Over the years since the independence of Singapore, the PAP had only one aim in mind. That is to maintain the independence and progress of Singapore through a stable, efficent and corruption free government. A point that the late S. Rajaratnam reiterated by saying ' We thought that these were the overriding rights. To achieve these we were prepared to suppress, modify and deflect certain other abstract rights. In most Western societies, the right to criticize is well established, but to me that is less important than the right to a square meal because 95 percent of the people don't go around making speeches or writing letters to the press.' Many years on, the PAP is still living by this policy and so too are Singaporeans.
Over the years, Singaporeans have chosen this path of politics. Allowing the government to have a free reign of leading the country forward. Whether it is out of respect for the job well done or for the sake of stability, Singaporeans have given the PAP the mandate for the past 9 elections. The PAP has rewarded Singaporeans with a clean, green and safe country where it is conducive for enterprise and living. So is it necessary that now the opposition are needed for the progress of our nation?
Mr Lee Kuan Yew has said that, to paraphrase, there is no point voting so many opposition into the parliament and we end up spending the whole day debating and fighting over issues and not get anything done. He meant that action speaks louder than words and by having alot of opposition it meant that Singapore would be stifled and progress would be hindered. Which is true to a certain extent, as you can trust members like JBJ and Chee Soon Juan to make hard and fast political statements and oppose to everything that the PAP come up with. Mr Lee had that in mind when he said that he wanted a decision to be made decisively because ultimately the ' goals and strategies must be clear to all. The people expect the government to lead. Too much debate and discussion will give the false impression that the government, instead of leading the people, is asking them which direction it should go.'(Mr Goh Chok Tong).
Does the opposition see a viability in this statement? Singapore is a small country stuck in the middle of big nations where a wrong step could spell disaster for the nation. S. Rajaratnam commented on the slippery slope theory that once Singapore gets to that state, it is more or less irreversible. What then can the opposition offer to counter this argument?
They have always demanded more political freedom in Singapore. Often portraying themselves as checks and balances to the government. Mr Chiam has warned Singaporeans about a PAP 'clean sweep'. However, there is yet to be an opposition member that can provide a better alternative to the PAP. Because quite simply, there isn't one at the moment. The opposition has tried many tactics and has even adopted 'communal' politics, where they base their policies on certain race groups. PAP has warned that such polices could bring Singapore back to it's 'dark days'. The fact that Singapore must be a multi-racial society is paramount on the PAP's agenda. So what else is there for the opposition to contest?
They dig and probe on the minimum sum for CPF, GICs, Temasek Holdings, high minister salaries, poverty, high electoral deposits etc etc. But they have never came up with something that can ensure further progress for our tiny nation. Changing these policies would not ensure Singapore's progress because at it is, Singaporeans are living very well with it. By entrusting a certain elitist group to manage the country, the Singaporeans believe that such an option is the best. Afterall, all Singaporeans have is the people so capable and smart intellectuals need to take up the stand and ensure further development. The opposition on the other hand are recruiting any individual who is willing to stand for elections. Thus tarnishing their image as they do not understand the Singaporean perspective of wanting 'smart' people only.
This coming election, the PAP will again talk about progress for Singapore. While the opposition will continue to harp about issues that hardly matter to Singaporeans. PAP has adopted a limited democracy where only individuals representing what is best for the country can be elected. People who outrightly condemn the cornerstones of Singapore like race and religion would be removed. And going by the past election results, many Singaporeans agree to this stand as well. What is neccesary is for the opposition to come up with something better than underhand attacks that lack proof. The country needs true leaders that would follow the original policies that have brought us thus far and not individuals that choose to undermine it.