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- Power Imbalance in the Singapore Government
By Chelsea (Editor) Even after more than six decades, opposition parties in Singapore have failed to penetrate the political scene effectively; the People’s Action Party (PAP) remains a hegemony, and Singapore a one-party dominant state. How is this so, when political parties all around the world rise and fall constantly? Although there are 10 opposition political parties in Singapore (as of the 2020 General Elections), PAP remains the dominant political party from independence till today. The opposition’s inability to attain electorate favour and make inroads into Parliament reveals their inherent weaknesses: unable to present themselves as a viable alternative to the incumbent, and internal fractures within the parties itself. Weakness of the Opposition? Opposition political parties in Singapore do not (or are unable to) distinguish themselves from the PAP when appealing to the voting public. Policies put forward by the opposition often bear significant resemblance to those proposed by the PAP . Often, the opposition markets itself as a form of ‘check and balance’ to PAP’s hegemony, instead of offering a capable alternative party to the PAP . This sentiment has also been articulated by Pritam Singh - head of the Workers’ Party (WP) and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Pritam Singh has mentioned that the role of the opposition in Singapore is to ensure that the incumbent does not have a “blank cheque to do whatever it wants” . By positioning themselves as a check and balance to the PAP rather than a contestant to the PAP’s hegemony, the Opposition reveals their inadequacy in challenging the PAP. According to a survey conducted by Bridget Welsh in 2016 , it was observed that the main considerations of majority (71%) of the electorate had when voting were Party leadership, Party (which Party was in power) and Candidates. Evidently, a greater part of Singapore’s electorate was more concerned with the credibility and dependability of a party when casting their votes. Where a large part of the electorate is party-centric in their voting behaviour, the seeming lack of assertiveness and fortitude on the opposition’s part precludes the electorate from voting in their favour. Internal fissures within opposition political parties have also been a point of weakness. More recently, Raeesah Khan of WP made a fraudulent claim in Parliament, which further led to inter-party accusations and disputes. This incident resulted in Raeesah Khan resigning as a Member of Parliament (MP) and also from WP . Such internal fractures not only taint public perception of opposition parties and discredit them, but also provide the PAP with a means to target the opposition parties’ credibility and reputation as there is a basis to discredit the opposition’s capability to lead as the incumbent party. This supports PAP’s narrative that they should be voted in because they consistently show that they are the only party that can govern Singapore. Undoubtedly, there exist underlying structural constraints that hinder the growth and progress of opposition political parties in Singapore. First is the ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system. The ‘first-past-the-post’ system is a model where the candidate who wins the most number of votes is elected into Parliament - essentially, the number of members a party gets elected to Parliament is not representative of the party’s share of the popular vote. The ‘first-past-the-post’ system along with the mandated permutation of teams contesting in GRCs makes it difficult for the opposition to challenge the PAP in terms of votes. Such constitutional conditions partly explains why the PAP attained 93% of Parliamentary seats in the 2015 General Elections, despite receiving 69.9% of all votes cast . Opposition parties thus find it difficult to overcome such structural impediments in Singapore’s political system. Second, Singapore’s political culture of ‘communitarianism’ and PAP’s heavily paternalistic role has subsequently led to Singaporeans’ overwhelming political compliance. In a society that exhibits ‘communitarian’ tendencies, as conceptualised by Chua Beng Huat , there is an emphasis on the state’s paternalistic role and limited political pluralism, which arguably effects a climate of political compliance. The notion of ‘communitarianism’ places society over the individual, a tenet overarching many political policies in Singapore. While this largely