Recounting his own reasons for taking up politics more than 30 years ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday (Sept 8) reiterated how Singapore’s leaders have always had the country’s interests at heart. “Question is, in what direction do we now go?”
Polling day for the elections is on 11 September. The first lunchtime rally for this election was held today by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
The whole saga, Singh said, showed how the town council framework could be structured to damage Singapore’s democracy and that it can be used as a “political tool” to curb “support for the opposition”. The PAP likely hopes that some of the admiration for Lee Kuan Yew will translate into backing for the PAP at the polls. For decades the PAP ran essentially unopposed.
One of the policy issues that Chee addressed was the different target population figures cited by government officials in the past, including the much debated 6.9 million figure in the Population White Paper, which has caused confusion among Singaporeans. The opposition also for the first time won a Group Member Constituency-an area in which four to six people represent the constituency, rather than a single member-for the first time in Singapore’s history.
Addressing supporters at the nomination centre at Raffles Institution here, Prime Minister Lee, who is defending his Ang Mo Kio GRC seat, called on the people to “vote seriously” for the PAP.
The past days saw heated criticism by opposition parties against the ruling PAP’s policies on foreign workers, CPF and so on, but were then countered by the latter, saying they were doing the best for Singaporeans and the nation.
The government has dispensed a slew of incentives over the past several months, such as cash payouts, especially for the elderly and low income citizens, to help them cope with the high cost of living and special “SG50” anniversary bonuses for thousands of civil servants.
PAP candidate Christopher De Souza earlier criticised the SDP for “jeopardising Singapore’s sovereignty” by proposing to cut the defence budget by 40 per cent to fund its “extreme social policies”. Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are exclusively those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.