Friday, February 18, 2011

An Election Budget

What has been touted as a bountiful budget is, strictly speaking, actually an election budget. Barring anything unforseen, this year will be an election year. What has prevented the PM from naming a date so far, according to observers, is the uncertainty of the ground situation where there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction among a considerable section of the underclass. The election budget is therefore very timely as an attempt to assuage the unfavourable situation and to win over this disgruntled class. What one sees on TV are only the apparently happy faces of the population specially focussed by TV personnel for the benefit of the gullible audience. Can one imagine the counter effect any showing of unhappy faces on TV can have on the populace?

As the name implies, the election budget is aimed at vote-procuring (I would not use the obnoxious word vote-buying) in the general election by using the people's money. This gives the PAP wallahs a distinct advantage over the opposition in the general election because the opposition can never, in terms of financial resources, match the PAP in procuring votes in this manner. Besides the election budget, the PAP has introduced or will introduce other measures like HDB Estate upgrading and gerrymandering to ensure a clean sweep of the poll.

In view of such a great electoral disadvantage, can the opposition surmount such an obstacle in competing in the coming general election.? In spite of the PAP's apparent impregnable position vis-a-vis the general election, there is, however, considerable electoral support for the opposition partly as a result of their frequent walkabouts in the constituencies meeting the people and partly because of the animosity of some of the people towards the PAP. Therefore all is not lost provided there is unity among the opposition parties. Although the PAP seems to be a colossal force, with ingenuity a united opposition will be able to find a chink in its armour and capitalise on it.

It is not a given that the whole electorate has been bought over by the PAP's election budget. As has been said there is considerable sympathy among the electorate for the opposition and it can appeal to their good sense and fair play for their votes in the coming general election. With unity there is no reason why a united opposition will not be able to capture one or two GRCs which will really be splendid in bringing down the arrogance of the PAP leaders, especially that of the hubristic MM Lee Kuan Yew. After the recent booboo of MM Lee in disparaging the Malay/Muslim community, the opposition can perhaps count on considerable support from the Malay voters, despite the luke-warm effort of PM Lee Hsien Loong to resolve the Malay anger. As long as MM Lee does not show any humility in apologising for his aspersion, the Malays are not known to have short memories. Many of the public have predicted that the percentage of votes that the PAP will get in the coming general election will be reduced.

Finally, the Finance Minister can congratulate himself for a vote-winning election budget.


TracyTan said...

The Opposition must persevere. Reward and result will come their way.

The factors shining in their favour are:

1. More Singaporeans are aware of the truths happening in Singapore. More will stand up for Singapore.

2. LKY will not be around for long. What happens after his demise will be interesting for the Opposition

TracyTan said...

Dear Mr Yoong,

Thank you for this analytical and insightful article

Anonymous said...

It all really bogs down to the Opposition ability to fight the elections in an united form to challenge the ruling party in their GRCs. Snatching 1 or 2 GRCs from PAP would really send an earthquake to the old man's heart which he may not withstand. It is therefore much to the Opposition's camp to rise to the challenge and fight the elections with better ingenuity.

TracyTan said...


Yes, the quality of the Opposition is important. From what has been revealed, the quality of the potential Opposition candidates has improved.

Besides quality, the heart and motives are important and for that, I will choose any opposition candidate to any PAP candidate, including LKY and LHL. The PAP candidates will just tow the PAP line. Is that what Singapore wants?

We want change. Change will not come by voting for a PAP candidate.

The Pariah said...


Isn't this paradoxical for a Govt that purportedly advocates Transparency and Accountability as part of its Governance?

Not only do they proclaim in Parliament on 3 Mar 2010 that the PAP is "deaf to all criticisms" but SM Goh in the wake of the Japanese earthquake tsunami lamblasts Singaporeans a year later (13 Mar 2011) for "the amount of noise you made with just sporadic flood compared to the Japanese". So are we supposed to keep quiet?

How can we have "Transparency and Accountability" when the PAP Govt opt for "Deaf and Dumb" approach?

2011 will be the first instance in a long, long time when likely all Singaporeans will get to vote. It may be the last time if voters are BLIND to PAP's DEAF AND DUMB approach.

Then we will be truly DAFT, as MM Lee labelled us.

Dim-sighted, Deaf, Dumb and Daft - way to go, eh? Then we might as well be Dead!

5Ds - I hope these are not the values represented by the 5 stars on our country's flag!

The Pariah,