Singapore GE2020: Now is not the time to undermine system that has worked well, says PM Lee

A PAP campaign lorry in Holland Close on June 30, 2020.
A PAP campaign lorry in Holland Close on June 30, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singaporeans should not undermine a system that has served them well, especially at this critical moment when Singapore is facing the Covid-19 crisis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

What the country needs now is a capable government that has the full support of the people to tackle the pandemic, he added.

PM Lee urged voters to also look at how political consensus has frayed in countries that change governments regularly, and warned them against being taken in by opposition parties offering an alternative choice to the People's Action Party (PAP).

He said: "After a government falls, what follows isn't a new, more stable equilibrium, but more frequent changes of governments and divisive politicking.

"People appear to have a choice, but often, the more things change, the more they remain the same. These countries have not done better than Singapore.

"So, I ask Singaporeans: Don't be taken in by those who say that it is important just to have more choices. Look carefully at the choices they offer you, ask yourself if they can deliver, don't be taken for a ride. Your future is at stake."

Singaporeans know that when the PAP promises anything, it will deliver, he added.

PM Lee, who is PAP secretary-general, was speaking at an online Fullerton rally at yesterday, before Singapore goes to the polls on Friday.

The PAP, he said, has "walked with Singapore" for six decades, since it won its first election in 1959 and formed the government. PM Lee said: "The PAP won that crucial first election because we represented the national consensus and our people's collective hopes for their future."

After more than six decades, this has not changed, he added.

"The PAP still reaches out broadly to the population. Our policies have improved people's lives beyond measure, we have maintained trust with the people, and we have renewed our leadership to keep the party vigorous and in sync with your aspirations," PM Lee said.

 
 
 
 

He added that the party believes in "political renewal, not political recycling", and has set out its plans in its election manifesto. But it needs the support of Singaporeans to turn its plans into reality, he said.

Calling on Singaporeans to vote for the PAP, PM Lee said he has worked hard to field the "strongest possible PAP team" for the coming general election - Singapore's 13th since independence.

The PAP is fielding a capable team, but it would first have to be elected in order to serve Singaporeans, he added.

Singaporeans, PM Lee said, should not send confusing signals by voting for the opposition, if "what you really want is a PAP MP to look after your constituency and town council, and a PAP government to look after Singapore".

He said MPs and ministers have done their best, and the people have seen their track record.

"If you think we have delivered and made your life better, please vote for us. If you think we have not, then by all means, vote us out," he added.

But PM Lee cautioned against buying the opposition's argument about acting as some form of insurance.

He said: "The opposition says they are offering Singaporeans insurance, just in case you need it, but don't buy insurance from someone on a promise, especially when you have reason to suspect this company cannot pay out on the insurance and their cheques will bounce."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2020, with the headline 'Now is not the time to undermine system that has worked well: PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe