Singapore polls: Vote to end PAP's supermajority, says Lee Hsien Yang

Lee Hsien Yang of the Progress Singapore Party greets a hawker during a walkabout ahead of the general election in Singapore June 28, 2020. - ST file photo

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Singaporeans must vote to end the ruling People's Action Party's supermajority in Parliament, Progress Singapore Party member Lee Hsien Yang urged voters in a video message posted on Facebook on Monday (June 29).

Hsien Yang, whose brother Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is secretary-general of the PAP, criticised the Government on a range of issues as he called for more diversity in Parliament.

"Make your vote in this Covid-19 election count. Choose a Singapore where the daily struggle and sacrifice pay off for all, not just for the natural aristocracy," he said, appearing to reference the Workers' Party election campaign slogan Make Your Vote Count.

"Vote to end the supermajority. Singapore wants different."

Hsien Yang, 62, was unveiled as a PSP member last Wednesday. He has since been on party walkabouts, including in Tanjong Pagar GRC, but has kept mum on whether he will contest the July 10 election.

He was not among the 24 candidates confirmed by the party to stand in the nine constituencies it intends to contest in its first election since its founding in March 2019.

In his video message on Monday, Hsien Yang said the PAP's supermajority has given the party too much power.

He said: "The PAP vision of meritocracy has become a fiction. Many Singaporeans feel they are running a rat race in a maze designed by the Government, which decides who to dispense rewards to. The chosen few are given a nice big slice of cake. For those who are not scholars or generals or privileged, there are only crumbs.

"In this maze, the PAP Government of today can create dead ends, move walls, close off the exits. It can use Pofma to silence, and defamation suits to ruin and bankrupt those who disagree. It can choose to retain a long-outdated discriminatory law. It can prosecute a single person for an illegal public assembly. The PAP can change the Constitution and deny Singaporeans a chance to elect the president. It can do this because the PAP has an overwhelming majority of the seats in Parliament.

"It can crush HDB owners' dreams. It can sit on CPF savings. It can hike GST to raise revenue for a government that has undisclosed billions in secret reserves. It can expose us to the risk of Covid-19 by prioritising politics over our lives. It can dismiss the risk of infection in crowded dormitories for foreign workers. It can baldly tell us, in Singapore, no one will walk this journey alone."

The PAP's supermajority in Parliament has also led to group-think and a lack of rigour in discussion and debate on policies that shape the country, he added, as he asked voters to choose the opposition so that there is accountability.

He also said the Government suffered from “eunuch’s disease” - using a term he attributed to former senior civil servant Philip Yeo - with no leaders and only paper shufflers who “exist to keep the emperor happy”.

In a related Facebook post, Hsien Yang also accused Hsien Loong, with whom he has been embroiled in a dispute over the fate of their father's home, of not keeping his word when he became prime minister in 2004, to expand the space for expression and create an open and inclusive Singapore. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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