Old and New PAP
When one put up a topic like that, it simply implies that there are issues between the new and the old. Definitely there are and many, both good and bad. What distinguishes the old from the new is that it was a highly respected party, with a few rough corners for making tough decisions for the people. It was a lean party and the people knew that whatever it did, it was really for the good of the party. And the leaders lived by the principles that they shared the woes of the people and would carry them and walked a long with them through thick and thin. The people might not be too happy with some of the policies but went along, and elected the party to power elections after elections. The leadership was impressive. Not that all of them were super talent material, but their hearts were together with the people. The ministers were well regarded, each a tower of strength. Any GRC that was deemed to be weak or facing tough opposition, just threw in a minister and the GRC would be as good as in the pocket. What is the situation today? The party is still doing a lot of good work for the people. I perceive that in spite of this, the ground has shifted. The people are angry, really angry. OK, not everyone is angry. There were many policies and decisions that were seen as bad and unacceptable. It may be only a perception, it may be real too. On the party side, it thinks and sincerely, honestly believes that it is doing everything for the good of the people. They forget that it is the people that is the judge. Why is there such a big gap in the people’s perception and the party’s own thinking? An erroneous perception can be easily explained away with some effort. Bad decisions and policies don’t go away, no matter how much trumpet blowing, and will end up as sophistry. They said you cannot bluff the people all the time. Too many untruths propagated as truths would surely back fire. It is no longer palatable to take the position that the people are stupid and unthinking masses, can be easily manipulated, or unable to see the goodness of good policies. Our superb education system must at the least do some good, make the people more knowledgeable and critical of the things they see or are happening to their lives. They cannot be unthinking people with all the exposure to the world and the high educational level they have attained. Are the people with the new PAP? There are hard core supporters and oppositions on both sides. The important segment is the middle ground. Has this moved? If the anger expressed in the new media is true, forget about the views of the old media as we know what they are, then the writing is on the wall. But it is not just the perception of the people that has changed. The leadership in the new PAP is quite fragile to be polite. Many ministers today are liabilities to the GRCs they are helming to the extent that fielding them will guarantee that the GRC will be lost. I know some may read this point with eyes popping out. Believe me, quite a number of ministers no longer carry the ground. The only thing that has never changed is that the PAP, old and new, is still led by one man, the same one man that started it. Even though LKY does not hold any decision making position directly like a ministry, he is still the man. It is still his party, his Singapore. Can the man carry the party again one last time, really, that he will stand for one more election? Or is the party coming to an end together with the fading away of the man that is synonymous with the PAP from day one to his last days?