Four men, no certain winner

It was not the outcome I had thought most likely, but nonetheless, it was a welcome announcement. The Presidential Elections Committee declared four of six men who had submitted applications for Certificates of Eligibility to be qualified. This maximises the chances of former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan gaining the presidency.

Referred to popularly as the “four Tans”, besides Tony Tan, the others are former People’s Action Party (PAP) member of parliament Tan Cheng Bock, former head of insurer NTUC Income Tan Kin Lian, and Tan Jee Say who had stood in the May 2011 general election under the Singapore Democratic Party banner.

Welcome though the announcement may be, the process is still flawed. The Constitution’s eligibility rules are ridiculously tight. If the aim is to get people of good character and integrity, there is no need to apply essentially financial guidelines as the main decider. Article 19 (2) (g) of the Constitution says that to be pre-qualified, any person wanting to stand for election must satisfy the Presidential Elections Committee that, inter alia,

[he/she] has for a period of not less than 3 years held office —

(i) as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney-General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Auditor-General, Accountant-General or Permanent Secretary;
(ii) as chairman or chief executive officer of a statutory board to which Article 22A applies;
(iii) as chairman of the board of directors or chief executive officer of a company incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50) with a paid-up capital of at least $100 million or its equivalent in foreign currency; or
(iv) in any other similar or comparable position of seniority and responsibility in any other organisation or department of equivalent size or complexity in the public or private sector which, in the opinion of the Presidential Elections Committee, has given him such experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs as to enable him to carry out effectively the functions and duties of the office of President.

To compound the suffocating “papa-knows-best” nature of Singapore’s political processes,  the same Constitution decrees that two of the three members of the Presidential Elections Committee must be civil servants, namely the heads of the Public Service Commission and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. The third has to be a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights — which by the way, has absolutely no remit to look into question pertaining to minorities such as gay people. Consequently, as announced in Gazette Notification of 27 May 2011, the members are:

1. Mr Eddie Teo, Chairman of the Public Service Commission;
2. Chan Lai Fung, Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority; and
3. Sat Pal Khattar, a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights nominated by the Chairman of that Council.

Only the third is from the private sector. Sat Pal Khattar is a founder of law firm Khattar Wong and Partners.

The Committee announced that Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock qualified under subclause (iii) and the other two under subclause (iv). NTUC Income, which Tan Kin Lian managed was not a company but a co-operative. AIB Govett (Asia) Limited, which Tan Jee Say headed, managed investment funds of over S$100 million even though its paid-up capital was less than that. Despite this, Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say qualified because the organisations they headed were of equivalent size and complexity. The significance of these decisions lies not only with the current election, but in the way they set precedents for future ones.

While I do not know what considerations guided the committee’s deliberations, the outcome is consistent with the commonly-held view I expressed in the earlier article, that

Few Singaporeans believe that the committee is totally independent of political considerations. A common feeling is that who the committee disqualifies or approves will, to a great extent, be determined by which scenario is considered least risky for the government’s preferred candidate, Tony Tan.

The calculation, I suppose, is like this: The vast majority of the 60 percent of voters who cast their vote for the PAP in the recent general election would take the cue that Tony Tan is the preferred candidate of the PAP government and give him their vote. Some of them however, may vote for Tan Cheng Bock. The 40 percent who voted for opposition parties would mostly split between Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say. This assures Tony Tan of the largest chunk of votes even if he does not scrape past 50 percent.

The Constitution allows for a winner even if he fails to get a majority. Section 32(8) of the Presidential Elections Act says “the Returning Officer shall declare the candidate to whom the greatest number of votes is given to be elected”.

With four candidates pre-qualified, there is a danger that one or two of them might fail to cross the 12.5-percent threshold. This is the minimum percentage of votes they need to get in order to obtain a refund of the election deposit, which currently stands at S$48,000. This is no small sum, and I’m pretty certain this question is exercising a few minds at the moment. In other words, while four men may have been pre-qualified, not all may show up on Nomination Day (17 August 2011).