contrasts neoliberal ideals of democracy and individual rights, the PAP justifies this style of ruling and heavy-handed intervention by asserting that it is imperative for the state’s survival and prosperity. In Chua’s evaluation of Singapore’s public policies, housing systems and multiracial policies, it is evident that the PAP is itself extensively involved . This involvement shows in many aspects, such as housing, education and the economy. As a result of the heavy emphasis on PAP’s paternalistic role and the (arguably) widely-accepted belief that such a rule is pivotal for our nation, a climate of political compliance and depoliticisation of society is fostered. This poses a challenge to opposition parties trying to contest the PAP - it is arduous to disprove the effectiveness of the PAP and undermine its dominance. PAP’s narrative of ‘survivalism’ in the face of the country’s security and economic vulnerability institutionalised the necessity of a ruling party that is able to reliably deliver stability and prosperity to the country. The idea perpetuated here is that the PAP’s uninterrupted hegemony has preserved stability and prosperity in Singapore . Few can deny this claim, too. Despite Singapore’s lack of natural endowment, the PAP has achieved spectacular economic prosperity; Singapore was even touted as one of the “Asian Tigers”, representing the impressive economic growth in the 70s-80s. The title of “Asian Tigers” suggests that Singapore’s economic growth was not only outstanding, it was recognised globally. PAP’s consistent competency and deliverance of its promises endows the regime with political legitimacy and further entrenches its rule. The PAP has also been able to consistently recruit highly-qualified individuals, maintaining the party’s quality and credibility. As the talent pool in Singapore is considerably small, this will definitely reduce that of the opposition . Such talent provides a promise of political stability, which Singaporeans evidently appreciate. Is there hope? Despite the numerous difficulties faced by the opposition in gaining traction in Singapore’s political scene, I argue with optimism that there exist opportunities for the opposition to capitalise on and make further progress. The opposition has been able to recruit notable individuals who seem capable of capturing voter’s imagination and support Singapore politics, and to provide diverse voices. For example, Jamus Lim from the WP rose to fame during the 2020 General Elections due to his charisma, charm and intellect. His famous slogan “warms the cockles of my heart” was popularised via social media, cementing his status as a cultural icon amongst a youth population that is becoming increasingly politically involved. Jamus Lim’s team did manage to secure the Sengkang GRC , defeating the PAP by garnering 52.13% of the votes. This demonstrates how the opposition is able to equip themselves with candidates who are able to influence the electorate and make an impact on the political scene in Singapore. Due to their win in Sengkang, the WP now has 10 Members of Parliament (MP) . This puts the WP in a position to provide alternative voices in a government that is dominated by the PAP. The notion of ‘alternate voices’ and ‘checks on the PAP’s power’ are also promises the WP has made to the electorate. Since they now possess a viable way of doing so, it is important that they deliver. Lawrence Wong has also mentioned that “the onus is now on the opposition” to further their conviction of providing alternative opinions and discourse . Further, the younger generations lack the experience of historical struggles (separation and merger, for example) that the PAP capitalises on to justify their means of governance and unequivocal rule. Hence, the lack of political pluralism - which has been accepted by older generations - may not be as easily accepted by present and future generations. Values and ambitions, along with views of the global world, are fluid. There has been a recent rise of youths desiring more ‘alternative voices’ in Singapore’s political scene . Another point that distinguishes the generations before and generations to come is that the future generations have much less to lose , meaning that the younger generations might be less tolerant when faced with restrictive, paternalistic policies and more unafraid when experimenting with the notion that political coherence and the economy flourishing necessarily comes with the trade-off of political pluralism . This phenomenon, alongside the pervasiveness