Credible opposition may offer alternative govt

Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong posed the interesting question of whether it is likely that Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will fall, following the defeat of Malaysia's Barisan Nasional in the May 9 general election (Malaysian General Election: Five takeaways for Singapore; May 13).

She suggested several factors that could unseat the PAP, including ignoring vocal minorities which can snowball into a sizeable majority, allowing rot to set in and putting the party above the nation's interests.

I would like to add another element that could dislodge the ruling party - an opposition party that is at least of equal strength and reputation, able to govern as well as, or even better than, the PAP, and which can offer an alternative.

A credible opposition party will give Singaporean voters a choice.

In fact, such a party is certainly most crucially needed should the PAP fail in its duty. We will then have a ready-made alternative.

However, success is not guaranteed because the PAP will staunchly defend its turf, and also because it is continually blazing new frontiers to make our lives better.

Singapore is now at a turning point, with the fourth-generation leaders wielding the baton in 10 of the 16 ministries, following the recent rejuvenation exercise.

Already, they have an impressive array of ambitious projects in hand. And the young faces are determined to keep the PAP in top form.

Anthony Oei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2018, with the headline 'Credible opposition may offer alternative govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe