We are approaching a new era of history. Higher prices and geopolitical tensions are gathering outside Singapore. Internally, Singapore’s maturing economy and ageing population are everyday issues for the Government — what shall we fund with our finite resources?
And the existential issue of climate change compounds all this need for action which makes life better for Singaporeans and Singapore.
“As the Party in power, we have the privilege and responsibility to steer our nation and our people through the challenges ahead,” said DPM Lawrence Wong at the Party Awards and Conference 2022 Sunday (Nov 06).
“And I make this solemn commitment: I will give the full measure of my strength in service of my Party, my people and my country.”
Fight for the future
The Party needs a similar all-in fighting spirit as well. Political challengers are present, and the trust and support of Singaporeans needs earning.
“Many have become accustomed to the PAP forming the Government; they assume the PAP will automatically continue to govern Singapore no matter who they vote for,” said DPM Wong.
“There is no such guarantee.”
Indeed, findings from the previous GE show that Singaporeans want more checks and balances, as well as diversity in Parliament.
“We must recognise and respect Singaporeans’ desire for this.”
“This also means that the Opposition is here to stay,” said DPM Wong, adding that Parliament now formally includes a Leader of the Opposition with extra legislative assistants.
“At GE2020, in the constituencies where they contested against the PAP, they won slightly more votes than we did,” he noted.
“What if the WP had contested more seats? Would the PAP still have won 61 per cent of the votes nationwide? Would we still have been returned to power?”
So, every election from now on will be about which party forms the Government.
“I said from day one after being designated the 4G leader, I do not assume the PAP will win the next GE, or that I will inevitably become Prime Minister,” emphasised DPM Wong.
The PAP strives forward
This means it is time for everyone in the Party to step up engagement with Singaporeans, to earn their trust and support.
“I recognise and appreciate the good work that all our activists on the ground are doing.
“You have tirelessly championed the interests of various communities, from empowering women and promoting active ageing, to pressing on with our sustainability efforts,” he added.
“Let’s continue to rally together to deal with concerns of residents, connect with them, and consolidate our support on the ground.”
And online too. More Singaporeans, especially the young, are getting information from evolving online sources.
“In the 2020 GE, we had direct messaging with WhatsApp. By the next GE, we will be on TikTok — or who knows what else might emerge.“
“Different generations are on different platforms,” explained DPM Wong. “We must have activists belonging to every generation, and we must be active across all platforms, to win the battle for hearts and minds everywhere.”
This all-places engagement strategy is all crucial work.
“It will determine the future of the Party and the future of Singapore,” said the DPM.
“We are all here today because of our deep convictions of what the PAP stands for.”
“I pledge to you my fullest commitment – to serve you, to serve the party, and to serve Singapore to the best of my abilities,” DPM Wong concluded to the Party cadres.
“Let’s walk this journey together, hand in hand, and lead the way forward to a fairer, brighter Singapore for many more years to come.”