Ever heard of the wheel of history moving backwards? That should worrythe PAP leadership as to the political direction Singapore is heading. The younger electorate will be the deciding factor in the next general election and the election after that. An increasingly number of them have manifestly shown that, while not entirely disillusioned with the PAP, they want to see a transformation in the government structure to reflect a more equitable society. And not unnaturally, they see a credible opposition as a vehicle for this transformation. Of course, for this to have any degree of realisation, there must be tangible inflow of able and high calibre potential candidates to the opposition parties, especially those who are scholars or talented degree holders. This is what is happening now in Singapore and the young voters are certainly to be elated at this trend of political development which will hopefully lead to the realisation of their cherished dream of a change of government.
That the PAP leaders have been monitoring this worrying trend for some time is not in doubt. They could not show openly that they are worried, but not yet to the point of panic, over this political development. So the prime minister has to put on an artificial front to comment sarcastically the dramatic event of a husband-and-wife team who are government scholarship holders who graduated with first-class honours degrees from Cambrige University joining the opposition Reform Party but admitted it is a significant development. When asked about reports of well-qualified Singaporeans joining the opposition, he simply glossed over the issue but wished them well. What else can he say?
The tsunami that hit the Barisan National in the last general election in Malaysia is a lesson that the beleaguered PAP leaders take to heart. The ostensibly fraternal visit by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew to Malaysia last year was not just a friendly visit but with special assignment to assess the real reason for the Barisan National election debacle so that the PAP can readjust its unpopular policies to prevent s similar tsunami hitting the PAP in the next general election. They have so many unpopular measures to adjust one of which is the long-overdue reduction of the obscene salaries of the prime minister and his affluent ministers. If the prime minister is still ignorant how unpopular their obscene pay is, ask any man in the street. The other is their policy allowing the indisciminate influx of Chinese immigrants who are so problematic that they are regarded as the bane of our social ills.
Anyway, if the PAP is not voted out of power at the next general election because the opposition is not yet able to field sufficient number of credible candidates, PAP will be fortunate if it gets away with just a decimation of its position. But its luck may not hold in the general election after that. Singaporeans can be patient.