Your Letters

Dominance of PAP played big part in nation's success

Mr Han Fook Kwang gave food for thought in his commentary about the dominance of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) and the dangers of it being overly dominant, such as resistance to change and complacency (The politics of dominance: Don't take it to the limit; Oct 1).

Actually, the PAP has dominated the political scene since the turbulent, pre-independence 1950s when it was the dominant opposition party before winning its first general election in 1959.

That it has reigned supreme to this day shows its calibre.

However, having a dominant ruling party is not necessarily undemocratic or detrimental to one's well-being.

Look at the spectacular progress we have made since independence. Singapore continues to blossom because the party continues to deliver the goods.

In fact, the party's dominance was the crucial factor that enabled it to formulate and implement urgent development policies speedily and put us firmly on our feet to overcome the onerous challenges we faced in the early days of our nationhood.

The voters, the final arbiters of the PAP's efficacy, have no issue with the party's dominance, as seen by its victory at every general election ever held.

Neither has the opposition. Indeed, the opposition Workers' Party has said it is not ready to topple the Government, implying that it is happy with acting merely as an observer holding a watching brief.

In any case, our current opposition has no teeth to topple the PAP.

The PAP will continue to rule the roost in a dominant way, unless it reneges on its promises. One hopes, though, that the party will not go to extremes.

Anthony Oei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 08, 2017, with the headline 'Dominance of PAP played big part in nation's success'. Print Edition | Subscribe