Singapore exercising democracy

732 polling stations in this island republic closed just minutes ago. 2.2 million eligible voters are to decide 87 MPs that will represent them in a single chamber Parliament.

This is by far the stiffest general election the city-state since 1959. Ruling party Peoples’ Action Party saw many of the strategic GRCs are being challenged by Oppositions, namely Workers’ Party and Singapore Democratic Party. For the first time, Oppositions are fielding candidates in 12 Parliamentary constituencies and 14 GRCs.

Focus is on the Al Juneid GRC where Foreign Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) George Yeo, Minister in Prime Minister Officer and Second Transport Minister Lim Hwee Hua, a senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed, a community leader and a former Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and Assistant Secretary General Ong Ye Kang stand a good chance to be unseated.

The arrogance of PAP Ministers is very apparent:

GE: People “being made use of” for a larger game: George Yeo


By May Wong | Posted: 03 May 2011 2126 hrs

PAP George Yeo
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PAP George Yeo

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GE: People “being made use of” for a larger game: George Yeo

SINGAPORE: Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo said the Workers’ Party clearly has no plans for residents in Aljunied GRC.

The PAP team said the opposition’s lack of initiatives for residents, makes it even more determined to protect voters’ interests.

Mr Yeo said: “(The people) are being made use of for a much larger game. (Low Thia Kiang) is prepared to have instability. Because instability will give him and the Workers’ Party opportunities to achieve their ambitions.

“He has already abandoned the people who voted for him in Hougang. Now he wants to use the people of Aljunied.

“When asked for his ability to look after Aljunied, his retort was that, ‘Hougang is not a slum’. Not a slum? What does it mean? Is it enough for Aljunied also not to be a slum? This is trifling with the lives of over 200,000 Singaporeans.”

Mr Yeo also touched on the issue of whether Hougang flat values are lower than those in PAP constituencies, the Hougang incumbent has refuted this.

“He said that property prices will not be affected. Is he qualified to say such a thing? Has he read the financial reports? When we walk across Aljunied GRC to Hougang SMC and there’re many roads, which divide us, the contrast is stark…Even the lighting level is different.”

He repeated that the Hougang Town Council has not been transparent with its accounts.

“It is quite curious why Low Thia Khiang has not replied to my comment about the HUDC accounts. He said that he’ll respond to me at an appropriate time. He owes the residents of Hougang an explanation more than he owes me,” said Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, candidate for Aljunied GRC.

The PAP team in Aljunied GRC says it has always taken the residents here seriously.

Over the years, it has introduced plans to make it more comfortable for older residents like having barrier free access. It has also made it a more liveable and attractive place for younger residents by building more recreational facilities.

If the PAP team wins Aljunied GRC this time, Mr Yeo said he aims to push the constituency to be one of the first few in line for schemes such as the Home Improvement Programme.

– CNA/cc

This campaign also saw Prime Minister Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong openly apologising to Singaporeans admitting the Government could have done better. On the other hand, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew arrogantly warned the Al Junied GRC voters would take five years to repent if they voted the Opposition party.

The typical ‘bully’ of PAP is demonstrated in Minister Mentor Lee’s uncontested win in Tanjung Pagar. His opponent’s application was rejected for a 35 second delay in submission.

The grouses of Singaporeans across the island were about policies, public spending, deteriorating healthcare and non disclosure of decisions made and accountability. Increasing cost of living and escalating home ownership abilities are seriously affecting the middle income. There even pockets of Singaporeans are charging the PAP government of short changing them on the ‘subsidies for HDA housing’.

Many younger generation voters have taken more interests in this democratic process, especially in the advancement of technology and enablers such as blogs, social media and youtube. Updates of campaign materials are being actively discussed almost hourly. One of their many complaints is that the Government is not listening to them.

Oppositions’ campaign trails have been very well received. In their nighly rallies, upto 30,000 Singaporeans attended. Although previous GEs have seen Opposition leaders like JB Jeyaratnam managed to draw 70-80,000 people, at the polls were not actually translated to votes.

