Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PM Lee's Rallying Cry

“The next GE is critical for Singapore and for us. It is not just about expressing approval or disapproval. It is not just about winning a seat in Parliament. It is not a by-election,” he said, adding that the PAP intends to contest every seat and win back the WP-held Aljunied, Punggol East and Hougang constituencies.

“The next GE is about choosing a clear vision for Singapore, choosing a capable leadership for Singapore, choosing a brighter future for Singapore,” he said adding that the whole of Singapore is "at stake".

“Our future is at stake because if we do not remain a nation of opportunity, our children will have no future. Our society is at stake because if we do not uphold a fair and just society, our society will be pulled apart. Our country is at stake. If the PAP fails, Singapore is in deep trouble. We shall not fail.”

With this speech, Singapore Prime Minister and People's Action Party (PAP) chief Lee Hsien Loong all but guarantee that a General Election (GE) will be held in 2015. With the next General Elections due by January 2017, this comes as no surprise.

The question is whether the PAP will claw back the seats they lost to the Worker’s Party (WP) in the last GE. The Prime Minister openly acknowledged this as he took particular aim at the WP when he spoke at the PAP60 Rally over the weekend.

Now many people on the blogshere are saying that taking aim at the opposition is a sign of weakness. I disagree. Taking aim at the opposition, especially the WP, is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of reality.

The simple fact is that in the last GE, the PAP lost even while winning. They lost George Yeo, lost a GRC, lost Hougang by a bigger margin, and probably only won in Potong Pasir because Chaim See Tong wasn’t contesting there. It was a bad result all around. This time, the PAP is taking no chances (see the “problems” WP is facing in their town council).

That’s not weak; that is smart. PM Lee and the PAP need to stop the momentum of the WP and saying so outright is a sign that they know what they’re facing. That’s reality. The next GE will be the PAP vs the WP, and to me, it’s a good sign for the PAP that their leaders are acknowledging that fact.

Rather than pretending that the PAP would waltz through another win, the PM is now rallying his troops. That is good for the PAP. To stop the surging WP, they will need to be at the top of their game, not a false sense of security. 

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