My Thoughts on Reviewing the Elected Presidency

Last month, a Constitutional Commission was appointed to review the Elected Presidency scheme. As part of the ongoing process of evaluation and deliberation, members of the public have been invited to provide written submissions to the Secretariat. There were three areas of particular interest: (i)       The qualifying process for candidacy for the Elected …

On Public Morality, Political Capital, and Adultery

Let’s begin from an obvious premise: that despite its experience and political adroitness, the PAP has a limited amount of political capital. Both the 2011 General Election and the Punggol East by-election demonstrated that the PAP cannot simply bulldoze unpopular legislation like laissez-faire immigration policy without expecting significant pushback from the silent majority. However, because …

The Revised NCMP Scheme – Political Liberalisation or More of the Same?

At first blush, the recent revisions to the Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme seem decidedly liberal. In the unlikely event of a complete electoral wipe-out, the political opposition stands to receive 12 instead of 9 NCMP seats. And now that NCMPs have the same voting rights as regular MPs, it would stand to reason that we …

Democracy and the Elected Presidency

Rumour has it that the government could soon review the elected presidential system. Various adjustments and alternatives have been touted by political observers and legislators alike – from tightening the already-stringent nomination criteria, to bypassing the electorate altogether and having Parliament directly appoint a President. This wouldn’t surprise me. Ever since gaining power, the PAP has …

The Vulnerability Complex

To borrow from a popular metaphor, you're gambling with your country's future no matter who you vote for. The question is whether to go all in on a low-risk option, or to diversity your options to buffer against the possibility of going bust.

We are Singapore, but who are “We”?

At 50 years young, Singapore can best be described as an adolescent nation. And like most teenagers, we have become keenly self-aware in our search for a collective identity. What makes a Singaporean is now more intangible, more elusive than possessing a red passport.

The Morning After

Today we wake up to a PAP triumphant and an Opposition wounded. For all the talk of more professionals and qualified candidates joining the Workers’ Party, we saw East Coast and Marine Parade GRCs swing decisively toward the government. Even in Aljunied GRC, Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim barely scraped past a relatively weak …