The Wave of Change that Swept Singapore: Punggol East By-Election 2013

The Worker’s Party won the Punggol East by-election by a convincing margin of 10.81% to win 54.52% of the votes. This is a 13.5% improvement from their performance at General Election 2011. By all accounts, this is a very solid win by the Worker’s Party. On top of that, Ms Lee Li Lian is the first woman to win a by-election in Singapore.

To be very clear, this win by the Worker’s Party is a very strong and powerful message that will resonate and reverberate throughout the whole of Singapore. It will send a very powerful signal to all Singaporeans that what we’ve been harbouring in our thoughts all along – that they’ve been treated unjustly – is proven right afterall. And one that a large multitude of Singaporeans feel as well.

This will ignite the passion and vigour among some Singaporeans to search within themselves to identify with what they truly believe in, and to stand up and make their voice known, together with the growing number of Singaporeans who have taken online to speak up, and increasingly, propose strategies and changes for a better Singapore.

A powerful wave of change had swept through Singapore on the night of 26 January 2013 and will continue to be sustained in the awareness and imaginations of Singaporeans, until the next general election and beyond.

Now, if the PAP government knows to make use of this to their advantage, they would start opening up to diverse viewpoints, with the understanding that these viewpoints need not be in opposition to their governing principles. If the government can learn to become less defensive, they will understand that most Singaporeans are pro-Singapore, not anti-PAP or pro-opposition. We only want to create a Singapore that’s better for our old age and for our children. And behind the differences in approach, the intention is the same. If the government can recognise this, they will know that the shockwave of energy that has been sent through in the early part of 2013 will be the start of a dynamic process where Singaporeans can work with the government, learn to understand one another’s way of working and to develop common, global approaches to addressing the issues that face Singapore.

Singapore is well-poised to undergo this new era of collaborative effort, because of our small size, educated population and high connectivity. If anything, Singapore and Singaporeans will come out stronger, especially in a knowledge economy, where the creativity and innovation required of the people to think on their feet will be a valued asset, that will be an outgrown from this new Singaporean and Singapore, if the government is willing.

Perhaps this might even be something the government has in its plans. But if not, it’s well worth the government to explore this approach, to let its guard down and to come out of its shell. No one wants to steal your power and what you’ve done for Singapore. All we are saying is let’s do it together, let’s care and share and let’s make Singapore a better place for you and me.


  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 28 Jan 2013 | The Singapore Daily

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