Tuesday 9 December 2014

Next GE to be a deadly serious fight: PM Lee

Next GE will be a fight to see who forms govt, says PM Lee
By Fiona Chan, Deputy Political Editor, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore's next General Election (GE) will be about who forms the government to implement policies to take the country forward.

"The next GE is going to be a deadly serious fight," Mr Lee told 6,000 members of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) yesterday at its 60th anniversary rally at the Singapore Expo.

"It will be about whether we continue to have a First World Government, not about the so-called First World Parliament," he said, alluding to the Workers' Party's (WP's) GE 2011 slogan.

"Every seat, every contest will be a national one, not a local one," he said in a rousing hour- long speech in Malay, Mandarin and English. What will be at stake in every constituency will be who gets to form the government, rather than the by-election effect often used by the opposition to secure more seats, he argued.

The next election must be held by January 2017, and Mr Lee said it would be about choosing a "clear vision" and "capable leadership" for the nation. "It is not just about expressing approval or disapproval, it is not just about winning a seat in Parliament, it is not a by-election," he said.

The party, he said, would fight to win every seat - and this included WP-held Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol East.

Going on the offensive against opposition parties, Mr Lee accused them of offering no vision for Singapore, even as he outlined the PAP's updated objectives for an inclusive and fair nation with citizens who are hard-working and actively engaged.

These goals, adopted as a resolution during the party's convention last year, were crystallised in the party's Constitution yesterday. It was the first amendment to the Constitution in 32 years.

The change cements the PAP's shift in governance over the past decade towards more communication with the public and stronger social support, said Mr Lee, the party's secretary-general.

Noting that the PAP is the only party offering a national vision, he said: "Only the PAP is solving problems, planning for the future. Only the PAP is putting forth a vision, a road map for Singapore."

Meanwhile, he urged PAP activists to stand up for their ideas, even if they are criticised. Telling them to have courage, he quipped: "If I get flamed, so what; I have the thickest skin in town."

Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Gillian Koh noted that the WP had fought on a platform of being the PAP's check and balance in the last GE.

"The challenge seems to be whether it can do the local part well," she added, referring to recent hitches in the WP's management of its town council.

The PAP also held elections for its central executive committee yesterday, for what is likely to be the last time before the GE.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin made it into the committee's top 12, replacing Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Dr Ng was co-opted into the committee with Speaker Halimah Yacob, as the two nominees with the next highest number of votes.

For the next GE, the PAP has identified "many promising candidates", including potential office-holders, Mr Lee said, adding that his successor is likely to be in the "renewed, strengthened and more seasoned" team that will be in place after the next polls.


For democracy really, truly to work in Singapore, the PAP also must fight, and fight to win the battle. Because if we sit down and we are good guys and nice and friendly to everybody, I think we deserve to lose.

- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Too many checks 'will lead to checkmate'
By Rachel Au-Yong, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

SINGAPORE'S opposition parties do not see it as their duty to solve the nation's problems and plan for the future, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Instead, their main campaigning platform is to act as a "check" on the ruling party, he said at a People's Action Party (PAP) rally held after the party's biennial conference yesterday.

But for every "checker" in Parliament, there will be one fewer "doer, thinker and leader" in the government, said Mr Lee, who is the PAP's secretary-general.

"You will have a lot of checkers, you have no workers... There will be gridlock, like in other countries," he said.

"Eventually, there will be no PAP to check... That will be the last check, because it will be checkmate for Singapore."

In a speech that pulled no punches in criticising the opposition, Mr Lee said that every time the PAP Government puts out a popular policy, opposition politicians respond: "Do more."

But they fail to suggest where the money will come from, or "who are you going to 'take from' in order to 'give more' ", he said.

Mr Lee also chided opposition politicians for not putting forth a vision for Singapore, saying it is "because they are trying to avoid answering hard questions".

The PAP, on the other hand, delivers on its promises and thinks long term, he added. Citing the $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package, which was funded from the surpluses of a single term of government rather than future taxes, he said the ruling party will not "mortgage your children's future to win your votes".

