[Leadership renewal is important but do you accept the PAP style - from Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong to Lee Hsien Loong? Do you see the exceptional leaders one after another? Will you give them another chance?]
The passing of LKY gives positive effect to the PAP. However, as compared to the performance of LHL, this positive effect will be neutralised. One up and one down, how well can LHL and the PAP balance it? Will the new breakeven point remain at 60% popular votes for the PAP? Time is a critical factor. LKY’s effect faces a diminishing return while LHL’s poor performance risks more and more opening.
The critical matter still remains with and depends on LHL and his records. How well is his performance and policies as compared to an exceptional leader like LKY? The more you compare, the more you want him to step down.
LKY is a past tense. LHL is a present tense. GE is a future tense. How much weight will voters give to the LKY past achievement? How do voters value and judge the present LHL performance? And how confident do voters see the future PAP leadership presented by LHL?
LKY is a factor in the coming GE. It may be overrated, in particular with the passing of time. Furthermore, it can be used as a guide or standard to compare LHL’s performance.
‘Do they work?’ Education Minister Heng Swee Keat pointed this out to students. He said this is ‘the one key test for social and all other policies’ of LKY.
Singaporeans should ask the same ‘one key test’ question to the PAP. Do LHL’s policies work? Do the current PAP policies work as compared to the past? Does PAP leadership renewal work?
Voters in the past paid premium to buy LKY’s policies even these policies were controversial. However, Singaporeans are now demanding discounts for LHL’s policies. He commands a low credit rating and higher risk. How much discount can LHL give? How much exceptional talents his team can provide to future Singapore?
Without accountability, transparency and openness (population, reserve, CPF, housing, education etc), will Singaporeans continue to buy his policies at a discount, even LHL is willing to give a higher discount than before?
In fact, Singaporeans are thinking to buy alternative insurance policy for their future, especially, when they consider PAP leadership renewal in the coming GE is a poor option. We have seen some or most of them. What do you think? Do they work?
Every election is a critical moment. In the past 50 years, voters either convinced or forced to believe PAP leadership renewal is important. They believed the leadership renewal of Goh Chok Tong would bring them the Swiss standard of living. The believed the leadership of LHL would bring them new openness, progress and freedom. Now, LHL is calling Singaporeans to give him another chance to look for ‘exceptional leaders’.
What is an exceptional leader? Who is the exceptional leader? Another LKY? Another ‘group thinking’ leader like Goh Chok Tong? Or worst, another LHL?
66%, 60% or below 60%?
LHL said Singaporeans reacted strongly after the passing of LKY because everyone knew the importance of leadership. Does strong reaction mean a strong support for the PAP?
Prof Ng Yew Kwang, Albert Winsemius Chair Professor of NTU seemed to agree. In his Chinese blogpost, he predicted the PAP will have 66.6% or more of popular votes in the coming GE.
Prof. Ng only looks at the positive effect and credit side, especially the past achievement. However, voters are more concerned about present problems, current issues and personal matters. LHL’s idea of exceptional leaders is not a guarantee of good future. The PAP had presented their exceptional leadership teams of Goh Chok Tong and LHL. Will Singaporeans give them a fourth chance?
Perhaps, yes. Prof. Ng is very confident about this, giving the PAP a high mark of 66.6%. With this percentage, the PAP will go back to their old golden days when Parliament only had one or two opposition MPs. Is this a situation that Singaporeans want? Do they work?
Considering the offset effect of LKY and LHL, the popular votes of the PAP will remain at 60%. Is this a realistic picture? No matter how, this is the baseline that the PAP wants to achieve. This means the PAP will continue to have a comfortable majority in the Parliament. Do we want a one-party state again?
Will the PAP’s popular votes go down to below 60%? Why not. Even LHL said the doctors had given him an ‘all-clear’ for his prostate cancer and he needed to build up the exceptional team of future leadership, will Singaporeans judge him differently on his poor performance? Sympathy votes?
Singaporeans have become very pragmatic after 50 years of PAP education. We have different views and demands. We even don’t see the benefits of one-party rule. We want more but the PAP fails to listen and satisfy us materially and spiritually.
The PAP is at the cross road. It needs exceptional leaders to rescue them. But it has failed to find one. Singaporeans should look beyond the PAP for the exceptional leaders. Insurance policy is not only offered by the PAP in the GE market. Alternative parties do offer better options and policies. Putting all eggs into one basket is a risky investment. We all know this.