Saturday, 11 July 2015

Date of Singapore's next General Election: GE 2015 or GE 2016

Stoked by netizens and political coverage by the main stream media, the number one topic of conversation around dinner tables this month is the date of Singapore's next General Election.

Pundits and political observers have pointed out that what was to have been a Singapore General Election 2016 (GE 2016), is now highly likely to be a GE 2015 instead. Many reasons have been given to support this theory. Chief amongst them is that the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) needs to ride on the positive sentiments the passing of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, generated to be re-elected.

This is what the opposition want Singaporeans to think. Which is far from the truth.

Singapore opposition parties want the rational (but all important) middle-ground to think that the PAP is no longer the Government of choice. Singapore opposition parties want the middle-ground to think that the PAP's days are numbered with the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. And Singapore opposition parties want the middle-ground to think that the PAP of today is not as capable as the PAP under Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Thankfully unlike other Asian countries, where founding leaders cannot let go, the PAP has instituted a systematic and robust leadership renewal process. Since Mr Lee Kuan Yew stepped-down in 1990, while he did remain in Government for several more years, he no longer made the decisions. This can be seen from the policies that subsequent Cabinets implemented which had, among them, policies that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had publicly opposed when he was Prime Minister. To me, this makes it clear that it was the PAP and not Mr Lee Kuan Yew that has been leading Singapore 1990s. If they could do it since then, there is no doubt that the PAP has the ability to lead Singapore into the future.

As such, if PM Lee Hsien Loong decides that Singapore should have its 17th Parliamentary General Election in 2015, it will not be due to the inability of the PAP to lead Singapore with the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. PM Lee's decision would likely be based on when is the appropriate time for him to seek the mandate of Singaporeans for the next generation of leaders. If you ask me, given the developing challenging global economic environment, a GE 2015 will put Singapore in a better position to weather the coming storm.

As a betting man, my money is on a GE 2015 and, if we believe the political analysts in the Chinese press and TR Emeritus, it will be on 12 September 2015.

Singapore GE 2015 date prediction

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