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.