Singaporeans vote in snap election under coronavirus cloud


It's a little after two PM in Singapore reverted to taking part in a snap. General election announced a little over a fortnight ago. The ruling People's Action Party has ruled since independence in. In one thousand, nine, hundred, sixty five, and it is expected to win big again. Even the leader of the country's only elected opposition party in parliament has warned of a wipeout that could see the sitting government win every seat. Well, let's hear now. From Monaco's Asia, editor James Chambers will. The election is due by next year. but everybody knew in Singapore that the government would call an election this year. Year at some points so even before Kovic. Struck, the plan was to to call a general election but back then before the pandemic, the idea was to capitalize on Singapore's economy, because it was still doing well but they could foresee time because of the trade war without would no longer be the case that they were going to try and get the election in before the Economy Turns Sour. And as you mentioned you might, you might have thought that's given the pandemic, and and the fact that Singapore is facing its biggest recession. In decades they have postponed that and perhaps for for next year, but they've gone ahead with its and the strategy now is to I guess play up the crisis I mean the Prime Minister Lisa Lomas, calling this the crisis of generation, and I guess he's appealing to votes. His kind of stick with who you know, stick with the. Because, they've guided Singapore to got to so well since independence so take you know it's not time to gamble now. you know stick with the party that you can depend on? was there any chance that people would take a gamble on anybody else other than the People's Action Party? The People's Action Party as you mentioned, has won every election since independence and we're talking about. Huge majorities. Of the the worst ever done, it was getting sixty percent of the votes. And last year last, sorry, last time around in two thousand fifteen. It got sixty nine percents. So the only question we we're all waiting to see the answer to is how big the wind will be this year the prime minister has been calling on, Singaporean say to give. His party and him a strong mandate which would suggest that there for aiming for something you know above seventy or eighty percent. And that's because because of. The crisis face facing Singapore, but also the party is having this major generational transition the Prime Minister Lien Long. He's the eldest son of the founder of Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew and he's planning to step down. He's sixty eight now. He wants to retire by at least seventy. So this is his last election and he's he's. He wants to be able to hand over his party to this next generation, and you know with a with a good mandate. The I. Guess what the opposition is worried about is is they might get you know wiped out because. He's the prime minister's has made a lot about him. and voters may may rewarding for for the job that he's done since becoming premise in two thousand and four. the opposition in Singapore is is quite weak, even though there are ten opposition parties standing this election, the the major ones really running for about twenty seats out of about ninety three, so it's not as if even if they did well, they could take control of the parliament. But there's there is a quirky quirky system in Singapore. So even if the opposition lost all seats, and they only hold six in the current parliament, even if they lose all their seats, they would then be given some. Because the. Doesn't want to have. Total control. It feels like it needs to have at least some opposition to hold in account in parliament. Otherwise it it ends up in the ridiculous, and this opposition seems to have gotten a little bit personal. Let me talk about this sort of the legacy and the. Family almost family firm that seems to be established. The way that Singapore runs its government, but the strange brother of the prime minister has actually but. Li Yang joined the opposition progress Singapore Party and has openly criticized the way that Lee. Long has handled the coronavirus pandemic also has said that there's a natural aristocracy inside the People's Action Party and it's not great when members of your family decide to. Wash your laundry and public. You're you're exactly right? Mrs Definitely in a case of airing your dirty laundry in public this this kind of family feud in Singapore's first family. The lease in this is this is all come about from after the death of their father I and how they they deal with his his bungalow. legally wanted it to be demolished but it's still standing. Could because the prime minister wants to keep it as as a kind of a almost like a shrine. And the brothers have fallen out, so the younger brother has thrown his support behind this new party. The progressing party is only form last year by a former member of the People's Action Party. So there's a you know a former heavyweight from the people's action. Party is fronting it and it's been supported by younger brother of the prime minister so very very embarrassing for the prime minister. But. It's not expected to have a major impact on the the number of votes that the prime minister and his party gets. It's not something that. You Singaporeans a used to seeing. But. One thing's for sure this isn't going to. This isn't going to bring about the end of of the PAP the the the one question I mentioned that we're all waiting to see just how big the majority is that they get finally It's the news broke overnight. about the death of souls map park won soon I, mean he? He had been tipped as a as a very viable candidate for the twenty twenty two presidential elections. Yes this this news. We're following in Asia last night very closely. and the the police were tipped off to his disappearance by his daughter, because she received quite cryptic message from him on her phone which she then shutoff now he was You know he's been married since two thousand eleven, and he's one of the the big heavyweights in the Democratic Party that the the President Moon jae-in belongs to, and so he was you know. One of the heavy favorites to. To run for to become the next president when Moon Jae steps down. In a few years time so this. Caused a you know a big shot. And Even, though the the circumstances. And the facts are all still up in the air. It is looking like it's It's related to these. Allegations of sexual harassment that was against him the day before by his secretary, and these these allegations are doing the rounds of of social media in in in career. I have seen them myself, but is best not to speak about them right now, but it does feel like, and it just looked like The two are linked. He was a new. He billed himself as a kind of a male feminist and he he did a lot to. Promote women's rights in Korea. So if this turns out to be the case, it's going to be a big. Full, from graceful for him and. It just highlights the the extent of this. Problem in career I, mean the metoo movement of started in the US and it has I guess being overshadowed recently by the black lives matter one, but I mean in in create is a huge issue and if a man like mad park is embroiled in this then it just shows the the extent of the problem and I do hope that it has. The same kind of effect as the black lives, matter. Movement has in getting people to finally kind of talk about this and address it James, chambers. Thank you very much indeed for joining us on monocle. Twenty four stay

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