WP's key challenge
NOW that the Workers' Party (WP) has won another seat in Parliament, chances are that more people will come forward to join the party and offer themselves as candidates in future elections.
The WP could potentially contest in all constituencies in future elections. It is therefore incumbent upon the party's leadership to ensure that its members possess the potential to be office-bearers as well.
Why is this important?
If we look at the recent election results, it would appear that a new generation of voters is willing to take a gamble by voting against the People's Action Party.
A potentially disastrous outcome would be if the WP is voted into power when it is not ready to form the Government. This may seem far-fetched but it is not impossible, and the WP must take this into consideration when contesting future elections. It must look for high-calibre candidates in the mould of Mr Chen Show Mao.
Alvin Teo Thiam Chye
Give credit to smaller parties
WHILE some voters and observers have criticised the smaller opposition parties for joining the contest for Punggol East, I believe democracy means offering voters a wider choice in choosing the party they want.
Thumbs up to the Reform Party's Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam and the Singapore Democratic Alliance's Mr Desmond Lim, who had the courage to jump into the ring despite the odds.
The People's Action Party's Dr Koh Poh Koon should not feel disheartened by his defeat. He should not give up but follow the example set by Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, who triumphed in Potong Pasir only on his third attempt.
Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad
More opposition voices needed
THE voters of Punggol East have spoken, and analysts generally agree it was the desire for an effective opposition that worked against the People's Action Party. But we have to hope that, in general elections, a good government is not inadvertently tossed out by a general desire for more opposition.
What needs to be addressed is our electoral system, which gives rise to low opposition representation in Parliament despite opposition parties garnering almost 40 per cent of the votes cast.
It is only when there is a substantial opposition voice that a meaningful discussion and comparison of alternate policies can take place.
Kan Kin Mun