Political observer and former Nominated MP (NMP) Zulkifli Baharudin notes: "In the early years, elections were almost a referendum on the popularity of the People's Action Party. There was no question the PAP would be in government."
This started to change in the 1984 General Election, when opposition members were elected to Parliament for the first time. In 1985, Singapore experienced its first post-independence economic recession. There was a need to communicate to the public why the Government had to review policies, and how this would affect them.