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Do not forget: The historical context behind PAP’s political hegemony in Singapore

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech at the 2023 PAP convention celebrated its governance legacy but omitted details of tactics such as Operation Coldstore, which curtailed opposition.

His past remarks in 2016 about “fixing” opposition members, coupled with his latest address, reflect an adversarial stance at odds with democratic values.



Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent speech at the People’s Action Party (PAP) 2023 convention was notable for what it revealed and what it concealed. While ostensibly a routine rally to the party, the address extolled PAP’s enduring governance and, belatedly, outlined a timeline for the leadership transition to his successor, highlighting the party’s historic triumphs.

Deeper undercurrents are worth considering, particularly PM Lee’s emphasis on PAP’s uninterrupted win streak since 1959. He reminisced, “The party was not born dominant, far from it…”

He recalled the fierce battles against communism and the momentous decision of Malaysia to let Singapore go independent, painting a picture of resilience and triumph.

“The first two elections in 1959 and then in 1963 were very hard fought and it was touch and go in those first few years. We were almost defeated by the Communists. But Mr Lee [Kuan Yew] and his colleagues fought back ferociously and ultimately successfully after we entered Malaysia. We might have been squelched by the Communists, but again, Mr. Lee and his colleagues refused to be cowed and eventually the Malaysian PM decided it was best to let Singapore go,” said PM Lee.

He added, “After independence, the main opposition party, the left wing pro-Communist Barisan Sosialis, declared that our independence was a sham and they got all their employees to quit Parliament and that left the field empty. The PAP expanded to occupy all of the ground and in 1968, in the general election, it won 80% of the votes and 100% of the parliamentary seats.”

Yet, this narrative is incomplete without addressing the controversial use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) under Operation Coldstore on 2 February 1963, which saw the detention of 113 people, many of whom were leaders of the Barisan Sosialis (BS), PAP’s main competitor and former party members. These individuals were detained without trial pursuant to the Preservation of Public Service Security Ordinance (PSSO). This significant event severely weakened the opposition, allowing PAP to expand its influence unchallenged.

Acknowledging PAP’s battles against communism and subsequent independence from Malaysia serves to remind Singaporeans of the party’s crucial role during the nation’s formative years. However, it conveniently overlooks less flattering aspects of PAP’s rise to power, such as the sidelining of the Barisan Sosialis and the alleged political motivations behind Operation Coldstore.

While PAP Govt has insisted that Operation Coldstore is not politically motivated, declassified documents suggest that the Earl of Selkirk, then-British Commissioner to Singapore, highlighted that “the Singapore Special Branch have virtually failed to identify directly any communist threats during the last three years” and cautioned against using the PSSO for political purposes, challenging the official narrative of the time.

In the elections of 1959 and 1963, the PAP’s victories were not as absolute as later portrayed. Notably, the PAP won 43 out of 51 seats in 1959 with 54.08% of the vote, and in 1963, they secured 37 seats, with the BS winning 13—even without their A-tiered candidates. The party’s vote share was just under 47%, indicating significant opposition presence, despite the impact of Operation Coldstore.

Moreover, PM Lee’s past remarks about “fixing” opposition members echo an adversarial stance incongruous with democratic values.

PM Lee infamously said, “Right now we have Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong and Steve Chia. We can deal with them. Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 Opposition members in Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I’m going to spend all my time thinking what’s the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve this week’s problem and forget about next year’s challenges?”

Although PM Lee subsequently apologized for his statement, it is evident that he adhered to his previous stance on confronting the opposition.

This was experienced by the Workers’ Party following their takeover of the Aljunied town council. The party faced years of harassment, and its leaders were entangled in costly legal battles to the tune of hundreds of thousands. Ultimately, the Supreme Court largely exonerated the leaders, finding that they had acted in good faith when awarding contracts to their managing agent without an open tender.

This confrontational approach toward the opposition was echoed in his latest speech, where he accused them of undermining the government and instigating political scuffles that derail productive debate in Parliament.

While PM Lee’s address could have been an occasion to celebrate PAP’s historical strengths, it also underscored the need for reconciliation with contentious parts of history and evolution beyond strategies of political preservation.

As more opposition members gain seats and public opinion shifts, it’s clear that the PAP faces the challenge of adapting to an environment that demands transparency, fairness, and genuine competition.

The significance of PM Lee’s speech lies in its celebratory recount of past victories and the subtext—the need for the PAP to evolve. The question that remains is whether the PAP will continue to resort to hardline measures like the ISA to protect its interest or will it embrace a more open political contest as a hallmark of Singapore’s progress?

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U Think, U Can Handle The Truth, The Real Truth & Nothing But The Truth?
Use Your Discernment. If U R Brave Enough, Watch The Whole Video, Just Bear With The Ads.

Crazy and evil PAP basturd LHL is a born liar, don’t believe his lies. 
LHL: “Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I’m going to spend all my time thinking how to bring in millions more of CECA Trash from India into Singapore.”

