This is part 4 of 4. To read part 3, click here.
Conclusion: GE 2015
Over time, the PAP has become a party more for the rich and for the elite. Yes, it will do things for the lower- and middle-income citizens. But more because it wants our votes to stay in power. I’m not convinced it genuinely, compassionately considers every Singaporean as an equal human being. Maybe a long time ago it did; but not anymore.
Some government critics think the party is corrupt and is enriching itself at our expense. Again, I don’t buy that argument at all.
I just think the PAP has become so fixed in its ways, in its belief in a natural aristocracy, that the best way for society to progress is by nurturing the elites.
Which many of us don’t agree with. So, in 2011, I thought, OK, if the PAP loses one GRC, it’s going to reform.
Sadly, no. A few tweaks here and there, but it’s the same old party with the same archaic beliefs. Does the PAP have the ideological adaptability to lead Singapore in our next phase of growth?
I have serious doubts. The demands of the next fifty years are immeasurably different from the last. The PAP’s perennial, indefatigable, prioritisation of growth over distribution, and its aversion to welfare, are ill-suited for an ageing population, slower growth, rising income inequality and wage stagnation.
On a related note, one of the many problems governments around the world are grappling with today is striking the right balance between national priorities and the demands of transnational corporations/the global elite. The PAP has always been far too accommodating of both constituencies. (And, as mentioned, all its leaders probably belong to that global 0.1%.)
How I think about my vote