Sunday, May 28, 2006

PAP's dismal performance in GE 2006

PAP's dismal performance in GE 2006.

PAP may have gotten 66.6% of valid votes in GE 2006 but in my view, they have performed very badly throughout the whole election period. From the strategic point of view, their whole campaign was in total disarray right from the start.

Prior to the General Elections this year, many people thought that Casino and NKF would be THE issues for this GE. However, the casino has been decided last year and the pending court case on NKF saga has technically prevented it to be discussed in public else one risked breaching the law.

It seemed that it would have become a “No Issue” General Election until PAP made a big fuss over Workers' Party manifesto, asserting that there were four time bombs in it. At a point of time, PAP were putting up a front to “debate” over such issues. We have challenged the PAP to a live telecast TV debate but PAP did not respond to it. I have personally brought up the challenge to a live telecast TV on nomination day to one of the PAP candidate but it seemed that they viewed it as “advantageous” to us and thus would not want to have such debate. So be it.

Surprisingly, after the first salvo of “time bomb”, “poison” comment on WP manifesto by a few of PAP ministers, PAP did not mention this again throughout the whole election period. I thought that PAP has made a big fuss over our manifesto because they considered as “very important”. I was wrong. Neither did PAP raise any significant issues that are important to citizens other than character assassination.

The word “fix” has been used twice: first to make allegations that James Gomez has wanted to “fix” the Election Department. The second time is by PM Lee in his speech about “fixing the opposition”. Is this an election of “fixing” each other? I believe it should not be so. PM Lee has clarified the misuse of the word “fix” in his speech. I could understand that because it must have been a misuse of word in the heat of the hustling. We do say the wrong things when we get involved in a heated argument or debate, don't we? But I sincerely hope that PAP would stop overreacting to the innocent mistake that James made over the form. General Election IS NOT about fixing each other! Election is about the future and well being of our country, our people!

I have mentioned in my last rally speech that I am truly disappointed with PAP's performance in the GE. First, they were more interested in character assassination and insinuating us rather than debating about issues that truly concern our citizens. Secondly, they only viewed HDB/lift upgrading as the sole important issue to our citizens in this election! Thirdly, they continue to use HDB/lift upgrading as a threat to the voters! I am really touched by the 62% of Hougang voters who have stood up to PAP's unfair tactic and send a strong “NO” to them through their votes. Although we did not manage to convince more than 50% of voters in other constituencies to say “NO” to PAP's tactic of tying HDB lift upgrading to their votes, but people of Hougang and Potong Pasir have shown to the whole Nation that we should not succumb to PAP's tactics.

I would say that PAP's dismal performance during the election campaign has got to do with their inability to understand the ground. There are many post independence generation voters who are highly educated with very different expectations. They are sick and tired of politically motivated law suits. They definitely dislike character assassination and arrogance. They are more concerned about fairness and social justice rather than HDB upgrading. They are more vocal and internet savvy..etc. PAP has agitated them on all these fronts.

Right from the start, PAP has mismanaged the James Gomez Saga. PAP has stretched it too far to suggest malicious intent from such simple, innocent mistake of absent mindedness. It is amusing to see how PAP swayed in this episode. First they said it is a serious matter. Then some PAP members decided to drop the matter but only ended up being “convinced” to take the issue up again. They have even gone so far to make a very strange suggestion to WP to drop James Gomez as a candidate! In the end, they have to clarify that this could not work! Then again, just two days from polling day, they PUBLICLY DECLARED that they would drop the issue altogether, trying to refocus on “other important issues” which basically refers to HDB/lift upgrading. I have never seen PAP conducting any election campaign in such manner before!

Due to the lack of REAL issues, PAP candidates begin to pick up the line of James Gomez Saga to “discredit” opposition candidates as the overall strategy. But it backfired. It reflected very badly on them when they started to make baseless defamatory remarks against us. Labels such as “liar”, “thief” and “trouble makers” were used by PAP's seasoned politicians. Even the new PAP candidates picked up such convenient attack on characters by calling opposition candidates donkeys and even make baseless remarks that ALL WP candidates have doubtful characters! By then, I knew that PAP's campaign was in total disarray! They have completely lost their plot and direction! I am very surprised that despite having so many talented and bright people in their rank and file, PAP has mismanaged this election campaign so badly!

