With the recent win by the opposition Workers Party at yesterday’s by election at Punggol East, this interesting question arises; are they and their voters working at cross purposes.
Watching the following video of their interview after their victory, their chief Low Thia Khaing and chairwoman Sylvia Lim keep repeating their purpose in contesting elections, which is to keep the ruling PAP in check and to enable them (the PAP) to provide a better government.
More than once they have described their purpose with the analogy of a driver and a front seat passenger in a car. If the driver(meaning the ruling party in government) doses off, they (the Workers Party) would knock him on the head to wake him up. More like an observer making sure the government does its job.
Please see the video below
This role which they have adopted is not what parliamentary democracies around the world are accustomed to. Elsewhere, the opposition contests elections to replace the ruling party and assume leadership themselves. Whereas in
The Singapore voters on the other hand, watching the boisterous celebrations after the Workers Party win, I suspect are not content merely for the Workers Party to play a supportive role for the PAP; instead they have had it with them and want them out, completely. They, as can be expected anywhere else, want a change of government.
It appears, the Workers Party and the
I fear in this Workers Party victory, we may also have a case of mutual mistake.
But on the whole, although I am not altogether happy with a Workers Party win, still I am very happy with the fact that Lee Kuan Yew's PAP lost. Although presently the Workers Party are functioning as if they were part of China's Communist Party where factions within it play a role of criticizing the government when the need arises, I expect, as time goes on, when more and more capable Singaporeans join them, they may slowly be forced to become a defender of the people and become more like a democracy as is generally understood.
I expect next time, more Workers Party would be elected and we will eventually see Lee’s PAP out, unless of course martial law is ordered.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 4375