Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Have Confidence

Singapore has launched a review of electoral constituency boundaries…2 months ago? I must say I am shocked to read that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong only informed parliament on Monday that the electoral boundaries review committee has been at work for 2 months already.

In Singapore, an electoral boundaries review committee would be formed to redraw constituencies and once the report has been released, parliament could be dissolved at any time and a GE (General Election) would be called. So many people, including me, believe that the announcement yesterday means a GE will likely be called soon.

What I don’t get is why the PM kept the formation of the committee secret till now? Most political analysts in Singapore believe the ground is sweet for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and I agree. Singapore is holding celebrations for our 50th anniversary of independence in August. Singapore just had a very good SEA Games. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew just died earlier this year so the PAP will have the sympathy vote.

Outside all these, the government has also attempted to sweeten the ground. The number of COEs available for the next 3 months will be increased. Road tax for all petrol vehicles will have a 20% discount starting on 1 Aug. So with all these advantages, why is the PAP so afraid that they had to keep the formation of the committee secret for 2 months?

It just doesn’t make sense. Any advantage the PAP can get from these 2 months is nothing compared to the drawback of keeping things secret. I can understand that the PAP is playing things cautiously after the results of the last polls in 2011, but they must not give their opposition ammo just because of an unreasonable fear of a bad result.

Not only is the formation of the committee secret, the PM has also asked the committee to reduce the average size of the GRCs. Now after losing 2 ministers in the last election, I can’t say that’s a bad move but it’s a move that has fear written all over it.

The ground is sweet, the incumbency has many advantages in Singapore, and they have the press. The PAP needs to be more confident. This election is theirs to lose.

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