Read an interesting commentary by ST’s editor Zuraidah Ibrahim published in Sunday Times today. Beyond the obligatory criticism of WP, what caught my eye were her views on why PAP has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at WP over the hawker centre saga over the past month. To sum it up, she said PAP had to gun for WP because:
1. PAP has to secure and galvanise its own base of supporters who want to see their leaders swinging punches instead of being punching bags. Apparently, some of their supporters were unhappy that their party’s leaders had given its critics too much leeway. (JC- agree with Zuraidah..I think the MIW are very worried as they are losing more of their supporters…though I’d wager it is because of their poor job performance rather than their whacking ability of the oppo.)
2. PAP needs to keep WP on the defensive. And it has to cause disruption and keep WP busy to distract them from doing a good job in their constituencies. (JC- This is a dirty tactic as we all know WP has very limited funds and resources unlike the rich PAP which can tap public-funded resources including the entire People’s Association grassroots network to help them.)
3. PAP needs to plant doubt about up-and-coming WP leaders to weaken their chances when helming teams in GRCs in GE 2016. Noteworthy is Pritam Singh who has been gaining credence and recognition. (JC- explains why PM tried to pin the unproven plagiarism charge on Pritam in his media statement to support Vivian)
Well, now you know. Even though these are supposedly just the views of an editor, it is after all by Zuraidah, a veteran ST political journalist who is very close and familiar with how the PAP works. And as ST is the mouthpiece for PAP, they would not have published this if it were untrue.
The reasons given as to why PAP is whacking WP puts in perspective all that has been said and done, in particular minister Vivian B’s and PM Lee’s public exhortations that their efforts in flagging the hawker centre issue again and again is done in the name of pursuing “INTEGRITY”.
So much for our ministers claiming they want “clean” politics in Singapore. I hope Singaporeans now fully understand what PM Lee meant when he said we have to “get our politics right”.
If you are still not convinced, read what Zuraidah wrote in her closing para of her commentary – that PAP will likely engage in the old-style “hard-knuckled” politics to contain the opposition. She said:”…we can expect to see more such exchanges in and out of Parliament, possibly more bruising ones, in the run-up to the next general election.”
Buckle up Singaporeans. It’s going to be a rough and bumpy ride ahead.