One of the PAP’s most powerful weapons against the opposition is the ability to choose when they want to hold elections. In a radio interview, Lee Hsien Loong essentially waved that weapon in Singaporeans’ faces.
Using the analogy of a pregnancy, PM Lee said the timing of the General Election (GE) is unlike giving birth where there is some predictability when the child will be born. In other words, the PAP’s choice of election date is unpredictable. No one can know when it will be, only the top leadership in the PAP will know.
PM Lee also said the GE is imminent and could be held before it is due by January 2017. This basically means it could be held anytime between now and the deadline. This is as good as simply saying it could be held anytime and no one can predict it.
This is like the movie advertisement that says “COMING SOON”. We know it’s coming, but we don’t know when. It’s a good marketing tactic. It builds the suspense but doesn’t allow people to prepare for it.
However, a democracy is not a movie. Holding elections is not the same as releasing a film. And Singapore is not a cinema. Singaporeans aren’t here to watch the PAP turn democracy into a fancy story. We want to have our voice heard at elections. We want to be able to hold the government accountable. And we want to vote for the party that best serves our interests.
By giving opposition parties so little time to prepare, the PAP is acting undemocratically. It is trying to give itself an advantage and time the elections when the opposition is at its weakest. We shouldn’t allow such unfair practices to continue.
Singapore won’t have free and fair elections until we level the playing field.