Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Political leadership in Singapore : transitional reflections amidst the politics of bifurcation
Authors: Chong, Alan Chia Siong
Keywords: Leadership
Political Power
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Chong, A. C. S. (2015). Political leadership in Singapore: Transitional reflections amidst the politics of bifurcation. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 46(1), 111-118. doi:10.1017/S0022463414000630
Series/Report no.: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Abstract: Singapore’s politics post-2011 is increasingly exhibiting symptoms of a bifurcation into two broad ‘paradigms’. Assuming that the result of the 2011 General Elections, when the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) garnered only 60.1 per cent of the vote — its lowest since fully competitive elections began in 1959 — represented a turnaround in the majority of Singaporeans’ willing embrace of the PAP’s policies and leaders, the political landscape appears headed towards a scenario of democratic pluralism. This is a landscape where a still inchoate ‘alternative ruling party’ might yet arise to challenge the PAP in a possible two-party system. The Workers’ Party emerged as the biggest winner amongst the opposition parties by picking up a four-member Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in Aljunied, while retaining its stronghold of a single member constituency in Hougang, earning a sum total of 12.8 per cent of the popular vote. The remaining 27.1 per cent of the vote was distributed amongst several other opposition parties who had won no formal seats under the first past the post electoral system. The three ‘non-constituency’ members of parliament allocated through the highest personal vote totals of the losing candidates amongst the opposition could hardly be considered as solid electoral gains since they appear more as constitutional gestures of political compensation. Hence, it is possible to posit that a bifurcation of political leadership pits two paradigms against one another. The first suggests that the prevailing pattern of the PAP’s parliamentary and electoral dominance, while under threat from a mostly disenchanted populace, is potentially resilient, as it had been after the party’s second worst showing in 1991, when the then-untried prime minister Goh Chok Tong attempted to secure a sizable mandate to demonstrate that he could command a level of support comparable to Lee Kuan Yew’s.
ISSN: 0022-4634
DOI: 10.1017/S0022463414000630
Rights: © 2015 National University of Singapore (NUS) (published by Cambridge University Press). This paper was published in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of National University of Singapore (NUS) (published by Cambridge University Press). The published version is available at: []. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Journal Articles

Page view(s)

Updated on Jun 21, 2021

Download(s) 50

Updated on Jun 21, 2021

Google ScholarTM




Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.