Let’s examine George Yeo’s promise to transform the PAP from the within. If his team at Aljunied does win the election, we can say that there are 2 main possibilities:
1. George Yeo’s team fulfills the promise.
2. George Yeo’s team does not fulfill the promise.
Let’s see, then, if either scenario is necessarily good.
1. George Yeo’s team fulfills the promise.
We are not too sure how long it would be before the promise is fulfilled, but let’s just imagine that the promise is fulfilled after some time. And this period of time may not be short.
PAP voters who likes stability and those who buy into the idea that there is not enough talent in Singapore to have more than one strong political party or A Team may start worrying.
During the transition, there will be instability. We may see people being weeded. We may see people quitting. Or perhaps the people will remain, but it would take quite a bit of internal conflict solving before everything is ironed out. This is not at all going to be stable for the party and if there is virtually no opposition in the parliament, it may basically mean an unstable government too. If there are opposition MPs, they will actually be a force that will force the PAP to stay more united since they need to be united against a common “enemy”.
For those who buy into the talent insufficiency theory, if key personnel leave the PAP in the process of transformation, would the PAP not become a party with fewer talents since the new “talents” may not match the current ones (who are already the best of the best in Singapore)?
Then what happens to Singapore after the PAP is transformed? Will the new PAP be the way Singaporeans want it to be? What if it is closer to meeting Singaporeans’ expectations but still does not quite meet our expectations? Would it not be good to have enough opposition MPs around to give them an impetus to come closer to meeting our expectations? This is especially so if we simply see that even if the PAP is transformed, it may not be transformed permanently. What if it were to revert to its old ways? Again, the need to have opposition presence in the Parliament is important to prevent this.
Bottomline: The transformation of the PAP should ideally be carried out when we have a sizeable number of opposition MPs.
2. George Yeo’s team does not fulfill the promise, i.e. the PAP is not transformed.
This may not mean that the team does not try to fulfill the promise. There are two possibilities:
(a) Perhaps they try and fail, so the promise is not fulfilled.
(b) Or perhaps they do not even try to begin with.
Nevertheless, the scenario is basically the same for both (a) and (b): the PAP is not transformed; it remains the way it is.
It is quite likely, if the PAP is not transformed, that voters will no longer have the chance to vote for a different team in the next General Election. If the PAP is not transformed, it will still use the same old tactics to fix the opposition and weaken them. They may continue importing new citizens that tend to support them.
In fact, if the PAP is not transformed, perhaps voters may not be able to vote for George Yeo and his team in the next General Election even if the opposition is able to contest the PAP. This is because if George Yeo tries to transform the PAP and fails, he fails because there are forces that do not want to change. And these forces may not be happy with him for trying to change and may kick him out of the party.
We have to remember that, if the report by Today is accurate, George Yeo is promising that his team will be a force from within the party that will attempt to transform it. If the entire PAP is unanimous about changing, there would actually be no need for his team to attempt to transform the party since the members would all be in agreement when it comes to transformation and will go forward together. In this case, it wouldn’t matter if George Yeo’s team does not win the Election, so he claim that his team needs a strong mandate in order to be the voice of change in the party would not be valid.
If we assume that Georgeo Yeo made the promise in earnest, then we have to see it as an indication that the PAP could possibly splinter into two factions. If this happens, we cannot be sure how the PAP is going to govern Singapore. We need enough opposition MPs to make sure that they do a proper job.
Actually, if the promise that the PAP will be better is not going to be fulfilled, there is even less reason to vote for George Yeo’s team or the PAP in general.
Bottomline: If the PAP is not going to change, it is important to vote for the opposition now to at least pressure the men in white not to go too far.
Whether the promise is going to be fulfilled or not, it is a good idea to vote for the opposition.
Given that after the promise to change, we have the PAP distributing flyers smearing the Workers’ Party just before cooling day, leaving the Workers’ Party with little time to defend itself (a move which has long speculated to be the purpose of the cooling day law), is George Yeo’s team showing any signs of true change?
In fact, voters cannot really tell if George Yeo is making the promise as himself or if he is “nominated” as the one to make the promise because he is one of the PAP minister-grade politicians who have received the least flak during the Election campaign.
Ironically, George Yeo’s promise to change the PAP may itself indicate the PAP’s unwillingness to change. It is a variation of the old PAP rhetoric that there is no need for opposition in the Parliament and that the PAP is alone sufficient for all purposes, even “oppositional” forces.
It is a cliché by now, but vote wisely.
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