This is indeed a watershed election whereby PAP has totally defeated itself by its own predictable election strategy. It has become prisoner of its own past success. The strategy of tying upgrading to votes has failed. The strategy of character assassination has failed. The effectiveness of its past strategy has expired. PAP has to seriously consider changing their outdated strategy and mindset.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

Sorry for being a smartass, but you mean dismal, don't you..

I think there's a hint of anger in the tone of this post.

lionel_rightfoot said...

Singaporeans should be angry at the way the PAP calls itself a first world government and comes up with all these childish strategies. But I think most Singaporeans didn't actually paid much attention to the elections and just voted for the PAP for fear of change.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Hi there,

Thank you for your corrections. :)

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

I don't really think it's out of fear that people tend to vote for the PAP. Most S'poreans have a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, they're risk adverse most when it comes to politics. Furthermore, the politically apathetic just can't be bothered to seek out an alternative medium for political news; being 'brainwashed' by the MSM, they have ruled out the Opposition way before the elections started. Then there're the older generations, still very conservative mindsets, it would take a paradigm shift to convince them to vote for another party. What the opposition needs to do is to engage the younger voters who will be of age in the next few elections, young people are most receptive to changes.

Anonymous said...

66% for PAP is no gd then 62% for hougang is gd? Double standards!!!

Anonymous said...

u must hv watched tht CNA forum too much. maybe its tv fault keep repeating. tht 30% of degree holders holding well paid jobs do nt formed the majority. U r too high class, forgetting there r dip/A/O/N levels holders who rmore concerned with daily issues rather than all ur "high class" unreachable deals.

Anonymous said...

if indeed these r basleless defamatory remarks y dare nt sue? u got ms lim and mr chia both highly qualified lawyers. what r u pple afraid of? stop bullshitting tht u pple r gracious nt suing type. real reason being u all know u will lose this case when heard in a law court.

Anonymous said...

Mr Goh seemed to be very concerned tht past election strategies of PAP failed. If I'm mr goh i cant be bothered. The more they failed the happier I became. It's the first time I heard of an opponent so concerned abt PAP failed strategies unless........

Anonymous said...

66% for a so called elite that has vast resources including the use (or abuse of state resources), controlled the mainstream media, manipulates the law is poor. 62% for a party with little resources to all the above is good. We must compare like with like.

Suing in court... regardless of whether or not a legal suit will win or not (and I think we all know the outcome and the reason)... is seldom (but not never) heard of in a first world democracy. We should have learnt by now (after NKF) that a defamation suit verdict tells us nothing about whether a statement made about the 'victim' is true or not. Indeed, without even going into the impartiality of the judge in a particular case, the reality of the matter is that the relative financial resources available to a party significantly influences the outcome of a suit. So on that reason alone, it would be difficult for a poor party to successfully sue or defend himself from a rich party in court.

All in all, I think the strategist for the PAP campaign, presumably someone senior in the PAP, ought to be ashamed of how the campaign was run. Either he/she was downright incompetent or he/she was forced by someone even more senior in the party to engage in the gutter electioneering of the 1960s (hmm.. wonder which senior politician hailed from that era and continues to live with this baggage from the past?). How did a party with all the brain power and financial resources screw up so badly? I think Meng Seng is right to be concerned, not as a member of an opposition party, but as a citizen. The leaders who make up this party are the people who run our country. Is our country in good hands? It seems to be, but mostly because the mainstream media creates such a perception. We will only know the whole truth if there is greater transparency. The fact that just before the NKF was exposed, the NKF seemed to be a well run organisation that it even fooled goverment ministers fooled, should teach us that appearances can be deceiving without transparency.

