The news this morning in the Straits Times of a husband- and- wife team who have joined the opposition Reform Party should come as a welcoming and exhilarating tidings to the young Singapore electorate who will determine the fate of the highfalutin PAP. What made it so significant is that both husband and wife were government scholarship holders who graduated with first-class honours degrees from the world- renowned Cambridge University in England. The reason why they have not gravitated towards the PAP could be the same cogent reason for a hopefully high number of similarly intellectually endowed young men and women to join the opposition. And it will be a good omen for Singapore.
That the PAP hegemonists, especially the narcissistic Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, will be losing much sleep over this historical political development may not be an exaggeration. From their recent political posturing, it is obvious that they are fearing the day when their precarious position will succumb to a relentless onslaught by young invinvible Singaporeans who are bent in sweeping away the vestiges of an increasingly unpopular PAP regime. And the PAP wallahs are not standing idle and are strenously preparing the political ground to prevent such a disastrous phenomenon from happening. So one sees them relaxing some draconian rules and restrictions and offering sops to the electorate, especially the younger ones, in order to retain their loyalty. They are leaving no stones unturned in trying to woo young professionals to join their rank.
The tsunami that hit the Barisan National in Malaysia in the last general election could not have been lost on the PAP leaders. In fact, they were so distraught by it that they sheepishly sent their old war horse Minister Mentor Lee, ostensibly on a fraternal visit, to Malaysia to try to assess the real reason for the phenomenal transformation of the political allegiance of the Malaysian electorate, especially the young politically-conscious Malays. What the astute Minister Mentor saw could not have not convinced him that a similar tsunami could take place in Singapore, if not in the next general election, then in the one after that.
Minister Mentor is not unknown to have run down the opposition as inept and in no way qualified to form an alternative government. He is clearly too conceited in his blustering views. How can he say that the opposition could not govern efficiently if, in the first place, it has not been given an opportunity to administer a government? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Is Minister Mentor Lee not too presumptuous? Let Ms Hazel Poa and her husband Tony Tan Lay Thiam be the trail-blazers in leading an unrelenting influx of similary qualified young professionals to opposition parties to give the arrogant PAP a run for its money in the next general election. If history is allowed to manifest itself, PAP's mandate should have concluded its course and the Singapore people should be blessed with a rejuvenated but untried government formed by the opposition to begin an era of beneficial government to the people. The first heroic act of the new government will be expected to be the reduction of the obscene salaries the prime minister and his affluent ministers are now paying themselves unabashedly.