The upcoming Singapore General Elections (GE) 2016 look set to be a water-shed election for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). Going by online comments, it looks like the PAP can do no right and that the electorate is set to vote out the PAP in a demonstration of their unhappiness over how the government's various policies have made life unbearable for the average Singaporean.
The irony is that the PAP's policies are in fact made in the best interest of Singaporeans as a whole. Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin summed it up best when he said that the PAP is politically stupid. In other words, if the electorate wanted all their CPF back, or if the electorate wanted lower COEs or even no National Service, the PAP should just give it to them. This way, the so-called money hungry PAP Minister can be assured of at least another 2 or 3 terms and another $15 million to $20 million in salaries.
So why does the PAP not do this? It is simply because Singapore (as a country) can get away with such popularist actions for the next few years without much consequences. The problems will however eventually develop for which the next generation of Singaporeans must pay the price.
As many PAP ministers have repeatedly mentioned, they entered politics to build a country for themselves, their children and their children's children. Hence, while taking the popularist route is the easy thing to do, it is not the right thing to do. It therefore remains to be seen if the PAP can balance the pressures of "now" politics with the need for a "future" need. If the PAP fails to do this, our children and our children's children will suffer.