Taking a jab at the 2011 election slogan of the Workers' Party (WP) - the biggest opposition party in Parliament - Mr Lee said: "When other people say First World Parliament, we don't know what it means." He added to loud cheers: "But when we say First World Nation - here we are."

Yesterday, Mr Lee also urged PAP activists to greater action in the lead-up to the next general election (GE), especially in opposition-held wards.

The WP currently controls Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol East - the biggest opposition haul since independence.

Mr Lee said that in June, he visited several thousand Aljunied residents, who gave him a rousing welcome. Pledging to win the opposition constituencies back, he said: "It may take some time, but we will not give up trying and, one day, we will succeed."

He pointed to the example of PAP MP Sitoh Yih Pin, who wrested Potong Pasir back from the opposition on his third try.

Madam Normah Ahmad, 62, a Kaki Bukit activist, agreed: "We should try to win back Aljunied, slowly, if we have to. It is a hard fight, but I think we can."

Activists must also toughen up for the next GE, Mr Lee said.

"For democracy really, truly to work in Singapore, the PAP also must fight, and fight to win the battle," he said. "Because if we sit down and we are good guys and nice and friendly to everybody, I think we deserve to lose."

Only PAP has a road map for S'pore: PM
The Straits Times, 10 Dec 2014

ADDRESSING 6,000 PAP members on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is the party's secretary-general, framed what was at stake at the next election. Here is an extract of his remarks:

"The next GE is going to be a deadly serious fight. It will be about who forms the government, not how many seats the opposition gets.

It will be about whether we continue to have a First World Government, not about a so-called First World Parliament. Every seat - every GRC, every SMC - will be contested. Every seat, every contest, will be a national contest, not a local one. Every seat is a general election, not a by-election.

There are different voices now, louder voices, in our society and, especially, in the social media. Some mean well, and we must engage with them and persuade them to make common cause with us. Others try to mislead voters, and they will lead Singapore into trouble, and those we have to counter, expose and defeat. The PAP must do that.

Only the PAP is bringing different groups together. Only the PAP is solving problems and planning for the future. Only the PAP is putting forth a vision, a road map, for Singapore...

The Opposition does not see any duty to bring people together, solve problems and plan for the future. Far from it. The fewer the problems, the worse their prospects.

The only fear is that there is no turmoil under the heaven.

So every time we put out a popular policy, they say 'Do More'.

But they do not say 'How'. They do not say money from 'where'. They do not say who they are going to 'take from', in order to 'give more'.

And there's no vision because they say they cannot form the government, so no need for vision!

In fact, they dare not say that not because they cannot form the government, but because they are trying to avoid answering hard questions until well after they get elected; maybe even after then, they will waffle."


"We will reinforce the team further in the next General Election. We have already identified many promising candidates, including a few potential office holders. Some from the private sector; some in the government; quite a number from the activists, from the grassroots, men, women, different age groups, different races. A good representation of Singapore and the way Singapore's leadership should be.

Of course, the elections are still a bit off yet and we have not stopped and will not stop looking for good men and women who can join us. So, after the next General Election, with the support of the voters, I will have a renewed, strengthened and more seasoned team of MPs, and of ministers.

Whoever will succeed me as Secretary-General and Prime Minister, will most likely be amongst the PAP MPs elected in the next General Election....Well before the end of next term, I am confident we will have a younger, passionate and capable team, ready to take over the reins".


"When we face problems, we acknowledge them publicly and deal with them. We do not pretend there is no problem - no comment, studying the matter, thinking about it, we'll clarify one day. We settle now! You lie low, hoping the public will forget the issue and the issue will go away and the public will forget you, and you might as well go away.

Because we are the People's Action Party, we owe a responsibility to the people, to be honest, to be transparent, and to be accountable. In fact, it is our responsibility to set the standard that other political parties in Singapore should be measured by and should aim for. I cannot tell them what they should aim for, but I can tell you who is up to the mark and who falls short. And we have to set that mark."