of social media where highly-educated youths are increasingly exposed to international politics and Western ideals, the younger generation might challenge PAP's rule which emphasises independence from Western neoliberal democratic ideals. Social media, with its ubiquitous influence and effects of an ‘echo chamber’, plays a part in magnifying such opinions and grievances, and this phenomenon can hardly be controlled by the incumbent; social media does not fall under state machinery that the PAP can exact influence on. If the PAP fails to pander to a more accommodating and consultative way of dealing with the upcoming generation (rather than their usual top-down approach), they might be playing into the opposition’s hands. If the opposition is apt in appealing to the attitudes and desires of the upcoming generations, they might be able to overcome the dominance of the incumbent and bolster their credibility as a significant political challenge to the PAP. The ‘power’ of the opposition in Singapore is undeniably limited due to their own inherent weaknesses and also the existence of structural constraints. Where the political opposition fails to assert themselves as credible, viable alternatives to the PAP, they will be unable to progress in the political scene and will seem defenceless against the label of being ‘pathetic’. However, it is important to qualify the inadequacy of the opposition. With unhindered political dominance from independence and a carefully cultivated narrative that PAP’s hegemony is pivotal to our survival and prosperity as a nation, it is difficult to remove this ‘PAP factor’ that has been institutionalised within Singapore’s political scene. Often, ‘PAP’ is synonymous with ‘government’ amongst Singaporeans - this deeply established dominance is by no means easy to overcome, and is partly a reason for the opposition’s lack of power. In spite of these structural obstacles, there exists much promise, and it will be disappointing if the opposition does not maximise these opportunities. Even if challenging the PAP seems an impossible, daunting task, it is imperative that the opposition tries its best to utilise its position to provide alternate voices in Parliament. After all, this notion of ‘alternate voices’ is what all opposition parties promise the citizenry when contesting in General Elections. In a flourishing society that is supposedly democratic, such alternative voices are essential and conducive to the growth of our nation, and also the people. Especially with the rise of social media and certain contentious issues, the opposition now, more than ever, is in an opportune position to provide such alternative voices, and to ensure that the incumbent’s rule remains to the benefit of our country. The opposition does show promise and has successfully made some progress; however, they ultimately still retain the potential to do much better. Bibliography  https//DOI:10.1017/jea.2018.15  https://doi-org.libproxy1.nus.edu.sg/10.1142/10427  https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/oppositions-role-ensure-pap-doesnt-have-blank-cheque -do-whatever-it-wants-wp-chief-pritam  http://bridgetwelsh.com/2016/03/the-welshge2015-poll-post-election-insights-onvoting-in -singapore/  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/raeesah-khan-key-points-cop-report-wp-workers -party-2490546  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/ge2020-sengkang-grc-wp-win-pap-950696  http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt1zkjz35.  Hoe Yeong, Lokem The First Wave: JBJ, Chiam & the Opposition in Singapore, Epigram, 2019.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01436590050004373  https://doi-org.libproxy1.nus.edu.sg/10.1142/10427  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/ge2020-sengkang-grc-wp-win-pap-950696  https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/voters-desire-diverse-voices-checks-and-balance-means -paps-mandate-unlikely-exceed-65  Ibid.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01436590050004373  Ibid.  Ibid. Chelsea is a Year 2 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) undergraduate. She believes that political awareness and acknowledging nuances in the varying issues facing the world is important, and hopes that through her articles, readers will explore a more balanced and nuanced view of matters. Her comfort activities include listening to music, binge watching Modern Family, and online shopping.
- Men Who Work in Female-dominated Industries in Singapore: What Next?