This round, Singaporeans overcame the most effective vote-deterent-against-the-Oppositions; fear factor. Candidates who offered themselves include successful business owners, professionals and even a former career diplomat.

In a democratically elected known for total or near-zero Opposition, it is different now. Singaporeans are more bold in voicing their deep satisfaction. Of course, digital democracy helped in the refreshing manner Singaporeans exercising their democratic rights.

In short, things are changing here in Singapore.

*Updated Sunday 8 May 2011 0220hrs

Results are in. Even though PAP managed to form the Singapore Government as per expected, the party crated by and around the arrogant Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew bites the dust in Al Juneid GRC. Automatically, PM Lee lost 2 Cabinet Ministers.

Published: Saturday May 7, 2011 MYT 11:24:00 PM
Updated: Sunday May 8, 2011 MYT 1:46:18 AM

S’pore polls: Ruling PAP gets mandate to form govt

It secured 44 of the 87 seats up for grabs at about 1.30am soon after it was announced that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong‘s team won in the Ang Mo Kio GRC.

However, the Workers’ Party (WP) won big when it wrestled the hotly-contested Aljunied GRC from the PAP.

WP supporters at Hougang Stadium erupted into cheers as word filtered through that the party has also retained the Hougang SMC.

The WP team in Aljunied GRC has been billed by political watchers as the “A” team of the opposition party.

The team is led by the party’s chief, Low Thia Khiang, a veteran politician whose stronghold is in Hougang. Other members of the team are law lecturer and NCMP Sylvia Lim, lawyer Chen Show Mao, Muhd Faisal Abdul Manap, and Pritam Singh.

The PAP team in Aljunied is led by Foreign Minister George Yeo, Minister in the PM’s Office Lim Hwee Hua and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed.

Sources told The Straits Times that the PAP team won 45 per cent of the votes in Aljunied GRC.

In 2006, PAP won 56.09 per cent of votes with WP 43.91 per cent.

In the Ang Mo Kio GRC, Lee’s PAP team won with 69.3% of the votes, polling 112,544 votes to the Reform Party’s 49,779 votes).

Official results:

Bukit Panjang SMC (PAP: 20,349 votes, SDP: 10,362 votes).

Mountbatten SMC (PAP: 58.65% votes, NSP: 41.35% votes)

Radin Mas SMC (PAP: 18,591, NSP: 9,110)

Whampoa SMC (PAP: 13,015; NSP: 6,672)

Moulmein-Kallang GRC (PAP: 44,828; WP: 31,721)

Joo Chiat SMC (PAP: 9,630; WP: 9,248 votes)

Marine Parade GRC (PAP 78,182; NSP 59,833)

Hong Kah North SMC (PAP 18,149; SPP 7,553)

Hougang SMC (WP: 14,833; PAP: 8,053)

Pasir Ris-Ponggol GRC (PAP: 100,382; SDA: 54,546)

Tampines GRC (PAP: 72,664; NSP: 54,337)

West Coast GRC (PAP: 72,465; Reform Party: 36,395)

Sengkang West SMC (PAP: 14,667; WP: 10,585)

Ang Mo Kio GRC (PAP: 112,544; Reform Party: 49,779)

**************

The interesting point is that in the Al Junied GRC, it is obvious the Malays votes shifted which ensured WP’s win. This came as a surprise to the ruling PAP Government. One of the factor is that a Malay candidate Mohd. Faisal Abdul Manap stood as one of the five in the GRC. As the Chinese votes were expected to shift, the Malays became the ‘deciding factor’ in Al Juneid.

First Singapore Woman Cabinet Minister Lim Hwee Hua, now out of job

The defeat in Al Juneid means that Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs is without a permanent Minister. The only surviving Minister is Raymond Lim who is the Transport Minister and Second Foreign Minister. Minister in PMO and Second Transport Minister Lim Hwee Hua is the first woman Cabinet Minister in Singapore.

Without doubt Singaporeans at large want a strong government, which brings about progress and prosperity. On the same breadth, they have send a very strong message to PAP and especially against their arrogance. Singaporeans now finally practicing democracy.

It is very refreshing to see Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew being slapped in the face this round.

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Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 20:36  Comments (13)