The daft Singaporeans voted
The daft Singaporeans voted for the PAP to rule them again for the next 5 years with a majority of 81-6 MPs in Parliament. Despite the strong presence of able and credible opposition candidates, the opposition parties could not do much except for a little breakthrough in winning a 5 member GRC in Aljunied. The pattern and consistency in the way the daft Singaporeans voted are pretty predictable by now. They have seen what PAP could do and are enjoying the success and would only vote for good candidates if they are available. They are responsible and voted with their heads. There was a little disappointment in that a few GRC candidates from the opposition were equally good or nearly as good as those from the PAPs but only managed a closed fight. The best team other than the WP’s winners in Aljunied is perhaps the SDP team in Holland Bukit Timah, with every candidate matching those from the PAP. The next two good teams were the Bishan team led by Chiam See Tong/Benjamin and the NSP team helmed by Tony and Hazel in Chua Chu Kang. Both teams were handicapped by a weaker supporting cast while Chiam’s physical condition could have given voters a second thought. With hindsight, the popularity of Nicole, if included in the Tony Hazel team could boost them to victory in Chua Chu Kang. But no one could predict how well received she was for a 24 year rookie. She did very well to carry her team in Marine Parade to give Chok Tong something to worry about. Her losing came with a tinge of sadness for her supporters. A little sadness too could be felt with the defeat of George Yeo and his team in Aljunied. It was a big blow to the PAP that boasted of two ministers with George a core member of the PAP leadership. And there was Zainal Abidin, slated to be the next Speaker of Parliament, and young and promising unionist Ong Ye Kong. Now the morning after minus the storm and tsunami of a big political change that failed to take place, is there anything that has changed? For once, the PAP was humbled by the shift in sentiments against them. They sensed it during the election hustings. The knew that the people were angry. And they started to tone down their cocky and high and mighty approach even before Polling Day. Hsien Loong made a public apology for all the mistakes they had made. Very unnatural to have come from an elitist Party that claimed to have all the best talents in the island. They would now have to be more guarded about their claims and their demands for outrageous pay for themselves. George Yeo openly protested against the use of threats even when it came from LKY himself. The post election thank you speech too came out pretty well rehearsed. The cocky position of only looking after their supporters and treating those that did not vote for them with lower priority has changed, or has it? They claimed that they have heard and understood the people’s unhappiness and would want to win them back again. They promised to listen, to work harder, and Boon Wan said that all are Singaporeans and must come together as one people after the election. There is a concerted effort to want to heal the rift and change their aloof image. Those words were said last night. Now that victory is in their hands, would they have short memories and revert to their old self again comes Monday? What is important is that the people have shown that they were most willing to change if there are good alternatives. If the opposition can attract more good candidates, the next GE is going to see a better contest. The people of Hougang stood solidly behind the WP. And the people of Aljunied had taken the first leap of faith to reject the PAP. The sun rises from the East. It will get brighter over time. Nicole could have been the winner in Marine Parade if her team mates were stronger. And it is quite clear that this is the last term for the PAP in Marine Parade. It was a tough choice and a yearning for change, if only a better team was available. Nicole could not breach the wooden wall alone. Now the daft Singaporeans would have to live with their decisions for the next 5 years. Would they regret, would they repent, or would they rejoice? One thing for sure, don’t take them for granted, don’t bully them again.