A Victory of the People

January 29, 2013 by
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

By Dr Patrick Kee
29 January 2013

The people of Punggol East have given democracy a big boost in Singapore. Their vote was not a vote against the government but a vote for a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We need to remember that the opposition is as much a part of the government as well as the party in power.

The results of the Punggol East by-election is a wake-up call to all political parties. The Reform Party and the SDA provided the opportunity for the people of Punggol East to demonstrate their political maturity. Unfortunately they were both struck down by the hammer and lightning and lost their pants! Their unfortunate loss should be seen as the sacrifice to showcase the wisdom of the residents of Punggol East. The SDP very wisely listened to the voice of the people and did not fall for the bait of the PAP.

The election results of Punggol East is a beacon of hope for democracy in Singapore. The Workers Party will do well to be aware that the seeds of defeat may be sown in times of victory while the PAP can take comfort that the seeds of victory may be sown in times of defeat. As long as the focus of the political parties is on the welfare of the people, policies will benefit the people. What is badly needed in a world that is becoming more competitive is a sharing and pooling of ideas. No one party has the monopoly on wisdom.

What the people of Singapore are looking for are leaders with the heart to serve. The victory of Ms Lee Li Lian is an inspiration to all Singaporeans for she is a model of a leader who is qualified because she has learnt to serve. True leadership is not power and privilege but humble service. Academic qualifications are no guarantee of good leadership.

There is hope for real democracy and a better life for all Singaporeans if the Punggol East by-election marks the dawn of real democracy in Singapore. The opposition needs to learn from our history and to work towards unity in the midst of diversity.


5 Comments on A Victory of the People

  1. greyheyn on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 6:40 am
  2. I wonder what majority of the people would eventually make of the political shenanigans in SDP and WP before the by-election. Having said that, the author is quite correct to look at the result as a victory of the people.

    There are two common ways of looking at it, aren’t there? One is what has been said here, SDP did not fall for the bait set up by the PAP. Some might take the view that SDP has been fulfilling their duties as opposition representatives and carrying out the wishes of the opposition supporters in trying to avoid spiltting the votes in Punggol East.

    Or some might see it all as sordid electioneering efforts, not until before the nomination day, with each side – SDP and WP both in their own way, seeking maximum party advantage in the closing stages of a probable closely-fought by election, even as the opposition supporters teeter on the brink of melt-down in the continuing uncertainty.

    All is fair in love and war, that is in theory. Interestingly, if WP lost Punggol East, I could feel finger pointing at the SDP.

    If the opposition unity is used to punish opposition political parties, it probably won’t save the already controlled and difficult political system, let alone the people of Singapore. But if the PAP aren’t punished, then Singaporean may well feel that their pockets have been picked.

    Or maybe all these arise because the majority of Singaporean fail to understand the meaning of democracy? A victory for (not of) the people may still be even further.

  3. Daily SG: 29 Jan 2013 | The Singapore Daily on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 12:35 pm
  4. […] with Chinese – My Singapore News: Punggol East – We are not daft – Sgpolitics.net: A Victory of the People – Where Bears Roam Free: PM Lee mocks Li Lian’s qualifications, just like LKY mocked […]

  5. Daniel Lee on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 1:18 pm
  6. General agree with your article. However, a point of correction. The opposition is the opposition, and not part of the government. The party that wins the parliamentary majority chooses a number of its MPs to form a government.

  7. goodies on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 3:26 pm
  8. “The opposition is the opposition, and not part of the government.”

    There is always a yin and yang to balance the force. If the opposition is not part of government, what right do they have to speak in parliament ? Beside, PAP is once a opposition party too and vote into power to form government. Opp party also represents the voice of the people who vote them as the government is for the people, from the people , and by the people.

  9. Don't Jump To Conclusion! on Tue, 29th Jan 2013 6:31 pm
  10. PE is only a “by-election” – not representative of the whole of S’pore. You are still living in denial. See how PAP’ s claws are evident in all aspects of S’pore life. How Opposition can be part of the Government when Oppositon MPs were ridiculed, humiliated, scolded, etc. In Parliament! See and walk the ground and don’t live in “Ivory Towers”. SDP’s talk of “Opposition Unity” is a red-herring. Just take a look at SDP’s history when Mr Chiam was its head. I

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