Tuesday, 4 August 2015

PAP Watershed Strategies vs. New, Different Challenges

2015 PAP Strategy 战略 3

According to the PAP, GE2015 is a watershed election. So, what are their watershed strategies for the coming election? Will there be any difference from the past?


1 Same old recruitment strategy


As expected and as usual, the People’s Action Party uses the same old recruitment strategy. It is still very traditional. The candidates, especially those with potential leadership and political appointment quality, are from government, military, and government-linked companies.


Time has changed. If we look at the PAP candidates, their quality is not above that of the oppositions.  This shows the oppositions is improving and the PAP is staying put. This big SG50 change makes the PAP speechless and they now have to shift their focus to financial knowledge, town management and integrity.


2 Working the ground as early as 2011.


When the grassroots leaders complained that the candidates were lack of grassroots experience in GE2011, the PAP then tried to introduce candidates early and put them in the community earlier. Is this real and will it work?


If it is so well planned, then this shouldn’t happen: Aljunied grassroots leader steps down from PAP branch post.


3 Showing card early and openly


According to Dr. Ng Eng Hen, the PAP organization secretary, there will be no surprise on Nomination Day. It is because:
 
"For example, we've actually shown you our cards very early and you didn't have to do that much sleuthing to go and speak in whispers to our activists and find out who's turning up where.
"Basically, we told you who's where and they've been there for a very long time, and where they stand or who they are, who we more or less know - it'll be more or less known when Nomination Day comes. In fact, there won't be many surprise.”
4 No negative campaigning


This is really a surprise. We have this Chinese saying: bad guy complains first. (恶人先告状).  The PAP, due to their full control of mainstream media, is always engaged in character assassinations. It is very strange to hear this.  Perhaps, Dr. Ng is referring to social media where the PAP has no full control. Unfortunately, here again, the PAP will use their proxies and fake accounts to attack the opposition.    


5. GRC without minister, re-employment of old and retired MPs


Some PAP MPs are due to step down, but due to their residual value, they can be posted to constituencies that will face very tight competition.  For example, the reported cases of Charles Chong, Edwin Tong, etc.


The PAP also excuses themselves by not sending minister to a Group Representative Constituency. They now change their strategy and explain it in a practical way that they have to weight the winning chance and the cost/benefit of losing a minister.


However, the PAP does not want to retire a poor performing minister as this is not their practice. They had paid a price in 2011.  Will it cause a bigger damage this time?


6. One united people


This sounds very “Najib” as Najib calls for a new and unity cabinet after him and there is no ‘no men’ in his cabinet.


Said it in a different way, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he hopes there will be "one team, one leadership, one ideal and one result" in Singapore following the next General Election.


Perhaps, PM Lee wants to stress no matter what will be the outcome (whether the PAP wins small or losses big), all Singaporeans could still work as a team.  He seems putting too many ‘one’ rather than ‘team’ in predicting the GE result.  This invites attacks in the social media.  


The slogan of “Together” appeared in 2006 and 2011 respectively.  In 2015, PM Lee would like to have 'one' people together again.  




Will “Together” appear the third time?

7 Serving the people    


"But whichever GRC it falls under, our goals remain the same - to do our best to serve residents," said Mr Lee.  


Dr. Ng also said the same thing:


"The new candidates have been actively involved, serving the residents and the grassroots organisations," he said. "We did this purposefully so that people know where they're going to serve, who they're going to serve”
It looks very strange. The PAP wants your votes and in the 2 previous elections, they just want to be ‘together with you but without serving’. They forget who their masters are and who make them a multi-millionaire.  
GE2015 poses new and different challenges for the PAP and yet we don’t see any new strategy from them. When PM Lee talked about his many “one(s)” and “serving the people”, we don’t feel the sincerity. There is no compassion.  
In an interview with Chan Heng Chee, PM Lee said the PAP will come with better solutions when they are not in government. So, all the above strategies are just aiming to stay in power and may not be the best solutions for Singapore.
[If we were not in the government, it is much easier. We can make recommendations, we can write papers, we can make speeches, and we can rouse arguments, unhappiness, point out all the problems we have where we are standing. But as a Government, we have to deal with this issue and it is an issue where honestly speaking, there are no easy choices. There are trade-offs.] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/i-owe-singaporeans-a/2023914.html
We can make a better and more constructive Singapore when the PAP is not in government. New and different challenges can then be solved and ironically, the PAP works better when they are in opposition.

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