Singapore Vote Count Underway as PAP Expected to Retain Power

The death of party founder and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in March led to an outpouring of national grief.

Nine opposition parties contested the parliamentary seats, alongside a handful of independents. He was declared bankrupt after failing to pay S$500,000 ($351,000) for defaming PAP leaders during the 2001 election.

Social Media

The ruling party built up its online presence after 2011, when an undercurrent of discontent emerged on social media. “Anyone in government has got to take into account all voices. The Singapore Democratic Party has seen the return of its chief Chee Soon Juan after he was cleared of bankruptcy in 2012. Topics like train breakdowns, housing prices, stresses of the local education system and anti-foreigner sentiment regularly crop up in such forums.

The PAP moved after 2011 to further boost spending on lower-income families and the elderly, and has sought to capitalize on the groundswell of patriotism that followed massive celebrations last month to mark the nation’s modern founding.

“We need higher salaries and lower rent and electricity,” said 59-year-old cleaner Noor Aini bin Talif as she sipped on tea after voting in her neighborhood. “A couple of two young people working cannot pay the bills. I want everyone to be working.”

At Toa Payoh stadium, crowds of PAP supporters blew whistles and horns and chanted the party’s name. The opposition is part of all voices, but there is also a silent majority.”

A socio-political site was suspended earlier this year for publishing prohibited material including inciting anti-foreigner sentiments and two of its editors were charged with sedition. The party that gets the most number of votes in a constituency sends all its members to parliament.. “The burning issues that were with Singapore in 2011 have since receded because the government has systematically worked to address some of these election concerns that were very pressing in 2011.

Aging Workforce

Challenges remain for a country facing an aging workforce and doubts over traditional pillars of growth like manufacturing and electronics. The Singapore dollar is set for its biggest annual loss since 1997 and its stock index is the second-worst performing Asian benchmark index in local currency terms this year.

Singapore Vote Count Underway as PAP Looks Set to Keep Power – Bloomberg Business

“We have to keep standards high and the right people should come in to look after this little red dot,” said former deputy premier Wong Kan Seng, referring to Singapore by its nickname. It had seven, compared with 79 for the PAP, before parliament was dissolved for the poll.

‘Quality Opposition’

“It’s been exciting as there is better quality opposition, which means better rallies and debates,” said Alvin Foo, 26, a logistics operation worker who was at the PAP gathering at Toa Payoh stadium. I want a stable government, smart people to lead with a proven track record.”

That would signal an improvement for a party that won in 2011 with its smallest share of the popular vote since 1965. Banker Sherlene Chan, 40, brought her two daughters to the stadium in their pajamas.

“This is a chance for the girls to experience the election first hand,” she said. Shanmugam said in an interview at Toa Payoh stadium in central Singapore where PAP supporters had gathered. Wong did not contest the latest election.

Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party was set to win re-election and continue its more than 50 years in power, even as it faced a contest in every district for the first time since independence.

In a country where the operator of the biggest television and radio stations is indirectly owned by the government, some have turned to news portals, blogs and social media for alternative views. Politicians compete in single-seat wards or multiple-seat districts. Among them, only the Workers’ Party won seats in 2011. “Anytime the support levels are like this we actually have to approach it with a great deal of humility,” he said. In January he held his first online chat on his personal Facebook page where discussions ranged from his preference of pink shirts to perceptions of the government.

Sample counts of 100 ballot papers from polling stations showed the PAP leading in 83 of 89 seats, according to the Elections Department.

A record 2.46 million Singaporeans got the chance to vote, and casting a ballot is compulsory for all citizens who are 21 and over. The export-driven economy has been damped by China’s slowdown, uneven recoveries in the U.S. “I just started work so I’m very concerned about the cost of living. and Europe and a commodities slump. Friday’s poll gave Singaporeans a chance to assess how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s administration has fared in tackling issues that hurt it in that vote, including living costs, public transport disruptions and immigration.

“Support has swung back,” Foreign Minister K. Lee has actively taken to Twitter since April last year and has more than 210,000 followers. “I’m concerned about the welfare of the people and future of my children.”

Still, the ruling party retained support from citizens who see it as the force that turned a small trading port into Southeast Asia’s richest country. Roy Ngerng, a blogger who was found to have defamed Lee and is being sued by him for damages, is standing against Lee in his ward in the poll.

The Workers’ Party drew tens of thousands to its rallies, with Singaporeans packing open fields in the suburbs to listen to chairman Sylvia Lim speak. ‘Burning Issues’

“They’re evolving with the electorate,” said Wai Ho Leong, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Plc

Leave a Reply