How the Opposition can Plan for the Next General Election 2019

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An international media interviewed me to ask me for my thoughts on the Singapore General Election 2015. Here are my comments.

The election results are a combination of how the PAP has played a strategy based on fear-based ideology, coupled with a stronger opposition which ironically turned people in the opposite direction.

The stronger opposition allowed the opposition to pit themselves against the ruling party as a credible alternative. Instead, the PAP adopted the counter-strategy to question the track record of the opposition. An opposition without the possibility of forming government could not persuade voters of a track record.

The more thorough and well thought out policies from the opposition, as much as they were proposed to help Singaporeans, was also weakened by the PAP’s rhetoric of higher taxes, even as much as the opposition outlined that current revenue and taxes would be sufficient for their proposed proposals.

As such, the PAP’s main line of campaigning, on the use of fear, effectively turned voter sentiment against the opposition, more than create support for the PAP.

From this, one can observe that a need to read voter sentiment is a crucial skill that opposition politicians have to develop, so that their campaign strategies can be more effectively framed and aligned with the voters.

For one, a voter population which have been influenced by ideas of stability and certain conservative values mean that the opposition has to learn to develop their policies and communicate these ideas to the voters along such lines.

Ironically, as much as the criticism has been heaped on the PAP for not being in touch with the ground, and which the PAP therefore explained that they would learn to communicate their policies better, the same learning can be applied for the opposition.

The key question for the opposition is how they can become more in touch with the broad spectrum of a middle ground which values stability and how policies which benefit the voters can be better explained to them.

For the opposition, it also means coordinating their strategies so that their strategies do not come into contradictions with one another. As much as the opposition parties see themselves as diverse, to the voter population, they look at the opposition as one commonality, against the PAP.

As such, it would require the opposition to coordinate their strategies and somewhat formulate a strategy that would be able to effectively counter the PAP’s rhetoric against them.

Also, it can also be observed that voters expect a certain quality and strength among the opposition, which therefore also mean the opposition would be required to consolidate, in the face of voter expectations.

It would require the opposition to fine tune their selection of their candidates. Instead of contesting all seats for the sake of doing so, parties would need to carefully consider whether they have the best candidates to do so, and if not, to streamline their resources accordingly. For the unique scenario that Singapore’s elections are framed, it is not to provide voters with a choice to vote, but to rather provide voters with a perceived credible slate so that voters will want to vote.

If this means not contesting all the seats so that there are higher chances to put in credible candidates, then this might be a more viable strategy.

However, this also depends on the opposition and their willingness to coordinate such a strategy, when other considerations come into play, such as party visibility and longevity.

For the sake of Singapore and the sustainability of the democratic system in Singapore, the opposition will be required to read voter sentiment more astutely and to strategise accordingly to first be able to place more opposition politicians in parliament, before plans for expansion are considered.

Strategic and quality placement of candidates would be more well-suited for Singapore’s politics, rather than an exertion of quantitative expansion which might be counterproductive.

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55 comments

  1. Concerned citizen

    Roy talking cock again. Son, you lost ~80% of the votes. Your performance was the second worst among two-way fight constituencies and the worst ever for a opposition party in ang mo kio grc. You are insulting the intelligence of ~80% of the people in your constituency. Singaporeans are not idiots you know.
    Truth be told, a monkey without nuts would have won more opposition votes.

    • Daniel goh

      Well, ur all talk and blowing hot air. Roy tried. N u? Jus typing in your keyboard critising a non-drifter when u are jus a loser? Try harder loser.

      No need to reply or formulate your opinions, u can talk to my hand u piece of lowlife.

      Cheers

      • Concerned citizen

        If you think having the guts to stand in a election is all what it takes to be elected an MP in Singapore then we are in trouble. Luckily you are in the 20% minority.
        Roy can spew whatever sewage he wants about Singapore-that’s his opinion, but making it look as if the majority of the Singaporeans think that way is disgusting and obnoxious. He has a selfish personal vendetta and it is very clear.