"This is democracy. People are entitled to try. It is the way the system works or is supposed to work. But for democracy to really, truly work in Singapore, the PAP also must fight, and fight to win the battle. Because if the other side fights and we sit down and we are good guys and nice and friendly to everyone, I think we deserve to lose. We are friendly, yes. To win, we must fight for what we believe in. If you get flamed, so what? I have the thickest skin in town and if you are doing the right thing and if 10,000 people go against you, proceed. We are charging in the right direction."

Update to PAP Constitution timely: Khaw
First review in 32 years to reflect vision for Singapore
By Toh Yong Chuan, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

THE People's Action Party (PAP) has amended its Constitution for the first time in 32 years to reflect its updated goals for a Singapore that has changed significantly in the past few decades.

It has enshrined in its Constitution, its vision for Singapore first spelt out last year: To ensure opportunities for all Singaporeans, build a fair and just society and develop a "democracy of deeds", which relies on a strong sense of collective responsibility and community action.

Party chairman Khaw Boon Wan said the changes, approved at the party conference yesterday, reflect these circumstances.

"As our society becomes more diverse, our economy more mature and our political landscape more contested, it is timely to fundamentally review our overall approach," he said.

Members had earlier agreed to adopt the updated vision and directions of the party at the PAP convention in December last year.

Yesterday, six new clauses replaced three old ones in the first update of the PAP's objectives in 32 years. It was only the second time since the PAP's formation in 1954 that a section of its Constitution - which sets out its objectives - was updated. The last change was in 1982.

Speaking yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is PAP secretary-general, noted that Singapore has undergone enormous changes since 1982. "We have progressed and prospered. Our society has changed. Many problems have been solved, but new challenges have arisen. And the PAP has adapted to the times."

Mr Lee outlined three directions in particular that the PAP wants to take Singapore in.

First, it must be a nation of opportunity, where everyone has a chance to prove himself, and those who do less well will not be left with nothing. To give everyone a good start, the Government has ramped up early childhood education and is adding more pathways for success, said Mr Lee.

Second, Singapore must be a fair and just society. He said the Government is doing more to help the lower income and build better safety nets. Recent initiatives include the new universal health coverage programme MediShield Life and the Silver Support scheme to support low-income elderly workers.

The third goal is to nurture a "democracy of deeds". This is where hard work and self-reliance remain core values and people come together as a community to solve problems.

Mr Lee said: "You can't leave everything to the Government; individuals have to take initiative, organise themselves, pass the hat around, get things done."

In a closed-door speech to PAP cadre members before the rally yesterday, Mr Khaw, who is National Development Minister, warned members of tensions even as the party seeks to take the country forward.

Possible fault lines can come from issues such as citizenship, sexual orientation and social values. "On some of these issues, we may well have to respectfully agree to disagree, without pushing to the point of polarisation," he said.

Besides updating the objectives, the PAP also raised its annual subscription fees from $4 to $9. It also made minor changes to other parts of its Constitution covering areas such as the frequency of its party conferences.

Updated party objectives
- To preserve, protect and defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Singapore.
- To safeguard the freedom, and advance the well-being, of Singaporeans through representative and democratic government.
- To uphold a multiracial and multi-religious society, where people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs live harmoniously together as fellow citizens, and deepen our national identity and commitment to Singapore.
- To sustain a vibrant economy which creates good jobs and better lives for all, and enables every Singaporean to achieve their full potential.
- To build a fair and just society, which encourages individual effort and family responsibility, while ensuring community and government support for the vulnerable and less fortunate.
- To strengthen an open and compassionate meritocracy, with opportunities for Singaporeans to develop skills in diverse fields, active support for those who start off with less, and ladders to success at every stage of life.
- To develop a democracy of deeds, where citizenship embodies both rights and duties, and nurtures a sense of collective responsibility and community action.
- To represent and serve all Singaporeans responsively and responsibly, attentive to immediate concerns, focused on long-term challenges and opportunities, and governing with integrity and honesty.

Tan Chuan-Jin in central exec committee
By Rachel Au-Yong, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

MANPOWER Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has been elected to the top decision-making body of the People's Action Party (PAP).

