The Worker’s Party (WP) has won Hougang, again. I think the win isn’t unexpected, despite problems showing up within the WP in the run-up to this by-election. The only question was the swing in margin, in which direction and by how much.
Going by the results, it seems the People’s Action Party (PAP) did well. They managed to increase their vote from 35.2% in the 2011 General Election to 37.9% in this By-Election. WP’s vote slipped from 62.8% to 62.1%.
The results, if interpreted as a mid-term performance report, can sort of signal an approval of the progress PAP has made thus far.
This By-Election is far more complicated than a straight-fight between WP’s Png Eng Huat and PAP’s Desmond Choo. You’d wonder, then, what the fight is really about. If not the candidate, then perhaps it is the party.
Or, maybe, not.
I can’t help but feel that in this By-Election, the real PAP candidate is Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. He seems to be more the focus than his party’s candidate.
At the outset of the By-Election, I thought Desmond Choo was doing pretty good. He could have done pretty well. If you think about it, Desmond Choo has been working Hougang. He was around in the last General Election. He continued to be around after losing in the last General Election.
Where was Png Eng Huat? Do the residents of Hougang know him as well as Desmond Choo? Of course, you could be right if you wanted to point out that the fight is really about choosing between whoever the WP or the PAP chooses to field.
If it were a man-to-man fight, I think Desmond Choo was doing pretty well. Doing pretty well doesn’t necessarily mean to win the election. I think it was a good move of Desmond Choo to present himself as “I am my own man”. No, he’s not an independent. He is still a PAP candidate, the candidate that PAP chosen to field in Hougang. He will fight Hougang on his own merits.
Well, the PAP spoilt his fight. It became a PAP fight. Or, no, maybe it was Teo Chee Hean’s fight. It wasn’t so much that Desmond Choo lost 37.9% to 62.1%. It was the PAP that lost. Or, perhaps, it was Teo Chee Hean who lost.
After the General Election in 2011, the PAP has said so much about having to reinvent itself, to listen to Singaporeans, to learn and to move forward. I think the PAP has totally and utterly failed.
I don’t think our opposition will be ready to run a Government in 2016, at least not unless our opposition makes some revolutionary progress in these 4 years. The PAP had better learn how to serve Singapore, and do it quickly. Otherwise we will not have much of a Singapore to be proud of.
Whoever runs Singapore from 2016 – 2020 gets chosen in 2016. So if you think about it, the next 5 years will depend on work that begins right now.