ‘first mover advantage’ quickly moves in and the PAP becomes the monopoly. After they have consolidated their political positions, the market dynamism disappears leading to a slow evolving environment.  

The PAP can hold the position for a long period and even prolong the evolving process through monopoly-led and managed design and innovation.
Generic Competitive Position Analysis shows PAP will continue its Integrated Strategies

In order to enjoy economic profits, the PAP has to continue its integrated strategies.  The party has to position itself as a low-cost leader and be different from others. It will continue to contest all the parliament seats and most likely it is the only party to do so in 2016. 

The opposition parties instead will concentrate on the low-cost focused market and niche (focus differentiation) segment. The dilemma of “stuck in the middle” for the PAP is real as they need to defend all constituencies. In 2011 the main opposition party, The Workers’ Party (WP), made a breakthrough in one of the group constituencies, the first time since 1980s.

The political strategic maps in Singapore in the next election will likely to be:
    
PAP is the only big circle contesting all the seats, with high average percentage votes and credibility. They are adopting integrated strategies and want to maintain low-cost leader and differentiation competitive position. 

WP is the only mid-size circle contesting less than half of the seats, coming closer and matching the PAP in average percentage votes and credibility. But their competitive position will be different from the PAP. They will look for niche market and low-cost focused segment.

Other opposition parties will form different small circles with weaker positions in average percentage votes and credibility. Some may contest as many seats as WP and so more multi-corner competitions are expected.     

Recommendations:

Open competition will reduce the economic profits.  More than 90% parliament seats to the PAP are not sustainable. The PAP will fight to have two-third majority or even more, even though their averaged percentage votes obtained may fall below 60%.   

In order to continue enjoying economic profits (e.g. 80% parliament seats); the following strategies should be adopted:

Integrated strategies:
The PAP will go for low-cost leader and differentiation by contesting all the seats. It is still an outstanding brand with unique characters. Not to mention, it is the only party capable to send candidates to all constituencies.  

Switching cost:
Voters do want changes but have to face the consequences. The passing of an experienced government is an opportunity cost. A proper marketing and emphasis of switching cost will have handsome returns to the PAP.

Real design and innovation: 
Electoral boundary and rule changes to benefit incumbent; court and defamation lawsuits; and even media control etc. are not real design and innovation.  The value chain needs new real design and innovation to create value and maintain economic profits. Learning from other democracies, even neighboring Malaysia, will help to improve this weak link.

Accept evolution and change:         
Singapore is a strange market as there is no Competitive Life Cycle. There is no shakeout or disruption in the ‘election’ industry. The PAP will have to face new ‘normal’ and open politics.  This new challenge will change the culture, core value, missions and actions of the party (unchanged since 2003).

Accept smaller economic profits:
With the success of WP strategies of focused low-cost and niche market, other opposition parties will follow. Some possibilities of ‘wildcat’ breakthroughs will happen by other parties with their very outstanding candidates.  The PAP must psychologically prepare to lose more seats.

No freak election is expected in 2016. However, to have 90% parliament seats is equally a remote target.  The open competition and normal politics will lead to more strategies and dynamic changes.  The changes of Yin and Yang forces in both camps will decide the final outcome.   

#
Full report can be downloaded from

Monday, 22 April 2013

一党专政,一党执政,依然是一党独大?

55,纳吉的一马到底是在网内还是网外跑


308海啸后,马来西亚出现了一马运动(1Malaysia)。新加坡在2011年大选后,也推出全国对话。这些运动的背后目的,就是继续一党执政。在马来西亚,应该说是一阵执政(国阵由多个成员党组成,但是由巫统由领头,一党独大)。

纳吉为一马花了不少心思,不少心血,当然也花了不少钱。因此,他认为巫族,印族已经回流,所以,这次马来西亚大选,国阵依然可以继续一党执政下去,更希望获得更多议席,把民联远远的抛在后头。是否如此,那就要看55,有没有变天,有没有换政府。

新加坡全国对话已经进入第二阶段,往更深的思考方向走。最后的目的,当然也要像纳吉那样,有些选民回流,把选票拉高,继续一党执政下去。在汉语拼音里,打上ydzz,出来的是一党专政,没有一党执政,看来这还是一个新名词,新理念呢!