Anonymous said...

mr goh hasnt reply u reply liao. wonder who r u ? maybe his spokesman maybe his RUNNING DOG haha. maybe u r the one who say "leave no man behind"

righteffort said...

i think it is the track record of pap won the 66%... so far, it has brought us to this stage though some of the ideas might not come from them, they adapted and implemented .... for opp, you need to deliver something not only to HG and PP but also to others via national policies .... you can use the two wards to set standards such as the costs of living in this 2 are lower than the national average for pap/gerhment to adapt and bench-mark.

Anonymous said...

as if they take a WP bus charging lower rates.

righteffort said...

yes, you are right and that is one of the items.... the other are maintenance fees, upgrading fees, medical (GP) fees, no gst for certain basic items, etc of these 2 wards.

Soulgroove said...

Actually, I'm thinking, who are we to say that 66% is not good? or 67%? or 70%? or 60%?

Personally, I think what we should look at is, if the PAP really screwed their campaign as much as they did like Mr Goh said they did, then why did more people still vote for them?

Who exactly are these people, despite seeing all the crap from PAP, still vote for them and what exactly are their reasons?

I think this is the core question that the opposition must review and analyse.

Oh by the way, I think the opposition could do much better by focusing on what they themselves can offer rather than resort to PAP-bashing (which the opposition themselves have considered to be a low-class tactic when the PAP does opposition-bashing).

gmsBS said...

To the spokesperson of GohMS.

You discredit the PAP for their antics during the elections. But what can you offer which are tangible? All your BS abt 3rd world politics.
Any sensible company director would never sign a contract w/ a another w/ no track record or sound finance.

Anonymous said...

I would like to disagree with you on calling this a "No Issue" GE. Of course there are issues, lots of them, only they aren't issues the PAP are willing to discuss. For one, I'd like a proper breakdown on the percentage of jobs given to foreigners and their true numbers in Singapore, and about the reasons why people living below the poverty line are so high.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Soulgrove,

You are right to say that the opposition must review itself in order to improve.

However, I would say that this posting is not about "bashing PAP". If you have noticed, there is a subtle message in my posting: What is General Election all about? Is it about political parties "fixing" each other? Or about issues related to the voters?

In fact, my next posting will be on what I think should be the issues of this GE.

And someone here has raised the same concern I have with regards to the ruling party: they have all the talents they could get but yet mismanaged their own election campaign.. then should we not worry about how they run this country? Our country?

Ironically, as a political opponent, I would be glad that PAP makes more mistakes in their campaigning! But as a nation, it is about time to reflect upon the whole GE and determine what we do not wish to see it in future elections. And yes, it is about our Nation's political future.

Goh Meng Seng

Minister of Welfare said...

I agree that the PAP is terribly wrong in handling the Gomez issue. But after all, who can really give Singapore the best as possible, even though the PAP is not perfect itself. In fact, no one or no parties are perfect.

Seriously, I still have doubts on Gomez himself.

*The Lunatic Fringe* said...

The PAP for all its intellectual powers and capable candidates did not engage substantially in an intelligent discussion of economic and social issues that affect Singapore Citizens.

Even with the subservient main stream media behind them, what happened was a few spin doctors hammering out the noise of "Fix"ing the James Gomez, the opposition and "Buying" off supporters. Sigh, I wonder why Cambridge/Oxford/MIT education result using the tactics of fear (vote PAP else no upgrading), uncertainty (investors will run away if PAP does not get mandate) and doubt (opposition candidates are liars, donkeys etc.).

PAP is an organisation in entropy and will find it very difficult to reinvent itself given the monopoly of ideas by select few in leadership.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of telling us what we already know? This can turn out to be an overkill too. In a sense, it can also be considered a character assassination.

The opposition would do better if they channel their energies to more constructive planning for the next election. We want a forward looking leaders, not people living in the past.

Anonymous said...

despite all the mis-steps by pap, they still won the election. this really made me wonder if there ever come a day when pap will lose more seats??

Anonymous said...

