S'pore needs unique brand of democracy

Australia has changed its prime minister again.

Mr Malcolm Turnbull is the country's fourth PM in nearly three years ("Aussie PM Tony Abbott ousted in party vote"; Sept 15).

In contrast, Singapore has had only three PMs in 56 years.

What causes the frequent change of PMs in some countries? It is the infighting, bickering and leadership speculation among party members who have personal agendas.

Fortunately, in Singapore, there is no such infighting and backbiting among the ruling party members.

When someone is elected as the PM, the others in the party give him full support, respect and cooperation.

They do not try to bring down the PM through unethical and undemocratic means, as they have no personal agenda but are interested only in the progress of the country.

The one-party dominance of the People's Action Party (PAP) has helped Singapore become what it is today, unlike some countries which change governments and leaders very often.

The dominance of the PAP in Parliament for more than 50 years has provided continuity and consistency in successfully carrying out its economic and social plans, to provide Singaporeans a secure and good life.

This is unique to Singapore.

Singapore is a First World democratic nation. But that does not mean we should blindly emulate all the forms of democracies in other First World nations.

Singapore is a tiny red dot with no natural resources or hinterland. With a small population, we are also limited in human resources.

Hence, Singapore has to be careful in selecting the practices of democracy.

The mindless adoption of democracy in it fullest form is not viable for Singapore's long-term survival. We have to tailor-make our own democratic practices.

Pavithran Vidyadharan