can pap survive a second barisan socialis?

this is purely speculative and unlikely to happen. but what if the pap actually splitted into two almost equal size parties competing for power? can the remnant pap under hsien loong weather such a storm? when the splintered section of the pap broke away in the early 60s to form the barisan socialis, lky was still a very young man, still trying to build up a support from a purely worker based party strongly under the influence of the pro communist group. goh keng swee, toh chin chye and rajaratnam were still newbies in the political arena. not much grassroot support. the real crowd mobilisers and organisers were those in the barisan camp, having organised themselves in workers and students union activities and in agitation for many years. the only strength on the side of lky was the british govt. the later did not really have a love affair with the english educated pap leaders but preferred them as the lesser devil than the pro communist barisan socialists. today, hypothetically, if choktong breaks away with half of the party members, including mps and ministers, the influence and appeals of the two camps will be quite equally matched in all quarters. it will be hard to find any difference between the two. it will be a choice between the popular choktong and a brand new young turk hsienloong backed by the experience of lky. in such a scenario, the opposition will suddenly be thrown into the limelight to share a coalition govt. parliament will not be the same again. we can expect a lot of fireworks and hopefully more quality and meaningful debates to compete for the people's votes. and we will see a situation when every grc and single ward will be hotly contested. no need to grumble about having no chance to vote or given no good choices. the aftermath, with only a single digit majority, or perhaps even becoming a minority opposition party, will pap then be able to reform and reestablish itself and return to its past glory? or with it whither away? this is highly improbable, but still a possibility. and will singapore collapse into oblivion and rejoin the third world?


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Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

lets simulate this scenario like a war game. under what circumstances can there lead to a split up of the pap?

one possible trigger is the nkf affair. assuming that serious fraud and mismanagement were discovered and the top management ended up facing criminal charges. assuming the patron was also dragged into the milieu. and assuming that the outcome was unpleasant. the court has no choice but to make a judgement. nothing can be hidden anymore given the wide publicity of the case. any mishandling can have adverse political consequences.

and the court pronounces its sentence. would choktong be cornered and decide to stake his political future in forming a new party?

second scenario, irreconciliable differences in leadership style or direction. big disagreement over some fundamental issues and two camps emerged, both stubbornly sticking to their principles.

third scenario, civil disobedience as a result of some govt policies.

fourth scenario, external factors, economic or political forces demanding controversial policies or decisions.

fifth scenario, a big swing in popular support for opposition parties in a general election.

the possibility of a split is always there.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

if there is a split, what would it be like? the young turks versus the old guards? this looks like the obvious battle line. all the young ministers and mps with hsien loong and the old ministers and old mps with chok tong. there will also be some fence sitters waiting to see which side the wind blows.

but such an eventuality, which is a matter of time given the nature of politics, would actually benefit singapore as a whole. two fairly similar type of people competing to win the votes, will have to think more for the people than what they are doing now. the people's interest will then be really served.

Joe Public said...

I do not envisage another dominant party for the next 20 years. However I foresee PM Lee Hsien Loong to last another 2 elections. Alternatively he will fade into oblivion soon after MM Lee Kuan Yew is dead.

It is not about been mean or heartless to wish for someone to really die.

But seriously should MM Lee Kuan Yew is dead - I do not see WHY should PAP Whip or PAP NEW majority to "kowtow" to PM Lee Hsien Loong.

I do not believe that PM Lee has 100% support from the cabinet.

AND in all honesty - I do believe that there are many more within PAP ranks that as capable. IF not better than PM Lee!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

all things being as it is, pap looks good to run for another two elections at least. but do not rule out the unexpected.

as for hsien loong's support in the party, it is difficult to judge under the present conditions. it is natural for people to think that the weight of lky is overbearing and be biased to see the shadow of the father over him. the truth will only surface if lky is trully out of the equation. then how strong hsien loong is will be put to a test.

there is a chinese saying that when the big tree falls, all the monkeys will scatter.