    • Matthew

      Concerned citizen, it is precisely of such people like you who condemns people without real understanding of the political issues being argued. Instead people like you always attempt to whack people instead of arguing on the issues objectively. Honestly speaking, I really do not care who you vote for, even if you ever were to vote for the opposition, 多你一票不算多, 少你一票不算少

  2. BermudaTriangleOfDeath

    Still hoping to hoodwink the stupid electorates for $15K carrot and fame huh? In Sin, white elites like Kong Hee will always be in power even if the entire nation collapses! It is always a question of which white monkey will take over

    • sarah

      Hey Bermuda, you’re a dumb Chinese monkey who deserves to be made poor by your government :). I’ll be going home to my free education and free healthcare and high national minimum wage country soon and leaving your shit stain on planet earth country behind

      • tt du

        go sarah go…., btw pl bring the trash(es) like roy and hhh out too.

        bye and have a good life. Pl dun bother replying

      • Chris

        How does sara know that we r poor? We r not poor but not that rich… But the fact is, we r richer than all these countries with minimum wages… That’s a fact.

  3. Joe

    Once again, here’s a plead to Roy to unblock me on FB, so we can engage in proper argument. (yes he blocked me cause he lost in an argument and continue to argue after blocking me – to show like he won =.=)

    Second, election has always been about catering to the needs of the population. The ignorance of opposition parties is a downfall to their election campaigns. Similarly, you have insulted us (same sentiment as above dude), that’s 80% in AMK and 70% in Singapore. Roy, i’m not trying to question your intelligence. But seriously, around 40% when to Local Universities, 10-20% went overseas + private universities. Do you think we don’t have a mind of our own to think and decide for ourselves? Do you think your posts make sense to us? Its not like its hard to understand, but every post you made would have received a C+ for quality and B+ for effort. Because its so loop-sided and flawed in argument. Talking about raising the quality of oppositions, you are the first who needs proper education. Dude, at least find out whats the implication when you attempt to give cash to youngs and olds.

    Lastly, let’s stop talking bad about PAP. Reflect and come back stronger. Don’t keep whining and say singaporean are scare to vote for opposition. goodness sake, how is this going to reflect on you in PR and intelligence point of view. Lastly, i’m more than willing to teach you finance if you are humble enough to learn. then maybe, u can see how flawed all your numbers are..

    • Daniel goh

      U teach finance?

      Where the heck is your bloody track record?

      Kenneth, his leader in Reform handles billions in dollars.

      What are u? Blah! Jus a loser leaving comments to critique Roy. Bugger off u cockroach.

      Replies won’t be entertained. Thanks!

    • Matthew

      Joe, you are implying that having gone through formal education means you can think better….Duh…….Roy did his best. If you can come out with something similar and even better, I am waiting to see what you can offer. Yes you have your point, you win, but it takes a graceful person to stop rubbing salt into another wounds!! 得理就要饶人。。。

      • Joe

        I didn’t know joining election and giving rally does not subject to criticism. then maybe everyone should not criticise PAP for their proposed solution? Come on, I think Roy would not even agree to you point about not criticising him. criticism only makes him better (isn’t this your argument for supporting opposition?)

        He is doing it full-time and he spent people’s money to run for this election. I did not. (if you gonna go on the argument that ya he did the best and i didn’t, so i shouldn’t critcise, the refer to above; PAP did their best, so we also shouldn’t argue.)

        If formal education is not a good gauge of someone’s intelligence, please suggest others. and argue for it to be better than education. telling me isn’t gonna work. As the election result showed, convincing (PAP) is more important than communicating (Oppo)

  4. DeafDumbBlind

    “From this, one can observe that a need to read voter sentiment is a crucial skill that opposition politicians have to develop, so that their campaign strategies can be more effectively framed and aligned with the voters.”

    “As such, it would require the opposition to coordinate their strategies and somewhat formulate a strategy that would be able to effectively counter the PAP’s rhetoric against them.”

    Strategies… strategies..strategies…spoken like a true Devil 🙂

    • BeHappy

      you can’t kill a cockroach because the system gives them a platform to live another day. white or black cockroaches, still cockcroach

      but then…five years is a long time from now for the next shot at power…maybe he and Amos will be married to each other by then haaaaa

    • Matthew

      Speak of the devil? The devil is into the details. At least someone bothered to do something about the injust. It is only because the fire never “scalded” your personal backside…….wait til the lightning strikes and lite up some fire

  5. Wakin

    My personal opinion to oppo is ” Walk & work on the ground” understands the commoners needs & wants not just be online. Forget about the alternative policies or spending here there as the average Joe don’t understand it & this would scare them more. In giving speeches don’t rouse any anger, hatred or vengeance but be soft & neutral so as not to scare the average Joe. Concentrate on some SMC or some area first & try ur best to stay put or near to the constituency even though the electoral boundary might change ( don be light grasshopper) … use wisdom, practical & realistic stuffs to woo the common voters..make them think what’s is important or at stake ( sounds like the ruling party strategies). Nevertheless good luck on the next election..

