Barely just 7 days after arguably the most significant General Elections since Singapore’s independence which saw the win of Aljunied GRC to the Workers Party, and a drop of the PAP’s electoral votes to 60.1%, Singaporeans were treated to a gamut of post-election speeches by various PAP ministers re-iterating in various shapes and forms, the need to reform the way policies are decided on by Ministers, as well as how important it is now to listen to the voters.
With a string of press interviews by the losing Aljunied PAP team, in order of seniority, Minister Goerge Yeo, Lim Hwee Hua and Senior Minister of State Zainul Abidin reiterated the sense of concern and alarm that the PAP were surprised with the depth of resentment from the ground, and humble acknowledgement that the PAP needed to be reformed in order to take Singapore to the next lap.
This culminated in a 14th of May press release stating that both Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will be resigning from the cabinet to allow the Prime Minister a completely clean slate. In a joint statement, they said: “We have studied the new political situation and thought how it can affect the future. We have made our contributions to the development of Singapore. The time has come for a younger generation to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation. ”
While the news was unexpected in its relative speed just after the elections, immediate reactions on social networks were largely jubilant and positive.
In the light of these events after a watershed 2011 elections, is the PAP truly a changed party serious and sincere about reform for the good of the country, or are these events carefully calculated and choreographed actions to manipulate the minds of Singaporeans that “things have changed”? Only time will tell…..