Hougang is like part of a bigger scheme of things
Under normal circumstances this could still be the honeymoon period for the elected ruling party to ferment whatever it wants to do. The next GE is another four years away. This is the period for more increases in everything and whatever unpleasant policies, now is the time to throw them to the people. There will be some pain and unhappiness, but the people will get used to it, get over it over time. Then comes the last chapter, the pre election phase when the wounds are healed and little goodies would do the trick to prepare the electorate for more good years.
The Hougang by election must have come at an inopportune time. With this in the air, with the people getting political again and being agitated by all kinds of issues, and introducing or implementing tough policies would give the opposition a good platform to shout them down. Not doing so would have to delay it further down the road and may be too close to the next GE.
Whichever way, the temper of the people would not be given a chance to take a break. The temperature will rise again as in all elections. And expectedly, the opposition would rub the salt in wherever there is an open wound, or would open up old wounds. And it is defending time. The full backs and the goal keepers would not be able to rest or sleep soundly. Where are the goal keepers?
The other important development coming out from Hougang is the closing ranks of all the opposition parties. This is one of the rare instances that the oppositions are coming together to fight a common enemy. It would be interesting to see who would be speaking in the WP rallies. It would also be an opportunity for the opposition parties to rally together, to seek common grounds and build a closer rapport and understanding before the next GE. Hougang could pave the way for a better understanding among the opposition parties, and more give and take later on, and who knows, a united front that they have yet to forge after so many years.
Hougang could also be a testing time for people forced to reveal themselves to do damage to the WP’s cause. Many believe that there are plenty of moles in hiding in the opposition parties. It is a time to see the real stuff, the real enemies within, the desperadoes. But they are unlikely to cause a dent on the WP’s armour.
The PAP will, for the first time, be facing the opposition parties as a single bloc, speaking in unison. No more divide and rule, pulling strings here and there for the opposition parties to dance and bicker at each other. Maybe it is too premature to talk about this. It would be an interesting battle with more actors playing more important roles on both sides. All the big guns from both camps would be firing at the same time. A Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in the air.