By Alicia (Editor) Traditional efforts for women’s workplace inclusion Women have traditionally been the focus of efforts to improve diversity in the workplace. Legislature protecting women, workplace diversity policies, upskilling of female workers and the promotion of women to leadership positions are all staples in gender equality efforts in Singapore, enacted to ensure equality and greater opportunity for female workers.  Women are currently the target of most of the professional support offered by educational institutions, government organisations and private enterprises alike to pursue fulfilling career lives. More specifically, these initiatives often target industries where women traditionally face higher barriers to entry due to the prevalence of men. Many of these factors like societal expectations of women’s capabilities and level of involvement at work, a lack of support from experienced mentors, or the possibility of workplace sexual harrassment, often hinder women from joining these workplaces, leading to an underrepresentation of women in crucial industries that drive our economies.  Within NUS, there are many initiatives already present to help female undergraduates cope in male-dominated working environments. Notable female speakers like Ms Josephine Teo and other professionals have been invited to discuss gender parity in dialogues organized by NUS such as the Women of Wonder In Conversation (WoW) held in 2021.  NUS has even organised a module recently called Women’s Professional Development Programme (CFG1050), which seeks to equip women with the necessary skills to navigate the workplace as a woman.  In traditionally male-dominated areas such as STEM industries and politics, the advancements that women have made are even more stark. Women have nearly doubled their representation in local politics, from 12 percent in 2001 to 21 percent in 2006, in what can be categorised as a watershed moment for female empowerment in Singapore.  Today, women hold about 29% of the seats in Parliament, a figure higher than ever before.  More women are also now employed in STEM industries, with MOM reporting that the percentage of women in these industries has increased from 29.9% in 2015 to 32.4% in 2020.  Women are benefitting immensely from the aid given to them in recent times as society becomes more open to the prospect of women working in traditionally male-dominated fields; despite the inequalities women might still face, they are now more well-equipped with the skills needed to overcome them. Do men need help too with gender equality at the workplace? What about men? As careers become increasingly less gendered, more men are also making the transition to workplaces that are traditionally dominated by women, such as childcare, education or nursing. However, in comparison with their female counterparts who have seen increased representation in male-dominated industries (slightly less than 30% of scientific researchers worldwide are female, for example), men have lagged behind in entering women-dominated industries.  In Singapore, 12 percent of registered nurses in 2021 are men, compared to 8.5 percent in 2011.  In Singapore’s early childhood education sector, less than 1% of preschool educators are men.  While some progress has been made for men in recent years, these are stark figures that should not be ignored if we are to ensure that gender equality applies to both men and women. Many of these men face similar gender-specific difficulties in navigating a female-dominated workplace as their female counterparts. Despite having less obvious barriers to entry into female-dominated industries, men still suffer the brunt of social stigma against them for choosing to embark on women-dominated professions. Historically, male-dominated industries require strong levels of technical and logical thinking while female-dominated industries require employees to demonstrate high levels of emotional investment, nurturing, and care. While steps have been taken to prove that women are able to cross the gendered boundaries delineating the types of work they take on, the reverse is not as commonly observed. Men may be perceived to be effeminate if they choose to enter female-dominated industries, which deviates from traditional expectations of masculinity.  They may also be seen as incompetent for these jobs that often require a lot of empathy and caretaking – not possessing the nurturing disposition that makes them suitable in handling those under their care. Yet, they are given far less aid to destigmatize their entrance into the workplace, mentor and equip them with relevant skills and ensure they have an environment in which they can thrive. How can we help men transition to female-dominated workplaces? Why is it so important to get men into female-dominated industries? With the emphasis on fields like STEM, business and politics – in which women have already made great strides – men should similarly be given the opportunity and resources to break into female-dominated work places. Industries benefit from a diverse range of employees, and adding the male perspective into a female-dominated industry can value-add to these professions. More male presence in these workplaces can break away from the traditional ideals of masculinity in favour of a more holistic way of looking at men in general. Preschoolers, for instance, can benefit from seeing a male figure in their education. The men present as great role model male figures, which is hugely important for young children in their development.  