  6. The Oracle

    I originally came across this blog and tried to understand Roy’s numbers and claims – and I held the firm belief at the time that PAP could do more for the more vulnerable in our society. Unfortunately I was met with hate and gross name calling for questioning Roy at all – and he and his close followers instead turned a potential convert into a sworn enemy.

    Roy, you need to learn to stop twisting facts – we’re not stupid. You need to learn financial basics – you’ve made so many silly claims (or at least ask a friend who is financially literate to vet your numbers). And you need to learn to make friends instead of enemies – maybe you haven’t got a financially literate friend for this reason?

  7. hsds

    I will gladly vote the opp if they stake with their lives that they never raise any taxes and continue to give out freebies.

    Btw, your boss Mr. Jeyaratham has offended many voters by what he said.

    • Chris

      I will gladly vote for oppo if they can give me two landed freehold properties, one in central London;,uk and one in manhattan: USA… Why? Well, if oppo gets into power… Singapore is died… So it’s better to cash in and leave this little island… I am willing to die for my country but I am not willing to die for the current opposition parties.
      That’s life… If Singaporeans become dumb; I better not join in the fun and sink here…

  8. Singaporeans

    Wow … this is the strategy to win election huh? That’s it so simple?

    You really take Singaporeans as a fool, don’t you? You forgot the sincerity to serve the people. Just like what KJ said, don’t complain anymore ….

  9. Election of genes

    This is an election of genes. The good and the best of genes are preserved while the bad and worse of genes are eradicated. Obviously people in this election have chosen to have LKY type of genes than LTK type of genes. For the 30% who did not vote for PAP might think that life would become unbearable under PAP, it is because they have weak and not up to standard genes. For this group of people, it is wiser for them not to procreate as their genes are not so desirable in Singapore. There are 2 options for this group of people: One. They emigrate. It is expensive though. Two. The cheapest and the only free ticket out of their predicament is to go up to the 20th storey of your HDB flat, see the open window.. they will know what to do next!

  10. Singaporeans

    “Also, it can also be observed that voters expect a certain quality and strength among the opposition, which therefore also mean the opposition would be required to consolidate, in the face of voter expectations.”

    Fielding you, Ravi, Gilbert, etc. to represent RP was a real joke …. yes, a certain quality … hahaha …

  11. LML

    I feel the opposition need to do better in articulating policies so that voters know what they are voting for,

    Firstly there are so many parties presenting all kinds of policies, some of which are a drastic change from what we have now, it is only natural voters are worried if the new policies will work, they need to convince the voters that their plan works and nine days of campaigning is not going to cut it. They should have started way before that, some of them did but were really ineffective in getting the message across. (Coming out with multiple page manifestos that no one can understand….) eg suppose we scrap CPF entirely, what will we have in its place? will we need social safety nets and handouts to the people who do not save for retirement? what are the details of the policy? will it work and if it does not work?

    Secondly many parties campaigned on the platform of housing and population and other issues without articulating what they are going to do about it, the majority of singaporeans own HDBs and while they want lower housing prices, they dont want a crash in the market, the opposition parties need to show that they know what they are doing and present a SINGLE UNIFIED WORKABLE proposal to voters, differing stances/focus/positions between candidates and parties each election show a lack of consistency and credibility and undermines voters trust, Eg MRT always breakdown – how will the opposition solve it? what is their plan? if they win the election will the issue go away?

    Thirdly voters know if the PAP is voted out then the best the opposition can do is to form a coalition government with a myriad of parties with different agendas and policies, what would they implement as government? will they give free education? will they give healthcare? will they impose harsh measures on property? how will it affect the stock market? how will it affect the economy? how will it affect real estate trusts? Many singaporeans have their work related in finance or as brokers/real estate agents and or have investments, they are worried that the lack of policy clarity from the opposition will affect their investments and future. How to expect voters to vote for a government who did not present a clear policy agenda other than to replace the current government?

    I like many of the opposition candidates for their passion, courage and hardwork but am very disappointed at the lack of details regarding policies which they are campaigning for, especially after 2011 when they have a chance to mature and develop. as a voter I had higher expectations from the opposition and unfortunately they just did not deliver.