这倒是真的,行动党几时从一党专政转变成一党执政的。一党专政实在不好听,也不符合现在的国情。因此,从财政部长尚达曼,这位比较温和清明的行动党领袖口中说出来,或许,更适合和更符合市场的口味: 
【尚达曼说,经过2011年分水岭大选后,人民更关注政治,公民社会也更活跃,新加坡整体上取得进步。他强调,在这样的背景下,人民行动党仍希望在社会中扮演重要的角色,维持一党执政的体制,但同时确保不完全主导各个领域,保持开放的姿态。  他认为,这样的体制对新加坡有利,但执政党认识到它得接受不同的观点与批评,包括欢迎一个可在国会扮演关键角色且负责任的反对党。】(早报 420日)
这里最重要的信息是人民行动党依然要继续作为一个执政党,而且是一党执政新加坡。那么,一党执政和以前的一党专政有什么不一样?还不是一党独大吗?

不同的地方很可能是接受不同的观点和批评,以及欢迎在国会扮演关键角色并且负责任的反对党。观点和批评将由谁来定义?反对党的角色是由谁来决定?多少反对党议员才能扮演关键角色?这是否像全国对话那样,由行动党来主导和决定呢?

或许,人民行动党有必要参考纳吉的一马运动,效果如何?事实上,人民行动党是很关切巫统国阵的表现,因为,55的大选成绩,就是全国对话的一个指标,结果是如预期的那样,巫统高兴,人民行动党更高兴,这证明全国对话是有功效的,不会白费心力,反而看到选民回流。如果,纳吉没有首相做,那人民行动党就要改变策略,改进或者放弃全国对话,因为,无法讨好选民,选民没有回流。

观点,批评,和在野党的角色,不可能再像以前那样,全部都由人民行动党来主导。在社交媒体的时代,人民行动党已经失去了这个主导权。主流媒体如果也像人民行动党那样,认为自己可以主导言论,那么,主流媒体的命运,也将和人民行动党一样,会被人民“反主导”,被人民教训。

一党执政的含义,并没有说这个党一定要是人民行动党,这个党也可以是工人党,也可以是其他反对党。一党执政的广义应该是任何政党,如果获得选民委托,在国会取得大多数议席,那么,这个党,就应该是一党执政,而它同样的要接受人民的观点,批评和作为反对党的人民行动党在国会里的角色。至于人民行动党有没有扮演好反对党的角色,就由人民来做出判断。

东西都有正反两面,人民行动党不能只看到对自己有利的一面,一党执政,并没有说这个一党,就绝对是人民行动党。人民行动党设计选举制度,修改和改变选举制度,过去可以保护一党专政,但是,在新的政治常态下,这些改变反而对人民行动党不利。过去一赢就赢4,5,6个议席,现在,却变成一输就输4,5,6个议席。因此,尚达曼提出集选区人数减少的可能性。

纳吉的一马活动,结果不知道会不会产生出‘又要马儿好,又要马儿不吃草’的两头不到岸的结果。劳民伤财,费尽心思,结果还是原地踏步,或者,倒退一步成了反对党。选民要看的是真的改变,纳吉自己也知道要改变,但是,就是老树盘根,改变不了。当然,作为外人,我们只有看着马来西亚选民如何做出决定,他们是真的喜欢一马的红包,还是一马的精神。他们是否真的回流了,回到国阵的怀抱了吗?

