The PAP won. Kudos to the PAP and surely part of the reason (part only ok?!) was that they deserved to win because...
(1) they kept (most of) their promises and made many changes
(2) they purged themselves of their Snooty Poots
(3) they worked really hard within their neighbourhoods
In addition, I also think the PAP deserves to win because the entire Cabinet really suffered a great deal of emotional and verbal abuse in the past 5 years. Kudos to them for sticking it out.
The Sore Loser Narrative Hides Many Broken Hearts
Of course, the PAP-ers are gloating and pointing to opposition supporters as "sore losers" and "refusing to take responsibility for their own incompetence". Of course, the opposition supporters are hurting (very deeply too) and very afraid. They are casting about trying to make sense of this loss and finding reasons. Perhaps, these reasons look laughable to the PAP-ers but they do bring some comfort to the opposition supporters.
At the end of the day, we are all Singaporeans. Since the competition is over and a winner has been decided, can we perhaps ...
(1) ... stop telling people they are sore losers (if you have won, you are on top already... why stomp on the loser?)
(2) ... start responding to the hurt behind some of these reasons opposition supporters have found to explain their loss?
The Strong Should Heal The Weak
In both 2011 and 2015, the PAP was never in danger of losing the government. In 2015, however, we came this close to losing ALL opposition in Parliament for the next 5 years. Do Singaporeans want REALLY want one party rule again?
So who is stronger right now? The PAP or the WP?
The strong (PAP supporters) should reach out to heal the weak (opposition supporters), no? If not, who will make that crucial first move? After all, we are all Singaporeans are we not? We all want the best for this country, no? We all want a future in which we can prosper in, no? So, can we stop with the Sore Losers narrative? Can we stop pointing fingers and saying that opposition supporters are all sorts of things except... VERY BROKEN-HEARTED?
Picture credited to The Straits Times.
I tell you, I got a really good scolding by my beautician. She scolded me upside down for voting white (I had to vote white. WP did not stand in my GRC). I just kept quiet lohhhh... then I commiserated with her, and asked her humbly to give PAP a chance in the next 5 years.
Gee whiz... and I am not even a PAP cadre!
However, I am Singaporean and it is in my interest to see this country unite and not divide. I am thankful to Tan Chuan Jin, Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Ong Ye Kung for thrumming the very first chords of this narrative of Unity not Strife.
The Opposition (WP) Is Precious
WP came into existence because high calibre men and women were fed up with the snooty pooty PAP whose snooty pootiness reached a veritable zenith in 2011, a time which also corresponded to the growth in WP's appeal and calibre.
Like it or not, if WP had not won and shocked the PAP out of their complacency, would the PAP have scrambled so hard to make changes in policy and work hard in their neighbourhoods?
Yes, yes, yes... we can quibble till the cows come home about...
(1) whether the PAP (all by its own high calibre self) would have moved slightly left of centre in their policies, and
(2) in that same breath deny the WP all credit for pushing the PAP slightly left of centre in their policies.
To ascertain this, all one needs to do is to dig out (in the period 2006 to 2011)
(1) copies of the Straits Times
(2) speeches and press statements made by PAP politicians (in Parliament and elsewhere)
(3) apply Grounded Theory Analytics to surface frequent themes and ideas found in those speeches and press statements circa 2006 to 2011
(4) compare the analyses with texts drawn from 2012 to 2015.
I guarantee you that many of those
- ideas/notions/themes/concepts (comprising right of centre policy thinking) pushed by the PAP in their public discourse from (circa 2006-2011)
- disappeared from their public discourse (circa 2012-2015).
- to be replaced by ideas/notions/themes/concepts (comprising left of centre policy thinking)
Would the PAP have changed if they had not lost an entire GRC in 2011, plus some? I doubt it. If you are a PAP cadre/MP/Minister, and you look deep into your heart, can you honestly say that the WP did, in no way, motivate the PAP to change?
Some Gratitude Is Owing
So now what... now that the PAP has changed for the better, we Singaporeans forget the debt we owe the men and women of the WP? Those people dedicated their lives and just because they have outlived some part of their usefulness, we now make fun of them as Sore Losers?
The people of Singapore owe the WP. The people of Singapore owe the PAP.
If we vote out the WP entirely, these men and women will disband their party, retire from public life and IF the PAP breaks faith with the people again, the men and women of WP will not be there for us.
If we vote out the PAP, our country will go to pot.