He is the only new face among the 12 nominees elected to the party's central executive committee (CEC). They received the highest number of votes in yesterday's election.

Mr Tan replaced Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who together with Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob placed 13th and 14th in the election. As is party practice, Dr Ng and Madam Halimah were automatically co-opted into the CEC, alongside the top 12.

About 2,000 PAP cadres voted yesterday for the committee that will lead them for the next two years and likely into the next general election, which must be called before January 2017. The cadres chose from a shortlist of 19 nominees.

The Straits Times understands the other nominees were Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah and Mayor of Central Singapore Community Development Council Denise Phua.

In 2012, Dr Balakrishnan was automatically co-opted into the CEC, along with Mr Tan.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday congratulated Mr Tan on the election result, saying on Facebook that he has "done well, especially in building rapport with the young".

Mr Goh and Mr Tan are both MPs for Marine Parade GRC.

The other members elected to the CEC yesterday were, in no particular order: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Cabinet ministers Khaw Boon Wan, Yaacob Ibrahim, Teo Chee Hean, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Lim Swee Say, K. Shanmugam, Chan Chun Sing, Grace Fu, Gan Kim Yong and Heng Swee Keat.

Apart from the top 12 nominees, up to six other members can be co-opted into the CEC.

Yesterday, PM Lee underscored the need for renewal in a rally speech. "Well before the end of next term, we will have a younger, passionate and capable team, ready to take over the reins."

Activists hope for inclusive nation and active citizens
By Charissa Yong, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

THE founders of the PAP were in their 30s when they dreamed of freedom and a society of equals 60 years ago, Young PAP member Cynthia Mark, 29, said yesterday.

And she has a vision of a Singapore where all jobs are equally respected and people pay taxes not because they have to, but because they want to help fellow citizens.

"In 50 years, we dream of a Singapore with no cars, no waste, 100 per cent recycling and a sense of collective destiny driving our social behaviour," she told the party's 60th anniversary rally.

Ms Cynthia, a manager with a shipping company, was one of four PAP activists who spoke about their hopes for the country to, among others, be inclusive and have active citizens.

Another speaker, Mr Saktiandi Supaat, 41, previously identified as a potential candidate, said Singapore cannot become stratified and segregated, or leave behind the underprivileged.

Instead, said the PAP Policy Forum member and head of foreign exchange research at Maybank, the nation must be a place where people "readily extend their hand to those lagging behind".

Ms Cheryl Chan, 38, of the PAP Women's Wing, said it was key to minimise the debilitating effects of a widening social gap.

Dr Kee Wei Heong, 65, a gynaecologist who volunteers in Bukit Gombak, spoke about the need to engage seniors, including party stalwarts who had a wealth of experience to share.

The speakers said that for all this to happen, a spirit of volunteering should be encouraged.

Ms Chan, who is head of electronic materials at a chemicals firm, said: "We cannot be happy to only seek entitlements without any associated responsibilities."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged this in his speech, calling on individuals to come together to take part in community life and solve problems.

Still, activists said politics was not for the faint of heart. Ms Cynthia said: "You will get flamed... you will be criticised online and offline."

But she urged them to take heart: "If this be so, we walk in the footsteps of our political fathers. They battled for Singapore. Everything was against them."

Hints of PAP's election manifesto and strategy
By Zakir Hussain, Deputy Political Editor, The Straits Times, 8 Dec 2014

THE annual People's Action Party (PAP) rally, traditionally held in November or December, has been an occasion for the party secretary-general, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to set the direction for the year ahead before thousands of its core members.

The rally has also served as an indicator of the political, economic and social emphasis that the ruling party is likely to take.

It was particularly telling that Mr Lee's speech dwelled at some length on the PAP's vision for Singapore as a nation of opportunity, a fair and just society and a democracy of deeds - fleshed out in the updates to the party Constitution adopted yesterday.

He also called on members to be clear about what the PAP is: A national movement, and a responsible party with courage and conviction. These points may very well form a key part of the party's manifesto and strategy at the next General Election, which could be some time away, but which members are gearing up for.