* * * * *

Asking around the last few days in a totally unscientific way, one answer that seems to be extremely common is this: “I will vote for whoever is furthest from the PAP”. Admittedly, my sample is heavily skewed since I tend to mix around with anti-establishment types. Despite this, and hearing this answer so frequently, I am led to question my own view that Tony Tan is the most likely winner. Over the last week or two, Yahoo Singapore had been running an online poll, and, while the result fluctuated from day to day, it was never obvious that Tony Tan had a runaway majority.

So, this election may be the first one Singapore has had since independence where we really can’t be certain of the overall winner.

* * * * *

A week or so ago, I got an email from someone I know who is a little miffed about another set of ridiculously tight rules. This time it is about overseas voting.

She is based in Beijing where she is registered as an overseas voter. However on Presidential Elections Polling Day itself, she will be in San Francisco. Upon enquiry, she was told that she is not allowed to cast her vote in San Francisco despite being a registered overseas voter. She can only do so in Beijing.

I am not even going to suggest loosening up the rules for overseas voting. I think we should go the whole hog and switch to internet voting.

A tiny European country, Estonia, home of Skype, pioneered this in 2007. As reported in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune,

To vote, Estonians must put their state-issued identification card, which has an electronic chip on it, into a reader attached to a computer and then enter two passwords. The readers sell for between 100 and 200 krooni, or $8.40 to $16.80, and more than one million chip-enabled ID cards have been issued in this country of 1.3 million people.

Estonians already can use their ID cards to obtain digital “signatures” with which they can conduct business online without the need to sign paper documents.

— New York Times, 22 Feb 2007, Estonians will be first to allow Internet votes in national election.

Singaporean identity cards do not have computer chips, so we can’t follow this procedure exactly. But we’ve used a Singpass system for years to make all sorts of official transactions, not least declaring our income taxes. If it’s good enough for the government to hold us legally accountable for our income declarations — false declaration of which can land us in jail — why isn’t it good enough as a way of recording our votes?

Like the constitutional rules for pre-qualification and the composition of the Presidential Elections Committee, this is one more aspect that whispers to us: the government has a hidden agenda that does not spell “true democracy”.

38 Responses to “Four men, no certain winner”

  1. 1 Ben 12 August 2011 at 17:09

    Voting on paper is the most transparent method. Electronic voting may be subjected to tampering, interception, hacking and such. There is no transparent way for verifying electronic data. Voting results can be manipulated easily. Your suggestion does not make sense at all.

  2. 2 Anonymous 12 August 2011 at 17:18

    I fully agree with you that Tan Cheng Bock belongs to the PAP camp. He could well be a decoy introduced by PAP to dilute votes from non-PAP voters.

    In order for a non-PAP president to win, it must be make clear to them that:

    1) TCB belongs to the PAP
    2) They must all vote for one person to prevent dilution of votes

    My personal choice would be Tan Kin Lian as he put in a lot of effort. However, in view of the fact that Tan Jee Say is more popular amongst non-PAP voters, I will have to sacrifice my personal choice and vote for Tan Jee Say instead.

    • 3 Poker Player 13 August 2011 at 00:52

      I want to vote for anybody but Tony Tan or Tan Cheng Bock. But I prefer Tan Kin Lian.

      Tan Jee Say is a presumptuous !@&&^%$$##.
      Quote: “He has changed, he has improved, he has learnt his lesson”, Guess who he was referring to? And his conscience only came alive in 2011?

  3. 4 Anonymous 12 August 2011 at 17:28

    Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say needs to sit down and discuss who to withdraw from the contest. There is a high chance that non-PAP votes will be split if they cannot come to an agreement. I am very happy to vote for either one of them.

  4. 5 win win 12 August 2011 at 17:31

    if TJS becomes President, great.
    if not, what it important is TT’s votes get substantially curtailed.

  5. 6 Anonymous 12 August 2011 at 18:09

    Good article, but I’m led to question several assumptions in the article. Firstly, there appears to be a strong demographic that voted PAP in the last election despite dissatisfaction with the current government’s course, as they view the opposition as too weak to take power, or have fond memories of past governance. This group is much more likely to vote Tan Cheng Bock than Tony Tan. There will similarly be a split between opposition supporters between Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say, however, it is likely to be of a far smaller scale, especially as Tan Kin Lian has been heavily criticised in cyberspace for his 20 years as a PAP member, and recent indiscretions. However, for the swing voters who may view the PAP poorly but feel a “competent” and “respectable” opposition is lacking, Tan Jee Say’s association with the SDP may have a negative effect, and they may instead vote for Tan Kin Lian. So, the situation may not be as clear cut for Tony Tan, especially if one or the other “opposition-tending” candidates drop out and endorses the other.