Forget about all these G’s. We have had enough. 4G cannot be better then the 3G. 3G was worse then 2G. 2G not where near the 1G.

Vote for a new G. Fresh ideas, fresh policies. Our lives would change for the better.

Vote out LW and LHL, we would not see PAP again.

However communism system for the proletariat and capitalism for the burgois is much worst system than just purely capitalism and communism . People need to wake up to the idea that most authoritarian asian countries operate in this manner. Sad reality

LHL or Lee Hsien Liar is the chief liar to all SGreans. If not for his dead father, he’ll still be in some army uniform. In fact the whole cabinet stinks of arrogance and lies. SG is going down the drain under their watch with so many jobless locals and criminals hiding right under the nose of justice. It’s about time this Ah Gua step aside.

Loong DREW his own BLOOD, SHED it – cruelly EXTRACTED from his own father’s and mother’s line, by PROXY COWARDLY, he’d happily done it via Yang.
Guess that’s where DISHONOURABLE so aptly fits.

A self-paying million$ PM who called voters as Free Riders because he didn’t get a strong mandate in last GE. What does that says of his character? Kaki bo-liao so it is the voters’ fault, meh? Who would TRUST such a person?

SINGAPORE is a POLITICAL and SOCIO Failure as far as freedom of human progression is concerned as the PAP holds a very very tight control where u study, where u live where u retire almost exclusively to their dogmas so they can be seen as the only people doing good which so far and so much Singaporeans has believed and worship, even 3rd world 4th immigrants to to SH has joined in so willingly bcz SG is ONE STEP up for them. POFMA does no Justice to level playing field of facts debates, opinions mattered, free discussions of anything PAP… Read more »

same tape recorder

We want solutions not price increases…

Why MPs are paid full time salaries and work Part time?

The opening title reads, … “Do not forget ……”

Bloody problem is, a humongously huge problem act~tually is, … the majority on the island has no recollection capacity beyond a few hours, let alone days and weeks !!!

So, all the f**k~ups, outright untruths, chronic cronyism, self~aggrandisement and unaccountability are, … conveniently casted into the sea of SillyPoreSins, where it’ll remain, forever and a day !!!

This guy is not well schooled in socioeconomic history. U cannot dodge communism entirely . There is still the command economy present in all countries and it’s a necessity. Unbridled capitalism created more problems than communism. The time is coming when communist ideas will take shape again in the world due to the problems created by capitalist.

So, Singapore Is A Company, Registered On 16th March 2023?
Can Somebody Please Explain What’s Happening?

Announcing his intentions to his party members during their Pap convection instead of to the general Singaporeans, of course the audience will applaud – this is a clear sign of a very insecure leadership. No wonder he can never seems to let go of the clutch mentality to LKY.

His reaction in GE2020 when he didn’t get a strong mandate firmly showed how insecure he is – he thought he was ENTITLED to a strong mandate. Then he fantasized that voters were Free Riders, instead of examining how lousy his leadership has been.

The only thing Lee Hsien Loong had going for him is being born to the right father. Perhaps he should have gone to become a mathematician and reject his father’s grand designs for him. Singapore might be in a better position today since any subsequent non-Lee Prime Minister would be forced to adhere to LKY’s vision instead of attempting forget their own. Certainly, LKY has been spinning in his grave (figuratively since he was cremated) from day one, watching his son set the stage for Singapore’s decline. But then again, it was his fault from the very beginning. Lee Kuan… Read more »

Unfortunately, Lee Hsien Loong has not had any notable achievement during his tenure as the PM of Singapore. Sadly, he will always be remembered and referred to as the son of Lee Kuan Yew rather than a statesman that could step out of his late father’s shadown and stand on his own merits.

The repeated use of history based on PAP own narratives has already numbed many Singaporeans, if the 3G and 4G leadership have not come to realise it. The PAP grassroots members may not be bold or courageous enough to tell their higher echelon the truth of how ordinary Singaporeans truly feel. Why tell the emperor he has no clothes on and risk losing their head? Threats like your your estate will be pile high with rubbish if your Town Council is run by alternative parties is proven a fallacy. Singaporeans, you have lost much. So fear not, worry not what’s… Read more »

He always uses his dead father’s backside for his face!

What legacy will he be leaving behind? I can only think of cronyism and corruption. The worse but highest paid leader in this galaxy.

Some say LKY was a communist. Operation Spectrum confirms this?

Father is death and the other half sprouts nonsense. So LHL has no one as a supporting family member. So he uses his Ministers to fight his battles or covers up all wrong doing.

Covid-19? Vaccines? BIGGEST LIES, HOW TO FORGET.

PAP enjoys free propaganda coverage from SPH already.
Paid for with taxes.

Now gets free coverage in alternate media too..??

He have untold wealth that can last generations and unparalleled power grip over the last 2 odd decades but looking at his picture when he was much younger and now, it is like he is living in famine. Isn’t he well fed and well rested? Or is it there’s heavy burdens coming from his siblings, the opposition parties and dissidents?