The Prime Minister has finally said "sorry" for the many mistakes of his government such as tardiness in addressing shortfalls in housing and transport including the escape of detained terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari and flooding of Orchard Road. PM Lee kept a discreet posture then. It would have been remarkable if this apology had been expressed by PM Lee long before the present hustings but the fact that he has chosen this moment to say it loses much of its significance, despite what the Straits Times spin doctor says.
However, it shows great humility on the part of PM Lee but then is this not a last minute effort to win back votes when opposition pressure is gaining ground in their campaign focussing on the same mistakes for which PM Lee has apologised? This only goes to prove that more opposition voices in Parliament are an imperative to provide a check and balance from time to time to the PAP government's shortcomings, The voters' eager desire for change is never so loud and clear and it sends a shudder to the pompous PAP leadership. A lot of scrambling is going on to try to contain the situation but PM Lee's apology may be viewed as a little too late to stem the opposition tide. There are still two more days of electioneering for PM Lee to win over the voters.
PM Lee's comment on his eminent father MM Lee is both instructive and revealing. It shows MM Lee to be an anachronism in the government and yet he is tolerated. He draws a $3m plus annual salary and all he does is "forecasting" in his own words. Is this a fair charge on the taxpayers' fund? Most of the time he creates a booboo whenever he open his big mouth. Foreign Minister George Yeo found to his consternation the damage of the uncalled for warning of "ruminate and repent" to Aljunied voters by MM Lee. The Minister Mentor is filthy rich and why does he still want to draw on the taxpayers' fund? In fact, he could gain public approbation by donating his sinecure salary to a charity or charities and offer his services to the government on a voluntary basis. Is he that popular when there are calls, especially by the netizens, for him to retire?
The campaign for Aljunied GRC is gathering momentum and the PAP team helmed by George Yeo is directing their fire-power at the character of the Workers' Party (WP) team. WP Secretary-general Low Thia Khiang is portrayed as a politically ambitious man whose ambition does not stop at just capturing the Aljunied GRC. Psychologically, the WP may be slightly in a advantageous position but then the state of play can still be fluid. PM Lee sounded a note of optimism when he said PAP could win Aljunied and will muster PAP top guns to lend support to George Yeo in his campaign to try to clinch a PAP victory. MM Lee's stern warning words "ruminate and repent" may be a dampening factor.