    Secondly, electronic voting, while sensible in many democracies, would be potentially disastrous in Singapore. What would stop the government from tweaking the system and meddling with votes? Even the impression of possible vote-tampering, or worse, voter identification (since electronic ballots would essentially be permanent), would do irreparable harm to democracy in Singapore. Thus, in my opinion, electronic voting would not be a step in the direction of democracy for Singapore.

    • 7 yawningbread 12 August 2011 at 21:55

      Re reliability of results in electronic voting, get an international auditing company to watch over the process.

      • 8 sieteocho 12 August 2011 at 23:14

        Yeh man. The same sort of international auditing companies that proclaim that we are one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

      • 9 Rajiv Chaudhry 13 August 2011 at 00:47

        I think what Anonymous is trying to say is that since such an electronic voting system would leave a permanent record of how each elector voted this could lead to a fear (rational or otherwise) of being victimised, where he or she voted against the winning party.

        This being the case, some people are likely to play safe and vote for the incumbent, thus setting back the cause of democracy.

        I personally feel this fear is over-blown. There might be some reservations initially but over time, there is no reason why a properly encrypted and designed system should not work and why it should not win the confidence of the electorate.

  6. 10 anonymous 12 August 2011 at 21:13

    With 4, Tony Tan wins. The Establishment, affiliated organisations and oldie fogeys will vote.for him. .
    To stand any chance, there has to be some horse-trading among the other main 2 and their political masters. I wouldn’t be surprised if either TKL or TCB withdraws. If TJS does too, he would have crossed to the Darthside but I think his association with SDP paradoxically weakens his standing in the PE hustings and they may not need him in. He’ll draw votes from those who won’t vote for any of the first 3 anyway.

    • 11 win win 13 August 2011 at 09:23

      high chances are (and i wish) TKL withdraws because he can’t find 100,000 people to fund his $40k+ on nomination day.
      this guy has been vacillating from day one: afraid to put his money where his mouth is.
      now that it’s a 4-corner fight he will cite an excuse that he honorably steps aside to enhance the non-TT votes.

  7. 12 Anonymous 12 August 2011 at 21:19

    Would Dr. Benjamin Sheares have qualified under the present guidelines? Would Yusof Ishak?

    • 13 sieteocho 12 August 2011 at 23:28

      When I put my beautiful 10 dollar bills in my wallet, Yusof Ishak’s face gets coated with sweat from my ass. This contributes to the sweet smell of money.

      Other than that I really dunno what that guy has done for our country.

  8. 14 twasher 12 August 2011 at 21:36

    I believe most rich democracies that have overseas voting implement postal voting. I don’t see why we can’t do that. Risk of fraud can’t be a reason because the way overseas voting is currently carried out, the only people observing the process in person are embassy or consulate staff, which is surely a highly non-secure situation compared to that in Singapore where one has agents from all parties observing the process.

    • 15 sieteocho 12 August 2011 at 23:17

      You must be referring to rich democracies like the USA, where the most wonderful balloting system in the world made sure that Bush won Florida in 2000, an incident that led to a chain of events that help make 2011 such a fucked up place to be in.

    • 16 Anonymous 12 August 2011 at 23:23

      You have already mentioned “rich democracies” yourself. Singapore does not falls under that category; Singapore belongs to a hybrid regime. I am sure Mr Alex also knows how “democratic” our country is. If not he wouldn’t be spending so much time writing these articles.

  9. 17 prettyplace 12 August 2011 at 23:43

    I still think the 3 are wise men.

    By the way, like the ‘papa knows best’ Madonnaic lines you come up with.

    I think one would step aside to support the other which is still in the race. A very pleasant surprise indeed to get all 4 to stand. The numbers would drastically change, if 1 EP aspirant steps aside, more so if the one supports anyone. I see a strategy, I hope it works.

