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Singapore: Bloggers Criticize PAP Manifesto

Singapore’s ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP), released its election manifesto on April 17, 2011, which was immediately criticized by many bloggers for being “too vague.” PAP has been in power for five decades already. The country's General Election will take place on May 7.

The PAP manifesto promises a better future for all Singaporeans

You can count on the PAP to do the best for Singaporeans from all walks of life, and to keep us united through good times and bad. Together, we will make Singapore a vibrant and inclusive society, with opportunities for a better life for each and every citizen. We will be a city for the young and old.

To achieve this vision, we seek your mandate to:

• Create opportunities for higher incomes for all
• Improve the lives of lower-income Singaporeans
• Bring out the best in every child
• Develop a vibrant city and an endearing home
• Help our seniors stay active, healthy and engaged
* Involve all Singaporeans in shaping our future

Below is the video of the manifesto prepared by PAP:

The manifesto mentioned about the commitment of PAP to respect diverse views in society. But Mr. Brown complained that commenting is disallowed on the PAP video site.

jadenster uploaded this video which contrasted the PAP manifesto with the current situation in Singapore:

cloudywind also has a short video which slams the legacy of PAP:

Lucky Tan is not impressed with the manifesto and warns that the proposed solutions have been done before:

In fact, where solutions are cited in the manifesto, they are what the PAP has been doing in the past decades e.g. retraining of low income workers from one low income job to another etc. When the same solutions are used, we will only get the same results – widening income gap, rising cost of living and a deteriorating quality of life.

Through the Wordle site, alvinology compares the PAP manifesto with the manifesto issued earlier by the opposition Workers’ Party’s (WP). The PAP document consists of 25 pages compared to the 63 pages in the WP manifesto. Bloggers also noticed that the WP manifesto has detailed recommendations in 15 different policy areas.

Yawning Bread criticizes the leadership brand of PAP:

It’s getting very tired. And what the PAP does not realise is that this constant harping about the risk of failure has actually damaged Singapore. Far from making us a confident, innovative society willing to try new things and benefitting from experimentation, it has made us risk-averse and slightly paranoid. It’s hardly any wonder stress levels in Singapore are so high

Blogging for Myself accuses PAP of being ‘clueless’ to the current realities in the world:

In one word, the PAP is CLUELESS. I am not expecting some grand theory that is good enough to help illuminate mankind into the future, but they do not have a sufficient grasp of the driving forces today beyond being bewildered by it all and can only say this: The future is highly uncertain.

The PAP has been short changing themselves because they are apt to choose people they trust rather than the ablest. You know the dynamics of human relationships, it is impossible to have a large company of people that you can develop deep trust.

Molly Meek publishes an annotated document of the PAP manifesto. She also described the manifesto as a defense of the status quo:

The PAP Manifesto is ultimately about maintaining the status quo, making it cosmetically and statistically better but substantially worse. Expect minor tweaks but do not expect them to translate to any palpable benefit for Singaporeans; do not expect anything near a paradigm shift in thinking. (And no, of course there’s no groupthink in the PAP.)

Nigel Tan is disappointed that the manifesto contains only vague promises:

The document seems to contain a series of vague promises, with neither details of specific policies nor information on how the various stated aims were going to be implemented.

As elections get nearer, netizens are encouraged to post photos of the elections in the GE2011 Media website.

2 comments

  • […] People's Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since 1959, is expected to face touch competition from several opposition […]

  • Indira Iswaran

    What happened to the Minister happens daily at private condos. So the security of the Minister has reported to the police on the matter. I wonder if the police will be able to take a closer look at this ever so powerful MC member that could cause such an incident to happen. To us this was an eye opener that there was total abuse of position by the MC member using his position to come along hard at a visitor. But what the good Minister is experiencing is happening often in such private estates. The all powerful perpetrator MC members take it upon themselves to even stop police investigations. The Minister’s security officers reported to the police. I would like to see how the police are going to investigate this issue if they too are constantly stopped at the gate and not allowed to get past the barriers ‘because the MC has not given the permission’.
    Let me share about a similar real life story but to a common person instead.
    The scene is set in a private condo in the West Coast area where my friend lives. She has had constant problems from an immediate neighbour that seems to be running a gambling den everyday. They start at 11am and play into the wee hours of the night making so much noise. For more than a year plus she has put up with all this. She has been making complaints to the MC and later to all the authorities including the police and has met with a brick wall because the police have no authority to investigate the matter as they are not allowed in. They have to get permission from the MC. However the Chairman of the MC is running this illegal, irregular outfit in his apartment and holds the security and police at bay. Police are not given permission as they are not allowed in without permission from MC.
    Last week my friend was at her wits end when it went on far into the evening and she called me to come over. My husband and I were witness to this whole fiasco. When the police arrived at the condo at 11pm they were categorically turned away at the security gates by the ever so powerful security officer (that seemed to be colluding in the issue) who got her instructions from the MC member. The victim was none the wiser that the police were actually at the gate to attend to the problem and were not allowed in. They only could get in eventually after we intervened with our friend to get them through. But by this time we saw to our horror how fast the perpetrators and the accomplices got out of the back gate and escaped. I dread to think if it was a case where there was a worse scenario and there was a person such as a criminal or worse a terrorist being hidden by the MC member. What then???? The legal issues here has to be looked into and addressed for the good of all. The police being held at bay by the security and the MC when a resident is in distress is truly the ultimate disgrace.
    Here in the Minister’s case he being accosted by an MC member when he is a guest of another resident is truly appalling to note. There is no excuse for an MC member to abuse his role on whatever so the capicity the Minister was there in.
    What makes me think is what is happening to our Singapore society. In such estates we expect to see civilised educated level headed members of our society in Singapore.

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