Sunday, March 25, 2012

George Yeo: Many had "lost faith in the government"

As reported in the media, Mr George Yeo has pretty much acknowleged that last year's poor showing (relatively speaking) in the general elections, indicates that many people had lost faith in the government.

It is good to see that with the burden of the Ministerial post off his shoulders and the lack of a Parlimanetary seat, George Yeo is able to speak his mind and admit the reality on the ground. I wonder if the extent of the populuation's loss of faith has filtered through to the leadership.

I believe that the only reason why PAP did not suffer further losses in the last GE was because there were still a sizeable number that believed that change was possible from within the Party. It was clear from the Presidential Elections that many PAP voters had voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock instead of Dr Tony Tan (the preferred PAP candidate). This was undeniably the soft option for voters wishing to express their discontent. They got their PAP government at the General Elections but they had the possibility of a non-endorsed and yet ex-PAP member (and old-school grassroots savy PAP MP) as an option for President. In one sense, a vote against Tony Tan by those that voted for the PAP at the GE was a clear message of the displeasure felt even by that segment of the population that had supported the PAP.

The extent of the displeasure is not limited to the 40% that voted for the opposition in the GE. I believe that the Presidential Elections last year constituted a form of an opinion poll on the loss of faith felt by Singaporeans. Yes, the 1,372,847 Singaporeans that did not vote for Tony Tan indicated in various shades that the current government needs to get its act together. That was effectively 64.8% of the electorate.

I appreciate George Yeo's suggestion that we have to set aside political differences and work together as a nation. I believe that these are the tentative signs of us maturing as a nation. There is still too much bitterness in the conversations carried out across party lines. A political history of repression of alternative voices has led to too much suspicion and lack of a willingness to listen (applicable to the ruling party and the opposition supporters). We need to recognise that it is perfectly fine to have strong political views and it is healthy to engage in virulent debate. In the midst of all that we must not forget that we are friends, family, Singaporeans.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mr Yeo was speaking of himself when he said "people had lost faith in the government." None of the sitting Ministers have admitted that publicly.

In any case, LHL is definitely very nervous about the by-election. If his party gets a trashing in the poll, a likely outcome IMHO, his "leadership" position in the Party may be in jeopardy. Perhaps not when the old man is still around, but the time will come.

Anonymous said...

George Yeo should take a step further to redeem himself...declare that all rear admirals and generals in the PAP must do likewise to proclaim the people had lost faith in the govt.

to ensure no doubts about his sincerity, George Yeo should publicly thank the voters of aljunied for giving him a wake up call...because he has been foolishly serving a familee.

Anonymous said...

you are wondering if the pple's discontent with the govt has filtered thru to the govt? surely it's glaring that it hasn't? nothing has changed. nothing will.

george has merely stated the obvious in his speech. that he reached the conclusion he has only during the GE shows that he is not at all the savvy person pple claim he is. he is as clueless as his colleagues.

sporeans have been unhappy with govt policies for years now. we have made noises but are being constantly told we dunno better. and threatened with this country falling apart. well, it's doing so NOW, despite all these wonderful policies.

we will grow at a slower rate without foreigners, warns kuan yew. yeah, so? is tt terrible? we'r certainly not happy with how things are going now. so let's try something new. growing slowly is not the end of the world.

as for george's promise to reform the pap, he's certainly not even trying. it was just an empty promise to get votes. how to give the man respect like tt?

Anonymous said...

His immediate objective was to ease the two replacements for Cynthia and Hwee Hua in by distracting us with his remarks. As someone said nothing has really changed. There is only one way to make the govt see reason and its in our hands!

Anonymous said...

Geore Yeo probably said this to preserve his political capital,remember that he did remind his face book supporters(more than 80,000)that "itm is not over for him yet"
Personally I have no confidence in George Yeo's sincerity.
He is a good LYY's disciple.

Subra said...

To be fair to George Yeo, he does come across as being sincere in his assessment although we would have expected someone of his calibre to have appreciated the problem on the ground even before the election.

For too long, PAP leaders have been 'mollycoddled' by the electorate. They have gotten accustomed to a situation where Singaporeans would complain but would not put their votes where their mouths are. Well, last year, many voters did the unexpected.

I do still hope that the sentiment on the ground is reaching the leaders. But then, I have always been an optimist.

patriot said...

George Yeo is saying things to make himself more acceptable by the people at large.
He had probably been shown the cold shoulders by the PEOPLE since the Last GE as he is no more a VIP. He is made to know that the LEADERSHIP does not get much respect. And if he stays clear with them(The Cabinet Members of PAP), he too will be looked at like them.

Has he political bearing changes?
Me does not think so unless his conscience has returned to him.