  12. Bernard Tan Y.J

    Unfortunately, Roy, u joined the party with the weakest results – RP. I just hope the weaker opp parties merge or ally, contest under 1 banner. U have no idea how confusing it is to the apathetic, swing voters, elderly etc. In Jurong, many places, u just have to cross the street, and u see PPP, RP, SPP, NSP, SingFirst posters… the results show voters identify most with WP & SDP as the credible opp parties.. when the middle ground voters cant see the logo of the hammer & arrow, many just voted PAP instead..
    p.s. I voted for opposition. I belong to the 30% who will always voted opposition until there is a balanced parliament (ie, PAP loses 2/3 majority)
    ICYMI

    • Si Yuan

      It might not be that Roy joined the party with the weakest result, it may be that RP had weaker result because of Roy. A lot of these opposition are no-names, voting for any of them is the same. You don’t want to vote for PAP, then vote for opposition.

      But Roy is not a no-name, he has demonstrated his innumeracy clearly. So smart voters who don’t want to vote for PAP, but also don’t want to vote for idiots would steer clear of the RP, which is flagged with an innumerate idiot.

  13. Raymond

    Why is it every country in the world (except North korea which is impoverished) chooses democracy, i.e. one man one vote and majority wins ? It is simply because the majority will not be wrong in choosing the best choice of leaders. Once a while the majority will choose a wrong one, but most of the time it will not. And for Singapore government to be choosen by the majority for every single election, it tells you something. Unless you think the majority of Singaporeans are idiots, then Singapore would be worse off than North Korea, and wont be a first world country today.

  14. Raymond

    Actually, almost everyone, except his few die hard supporters, knows that Roy is a opportunist who makes up lies and tales with his patching of figures and quotes from different context, to target the government. Seriously anyone who is reasonable and objective can tell this. This is why he fared so badly , and no other parties has fared so badly , except with Roy. Look at HHH’s number of votes also, which to me is not surprising at all but expected. Sooner or later, no one will bother to even repeal Roy’s rubbish , and he is made to suffer consequences of being a bankrupt and jobless and one with no reputation and credibility for most of his life. This is a good example of you reap what you sow.

    • Daniel goh

      What kind of stupid idiotic logic is that?

      Low votes= rubbish, opportunist?

      U don’t know the word democracy? That’s how it is u piece of lowlife.

      Other than critising Roy n being a keyboard warrior, what else can u do?

      Ur such a loser.

      Replies won’t be entertained. Do reflect on yourself before u hurl untrue insults at Roy.

      He dares to step up n try. So what if he fails? Ur jus a cockroach u get it?

      Buzz off n do something productive in your life.

      Let this message be a warning to u in case some other stupid IB decides to leave another similar lame message for ur shamed in here.

      • The Oracle

        @Daniel Goh – stuff your insults and your hate where the sun don’t shine! It is disgusting people like you that ensures the middle ground in Singapore will vote PAP. It has been proven again and again that Roy’s statistics are at best highly selective. The numbers DO also speak for themselves – RP had the worst result of ANY party in this election. Roy certainly can’t take any credit for improving their numbers!

    • Matthew

      Raymond, Roy’s method may be wrong, but intentions to me is good enough. You think you deserve better by your own judgment?? As I said because right now you are probably comfortable enough, wait til that “lightning” strikes and light up your ass, wait til you realised that even if you are indeed the beneficiary owners of your CPF account, it will still be decided by the Trustee whether you even get to smell your own money…..
      Oracle, wow you sounds like more pro PAP than a “real middle ground” voter. In fact I respected not only the hardcore opposition supporters, but also the hardcore PAP ones, at least they stuck onto their principles, regardless right or wrong……it is the middle ground voters who are the most despicable

      • The Oracle

        And you are clearly too stupid to realise that the opposition treating middle ground supporters like idiots and insulting them is NOT the way to win them over. The PAP on the other hand took the inclusive approach and wiped the floor with the opposition. Grow up, learn, build trust, and maybe many years from now the opposition will be ready to take the reins of Singapore. All the shouting and insults that have become the opposition’s trademark online will not work.