55,纳吉的一马到底是在网内还是网外跑?外围赌马者也想知道这一马是否会当先,还是会当后备。

看看我们自己,新加坡在全国对话后,有些什么实质的改变,当然,人民行动党的这条路,还没有走完,离下次大选,还有三年,甚至四年。尚达曼不是说了吗,人民行动党现在开始向中间偏左的道路走,关心民生问题,也愿意分享成果。如果,选民的心没有回流,不知道人民行动党会走的更左吗? 
【副总理尚达曼解释,内阁成员观点向左倚靠表示政府将更注重社会平等,在提供社会福利方面扮演更大的角色,但是这绝对不代表政府走民粹路线。   在社会和经济转型过程中,今年的财政预算案很大程度上反映政府更愿意承担社会投资的理念转变。副总理兼财政部长尚达曼日前指出,在社会政策与扶贫措施方面,内阁成员已向政治光谱的左边移动,国会议政出现的主流观点目前也多倾向中间靠左的路线(早报,420日)
这不是证明过去行动党政府并没有在社会投资上做出努力,没有注重社会平等。2011年大选,民间反对力量加强后,人民行动党被逼做出改变。如果没有加强反对声音,人民行动党不是一错再错下去吗?看来,我们还要进一步观察这条变色龙,因为,它从左变到右,现在,又说自己偏左,又在中间,到底它在哪里?它是否想站在人民,选民这边?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

No walk-over, Many Independents and the RM 5-million question.


This was the picture of the nomination day for the Malaysia’s 13th General Election on 20 April 2013.  Except walk-over, Singapore’s GE in 2016 is unlikely to see many independents and the 5-million question.

In Singapore, more political parties, big and small, will send their members to contest in GE2016. So, walk-over will also be a history in Singapore too.

The Malaysian general elections only manage to have no walk-over for the first time this year, a history since 1950s. Again, Malaysian oppositions are ahead of us in first denying the ruling party two-thirds majority in 2008 and now walk-over. However, there are many independents, many small parties and many multi-corner contests, one as many as 7-concerned fight. Why? Has this got to do with the 5-million question?

So, what is the 5-million question? 
[To curb defections that have been haunting the party post the 2008 general election, PKR has made it compulsory for all its candidates, at both parliamentary and state levels, to compensate the party with RM5 million should they jump to another once elected.
"After receiving the appointment letter, if any candidate withdraws before nomination (day) or jumps ship (after they have been elected), they have to compensate RM5 million to the party. (Therefore,) they have to sign an Akujanji letter," said PKR deputy secretary-general Steven Choong.]http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/227339

Oh! there are political frogs that see the opportunity and financial gain of jumping ship.  And the price to pay is 5 million ringgits. Is this the indicative price for buying over a Member of Parliament or state assembly representative? It is not bad for an investment of an election deposit of RM10000 (federal) or RM 5000 (state).  If you play the cards well and the luck is with you, you may strike a big sweep.

Who know even the deposit you may be able to find a sponsor as investor?  The investment return is huge if the indicative price of RM 5 million is correct.  Alternatively, the investment of RM 10000 or 5000 is small if you can deny the main opponents getting more votes.

Is RM 5 million a big sum of money in Malaysia?  Yes and no, depending on your background.  For the award of running the country again, what is the problem of investing RM 50 or even 100 million to buy over 10 or 20 MPs if they are for sell?

So, this 5-million question from PKR as deterrence may not look as effective as it is. When money can be used to make political gains, the situation becomes very complicated.

It is better we come back to the fundamental: political commitment and conviction. Believe in what you are fighting for not because of the money.

Singapore way
Otherwise, you have to do it the Singapore way: No more a party member, no more a MP. You participate in the election in the name of your political party. If you are no more a party member either sacked by the party or resigned from the party, you will lose your MP status. It is because you win the MP seat wearing your party colour. If you change your colour, you lose your seat.  This is the basic reason for the 2 by-elections after GE2011. 

Should we thank the PAP for amending the rules and regulations to have such a wonderful effect and killing the 5-million question?  It is not sure why the PAP wanted to do that when they were the monopoly in parliament.  Is this to make the party’s secretary-general or CEC more powerful?

In what way, can this ‘no jump ship’ law help the PAP continuing to be a dominant party? Perhaps, in the past it did help and prevent others for joining the oppositions or even (potentially) bankrupting a political party.  Just imagine if there is a political party having troubles with the Registry of Societies like the case of Democratic Action Party in Malaysia, all their elected members will lose their MP seats if the party is forced to dissolve (if this happen in Singapore).

If assuming the oppositions win the election in Malaysia by a small margin, a dissolved DAP will immediately make the BN come back to power again if they have the Singapore way. 

So, which is a better model? Singapore or Malaysia?  It has to come back the fundamental of political commitment again.       