Yesterday's event marked the close of the PAP's 60th anniversary celebrations and came ahead of Singapore celebrating 50 years of nationhood next year.

Underpinning Mr Lee's remarks was a clear message, even though he did not say it in as many words. It was that Singapore has come this far because of the PAP Government. And for the foreseeable future, the country can make further progress only under the party's leadership.

One reason for this view is that the party has adapted to the times and changed the way it has governed over the last decade: From engaging citizens to having stronger social safety nets for the elderly and lower-income workers.

It has also stuck by its goal of a fair and just society at a time when income inequality is widening here and elsewhere.

This was "the reason why in the last 55 years the PAP has been in government, the PAP has never ceased to strive for good housing, health care and education for every Singaporean, and especially the poor and the middle income".

He also assured minority communities that they will have a full share in the nation's progress. The party, he said, was a national movement for all Singaporeans, which was responsible about managing the Budget and publicly acknowledging problems.

If these are indicators of the messages the party could use at the next election, what then of the method? Expect the PAP to fight, and fight fiercely to win.

As Mr Lee said: "If the other side fights and we sit down, and we are good guys and nice and friendly to everybody, I think we deserve to lose."

The battle will also go online, where voices and sentiment against the PAP have been louder.

He said some voices mean well, and have to be engaged and persuaded to make common cause with the PAP: "Others will try to mislead voters, they will lead Singapore into trouble, and those we must counter, expose and defeat."

Even as the party changes its approach in some areas, do not expect it to ease up on its electoral opponents. Mr Lee laid down a marker yesterday: "It is our responsibility to set the standard that other political parties in Singapore should be measured by and should aim for. That is how you should measure who is up to the mark and who falls short."

It was an early signal to voters that the PAP wants them to assess the opposition by the same yardstick that they would the PAP.

First time PAP has raised spectre of not forming govt: Analyst
By Neo Chai Chin and Laura Philomin, TODAY, 8 Dec 2014

Commenting on the fact that a General Election (GE) here has been framed by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) for the first time as a fight to form the next government, political analysts said it was probably an attempt by the party’s secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong to focus voters’ minds.

The argument that Singapore should have an opposition in Parliament — as a check and balance against the PAP — is a compelling one, said Dr Gillian Koh, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies.

“I think it’s a way in which Mr Lee is trying to persuade people not to think of the contest as one of only checking the Government,” she said.

“This is the first time where the articulation of the PAP perhaps not forming the Government is put forth,” noted former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Eugene Tan, who felt the next GE would be watershed as there would be a clearer indication of whether Singapore is moving towards a two-party political system, demonstrated by the Opposition gaining more seats.

This is because, in all previous elections, the PAP was successful in ensuring the Opposition did not build on electoral gains in terms of their number of parliamentary seats.

Despite Mr Lee’s characterisation of the next GE as a “deadly serious fight” that will be about who forms the Government, political analysts told TODAY it is unlikely Singapore’s ruling party since 1965 will lose its parliamentary majority in the next contest.

If the Opposition — in particular the Workers’ Party (WP), which has seven elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and two Non-Constituency MPs — continues to make gains in the next GE, the prospect — albeit unlikely — of the PAP losing its majority in the subsequent GE could arise, said former NMP Siew Kum Hong.

On Mr Lee signalling the intent to fight to win in every constituency, including those held by the WP, political observers felt recapturing the opposition wards could be an uphill battle. Mr Siew said it is likely the PAP would seek to defend its seats strategically to shore up support, instead of aggressively targeting the WP’s wards.

Assoc Prof Tan did not think the majority of people in those wards have lost faith in the WP. Hence, the PAP also faces a dilemma in calibrating the right balance in teams to field in opposition wards, he added.

As the prospect of the Opposition forming the government increases, Singaporeans’ voting patterns would change, said Mr Siew. “The desire to vote to signal displeasure with the PAP or to have a check in Parliament will almost certainly decrease, which would force the Opposition to more clearly articulate their plans and policies.”

