The euphoria engendered in the opposition parties of their respective prowess leading to the mad scramble to carve out the SMCs and GRCs they consider their preserves to contest in the upcoming General Election is intriguing. This is an unhealthy trend and can only be described as madness. This gross disunity of the opposition is something that will be viewed by the PAP leaders with infinite glee as it would make their election effort a shoo-in. They will certainly want to see the opposition parties continue their fight over the rights of their respective constituencies up to Nomination Day when the die will be cast and they find themselves in a zugzwang.
There is a Chinese saying:"Unity is Strength" (团结就是力量). During the Sino-Japanese war the Chinese were able to resist the more superior Japanese army because the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communists were able to unite against the Japanese and eventually defeated them. It is hardly called unity if opposition parties are engaged in three-cornered or four-cornered contests in SMCs and GRCs. It is already an uphill task for the opposition in a one to one contest with the PAP, so what chances of success have the opposition in a three-cornered or four-cornered contest?
It would be a pity for the opposition parties to fritter away their golden opportunity because over the last one or two years they have been able to win over considerable support, not only of the young voters but older electors as well. They have even been able to disaffect a considerable number of erstwhile PAP supporters who are disillusioned by the PAP government's inequitable policies. There is also the new media which is staunchly behind the opposition parties.
Some of the opposition candidates are of such a high calibre that they are more than a match to their PAP opponents and are well placed to capture a considerable number of SMCs and some GRCs in the General Election. This favourable situation has not escaped the sharp attention of PM Lee Hsien Loong and his Cabinet colleagues and in fact has rattled them. It will be noticed that their election campaign has been particularly high-powered and intense, especially in their colossal efforts in discrediting the opposition's offensive.
It is not too late and is in fact timely for opposition parties to pull up their socks and transcend their selfish interests to put up a marvellous show of unity by agreeing to only one party to contest in a SMC or GRC against the PAP. Which is the most suitable party in terms of candidates' qualities may be quite subjective but some sacrifices may have to be made so that the pro-opposition electorate should not be let down. When there is a will there is a way. The writing is on the wall that the opposition parties will triumph in the upcoming General Election.
The so-called independent candidate who wants to contest in the Joo Chiat SMC may prove intransigent. Anyway, his intention and background are not very illustrious. It will be a surprise if he does not lose his deposit. So the opposition candidate chosen to contest this SMC can easily take him in his stride.
Good luck and God willing.