  10. 18 stngiam 12 August 2011 at 23:55

    Electronic voting ? You got to be kidding. The risks are very high and there’s no significant advantage in the Singapore context. Waiting an extra few hours is not a big deal. If we had some sort of complicated transferable vote system and a dozen referendum questions at the same election, the answer might be different, but for now better to stick to the tried-and-true method. Remember, administrative expediency is what disenfranchised 18 voters in Joo Chiat in the last election. Succumbing to the illusion of “more technology is always better” for voting may have far worse consequences.

    But after that diversion… If I were a conspiracy theorist, four Tans is the best possible outcome for the govt. Tony Tan is assured victory, but with a lower margin, possibly even < 50% of votes. Just enough to keep the others out, but not so much that he could claim the people's mandate to challenge the government later on.

    Two Tans would have created the risk that TCB would get in. I was predicting three, which would have also assured a TT victory, but four is a masterstroke.

    • 19 Rajiv Chaudhry 13 August 2011 at 11:15

      This is a digression from the main subject but I have argued previously that the allocation of ballot papers in the real world can be separated from the registration of voters. This means that voters could be allowed to pick ballot slips at random (rather like picking a lucky draw ticket) _after_ they have been “checked in” against a register of voters at a polling centre. This should remove all residual fears of traceability amongst the electorate while at the same time addressing the government’s concerns regarding phantom voting.

      Likewise, an electronic voting system could be designed such that voting numbers are generated at random by the system _after_ a person has properly logged in and identified himself. This second PIN number, essentially a temporary and randomly generated number, would be untraceable for all practical purposes.

      So, there are more ways than one to skin a cat.

      • 20 K Das 13 August 2011 at 21:29

        A good idea but I would still trust paper ballots.

        The randomly picked vote slip can be further secured by being countersigned by the the respective party candidate’s agent present at the voting centre before it is given to the voter. This will inevitably slowdown the voting process.

  11. 21 Anonymous 13 August 2011 at 00:40

    i hope you understand that not all Singaporeans are internet-savvy. Do put yourself in the shoes of the elderly/older generation.

  12. 22 Dy 13 August 2011 at 01:10

    “A tiny European country, Estonia, home of Skype, pioneed this in 2007. As reported in the New York Times/International Herald Tribune…”

    It should be “pioneered”

  13. 23 THM 13 August 2011 at 02:56

    For whatever reason we ended up with the four of them getting their certificates of eligibility, I’m happy they have it and we’re presented a choice. Of course, it’s still up for discussion what ought to measure eligibility, (though it’s possible that wouldn’t change until the day when the PAP no longer holds a 2/3 majority in parliament). I don’t support the idea of so-and-so should back out so that one of the other non-Tony-Tan candidates can win. Winning is important – it is ultimately what matters, but there is more to it than just picking the most likely winner. Rather than vote for who I think will win, I rather vote for who I think *should* win.

    I wouldn’t put too much hope on what the yahoo online poll gathers about Tony Tan – considering that being online in itself represetnts a skewed population.

    • 24 THM 13 August 2011 at 03:02

      Just wanted to add – I found reading your interview with Tan Jee Say interesting. I’d definitely be interested to read interviews you have with the other presidential candidates.

  14. 25 Robox 13 August 2011 at 03:27

    The Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR) is in and of itself flawed because of its composition; its members include Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong, Lee Hsien Loong, Jayakumar and Dhanabalan – all current or former legislators – who are purportedly ‘is meant to be a safeguard and check against the government implementing any discriminatory laws. It is tasked to ensure that new laws passed by Singapore’s Parliament are not discriminatory against any race, religion or community’. That is conflict of interests number 1.

    (Sidenote: I may be clutching at straws here, but in the portion I quoted above, could the first part that contains “check against the government implementing any discriminatory laws” be taken to mean that the PCMR had the mandate to check against the retention of S377a?)

    With the stipulation that, at presidential elections, one member of the PEC is to be drawn from the PCMR – which provokes other questions that I am leaving aside for now – it can in theory mean that any of the five current or former legislators I named above could also be called on to serve in the PEC – conflct of interests number 2.

    But it just so happens that at this PE, that PCMR member is Sat Pal Khattar. But that doesn’t eliminate any conflict of interests either because the fact remains that Sat Pal Khattar is a colleague of the five named current or former legislators: conflict of interests number 3.

