A rejuvenated PM Lee Hsien Loong has finally come to terms with his inner self and has called a general election for 11 September 2015 which has been eagerly expected. Today is Nomination Day and as expected the PAP is contesting all 89 seats. The Workers' party has nominated candidates for 28 seats and forms the biggest majority among the opposition parties.
This election is mainly a cliffhanger between the PAP and the Workers' Party, which won a GRC and two SMCs in the last election in 2011. The PAP has not really recovered from the humiliation of its defeat at the hands of the WP in Aljunied GRC in GE 2011. It is still smarting from the defeat and has reluctantly put up a token team to contest the Aljunied GRC in GE 2015. A brash DPM Thaman Shamugaratnam, who introduced the team, had the temerity to say that they have a fighting chance of recapturing the GRC, but then it is glaringly conspicuous that they are terrified in putting a minister, who is more eminent than the humbled George Yeo, as an anchor minister to lead the team. Instead an expendable Yeo Guat Kwang is put up as a sacrificial lamb to anchor the team.
Now we come to the antics of the great inimitable ESM Goh Chok Tong who is a member to the PAP team contesting the Marine Parade GRC. ESM Goh is obviously over the hill and shows senility by his delirious utterance describing the WP as "nomads out to plunder". WP's foray into Marine Parade GRC has obviously caused him numerous nightmares for him to be irrational in his speech. In view of the result of the last election in 2011 in Marine Parade GRC in which the PAP scrapped through with a razor-thin margin against the National Solidarity Party, it really scares the shit out of ESM Goh that the PAP is in danger of succumbing to a formidable WP team. Very wisely he volunteered the anchoring of the PAP team to an unsuspecting Tan Chuan Jin as he would not want to be shown to be the anchorman in the remote possibility of a PAP defeat. So glamour boy Tan Chuan Jin may carry the honour of becoming the fall guy.
Another GRC that may go the way of Marine Parade GRC may be the East Coast GRC helmed by the eccentric Lim Swee Say. He may forever be indulging in all kinds of antics which may or may not go down well with the electors of East Coast GRC. He and his now famous preposterous phrase "better, betterer and betterest" seems to tickle PM Lee Hsien Loong no end but the public is doubtful to find it amusing. PM Lee obviously finds him an indispensible jocular character who, if nothing else, is able to help him hold his Cabinet together with his preposterous antics. Again the PAP won the East Coast GRC in GE 2011 by the skin of its teeth.
Yet another GRC which the PAP may be in danger of succumbing to the formidable WP is the Jalan Besar GRC. With the demographic ethnicity of the GRC, Yaacob Ibrahim may find himself like a fish out of water. He is supposed to anchor the PAP team but in a pamphlet handed out to residents Denise Phua is placed ahead of him. He may be popular with the Malay/Muslim community but is likely to cut no ice with the non-Malays in the GRC because he hardly mingles with the Chinese residents. Maybe this is why Denise Phua appears to tbe anchoring the PAP team.
Vivian Balakhrishnan may be more fortunate in that his PAP team is not facing any formidable WP team in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. But he may turn out to be the Achilles' heel that the formidable Dr. Paul Tambyah of the Singapore Democratic Party team is looking out for in the PAP team.
Ms. Tin Pei Ling of the PAP can consider herself extremely fortunate and should thank the National Solidarity Party for joining the fray at the MacPherson SMC. The WP chances of success in a three-cornered contest are greatly reduced.
The PAP is more concerned with the formidable challenge of the Workers' Party who may end up with an additional two to three GRCs in addition to Aljunied GRC with any luck. The PAP is bound to capitalise on the so-called lapses of the WP Town Council in its election campaign but the danger of overplaying the issue is ever present. The election campaigns of the PAP and the opposition parties, especially the WP's, will be interesting to watch as it will give an indication of the voting trends.