PAP 'set to take fight to opposition in next GE'
Analysts: Ruling party going on the offensive, not taking things for granted
By Rachel Au-yong And Charissa Yong, The Straits Times, 10 Dec 2014

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong's robust speech to People's Action Party (PAP) activists on Sunday has sparked talk that the party looks set to take the fight to the opposition in the next general election (GE), which must be called by January 2017 at the latest.

Several analysts said he was calling the opposition out on its lack of alternative policies, and its seeking to act only as a "check" on the Government, while others felt it showed that the ruling party was not taking things for granted.

Several opposition leaders disagreed with his contention that they lacked a vision and plan for the country.

But Ms Sylvia Lim, Aljunied GRC MP and chairman of the Workers' Party (WP), which has seven elected and two Non-Constituency MPs, told The Straits Times that she will leave it to the public to judge her party's performance.

"These are matters concerning the next general election and the WP will deal with them when the time comes. In the meantime, we will continue to do our work and leave it to the public to judge if we are performing a useful role," she added, without elaborating.

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan rejected Mr Lee's criticism, and posted on Mr Lee's Twitter account, a link to his article published last week in the Wall Street Journal.

In it, Dr Chee outlined alternative policies in areas like housing, health care and population.

Singapore People's Party chairman and Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam said Mr Lee's depiction of the next election as a "deadly serious fight" was, in fact, "a serious wake-up call for the Government to fix its many wrong and unpopular policies".

In a brief Facebook post, she also said the opposition must win enough seats to deny the PAP a two-thirds majority in Parliament - which would allow the ruling party to change the Constitution at will.

National Solidarity Party (NSP) secretary-general Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss responded to Mr Lee's comment that the opposition aimed to act only as a "check" on the PAP and did not see it as its duty to solve the nation's problems and plan for the future.

Mr Lee, who is the PAP's secretary-general, said that for every "checker" in Parliament, there will be one less "doer, thinker and leader in government".

Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said ministries and think-tanks could assist political leaders. "A politician isn't a lawyer, economist and engineer rolled into one. I'm not clear as to why Mr Lee expects all three in an MP."

Several opposition leaders also shared the view of political observers that Mr Lee's tone and blunt assessment of the opposition were a clear sign the PAP will make stronger challenges as the general election draws nearer.

Political scientist Bilveer Singh said the PAP was going on the offensive, especially with its recent criticisms of the WP for how it managed its town council.

He believes the PAP will use opportunities to highlight the failing of the opposition, the WP in particular, and play up on the PAP's performance and track record of delivering on promises.

In this regard, former Nominated MP Calvin Cheng and former WP treasurer Eric Tan - who quit the party in 2011 - said the WP had not lived up to expectations.

"If the WP has a serious alternative or any policy matter they would like to comprehensively debate, they should put in a full motion and have Parliament debate it. But they have not. Not on transport issues, or housing issues, or on the CPF (Central Provident Fund)," said Mr Cheng, who served from 2009 to 2011.

Mr Tan said that while no party had all the answers, the WP "should set the agenda by offering alternative constructive ideas rather than responding to the PAP policies".

"In 2011, the WP... articulated a clear alternative model for our public transport. I did not see them engage the PAP when their public transport model broke down and needed revamping."

Former NSP secretary-general Goh Meng Seng warned that opposition parties risked becoming irrelevant if they did not evolve beyond performing a "check and balance" role.

This is especially as non-partisan activists have been at the forefront on social-political issues. Mr Goh said: "If opposition parties don't buck up to show that they can lead the charge, voters will be disillusioned by their passiveness."

As for Mr Lee's pulling no punches, former Nominated MP Zulkifli Baharudin said it was a sign the PAP is not taking its political future for granted.

The party was in a difficult situation - having to appear caring and compassionate "but that doesn't mean fighting the opposition gently", he said.

He also shared political scientist Derek da Cunha's view that the strategy of framing the next general election as a national fight, not just a local one, may not sway voters.

As Dr da Cunha put it: "Unless one party signals it will field candidates in all the constituencies to provide a clear-cut option to voters as an alternative government to the PAP, it is hard to see the opposition providing a national vision. In broad terms, the opposition parties are still parties of protest."

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