  15. 26 JfCyl 13 August 2011 at 03:29

    “I am not even going to suggest loosening up the rules for overseas voting. I think we should go the whole hog and switch to internet voting.”

    Do you want the existing government to track who you vote for as per election or presidential? If no pls think twice about using Internet voting

  16. 27 Robox 13 August 2011 at 03:43

    As for electoral outcomes, this is what I am sensing thus far:

    1. Tan Jee Say has the support of the overwhelming majority of opposition supporters.

    For this, I am going by polls conducted on sites like 3in1kopitiam and TRE.

    2. Tan Kin Lian and Tan Cheng Bock have some support from opposition supporters, but Tan Cheng Bock also has a sizable amout of support from PAP supporters – he could be splitting the PAP support base. (This is also leaving Tan Kin Lian trailing last.)

    For #2, I am using the Yahoo poll, but for both #1 and #2 I am taking the number of “likes” on their facebook as clues. (I wouldn’t do this for any PAP – or truly PAP, as the case may be – candidate at any election.)

    If I’m correct, there could well be a keen contest between all the candidates save Tan Kin Lian.

    Sadly, Tan Kin Lian has actually been quite impressive and has won my respect.

  17. 28 Tan Tai Wei 13 August 2011 at 10:07

    TCB said that his past association with the PAP would cost him votes. He also said that he attended rallies at the GE and felt there that where people perceived there was “unfairness” they would say so loudly and passionately. This is obviously about the clamour at opposition rallies.

    So this Tan seems to be appealing for “opposition” votes. He sees himself as truly “independent” and does not relish “pro-PAP” support?

  18. 29 Tan Tai Wei 13 August 2011 at 10:23

    Can’t say. Even assuming all those who voted PAP did not do so for reasons other than genuine support (fear, upgrading, etc.), some may decide that since they already have their PAP government, they now want a more independent mind for President. And those who voted opposition will, of course, vote for a President who could act in lieu of an opposition.

  19. 30 Anonymous 13 August 2011 at 11:00

    The PAP will try to instill the same fear on voters to prevent Tan Jee Say from winning. Take note of how Straits Times reporter keep harping on Mr Tan’s economic proposal.

  20. 31 PR 13 August 2011 at 11:36

    Mr Yawning Bread, while I generally like your writings, unfortunately I cannot agree with you on this point by itself that “who the committee disqualifies or approves will, to a great extent, be determined by which scenario is considered least risky for the government’s preferred candidate.”
    It is a bit of a quantum leap to jump to the above conculsion notwithstanding what the anti-establishment types sentiments are, especially bearing in mind, that the committee won’t be (and neither should it be) able to dismiss candidates who can meet the criterion set out in the Constitution.

    • 32 yawningbread 13 August 2011 at 13:05

      Well, it’s a matter of opinion, but I think you can hardly say that the outcome disproved this view. Quite the opposite, the outcome as announced is indeed consistent with this view. If one looks at the two other plausible scenarios: (1) prequalifying only Tan Cheng Bock and Tony Tan – which means it’s likely that the former will get the anti-PAP votes plus some of the PAP supporters, and (2) prequalifying Tan Cheng Bok and one of the two remaining Tans, plus Tony Tan, with a risk that if one of the non-Tonys pull out, it becomes a straight fight like scenario 1, both these other scenarios are indeed far riskier for Tony Tan than the actual outcome.

      You are saying that the committee has limited room for manuoevre, given the that textual stipulations. Limited doesn’t mean it has no discretion. Even Tan Cheng Bock could have been ruled out, if they wanted to, on the basis that he was non-executive chairman. Once the committee has discretion to whatever degree, how will that discretion be applied? On what basis do you say that there will be no political calculations involved in the use of discretion?

      Basically, your position appears to be: Trust power until proven otherwise. Alas, I cannot be so sanguine. My philosophical position is: Be sceptical of power until proven otherwise. I believe the long evidence of history better supports my view than yours.

  21. 33 Rabbit 13 August 2011 at 15:35

    Apparently Tan Jee Say is a safe runner up from Yahoo poll. Let’s see if it can pass the following test.

    60% splits between TCB and TT.

