1/24/17 Pingtjin Thum: “A regrettable and shocking ignorance of Singapore’s history. We WERE a multi-party democracy in 1965. In 1963 General Election, the PAP won 37 seats and 46.9% of the vote; the Barisan Sosialis won 13 seats and 33.2% of the vote; and the United People’s Party won 1 seat and 8.4% of the vote. Between 1966-67, arrests, detentions, and resignations steadily reduced the opposition presence in Parliament, leading to the first PAP sweep of Parliament in the 1968 elec…
“Imagine, if we have a multi-party system back in 1965, will we have come so far so quickly?”
1/25/17 Lester Kok wrote (as posted on Kirsten Han’s Facebook wall):
Just a couple brief points. Contrary to the saying hindsight is the only exact science, we could not rightly know what the nation’s political fate would be without Operation Cold Store and with say Lim Chin Siong (LCS) governing at the helm, who by the way inspired such respect among his foes that S. Rajaratnam personally came by to pay tribute at his funeral in Serangoon Gardens in ‘96; in his heyday, his simple living was a living reproach to the comfortable lifestyles of his political adversaries. Would an LCS government be as nimble and adaptable or as rigidly ideological? — is anybody’s guess. He released a public statement in ’69 (apparently not under duress?) claiming that he had “completely lost confidence in the international communist movement”, and that “communism is not as ideal as what we think it is”, and with that utterance, he packed it in politically for good.
PM LHL made a pertinent point though in the above article: that in Little Red Dot there are only limited precious human resources to be had. The WP’s handling of the AHPET muddle doesn’t quite inspire confidence in the quality of political outliers in government. Indeed, the main political locomotive has sucked up most of the oxygen in a limited pool of human capital.
Historically, all dynastic/partisan machineries did eventually run out of steam in due course even the cream-of-the-crop ones like Confucius’ Zhou dynasty that amazingly survived some 800 years! However, if complacency, smugness and arrogance began to congeal at the top of the leadership, and equally importantly, if it failed to adapt or cop to shifting zeitgeist in a timely and opportune fashion — instances of the recent POHA browbeating in the former and the Terrex fumbling in the latter — then let them do so at their own peril.
Footnote: if I’m hazarding a guess, Dr. CSJ, the local perennial political also-ran, will at long last come in from the cold before he turns 60 provided he continues to package himself correctly.