Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WP Leadership Contest

In America, when politicians fight for their top party leadership, dirty tricks and personal insults are par for the course. In Singapore, a seemingly friendly leadership tussle in the opposition Worker’s Party (WP)is big news.

Politics in Singapore is dominated by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and leadership changes in that party comes from on top. Any disputes and in-fighting is kept strictly in-house. So when long-time WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang has to fight off lawyer Chen Show Mao for his position, it is news.

It shouldn’t be.

In most other countries, this is normal and it is Singapore that is weird. An open transparent leadership challenge like this is good for Singapore. If anything, Singaporeans need to encourage this as it is good for Singapore. Singaporeans can see that in the WP, orders from the top are not followed without question and there are clear, open, and transparent ways for differences to be settled within the party.

So a public open leadership challenge like what happened in the WP is good. No, it is beyond good; it is great! Singapore is becoming a normal country.

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