For many children with the lack of suitable male role model figures in their lives, male preschool educators can serve as a good substitute for them to model appropriate relationship patterns and behaviours. Moreover, the presence of men is normalized in these female-dominated industries and there is greater diversity among workers in terms of thought or presence. Thus, it is important to acknowledge the role men can play in these industries, and help increase their participation similar to how we have helped women in the past few decades. How can we help these men then? Firstly, we need to destigmatise the gender stereotypes attached to the jobs they take on, similar to how we have largely already done for women. This will allow more men to feel welcome in the industries they would like to enter, and not feel intimidated by the gendered expectations and stereotypes that come along with it. Secondly, we need to create more opportunities for men to break into these industries. Seminars or focus group discussions could be held for men in women-dominated industries to air their concerns, and mentorship programmes could be organised to guide men through the unique challenges posed to them by their workplaces. In Singapore, an online community for male preschool teachers has already been created (instagram handle: @meninpreschoolssg), where these men attempt to deconstruct the stereotypes that come along with the job and raise awareness about the challenges they face at work.  Lastly, men seeking employment in such industries need support from their communities to pursue the lines of work they want without a gendered lens holding them back. Families and friends alike should do their best to support men in whatever career path they choose to embark on, especially if it is unconventional to male gender expectations. Oftentimes, moral support and perseverance are the key driving factors that push people to break conventions and spark new narratives about gender inclusivity. We have done a lot for women in the past few decades to pursue their dream careers without gender stigma, but what about men? We need to ensure that men also get an equal fighting chance to pursue their passions without the stigma or structural barriers that currently hold many men back, similar to what women have already received. Only then will we be able to ensure that gender equality is not only applicable to women, but also for men. Bibliography  https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/5-ways-singapore-will-continue-pursuing-equal -opportunities-for-women-in-the-workplace  https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-male-dominated-industries-and-occupations/  https://news.nus.edu.sg/celebrating-women-with-empowering-conversations/  https://nus.edu.sg/cfg/students/career-ready/soft-skills/womens-professional-development -programme  Theresa Devasahayam, ‘Talking Point(s): What Singaporean Female Politicians Choose to Say in Parliament’, Femina Politica 22, no. 2 (2013): p. 38.  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/ge2020-record-number-women-parliament -mps-singapore-643221  https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/more-women-in-stem-now-than-in-the-past -decade-mom-female-employment-trends  https://www.nus.edu.sg/cncs/empowering-women-in-stem-challenges-and-opportunities -for-gender-inclusivity/  https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/young-people-men-home-care-industry -2020156#:~:text=This%20coincides%20with%20the%20fact,8.5%20per%20cent%20in%202011.  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/preschool-ecda-males-manpower-2948891  https://www.instagram.com/p/CGwoJuGBcOe/?hl=en  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/preschool-ecda-males-manpower-2948891  https://www.instagram.com/p/CGwoJuGBcOe/?hl=en Alicia is a Year 2 Political Science and History Major and is constantly drowning in readings because she chose to take only PS and HY mods this semester. She is interested in how politics relates to not only international and local affairs, but the personal domain, a topic she would like to explore in The Convergence. She is particularly interested in the topics of socioeconomic inequality and gender issues, since these are issues deeply personal to her. When she is not in her mancave hiding from the rest of society, gaming or mugging, she can be found playing badminton or squash somewhere in NUS or going out with friends.
- Reactions to the repeal of 377A and what it may say about the upsides to a one-party state
By Ryan (Editor) The bombshell announcement dropped by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the 2022 National Day Rally of his government’s intention to repeal Section 377A of the penal code led to strong reactions both from the for and against camp. However, amidst such outpouring of emotions by civil society not seen in a long time, there was one sphere in Singapore that was conspicuously absent from the debate. That is opposition parties in Singapore. There are not many countries in the world where a political party does not have a clear position on an issue as contentious as gay rights. For instance, Singapore’s largest opposition party, the Workers’ Party (WP) said that they "recognise the fundamental right of people to live free from fear and discrimination." Non-constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai from the Progress Singapore Party said that his party will have to look at the details of the legislation. Chairman of another well-established opposition party, the Singapore Democratic Party, Dr Paul Tambayah, told Mothership: “The SDP values human rights, and therefore respects the fundamental rights of the individual, as enshrined in our Constitution."  