People who stand for election must know what they are doing and what they are fighting for. They must know the political beliefs and ideology that they are campaigning and championing. No matter big parties, small parties or even independents, ask yourself why you want to stand for election and for what purpose?  

The PAP wants to be a dominant party, having majority in the parliament.  However, can they find enough committed individuals to carry out the political duties?     

Friday, 19 April 2013

调查‘回家投票’,新加坡为民联造势?

回家投票,会带来更大的海啸吗? yahoo.com.sg


520日是马来西亚第13届全国大选的提名日。55,换不换得了政府,回家投票很可能会起着关键性的作用。因此, 新加坡警方在这个时候调查‘回家投票’的举牌行动,间接性的给在野阵营的民联三党造势,让他们免费获得宣传机会。

虽然这事件发生在新加坡,但是,新马的新闻信息交流,再加上社交媒体的宣传,一下子,两地的 人民都知道了这件事情。这也让外人知道在新加坡举牌抗议,需要准证,不然就是犯法行为。

这是马来西亚竞争最激烈的一次大选。也有人说这次大选也是最肮脏的一次。既然如此,选战如此激烈,每张选票都应该争取,胜负可能就是几张选票而已,是否可以换政府,也很可能就是几个议席的相差而已。

马来西亚大选走到这个阶段,胜负可能还要依靠一点运气,反风到底是否吹来了,吹来了多少?有没有吹到柔佛,砂拉越,沙巴?如果没有2008年大选否决国阵三分二绝对优势,今天的民联就没有这个气势,敢挑战国阵,也看不到希望,能够组织政府。

在英国制度下的民主选举,从三分一议席到推翻现任政府,只需要增加17%的议席。在反风激烈的吹袭下,再加上运气在自己这边,多数议席以微差胜出,是很有可能出现替代政府的。甚至,总得票率不到50%,就可以上台执政了。1963年新加坡大选,行动党只获得46.9%选票,却获得72.5%议席(51席中的31席),上台继续执政。

2008308海啸的大选成绩,国阵的总得票率只有50.27% (下降13.63%, 而民联则获得46.75%的总得票率(上升10.63%)。如果反风继续,运气又好,民联上台是有可能的。

难怪新加坡第一任总理,会认为选民如果不认真考虑后果,大选成绩出来,是很可能会出现替代政府的,他形容这个结果为freak election。因为,在1963年的大选,行动党也是因为 freak 而当选执政的。2011年大选在野阵营获得40%选票,和行动党当年46.9%执政似乎相差不远?因此,行动党会想尽一切方法,不让得票率下降。

三分二绝对优势是个关键,难怪有人认为2016新加坡大选,在野党有希望否决行动党的这个优势,那么,在之后的选举中,才能看到希望。这不是说反对党支持者要等多最少10年,两届大选后才能看到希望。

而这个希望,还要看马来西亚这次大选的成绩如何。民联三党(公正党,伊斯兰党,和民主行动党)的表现如何?如果反风吹不起来,又回到国阵绝对优势的局面,那很可能等候的时间会更久。新加坡选民也会反思马来西亚大选的成绩,也可能把反风压下。

因此,作为支持新加坡出现两党或多党制的人,我们希望看到民联胜出。民联胜出将会鼓舞新加坡反对党,给他们带来希望。让他们有更大机会吸引到最好的人才,投身新加坡的政治活动。

新马本来就是一体,这两个国家有着互动关系。一方发生的事情,会影响到另一方。因此,马来西亚那一边说,因为我们2011年大选,以及之后的两次补选,工人党突围和取得胜利,带动了柔佛的选情,导致这个平静,不想生变的南部州,也开始吹起反风。

新加坡这边却认为308大选的成绩,否决国阵的绝对优势,间接导致新加坡开始吹起反风。

是否如此,真的说不准。因为,整个世界的局势也是如此。执政党的日子不好过,选民看到其他国家求变,有些还通过武力,现在,能够和平的通过选票解决,这不是更好的方法吗?

55之前,新加坡有一个大集会,五一劳动节的芳林公园抗议活动,马国南部的选民,尤其是华族选民,看在眼里,不知道会不会进一步加强他们的反风意识呢?