Surprising 2013? Time for a reality check

Surprising 2013? Time for a reality check
The haze that engulfed Singapore in June this year.

2013 isn't an easy year to define.

Just when you thought you had it figured out, a riot broke out in December.

Welcome to the Singapore we no longer know as well as we thought we did.

The early signs in January should have been warning enough.

When the Government announced that a by-election would be held in Punggol East, most pundits expected it would face a close fight with the opposition Workers' Party (WP).

Instead, the People's Action Party (PAP) was roundly beaten, failing to hold a seat it had won comfortably barely two years before.

While the WP's victory might not have been unexpected - by-elections traditionally favour the opposition - the size of its winning margin was.

Singaporeans witnessed the unusual spectacle of WP leader Low Thia Khiang playing down the stunning win and saying nice things about the competence of the Government.

It was too early in the year for him to play hardball.

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