In the last three weeks Singapore has witnessed much excitement as various political parties campaigned actively for seats in the Parliament. The General Election was held on the 11th of September. The People’s Action Party (PAP) which has been in power for 50 years has once again been given the mandate to govern. It received a larger majority of votes than previously. As every single seat was contested, we witnessed a flurry of activities. Many more rallies were held than previously and the contestants campaigned actively. Much was said and much was written in the media including the Internet. Thanks to technology and the services we are fortunate to enjoy in Singapore, we were able to watch the political rallies on the computer. The media too gave us many reports. Here is a review of some of the issues mentioned and my view of what needs to be done.

The Big Win

The PAP must be congratulated for its huge success at the election. Many of us are delighted because we know that Singapore will enjoy stability, peace and economic progress. However, to boost everyone’s happiness, it is necessary that some of the comments and issues raised during and after the election period are addressed.

Tough Policies and Arrogance

There is a concern that, given the huge majority that the ruling party achieved, it will bring in tough measures and policies. There is a fear too that the government might be arrogant towards the people. It is hoped that the Prime Minister will ensure that what he said in his speech to newly elected members of parliament will be adhered to by everyone. The Prime Minister said: “In victory we must be humble, and stay close to the people whom we serve. The PAP must never become arrogant-whether in the personal behaviour and attitudes of MPs and activists, or in the policies and actions of the party and the government.”

Parliament Attendance and Participation

During the election period, the public was informed of the poor attendance and low participation rate of certain Members of Parliament in the previous Parliament. Given that Parliament does not meet often, the people would appreciate if Members of Parliament attend Parliamentary sessions and participate actively.

Careful Use of Language

Politicians should avoid making statements that invite critical responses. An example would be the one allegedly made by a senior politician accusing the Workers Party (an opposition party) of appointing friends and supporters to manage its Town Council. Is it not standard practice for governments to appoint supporters, ex-Ministers and ex-Members of Parliament to positions of authority and even as Directors of Boards and organisations?

A Second Chance

Is it necessary to constantly refer to mistakes made by candidates in the past and to use labels like “failure” to describe a person? Our society has always offered people who have failed, opportunities to try again. If we all believe in the Yellow Ribbon programme which enables ex-offenders to work and contribute to society, then we should refrain from harping on mistakes that have been made by others. We should give people a chance to prove that they can make a difference to the lives of Singaporeans.

Opposition Candidates

Some of the opposition candidates are most impressive. They are dedicated and very well qualified. They are also eloquent. Many of the candidates are passionate in their zeal and desire to help improve the lives of Singaporeans. Society must not marginalize and treat them as rebels or difficult people. Instead, we should draw on their talents, their knowledge and their commitment to work for a better Singapore. The candidates should be given opportunities to address committees and the public. The media should involve them in forums and discussions.

Hospital Beds

At the rallies the candidates spoke of how a grandmother, suffering from pneumonia, a father who had a stroke and others had to lie on beds in corridors waiting for rooms in hospitals. Let us do away with crowded clinics and shortage of beds. Our nurses, health professionals and doctors should not be overworked. We should have a better system of hospital administration. We should plan well.

Cost of Medical Care

At rally after rally there was the call for a reduction in the costs of medical care. While the government has done much to help the people by introducing MediShield Life, more can be done. Are there other ways to help the people cope with the costs of medical care? Low income families would benefit from this. What other healthcare measures can we enjoy?

Central Provident Fund

Much unhappiness was revealed over the retirement fund and the rules governing the matter of withdrawals. Perhaps this too could be reviewed.

Job Security

Opposition candidates repeatedly mentioned the difficulty of securing and retaining jobs. They highlighted the competition that Singaporeans face. There should be more centres to help seniors and professionals find jobs.

Cost of Living

At the rallies we were told that the cost of many items is high. It was sad to hear anecdotes of elderly people having to take on tough jobs to earn a living. Older people should work but not at difficult or dangerous jobs.

The government is currently doing a lot for the people but more can be done to help families cope with the high cost of living.


Some opposition candidates mentioned the need to improve our education system. For example they highlighted the issue of extra tuition and the large number of students in a class. More than 50 years ago we had 40 students in a class. This has not changed today. More too can be done to enhance creativity in schools.

Women and Diversity

We need more women in Parliament. All political parties should actively source, train and prepare more women to contest in the next election.

We need greater diversity of views in and outside Parliament. Different ideas, questions and divergent thinking will help to boost the quality of policies and programmes for Singapore. The government should constantly seek the views of the people. It should encourage greater people participation in political and social matters. People also want to see more debate and this should be offered to them now and in the future.


Our government, led by our Prime Minister, will be able to achieve what the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew envisaged, a better Singapore. We look forward to a happier, comfortable, kinder, compassionate, exciting and wonderful Singapore.


  1. Congrats, Zaibun ! Once again, you have called it as you see it.
    “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s …..” Praise is due where and when it is warranted. And in a free and democratic society, the voice of the people should be allowed to be heard, and to be critical of what its government does. You are so lucky in Singapore. We see and hear what is happening in your neighbouring country … the ‘mother country’ from which you cut the umbilical cord in 1965. So sad.
    Politicians make promises during the election campaign. They promise to work for the betterment of the country and its people. Let’s remind them of those promises to the people they represent …. and let’s keep them accountable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *