Safeguards in place to check single-party rule

The 2015 General Election has reinforced the PAP's dominance in our political system ("Liberal reflections on loss and acceptance in GE2015"; Sept 16).

Some members of the intelligentsia have expressed concerns about the implications this unexpected development will have on the future of our democracy and on possible abuses by the dominant party.

But this is based on the false assumption that an ideal democracy with a two-party system will bring about a better life for the average lot.

Leading democracies, such as the US and Britain, are seeing widening inequalities and disillusionment among their electorates.

But there are safeguards in our system.

Our independent first-class judiciary is one antidote for our one-party system.

Another equally important institution is the mainstream media, especially The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, which can act as proactive and constructive arbiters in our society.

They have done a remarkable job in covering the recent general election in terms of impartiality.

This is not to advocate that the media play the role of the opposition.

The media has to go to the ground and do more in-depth investigative analysis of various issues faced by the people, so as to plug any gaps that may exist between the Government and the people.

When faced with a divisive issue, it is best that the media seek and publish articles from experts and commentators from each side of the divide.

A 360-degree insightful perspective on important issues will ensure that we walk together on the right path, however arduous it may be.

In essence, this election has shown that Singaporeans need to evolve a social and political system tailored to our limitations and needs of our people, and not to blindly emulate Western democracy.

Edmund Lam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'Safeguards in place to check single-party rule'. Print Edition | Subscribe