A common thread across these reactions, as can be seen, is the absence of any explicit position for or against. Some parties, such as the National Solidarity Party, were totally silent. There was only one party - the Reform Party - which expressed their unequivocal support for the decision. Its position on the issue has been made clear since 2011 . What makes these parties’ reactions or lack thereof even more noteworthy is their tendency in normal times to be the advocate of greater civil liberties in Singapore  . Many, including me, believe that such ambiguous positions are undertaken in consideration of their political interests. Singaporeans are still largely undecided on their views of S377A. According to a study conducted after the Rally by Blackbox Research, 43 per cent of respondents expressed support for repeal. Even though this is more than double the 21 per cent who oppose it, 34 per cent said they neither support nor oppose the repeal . Therefore, political parties are unable to accurately gauge the political cost of staking out a clear position on the issue, and would rather stay silent. Political analyst Loke Hoe Yeong has gone as far as describing the consequence of opposition parties taking a stand as “political suicide” . On the part of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) however, it is able to undertake such politically risky decisions, many believe, due to the relatively comfortable margins of victories it enjoys during every election, and its general popularity amongst Singaporean voters. This means that any hits it might potentially have to take from such a decision will not significantly affect its ability to retain its supermajority in Parliament. Leaders of the party have indeed expressed that it is uncertain of the political costs of repealing the law, but nonetheless believe that it is the right thing to do. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told The Straits Times that it would be politically expedient to have "just kept quiet, put on the helmet, go into the bunker, and pretend that nothing is happening, leave it to the courts." The reason why they did not do so was because it would have been wrong to criminalise gay men for their sexuality . "Nobody deserves to be stigmatised because of their sexual orientation. So repealing Section 377A, removing their pain, is the right thing to do," he added . The ruling party moving forward in spite of the unknown political cost and the fact that their most serious opponents do not have a dissimilar stance anyways can be argued to reflect the benefits of a single dominant party in Parliament. Parties are able to move forth on potentially politically unpopular decisions for the greater good of the country. According to American political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset, this reflects a successful political system. He believes that if the outcome of the political game is not the periodic awarding of effective authority to one group, a party, or stable coalition, then unstable and irresponsible government rather than democracy will result . To see the relative lack of such a privilege, one can look to the United States. Due to a fierce political environment where control of the legislature and the Presidency is often close to a tossup, politicians are unable to vote according to their conscience and have to consider the political cost. This can be seen, for instance, in the issue of free trade. As revealed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishan during an engagement with the Asia Society in Sep 2022, he has been “speaking to a multitude of administration officials, (U.S) Congressmen, and Senators.” Even though none of them makes an argument against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, everybody tells him “somewhat ruefully” that it cannot be signed for “domestic political reasons.”  Therefore, American politicians can be argued to be not acting for the greater good of the country. Coming back to the issue of S377A, to accommodate the views of the socially conservative, the government has said it will amend the Constitution to make it clear that only Parliament, not the Courts, have the right to define marriage. Again, such manoeuvring is only possible because the PAP easily controls more than two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. In fact, this may have contributed to their confidence in repealing 377A in the first place. However, others, like Singaporean author Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, are more sceptical about the reason behind the repeal. In an article posted on his website before the repeal was announced, he said that doing so acts as a “swansong of Lee Hsien Loong…before he hands over the party’s reins,” with the hopes of it being “a sort of sop to Singapore’s long-disaffected liberal segment,” that the party hopes to win back . Therefore, he believes it is not true that the political costs are uncertain, and that such a move would benefit the PAP. Indeed, many attributed the PAP’s relatively poor result in the 2020 general election to their inability to win over the progressives in society, which happen to be the young. In an interview with Today after the 2020 elections, PAP activists said that they could sense from the ground that the young in particular care more about issues beyond bread-and-butter ones, and believes that the party needs to be more open to talking about traditionally touchy topics including gay rights . While there is no data on how young people voted in the election, a survey of more than 1,500 voters by Blackbox Research before the election found that 24 per cent of respondents aged 21 to 24 intended to vote for the WP, forming the highest share among the different age groups that intended to vote for the party . Winning back this segment may be especially pressing for the PAP given that many tout their low vote share in the 2020 elections to be a “new normal”, if the trend continues and younger generations are more liberal . This may be something they are not willing to accept, and hence are willing to try something controversial to reverse that trend. Furthermore, Mr Vadaketh believes that the reason opposition parties are not able to articulate a position is precisely because of the one-party state. According to him, “Working off a low base, opposition parties generally feel compelled to erect a big tent to draw support from across the ideological spectrum. Their liberals dare not stake out progressive positions on social issues lest they unwittingly tar the entire party with the same brush.”  