I am also of the opinion that it was not a credible win. They feared to engage social issues because they know if they did, they would lose more votes. So to mitigate losses, they engaged in 'below-the-belt-politics'. Sue them or for that matter any of their kind? For the poorer to sue - even if it is a just cause - the richer and the well connected in itself is already a punishment in the current system - like they say, the only winners are lawyers and those who can truly afford justice. But if you insist,some kind of justice is almost impossible and that is not before facing incredible 'road blocks' just to get a shot at it! I have seen how the system works dealing with local authorities so for the unitiated, it can be a very frustrating experience to finally realized, some people are just beyond accountability - chances to take issues with these people are almost nil if you can't even express or write well!

Lastly, without factoring into years of indoctrination by the media, the view that most people who voted for the opposition would want the present regime to remain in power is self deceiving. It is almost like perpetuating the myth that a woman who all her life been a devoted full time housewife will ever attain any semblance of life apart from her wealthy gambling businessman husband if they will to divorce. Unfortuantely, in this case, the wife refusal to change the status quo lived in the myth. But we all know, it is all in the mind don't we? The trick is, how to keep MOST of these minds subjugated?

Anonymous said...

i expect wp to get around 40-45% this GE, so to me this is a bit disappt. Besides the pap mistakes, they still win. It shows AP will have many years to fight on. AP is just like SMEs fighting for survival, the competitors are too storng. How to fight a monopoly?
Furthermore, i think wp candidates have not tried hard to meet the voters. I only receive wp brochure few days after nomination day, but i have not met any wp candiates at Aljunied GRC. It easier to convine me as i believe in check and balance, but many in Aljunied still prefer to see and meet wp candidates. For SMEs to win, we have to work double hard, just like what LTK and CST in Hougnag and Potong Pasir.
From below 40% to reach >50%, i think you need 2 more GE unless somthings happen to pap. Even in Aljunied, with 44%, the next GE you may get 48-49%. In addition, the boundry changes, so it may go down to 43% again.
One thing i am confoused is why wp SMc candidtes scored lower than GRC candidaes. can u explain?
let forget abut pap mistakes and work harder for AP. With strong and rich resources, pap can do a lot of things, AP is basically against a country ruled by pap, how to win, unless every one votes with a heart and not brain. Let begin to work harder to win the heart one by one. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I would say, I am afraid of Gomez type personality appear in WP. I more like Chiam ST for being over carefull to select his candidates.

Anonymous said...

For a so-called 'political opponent' your whingings on politics are surprisingly naive. And you're too eager to claim credit for yourself.

Passer-By said...

While your agenda and intentions are potentially admirable esp in a one-dominant party system (that aims to ensure its "longevity" and oust all political opponents in a rather harsh manner), I feel that it would be useful if alternative voices as yourself would tone down the rather emotional rhetoric when it comes to posting.

I am sure that the evoking of such emotional sentiments would garner you a substantial number of supporters. However, the so-called "educated and post 65-ers" who have been analysed to be swingers (No, not in the filthy sense but as the recent IPS study highlighted) need to be CONVINCED which side to identify with and support.

This substantial segment could plausibly be attracted in a calm, collected and rational (im using this term loosely) manner. The chairman of your party, Sylvia has been able to wield support in such a manner.

Just my two cents worth. Keep the blog running. Do realise tt you must have spent a rather substantial time on it. The Internet is def a tool that should be FULLY tapped on =)

Anonymous said...

Hi, GMS,

it takes 20 years to have a breakthrough, it is so difficult for AP jto have a breakthrough, please work harder


■日期/Jun 05, 2006 ■时间/11:26:27 am
■新闻/家国风云 ■作者/本刊陈慧思







黄锦河认为,1981年与马哈迪同时期上位的砂拉越首席部长泰益玛目(Taib Mahmud)贪污滥权情况严重,乃砂拉越反风大吹的关键因素。



















James said...

I read with interest the posting put up by Mr. GMS and the responses to it, both for and against.

I belong to the minority group of Singaporeans who had the rare opportunity to finally cast a vote in an election, the rarity of the occasion accentuated as i have been overseas for a number of years.

