Here is my take on the five reasons why the 2015 General Election swung so heavily in favour of the People's Action Party (PAP).
- The people inherently trust that the PAP is the only credible option Singapore has for forming a government.
There was a swing towards the opposition in 2011 because the people felt the PAP was riding roughshod over them. But when the PAP started to make amends, the people were quick to forgive and forget.
- The people are unconcerned about paper qualifications.
In Fengshan SMC and MacPherson SMC, the Workers' Party (WP) sent top-quality candidates to these two seemingly vulnerable constituencies.
Both Ms Cheryl Chan and Ms Tin Pei Ling from the PAP are not typical government scholars and/or high-flying professionals.
Instead, both had proven their chops on the ground and when it came to pitting themselves against the WP's candidates, both prevailed.
- The Government's actions against bloggers ("Blogger Roy Ngerng found to have defamed PM Lee", Nov 8, 2014; and "Teen blogger convicted on 2 charges", May 13) showed that it took individual bloggers more seriously than any opposition voices in Parliament.
The bloggers could reach millions directly and uncensored. Thus, it seemed that if a person wanted to express an opposing voice, all he needed was to start a blog.
In this context, it became unnecessary to leave the running of the troubled Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol-East Town Council in the hands of the WP just to give the opposition a voice in Parliament, when anyone can now have a say in how Singapore is run.
- The WP is not the "model opposition" the people want.
In essence, the people already understand and accept some of the hard policies laid out by the Government - such as the immigration and population issues.
What they need is an opposition that can reassure the people that their interests will not be compromised and they will not be left behind.
Opposition is not always about shouting against the wind. It is about working with the Government and reminding it to take care of those in need.
The WP talked the talk but when it was its time in Parliament, it failed to walk the walk. It championed nothing and spoke for no one.
Worse, it started to stack its ranks with high-flying professionals, which alienated itself from the common man.
- Big issues are better left to those who want to govern, not those who want to form the minority.
Talking high-policy issues and shouting against the wind won the opposition parties little support, especially as they are not ready to take over the reins of government.
Boon Chin Aun