Singapore elections: The day after

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Farish Noor in Singapore shares with us his thoughts on a landmark general election.

“Looking as the campaign as whole it can be said that the opposition parties have managed to build a wider support network than before.

“Though this did not lead to a massive swing, it has forced the PAP to take notice of public opinion. The PAP now sees the potential of the internet and some of their politicians have finally gone on twitter.

“Issues like house prices and jobs will have to be addressed in the near future.”

Some Singaporeans may be disappointed, but I think the results give them something to build on. The opposition has made a breakthrough in a GRC. GRCs are group representation constituencies, previously considered to be PAP bulwarks.

The Singapore government has also been put on notice about the high income inequality in the republic. Singstat provides the Gini coefficient for employed households and at no point in the past 10 years is the Gini lower than 0.430, and that only if we take into account transfers to households. If only earned income is used as the basis, then the Gini, at lowest (in 2000) was 0.444, at highest (2007) at 0.489 and in 2010, 0.48. The overall trend over the last 10 years has been upwards.

Malaysia too has similar problems: it’s income inequality could be just as wide as Singapore’s.

Time for both government’s to sit up and take notice of serious income inequalities in their respective nations and to find out the root causes.

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bow
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bow

PAP has long enjoyed popular supports among Singaporeans, the political party elites had became complacent looking after the interests of big corporation and wealthiest group of Singaporean. Only a new wave of political sentiment from the younger generation can make ruling elite within PAP to take notice of the present income inequality and injustice in the society.

Sarah
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Sarah

Catherine Lim (born in Malaysia, now a Singapore author) gave a good account of why PAP is losing the traditionl support in this article:

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/author-catherine-lim-gives-her-ge-040932897.html

Rango
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Rango

As PAP lost 40 per cent of the votes, Malaysia’s dependence on Singapore’s FDIs could also see a slight fall within the next three to four years as the island republic looks more inward in terms of investments.

Singapore immigration rules may be tightened, making it difficult for Malaysians to land jobs there.This will affect job opportunities for many young Malaysians who are used to land good-paying jobs in Singapore.

The above scenario will likely affect the people in Johor who have been living off the salary earned in SingDollar. A wake up call for them in the next Malaysia GE?

Rozita
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Rozita

Without Singaporean day-trippers to JB, many retailers and F&B outlets in JB will suffer.

Sunflower11
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Sunflower11

This is the typical life of a young couple with degrees or dilpoma holders in Spore: – a 4 or 5-room HDB flat (government housing) that you paid for another 30 yrs – car ownership is only for u to salivate with the COE alone costing around S$46000 currently – u can only affored to take public transport; even taxi-ride has become very unaffordable with 35% peak hour surcharge that stretch over even to the non-peak time – a large portion of your hard-earned $ is trapped in CPF until u reach 80 yrs’ old – work life has become… Read more »

Hannah
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Hannah

The key issues of Singapore’s election campaign – inequality, cost of living, housing and healthcare – are very relevant in Malaysia as they affect all races. DAP in Penang tells us that change need not be feared for change brings hope of improvement. In penang, voters see real improvement. The country did not collapse as a result of 308 tsunami. Selangor is sailing along quite nicely despite the very concentrated effort by umno to upheaval the state government. Sarawakians realised that and hence decided to go along and they voted for change. The political shift in the Singapore election campaign… Read more »

kingkong
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kingkong

The opposition in Singapore just shout slogans without any alternate concrete policies. Slogans are just a few words and cheap. It is time for PR to incorporate policies in their election campaign if they wanted to take control of Putrajaya. Of course the young ones in Singapore not taking the note of UMNO … complaining supplying “cheap” water to the red dot. UMNO forget that Johor did not pay a sen sen for the dams, pipelines, treatment plants which can be millions ringgit in capital cost. In return, Johor is still practising rent seeker. Whatever water sold to Johor, Johor… Read more »

Rango
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Rango

PAP in Singapore losing their votes to young voters who are unhappy with the high cost of housing in Singapore. Young people in Malaysia also face the same problem. Semi-D houses in Penang can go for RM930K – flat land. after the OC is obtained the asking price skyrockets to RM1.3mil. A starting salary for an engineer is about RM2K to RM2.2K. After 5 yrs maybe he will hit a salary of about RM3K. Maybe by the time he is 35 he will make manager and earn about 5k-6k. By then he has to feed a family, insurance, car, education… Read more »

charleskiwi
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charleskiwi

We will wait and see how the WP is going to fulfill their promises ? It is so easy to convince the poor on how poor they are just like the communist did and still do. I can’t imagine what Singapore will be like if WP or the opposition parties have their chances to be the government. It will be another Malaysia or even worse and very dependent on Malaysia for everything. Singapore will not be rated on tops of everything and will still be in the third world just like Malaysia and has gone bankrupted some years back. Above… Read more »

Kirin
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Kirin

At least we do not see PAP using money politics to buy votes.

Young Singaporeans are brought out in affluent lifestyle. They need high income to sustain their lifestyle, high on consumption.

Philip Khoo
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Philip Khoo

No? What is the meaning of MM’s “vote opposition and repent for the next five years”? Or, other statements about places voting PAP come first? Not the same as “you help me, i help you” meh??

Jonathan
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Jonathan

PR states need to watch out for the “Singapore factor”… Some states, in particular, Selangor are so focused on reducing the budget and in fact in showing off surplus budgets instead of using this income to create opportunities for its citizens.. Singapore is wealthy….but its citizens don’t feel it….they live a miserable life…..money they earn is kept in CPF which in turn is used to fund all soughts of nonsense….the average Singaporean doesn’t feel the “richness” Housing is literally out of reach….and foreigners can just walk in and take over their jobs if they are found they are less then… Read more »

Hasli
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Hasli

Singapore got an ideal GE result. The PAP government learned a valuable lesson without being humiliated and the electorate showed the kind of political awareness that will take Singapore to the next level as a nation. The country grew stronger as a result. If only Malaysia would do the same in PRU13.

Freedom from UMNO. Merdeka!