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Aftermath of GE2011

As the tensions cooled down, let’s take a brief look at what are the areas oppositions can do better for GE2106:

Candidates Credibility: WP’s star catch Chen Show Mao definitely plays a part in candidacy credibility. Other opposition parties have been weak in pushing out candidates that could convince conservative Singaporeans that their candidates are worthy to be voted into Parliament. For NSP, the only candidate who’s name registered in most people’s minds is Nicole Seah. I think NSP should build up their profile and candidate awareness over the next 5 years. Then, we have the President’s scholar couple Tony Tan and Hazel Poa, but their ‘fickle’ merry go round jumping from WP to RP to NSP might have hurt their chance in gaining credibility despite their scholarly pedigree. I won’t comment too much on RP as I had made my stand in one of my earlier posts. Vincent Wijseysingha is a good speaker but he rallied too much around emotions instead of supporting his speech with factual arguments.

If we strip away the ministers and PAP logo, all new candidates from the ruling party fares not much better. The only PAP candidate that I think is worthy to look upon is ex-general Tan Chuan-Jin, who came across as another George Yeo, sincere and willing to listen, while the rest hardly registers. Among the disappointed PAP catch includes:

  1. Janil Puthucheary, a new citizen who’s poor attempt at equating NS to his job as a doctor to children shows insincerity and not understanding the Singaporean male population.
  2. Chan Chun Sing, another ex-general but whose character spells loud, crude, unkempt and gangsterism. Manners that are simply unthinkable for a top ranking military official who had studied at renowned institutions.
  3. Tin Pei Ling. I don’t have to illustrate too much on this figure. It’s unbelievable the PAP had gone down to such a stage.

The PAP brand is strong. And many Singaporeans tend to ask: “Just look at the lousy standard of the opposition parties” without looking into the qualifications of the opposition parties and the new PAP candidates. All these conservative and, pardon my strong words, myopic Singaporeans can see is the prominence of the ministers in each GRC. Unless an opposition candidate’s background is stellar like Chen Show Mao which is highlighted in local media and an extremely rare commodity, Singaporeans don’t even bother to research and compare the opposition and new PAP candidate qualification. They simply equate PAP brand = good, and Opposition brand = lousy. Put Tin Pei Ling into NSP and she totally fits into the typical stereotype of oppositions.

WP’s star power is gaining momentum and the party should leverage on their brand to attract more stellar candidates for the coming GE. The next 5 years will be tough. They have to work doubly hard to convince Aljunied voters that voting them into Parliament is the right choice. They have to work even harder now that the PAP will, hopefully, descend from their high grounds and get more in touch with the ground.With a GRC win, the turn of tide is in their favor. If WP can leverage on this well, I see more wins around the East such as Marine Parade GRC, East Coast GRC, Tampines GRC and Joo Chiat SMC for GE2016 as highly probable given the poor results of the PAP in these areas.

The opposition should also start to scrutinize the actions of the new PAP candidates especially the weak ones (such as the ones I had highlighted above) for the next 5 years. Not only will this pressurize all these new candidates who had ride on the coat tails of many heavy-weight ministers to really perform, concentrating and highlighting short-comings on the weakest links over the next 5 years will only be advantageous to the opposition camp. If the opposition camp is unable to recruit high caliber candidates, which is a recognized uphill task, the strategy they should choose is to discredit their opponents. While this may sound scheming, it is perfectly rational to do so as even the ruling party had chose to poke at every weak link they can find in this GE.

Correcting perspective of 2-party or multi-party government: The WP needs to correct the notion that only one ruling party is good for Singapore. There are still a lot of Singaporeans, young and old, that bought into PAP’s claim that a single party is better in leading Singapore’s progress. They should educate the citizens, that while all systems are not perfect, a democratic system had brought first world nations such as the United States, France and Canada to where they are today, and have many merits such as suppressing group think, corruption and providing alternative government should PAP fails. This education should be built over the next 5 years to strengthen their main message for this GE for the GE in 2016.

Strategize and concentrate Firepower: This is something that WP had done. Very well in fact. They carefully selected wards they have presence and concentrate firepower on the weakest GRC in 2006. In terms of manpower and branding power, the PAP is king. But if you can concentrate your manpower and branding on a few selected wards, you increase your chance of winning. What would have happened if NSP, which field the most candidates in this GE, field Nicole Seah, Tony Tan and Hazel Poa in Marine Parade GRC?

Stretching the PAP’s immense resources: The Opposition camp had done extremely well by contesting in 82 out of 87 wards. If the opposition parties did not send out such a large competing team to keep other ministers busy, WP might not have won Aljunied. This should continue for GE2016. While I wish Lee Kwan Yew good health, I doubt he can stand for election in the next 5 years. After all, he would be 93 years old by then. With a missing 2 ministers and 1 grand master, the PAP needs to find new candidates to fill in the big shoes for GE2016. Should the opposition manage to repeat a feat in GE2016, we see a real crisis for PAP’s 4G leaders renewal as the current elected new PAP candidates won’t have enough time to rise to ministerial post in 5 years time going by PAP’s track records.

P.S.: There’s rumors going about in cyberspace that the induction of Tin Pei Ling is to smoother the ground for the incoming of the grandson of LKY into politics in GE2016. After all, you need a young sacrificial lamb to ensure another late 20 something can gain credence from the voters in 5 years time. But that is entirely speculative.

Categories: Opposition candidates
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  1. May 9, 2011 at 2:25 am
  2. May 12, 2011 at 3:25 am

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