Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Ides of..May?

Tanjong PagarImage via Wikipedia
Tanjong Pagar
So May 7th it is.

Finally the date for the Singapore election has been announced, not that we would have got excited if still living in Queenstown, as the Ang Mo Kio, Tanjong Pagar and Sembawang GRCs are unlikely to be contested by the opposition.

Tanjong Pagar was our electorate and one of the more effective MP's was Indranee Rajah,  whom I note is standing again.

MM Lee Kuan Yew is the senior man in the electorate so it would not be surprising if there is no contest.

Despite turning 88 in September M.M. has said : "I'm happy to be still representing Tanjong Pagar."

Elsewhere though this election promises to be far more interesting, with a lot more professional people being attracted to opposition parties than in previous years.

East Coast, Aljunied, Moulmein-Kallang, Bishan-Toa Payoh and Tampines are reportedly amongst those electorates that will be tightly contested.

After Nomination Day on Wednesday April 27th candidates and parties will commence their duelling  and this will continue for the following nine days, the minimum period allowed by law.

While there won't be much time for fancy rhetoric on the hustings I predict that social media will be playing a big part in swaying public opinion.

The sanctioned mainstream media are already sounding a note of caution (should that be a warning?) that parties "must not descend into character assassination, mud-slinging, falsehoods and scare tactics".

One would hope that such statement in the Today newspaper is not a prelude to a string of litigation designed to intimidate.  Politics by its very nature must be robust and challenging.  Who determines what is a "scare tactic" and what is not?

My hope is that Singaporeans don't adopt the approach of change for changes sake.  An effective opposition with more representation in the Parliament would probably be a good thing to maintain a certain level of dynamic 'tension' and focus. 

Just so long as this is achieved without derailing the real and sustained progress that the country has made these past decades.  I wish them well in their decision making.
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1 comment:

Roger Smith said...

M.M. relected unopposed in Tanjong Pagar - surely some sort of record for a standing MP?