Split-party scenario may not be all doom and gloom

Split-party scenario may not be all doom and gloom
Ho Kwon Ping, chairman of Banyan Tree.

I applaud Mr Ho Kwon Ping's bold and frank analysis of the future of Singapore ("The next 50 years in Singapore politics"; Tuesday).

In particular, he painted a scenario of a split in the ruling party within the next 50 years. No one has broached this subject before.

While I agree with his other observations, I disagree with his argument that the most likely cause of a People's Action Party (PAP) loss of power would be a freak election result. I would think that an internal split would be the more likely cause.

As we ponder over the post-Lee Kuan Yew era, the possibility of a split in the PAP is very real. Our founding father was a strong leader with a firm grip on incorruptible power. By his own admission, the PAP would eventually lose an election. History has shown that no single party can govern forever.

With the PAP's rigid selection process, talented new leaders will emerge. Younger leaders are better educated and brought up in an environment very different from that of their forefathers. Theirs is not a collective fight to rid Singapore of communist elements, or for survival as a country.

As a result, different ideologies would form on how to govern Singapore as it moves forward as a First World country.

A split may not be all doom and gloom. It could create a new and credible opposition party. A new generation of voters would then have to decide if it should be given the chance to govern, or perhaps even form a coalition with the PAP.

Mr Ho rightly pointed out that as long as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong remains in control, there will be unity and cohesiveness in governance.

Without the emergence of another strong leader to take over the helm, the PAP could lose its dominance.

Much as I would like to, I may not be around to see the change.

Lin Howard


This article was first published on Oct 23, 2014.
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