    However the sky is different from GE. 60% voters will no longer subjected to threat of municipal issue or fear of sudden change in govt. Though PAP has been voted into parliament, the element of trust with the ruling party is no longer as strong as before judging from the watershed election and the recent hiccups from PAP MPs. Thus voters in this segment may deem it safe to balance the power by having an independent candidate to check on PAP. As such TT will lose a fair bit of votes to TCB and some votes may go to TJS too

    40% die-hard anti-establishments fans – votes split between TJS & TKL.

    If TKL pull out to support TJS, TJS supporter’s base will substantially increase and hopefully some votes will also come from 60% who find him quite articulate and firm in wanting independent CHECK N BALANCE on PAP. He is one true-blue candidate with no link with PAP. However some votes may also go to the more quiet but passionate TCB if they think TSJ is too “loud”.

    Judging from the above likelihood that TJS may win, PAP “dirty games” will continue to roll until polling day to give unfair advantages to TT and help him win votes. Already in the past few weeks, we saw SPH started its insulting reader’s intelligence by endorsing their ex-boss Tony Tan with “make-believe” photos. Adding salt to the wound comes Shanmugam making callous statements on other presidential hopeful with unfounded constitutions.

    As recent as a day ago, Lim Swee Say took the cake by getting Labor Unions to endorse Tony and plan to ferry hundred of workers to the polling stations. We are talking about the same Unions who are pro-employers and caused much displeasure on the ground in terms of depressed wages, high unemployment rate, poor productivity and cheap foreign labor. If there is any reason for the GE2011 watershed election, these so-called “Labour” UNIONS have a greater blame for workers’ displeasure. Thus which mentally sound workers will buy the UNION words again?

    Politics is as its dirtiest when PAP started their last resort of threat – foreboding dark clouds ahead if their preferred choice is not elected and continue to associate its hard rival (TJS) with SDP in negative light. Seeing all the privileges Tony is getting from the govt-linked institutions. I hope voters can start to make sound judgment whether Tony is truly an independent candidate as he claimed to be. If Tony is going to lose, it will be under his own PAP hands, don’t blame the voters. We do not want another PAP nose-led president again, and I wish him early retirements for the good of all Singaporeans and the workers.

    • 34 Anonymous 14 August 2011 at 09:22

      You would be very surprise to hear that there are voters who vote based on looks, not reason. There are also people who are totally unaware of the upcoming presidential election.

  22. 35 francis 13 August 2011 at 22:38

    48k election deposit is nothing compare to the potential wage a president could draw. As a candidate have 25% chances of getting the job, 50% chances of getting back their deposit, 25% chances of lossing their deposit, with these type of odds, it sure beats going to IR.

  23. 36 Upsideonly 14 August 2011 at 02:23

    40% between TKL & TJS.
    60% between TT & TCB (maybe some to TKL)

    All 3 candidates collect FB likes & Twitter followers. Only TT collects Unions. New school vs old school. Will it translate to votes, hard to say. I’ve liked them all so to follow their post, but I only have one vote. Not meaningful read.

    Vote TT, no best case, only worse case. Like the old hardliners and all the Mentors before, they will only stand in the way for LHL to do his reform. People are confident with DPM Tharman and PM Lee in matters related to economics. So TT’s koyok sell on storm and etc are not convincing.

    Vote TCB, best case he’s a much -liked and independent minded Prez. Worse case, he can’t go that much further than TT as Prez when it comes to reserves, cpf, transparency etc

    Vote TKL, best case he’ll do an ok job probably with a lot of ‘noise’ or ‘posturing’. Worse case, not very effective but likable enough.

    Vote TJS, best case he can press for reserves, cpf, transparency, conscience etc. Worse case, didn’t play his card well or right, he gets booted out by 2/3 PAP majority. Then we can all go back to TCB or TKL.
    Nothing to lose.

  24. 37 Anonymous 15 August 2011 at 08:59

    Tan Cheng Bock would win… It is in the stars…believe it or not…

  25. 38 John Tan 17 August 2011 at 17:34

    While GE2011 results provide some guidance, let us not forget the results of the first PE in 1993 when Ong Teng Cheong was elected with 53% of the votes. The winning percentage was much lower than what PAP obtained in GE1991 which indicates that Singaporeans are less inhibited to vote against an establishment candidate during PE than GE.

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