The inexplicable happened again in this by election. There was no Lee Kuan Yee effect to talk about. But the votes in favour of the PAP are again difficult to believe. They mystery deepens. Unless this mystery is solved, the results of future elections would be in the same pattern, strongly in favour of the PAP and no one is wiser.
Let’s look at the cards objective like all academics and analysts would do before the election. What were on the table? There was an affair involving the MP that led to his resignation. 10% swing against the PAP would be on the card on this indiscretion.
It was a by election, there was no fear of PAP not forming the govt. Another 10% swing for the opposition. Chee Soon Juan was gaining more credibility and support from the people despite the character assassination. Not many people would be moved by the pile of shit thrown over him. He would pull 10% of the votes to his side.
Murali was a minority candidate. If one believed in the PAP’s mantra on minorities, 10% swing would go the Chee way. These would add up to 40% swing in favour of the SDP.
What were favourable to Murali? Nothing. Murali was nothing exceptional. He was not touted as a minister material. His 16 years in Bukit Batok was only known to the grassroots working with him, not to the ordinary residents. He was an unknown compared to Chee, a national and international figure with a lot of class, charisma and leadership quality, a fighter for the last 20 plus years. Who was Murali? Murali was a minnow against an established name in Chee Soon Juan. There was no comparison in the two. Could not think of Murali getting any swing votes to his favour. 0% swing!
The only likely swing to favour him was the minority votes. In PAP’s thinking, voters would vote along ethnic lines, not my view. So Murali might get 5% swing in his favour from his ethnic group. The majority would vote colour blind and their votes splitted equally.
The goodies and programmes were non issues and neutral as the SDP too came out with a big list of things they would want to do for the people. In fact the SDP was leading the charge with new programmes that the PAP was trying to keep up with.
There were some suggestions that the voters would think very deeply about this and that. Bull shit. Only a small minority of voters would spend sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons and the consequences of their votes. Many would vote on first instinct, on very simple and superficial reasons. This would not be in favour of Murali on any count. Chee had the novelty and maverick effects in his favour.
On balance the SDP already won before the election started. Now the result is known and Murali won 61%. How so? How could he garner the 61% votes? It defies all logical and objective reasonings. The PAP gang of ministers speaking for him were wishy washy and should not have much impact. They were beating to a dead beat.
And they were speaking to their converts in the rallies. How many people really attended the PAP rallies other than the grassroots and supporters and those that went there for free chicken rice? Excluding these groups, hardly a single soul bothered to attend a PAP rally. This is a very significant development in the politics of
The big question, how to justify the 61% win by Murali and the PAP given the above scenario and factors? It is as good as fiction. There was no by election effect, no marital affair effect, no Chee effect, no minority effect, negligible negative effect to the PAP. In this uptight island ran like a church, that any small indiscretion would be scorned upon, how could there be no impact when there was a marital affair involving an MP and a grassroot member?
What is the mystery behind this result and the results of the GE? All the academics, statisticians and political observers must be scratching their heads asking the same questions. There is something that is beyond all logics, something that they could not understand. The crowds that went to the hills to listen to Chee did not go there to be entertained. They were serious minded people wanting change. They were there to support change and they saw in Chee as the change agent.
Until this riddle is resolved, the PAP camp seemed to have a 10% to 15% advantage from the word go and any opposition party wanting to score a marginal win must have a solid 15% advantage to just scrap through. The 15% is just to square the playing field. This is a very tough odd to beat.
In my view, statistically Chee won, but for some unknown factors he lost. Blame the voters because they were daft? No, it is not so simple. The people are not daft just because they were called daft, just like Chee is not mad just because some people said he is mad.
What do you think? I am still trying to figure out what is this X factor.