Allow me to comment that i feel there is no question that the role which the Singapore government has played since our founding days had brought more benefit than harm to the average Singaporean and the system of parliament thus far has been effective. However, there is also no question that the system of election is far from egalitarian with any discrepant changes given the semblance of fairness by writing it into regulations as needed by the incumbent.

The question then becomes whether this is acceptable? Many of us, with daily bread and butter concerns, would accept this and understandably so. However, my humble view, contrary to the expressed opinion of a pre-eminent Singapore politician, is that a citizen's care with the development of politics should extend beyond how one thinks it would affect on a pragmatic level, either currently or in the near future. A citizen should include in his consideration, his assessment on the viability of the system in the long term and support changes towards making the system as such. Meaning, unless we believe an entity could be unerring/ incorruptible and never wrong for eternity, the system needs to provide for a viable conduit for which any potentially erroneous policy can be challenged competently in a timely fashion. Having said that i do have to comment that my personal feelings about the worker's party manifesto, while a credible attempt to create direction for the party, is perhaps not fully developed, thoroughly researched for feasibility nor completely thought out in terms of probable consequences.

The challenge then to each of us, should be giving enough support to ensure the opposition grows in quality and confidence but still ensure that the most capable be kept in charge until we have opposition credible enough to be considered a true alternative. This can only be achieved when open discourse about politics are allowed on all levels where all sides of an argument can be heard by the majority of the citizenry with ease and this in turn can only be achieved in the absence of the fear of being targeted by egregious punitive measures such as crippling lawsuits. I believe the citizenry would be able to sieve the views to exclude the riffraff and gauge for themselves the level of support the opposition should be given depending on how credible they are.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.

It is just a matter of time before a sea change occurs and the pap will lose its grip on power. Corruption will grow and there is no check and balance in the system. How can LKY and LHL and even GCT ever be so naive? Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. CST warned us about that. We will see more coruption in future. Its a systemic problem. Even the US with so much checks and balances cannot escape this problem. What arrogance pap has to think they are an exception? unless they already are so corrupt they are trying to stay in power? just like suhartoe, marcos, saddam..

Anonymous said...


I still think James Gomez has been careless. To note two incidents during last time's GE.

1. Drink Driving
2. The April Fools article

Really, James needs to be extremely alert , he cannot afford screw ups anymore.

Anonymous said...

I think some PAP dogs are barking here. For what this country may become, blame no one and hate no one but yourself who voted for the party that decide your future. History has tell us that majority are foolish pigs that like to bring this world to chaos. Rise of Germany in the 2 war world. Rise of george bush that eventually leads USA into recession. Reason is because people are too comfortable to seek changes until it is too late. Same apply to Singapore poltics. So to say that only one day when the PAP happened to have another NKF saga then they will think PAP is bad. Wake up your bloody idea.

Anonymous said...

I admire the opposition have the courage to even try to stand out in the crowd and try looking at the odd they are facing! Those above that questioned if their manisfesto works? Maybe you should try come out with yours!

Anonymous said...

Finally as a common Singaporean point of view. From the day Ong Teng Chong saga. I had start to look at PAP on another angle. Till now, PAP only prove my worst fear that they no long in touch with the people anymore. They are too high up. On the next election outcome, I will be deciding if I should become the statistic of 1000 people leaving this shit country.

Anonymous said...

Why? Why? Ask ourselves this question, why must the opposition so crazy as to form a party and to thrashed by the PAP? Why despite being sue bankrupt, people like JBJ still want to stay on and become for a group of people that don't even want to help themselves?! Maybe they are really stupid like what we used to say in hokkien, use head to hit against stone! Unlike the PAP, they don't have sky high pay every month! To put it bluntly, even if they win the election as a ruling party, they still got to clear up shit that PAP had built up over the past donkey years. Cheaper public housing? They can't, if they do so, they will be cursed by the same Singaporean that voted them! Why? Because they had brought those HDB at sky high value during PAP time! Why even bother to get elected and clear PAP shit? They must be nuts I guess, or wait, maybe they just simply want their country to be better! Just maybe.