Washington DC: The People's Action Party is re-thinking its strategy for the opposition-held wards of Potong Pasir and Hougang in the wake of the recent General Election results.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who had been tasked to help win back these two constituencies in the May 6 polls, shared his ideas with reporters during a news conference at the end of his 2-day visit to the United States.
He also revealed that the defeated PAP candidates might not stand in those wards in the next election.
Over at Hougang and Potong Pasir, it has been quiet on the PAP front since last month's General Election.
There were no Meet-the-People sessions.
And it looks set to continue that way.
For a long time, residents there had enjoyed the so-called 2-in-1 effect - an elected opposition MP and a PAP man who also worked for their interests.
But Mr Goh said that could change as the PAP assesses its next move in the two opposition wards.
He said: "They would have to revise their strategy. For the time being......do what is minimal. That is what the opposition have been doing - do minimal, only criticise and have been able to get support. See what happens for the time being. At least half way through, may change tactic."
The tactic for now, though, is for the PAP grassroots organization advisers to look critically at whatever may not be working in their respective constituencies.
Mr Goh also revealed that PAP's Eric Low and Sitoh Yih Pin might contest other constituencies in future.
Mr Goh said: "While they'll be fielded in the next elections, may not be in Hougang and Potong Pasir because in our view, as party leaders, it's unfair to field Sitoh and Eric Low if we think they don't have a chance."
So who will stand there instead?
Mr Goh said: "Doesn't matter, can field new candidates and after 1-2 elections, that person would have his teeth cut. He would be a better person - he has fought and he can be an MP elsewhere.
"So why not Hougang? Since the residents have chosen to have an opposition MP, let them continue to have an opposition MP because the desire for an opposition is strong and the PAP is not out to have a clean sweep, but at the same time not wanting to let opposition grow."
But at the end of the day, Mr Goh said, he hopes that Singaporeans understand that stability and good governance is important.
Turning to the role of the Internet, he said that the government would have to liberalise the use of podcasting in future and learn to work the system to its advantage. - CNA/ir
2. Look closely at the bolded words.
For a long time, residents there had enjoyed the so-called 2-in-1 effect - an elected opposition MP and a PAP man who also worked for their interests.The opposition wards have NOT been enjoying a 2-in-1 effect. They have been deprived of the basic privileges extended to every other constituency in the country. Why aren't the PAP men there campaiging for upgrading, if they were really working to better the constituency?
That is what the opposition have been doing - do minimal, only criticise and have been able to get support.
The opposition candidates have NOT been doing minimal, and simply criticising. If that was the case, the politically seasoned people of those constituencies would not be voting them in every single time. That's the PAP's job - criticising the opposition at every election, and having no real election issues.
Doesn't matter, can field new candidates and after 1-2 elections, that person would have his teeth cut.
but at the same time not wanting to let opposition grow.
Cutting through all the rhetoric, one message emerges loud and clear: if the opposition wards want to commit suicide, the PAP will only stand and watch. The exact same message was repeated in 1984, after a particularly "shameful" un-landslide election. See here for details.
Now we know how much they care.
Turning to the role of the Internet, he said that the government would have to liberalise the use of podcasting in future and learn to work the system to its advantage.
Let me translate please, I speak the language of PAP very well. Learn to work the system to its advantage? Clearly, this, coming on the heels of Denis Phua's message about "managing" the internet, is PAP for learning to "control" the internet, and the bloggosphere. And note, this was left at the end of the article, almost as a casual remark. Kind of off-topic too, in what is an article about elections.