Coronavirus and inequality threaten to unsettle Singapore election

Elections lai liao,” the elections are coming, buzzed Singapore’s chat groups last week, hours before Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister and leader of the ruling People’s Action Party, announced the July 10 polling date.

At first glance, the PAP, which has won every election since independence in 1965, the last in 2015 with a thumping 70% vote share, looks like a shoo-in. Singaporean voters are notoriously risk-averse even in the best of times.

Yet the government’s perceived pandemic lapses, which have led to 44,000 confirmed cases, have reminded the electorate of some long-standing grievances which opposition parties, more competent and diverse than ever before, will seek to exploit….

Click to continue reading at Nikkei Asian Review, where this was published last week.


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Writer’s note:

I was delighted that I managed to squeeze in some Singlish here, first line some more. Only the second time I’ve done that in international fora.

For my foreign friends, here and overseas, this piece may appeal.

Written for an international audience (like all my work for foreign publications). All the other stuff I will be putting out till polls on July 10th will be tailored for a domestic crowd.

For my Singaporean readers, most of this will be humdrum. However I know some of you get bored with my mindless meanderings, and prefer hearing my views in snappy op-eds. This might be preferable then (sub 900 words).

My previous piece for NAR, “Singapore — history haunts the ultra-modern state”, is about Singapore’s bicentennial and was published last year. Slightly longer form.

The first time I dropped Singlish, quite a long segment, was when The Economist invited me to give a ten-minute talk on identity at its Open Future Festival last year in Hong Kong:

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus and inequality threaten to unsettle Singapore election

  1. Singlish is okay. A good challenge to your newcomers. Asking them to learn a new language n culture uniquely Singaporean.

  2. Hi Sudhir. This is a firewall. I found it on your web site. But suggest linking also to your portal in future. Just in case someone gives up on reading the article. Regards Prem

    Sent from my iPad


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