The Unauthorized Annotated PAP Manifesto

The PAP Manifesto is out—for those who do not mind being treated to the same old reworked PAP grand narrative.

The PAP Manifesto comes with an address by the Prime Minister who now claims that the PAP is not out of touch with ordinary Singaporeans. Well, it has got to be true. The PAP is not out of touch cognitively—it knows what Singaporeans are going through. But this does not mean that it cares. It does not mean that the PAP can be bothered beyond paying all the lip service necessary to sustain its hegemony, especially when real, positive change in Singapore will inevitably come at the expense of the current status quo that the PAP has painstakingly created to benefit itself.

But Molly is nice and has kindly annotated PM Lee’s message in a bid to generate publicity for his party: Unauthorized Annotated PAP Manifesto

The rest of the manifesto is a lame attempt at reassuring Singaporeans that the PAP’s policies will not sideline them although the very reassurance itself is required because there are groups that have been sidelined. I am unable to tell if the PAP is being smug or feeling insecure and clueless. If the PAP has been truly concerned about improving the salaries of lower-income Singaporeans and giving educational opportunities to their children, there would be no need to emphasize how the PAP will create a Singapore with a place for them. The PAP Manifesto is ultimately about maintaining the status quo, making it cosmetically and statistically better but substantially worse. Expect minor tweaks but do not expect them to translate to any palpable benefit for Singaporeans; do not expect anything near a paradigm shift in thinking. (And no, of course there’s no groupthink in the PAP.)

Recycle unfulfilled promises and perhaps start thinking of more ways to reuse them in the General Election after the 2011 one. Promise the poor that their lot will improve and promise to entrap them with employment. Encourage “self-reliance” with Workfare and entangle the poor in a game of bondage with employment—let them fear unemployment and be enslaved to continued employment sans rights. Promise affordable homes without any reference to whose standard of affordability is being used after slamming opponents who have earlier on articulated a similar vision with a clear standard of affordability. Promise that the education system will treat their children better and provide a statistically better teacher to student ratio but not promise to reduce the average class size or to provide equal resources and funding for all students regardless of their level of giftedness as measured by a flawed system. Promise to double the MRT network to reduce crowding when the current situation of overcrowding has little to do with how many lines and stations there are and making the network more extensive can in fact exacerbate the usage of certain lines or stations. Promise continued PAP authoritarianism by making no reference to human rights and civil liberties.

Voters, you may be selfish enough to vote for the status quo if it benefits you or foolish enough to vote for against your own future, but will you be cruel as to vote against your friends, your fellow Singaporeans, your country?

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11 Responses

  1. […] Manisfesto – Molitics: The Unauthorized Annotated PAP Manifesto – Blogging for Myself: The PAP manifesto – i have succumbed to peer pressure: Saying one thing but […]

  2. 一针见血。太棒了!

  3. Molly cuts like a knife. Ouch.

  4. You’ve got to blog more frequently.

    When they read this blog, they squirm! I say let them squirm more!!

  5. I’ll probably add three more, Promise to listen to the people, through all forms of media, and provide token support before elections, without intention to resolve ground issues.
    Promise to deliver (what ???) when the period between 2006 and now was flooded with social, and economic problems for citizens,
    Promise to keep the country competitive, yet went on salary compensation sprees, despite high-profile blunders.

    You write great articles, and I think it will benefit many people if they are exposed to them. Do you have reservations if I happen to mention your site while I post online elsewhere ? No obligations 🙂

  6. All I want to say is this: look at the PAP manifesto of 2006 during the last election. Same hot air rhetoric, same unfulfilled promises.

    The 2006 version of the PAP manifesto was titled ‘Moving Together, Staying Ahead’.

    If Singaporeans still want to vote for another 5 years of the same old repackaged nonsense, then good luck.

    Monopoly breeds complacency. It is an inevitable part of human nature. This transcends individuals or political parties. Suppose Singtel has the sole monopoly on all telco services in Singapore, and Starhub, M1 etc. do not exist… what would happen to the price and quality of your internet/phone services?

    Why can’t people understand that what holds true for businesses will also apply for politics?

    Anyhow, I can be considered a young voter according to the demographics, but I am old enough to witness and remember the bullying the PAP has done on JBJ, Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong and CSJ.

    And lastly, PAP? Stop harping on your track record. Your track record is spotty at best, and you have disappointed for the past 5 years.

    I can only hope there won’t be too many walkovers this time. Let me vote for the first time in my life.

    West Coast GRC resident.

  7. […] an annotated document of the PAP manifesto. She also described the manifesto as a defense of the status quoThe PAP Manifesto is ultimately about maintaining the status quo, making it cosmetically and […]

  8. […] an annotated document of the PAP manifesto. She also described the manifesto as a defense of the status quo: The PAP Manifesto is ultimately about maintaining the status quo, making it cosmetically and […]

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