I am not surprised that the Honourable Madam Halimah Yacob is on her way to be the next President of this country. Based on the structure of the role, she remains the best qualified and I am sure, as the first public-housing-living ethnic minority woman President of Singapore, she is going to work even harder to keep inspiring and preserve the faith in the many who didn't get a chance to show their support and vote her into office.
However, I am really surprised by the reaction of my many so-called left wing / liberal friends on what this means for the state of democracy in Singapore - many of whom have far better foresight and are far more knowledgeable about governance and constitutional systems than me.
How could they not see this coming with the 70% mandate that their general inaction (other than keyboard rants) delivered to the PAP on a platter in the 2015 General Election? This is what the PAP voter wanted post-2011 and which the leadership has clearly delivered with the efficiency and precision that remain the long-standing hallmarks of its political playbook.
Without attempting to be exhaustive about it, a strong ruling party with hegemonic control of Parliament and other Executive offices. A very popular Chinese Prime Minister with a great family background! A head of state from a pool of safe incumbents, albeit from a reserved ethnic origin (no doubt an olive branch to those minorities who clamour for a non-Chinese PM). An undoubtedly independent judiciary that is left with little choice but to accept that the will of Parliament and Government is also the will of the Singaporean in majority. The opposition party in Parliament torn apart and placed on the defensive. Right wing policies driven by Confucian values that place society before self and focused on protecting the sanctity of heterosexual families (ex single parents and single persons).
Next aspirational changes that the PAP voter desires:
1. Cabinet reshuffle to snub out the liberals. Tharman like Chuan Jin will have to go. A cabinet ruled by the holy trinity of PAP reflecting the best of whiter than white conservatism: Ong Ye Kung, Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing.
2. Key opposition leaders either in jail or bankrupted. Main opposition party in shambles with a voter base that is conflicted about which is the real lesser political party to lend support to (and most will then switch to supporting PAP as the only real choice to run Singapore).
3. By 2020, the PAP will have absolute control of Parliament.
4. In the PAP we trust. May their great and glorious rule last for the next 50 years!
When my Member of Parliament Chan Chun Sing says this is the political price that the PAP is willing to pay for the changes that the PAP has introduced, he forgets to highlight the inherent rewards the price has brought them.
Finally, I wish my left wing / liberal friends will stop their elaborate wayang kulit performance in celebrating a well-deserved and proper walkover of Singapore's next head of state. Stand up, get involved and be counted. In a nation as smart as ours, their sheer stupidity beggars belief.
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