  15. Chink

    Roy, tell you a strategy you can try. Visit one of your favorite char kway teow stall. Ask the Ah Pek to show you his taking for the day. Then ask him to rub the dirty and smelly notes all over your naked body. Well, you get the idea by now I am sure.
    During election, do the above just before you face the eager crowd, point a fan behind your back and blow towards the crowd.
    The smell of money will be your best strategy. PAP elitst money vs sweatshop money. Let the smell of money talk for you. Better than all your charts and your long and boring speeches haha

    • Daniel goh

      Fuck off you troublemaker. With your filthy thoughts, I wonder how did your mother brought such a bastard like u up.

      Cheers mate! Your replies won’t be entertained cos I’ve got better things to do than read your disgruntled viewpoints on Roy.

      Let other readers n IB laugh at your stupidity ba!

      Haha

  16. Si Yuan

    “The stronger opposition allowed the opposition to pit themselves against the ruling party as a credible alternative. “. Was I looking in the wrong place? How come I never saw a credible alternative?

  17. pissedofsingaporean

    Roy is the only candidate, maybe including Kenneth J, that goes round blocking users on FB who is critical of his views. How on earth does he want people to vote for him if he cant even handle online criticism.

  18. Proect Singapore

    I hope the young and the new citizens do not forget the toils of our fore fathers in building a parliament with alternative voices to ensure and to protect our government from swaying to the wrong direction.

    • Ted

      Dun worry, we never forget what’s democracy. That’s why we always choose the best party to lead us.
      It’s never about having alternative for the sake of it. It’s about making sure no stooges gets into parliament and make Singapore fucked. Remember what WP said when MND wanted them to submit their annual report of AHPETC? Can u imagine if WP in power and they tell the oppo (if pap is the oppo), only the residents of Singapore can question me and MP cannot question how WP run the country…. That will b disastrous n no one can stop them for the next five years. I only judge by what kind of a person u r and not where u belong. A party who can’t even submit annual reports on time is bad, worse if even its own auditors has reservations about its accounts….
      U must be joking if u vote for such people to represent u in parliament….

  19. The Reality

    I’m sorry but you are wrong. The window of opportunity has closed in this GE 2015. Forget about it. With roughly 8% new citizen voters coming in since 2013, even the swing voters would not be able to impact the outcome of future elections. Singapore is today no longer the same. You can’t fool me. But you can fool yourself.

  20. Pingback: How the Opposition can Plan for the Next General Election 2019 | ღConflicting Complicationsღ
  21. Ben

    ‘For one, a voter population which have been influenced by ideas of stability and certain conservative values mean that the opposition has to learn to develop their policies and communicate these ideas to the voters along such lines.’

    Does this means that the opposition parties are going to emulate what the PAP has been doing all these years? If so, how different are these opposition parties from the PAP leh? Do you even read what you write, or you just write/say these things to sound intelligent to those who are ignorant?

  22. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen
    18 September 2015 Friday 11:09 PM Singapore Time

  23. lolz

    Hi, I’m a teen in SG. I feel that the country is going nowhere with this system of government, and we will probably get so unequal in our income gap, we might tear ourselves apart. But oppo screwed themselves up at ge2015, by contesting all seats. Ofc the general public were frightened by the PAP losing power and then people thing substandard oppo take over… Scared of LTK becoming PM… of course swing back PAP. If they only contest 40+ seats, I believe we will have 15 oppo Mp now lol… anyways WP should target the east coast again, and then make sure only contest 50+ seats among oppo, concede ground to PAP maybe will cause general public to feel safer and vote for oppo as they scared no oppo in parliament.

  24. keefrederick

    The electorate are not convinced how a fragmented opposition of 9 parties could affect government policies in any way.By just being MP it is only rhetoric and no possibility of implementing any of the opposition manifestos.It is only when a opposition party is able to be the alternative party to be the government that the electorate could take the opposition party seriously. Furthermore,the ruling party is still a credible party which do think of the welfare of the people.It is when the new ruling party leaders do not perform to expectations and the economy tanked with a significant increase in unemployment, will the electorate consider voting for a opposition party that is able to have sufficient credible candidates to form the government. Some of the problems facing this red dot are caused by global events, such as a world recession, and geopolitical upheaval that is unfolding daily. The red dot is fragile and very vulnerable to global events.It is not an easy task to run a tiny island with no land,and people resources. Europe and , US, are swamped with radical Islamist refugees who wants to create a world Caliphate and a world religion with Suria Laws. When there is a threat of turmoil either locally or globally, the people will be reluctant to have a untested opposition party or parties. It is between the devil and the deep blue sea.

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