The parliamentary elections are just around the corner and it is time to find out about the various political parties that will be running in the upcoming elections.
Who are you? What do they stand for? What are your successes?
In this series we will cover everything you need to know about the party so that you can better understand what is going on before you cast your vote.
We start the explainer with the oldest player in the game: People & # 39; s Action Party (PAP).
A brief history of PAP
PAP has ruled Singapore since 1959 when it became the first fully elected government in the self-governing state.
It was founded in 1954 by Lee Kuan Yew with the primary aim of striving for Singapore's independence from British rule.
Other founding members are Toh Chin Chye, Samad Ismail, Lee Gek Seng, Fong Swee Suan, Mofradi bin Haji Mohamed Noor, P. Govindasamy, Ismail Rahim, AK Karuppiah, S. Rajaratnam, CV Devan Nair, Tann Wee Keng, Tann Wee Tiong and Chan Chiaw Thor.
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was the party's first general secretary. He also became Singapore's first prime minister after leading the party to victory in the 1959 general election.
Emeritus high-ranking minister Goh Chok Tong, who recently left politics, assumed leadership of the party from 1992 to 2004 before handing over the baton to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (son of Lee Kuan Yew).
The party is currently led by PM Lee, who is also the PAP general secretary. The 68-year-old has announced that he will hand over the reins to the party before the age of 70, which means that this upcoming election could be his last.
What do they stand for?
During its founding years, the main goal of the PAP, as set out in its 1954 manifesto, was to seek Singapore's independence through the alliance with the Malayan Federation and “create an economic order that grants all citizens the right to work and work the full economic returns for their work and skills. "
Key measures over the years include the adoption of an export-oriented development strategy that has helped the nation to recover after the separation from Malaysia, the establishment of the Housing and Development Board and programs for public housing, and the Central Provident Fund.
Over 60 years later, PAP has developed into a conservative political party with the goal of "building a fair and just society in which the benefits of progress are widespread for all".
Meritocracy is a central principle of government of the PAP government. PAP leaders believe that meritocracy helps the smartest students get to the top and helps create a corruption-free and efficient public service. Such a system of rewards and opportunities is seen as crucial to maintaining social harmony in Singapore's multiracial society.
What do S & # 39; poreans think about PAP?
By measuring quality and governance standards, PAP has done a good job of managing Singapore. It often plays on its impressive track record and praises how it has helped build Singapore "from the Wadden Sea to the metropolis" since its inception.
However, as in every country, there will always be people who oppose the ruling party and the establishment. Nevertheless, there will always be critics of the PAP.
It has often been criticized for passing laws that suppress freedom of expression and other civil liberties.
Dissatisfaction with the party has also increased in recent years as property prices have risen, while wages have stagnated given the increase in foreign workers.
Living in Singapore is extremely expensive. Due to the rising cost of living, income inequality has become a major problem here.
A government report from 2018 found slower income growth for the bottom 50 percent of households, which contributed to an increasing gap between rich and poor. There is an extensive program of transfers, subsidies and assistance for low-income Singaporeans, but social imbalances remain.
In contrast, many Singaporeans have continually asked the government to review the salaries of some of the highest ministers in the world.
Many Singaporeans also believe that the only reason PAP remains in power is because they have historically tried to lawsuit to weaken the political opposition. One case was against the Democratic Party of Singapore's Chee Soon Juan, who was sued for bankruptcy.
The former opposition party leader, the Labor Party, once joked that the Singapore government has a tendency to "sue until you drop your pants!"
Results of past parliamentary elections
PAP has won all general elections since Singapore's independence in 1965.
In the last parliamentary elections in 2015, the party denied all 16 constituencies of the group representation (GRCs) and 13 constituencies of the individual members (SMCs) and only lost Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC to the opposition Labor Party.
It received 69.86 percent of the vote in GE 2015 – an improvement over 60.1 percent in GE 2011, the party's lowest vote share since 1965.
Before the parliament was dissolved for the upcoming elections, the party held 83 out of 89 seats.
Where will you compete?
It is easier to ask where they will not compete because they are everywhere.
Each constituency is challenged by a PAP team or person, and they are realistically the only party that can form a majority in parliament alone.
Under the new electoral limits, they are expected to compete in all 17 GRCs and 14 SMCs.
Screenshot from the PAP website
The PAP has a useful function on its website that allows you to find out who is active in your region simply by entering your zip code.
Disclaimer: Vulcan Post does not endorse or endorse political parties.
Look forward to the next edition of the opposition leader's Labor Party. In the meantime, visit our 2020 general election microsite for more election-related content.
Selected image source: Reuters