Seen in this light, the presence of a dominant party in Parliament diminishes the standing of opposition parties due to their perceived inability to be decisive in coming up with policies. This is not a good thing for the country as far as upholding democracy is concerned. In the same vein, it may also be that opposition parties are not as well-equipped as the ruling party to be able to accurately gauge ground sentiment before coming to a stance on a contentious topic. Ultimately, whether one believes this saga reflects a benefit of a one-party state is dependent on their belief of the intention behind the repeal. If the PAP had repealed the law in spite of them potentially losing support, then it can indeed be argued that Singapore’s one party state has its upsides. On the other hand, if they made that decision with the objective of winning votes, then it may in fact be a bad thing. Not only does it give rise to irresponsible governance, it also stifles opposition parties. This is something we would never know, but one can carry out surveys to see how Singaporeans’ views of the PAP have changed with the decision. If it has indeed worsened, then it is true that these are not vote-winning moves, as the PAP claims . Nonetheless, one must consider why the PAP has been able to maintain its dominance in Parliament in the first place. It is because it has delivered for the people in material terms. As put by Singh, Abdullah, and Tan, “Singapore has been created in the image of the PAP and what more, a highly successful one from the political, economic, socio-cultural, military and ultimately image perspective.”  Therefore, this decision will not significantly change Singaporeans’ perception of it. The trust garnered through the Party’s successful governance would convince conservative Singaporeans that such a move is for the greater good of the country, and hence a compromise is worthwhile. However, in countries where the one-party state is maintained based on the use of force and unfree elections, the government may not be willing or able to make such a move. Bibliography  https://mothership.sg/2022/08/opposition-party-react-377a/  https://www.facebook.com/thereformparty/posts/596121131892624  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1735kX0p-UVMysOdKWXh-LyUhesaGHYzM  https://d3bnzwrhehvhbjiwmja.s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/The+Workers+Party +Manifesto+2020.pdf  https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/section-377a-religious-groups-call-for-unity -poll-finds-43-per-cent-support-repeal-double-those-against  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-election-lgbt-idUSKBN2490GS  https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/section-377a-court-of-appeal-said-law-on -sex-between-men-could-be-unconstitutional-says-shanmugam  Seymour Martin Lipset. Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy. The American Political Science Review , Mar., 1959, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Mar., 1959), pp. 69-105  https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Newsroom/Press-Statements-Transcripts-and-Photos/2022/ 09/20220924-Asia-Society-2022  https://sudhirtv.com/2022/06/23/the-politics-of-repeal/  https://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/docs/default-source/ips/today_the-big-read--what-went-wrong -for-the-peoples-action-party_in-the-eyes-of-party-insiders_190720.pdf  https://blackbox.com.sg/everyone/the-big-read-what-went-wrong-for-the-peoples-action -party-in-the-eyes-of-party-insiders  https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/a-watershed-election-and-new-normal  Singh, Bilveer, Abdullah, Walid Jumaat, Tan, Felix. 2021. Unmasking Singapore’s 2020 General Elections. World Scientific. Ryan is a Year 1 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major who is an Editor at The Convergence. Having maintained a keen interest in politics ever since following his parents to rallies during Singapore’s 2011 general elections, he hopes, through his writings, to be able to get youth to more critically examine the role of Singapore’s government as well as Singapore’s place in the world. When free, he is probably either taking a nap or jogging. He really likes bubble tea too, but strictly with no sugar or pearls.
Other Pages (21)
- Education | The Convergence
Education The Convergence Apr 6 8 min On Ideology and Scholarships in Singapore By Eldrick, Editor Many would agree with the characterisation of Singapore as a tuition haven. As the longtime champion and producer of... 60 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Nov 18, 2021 7 min The Ontology of Memory: Reflection on the merger between Yale-NUS and USP By Eldrick, Editor On 27 August 2021, it was announced publicly that the University Scholars Programme (USP) and Yale-NUS would merge to... 103 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Jun 17, 2021 8 min Rethinking sexual consent in universities By Ng Qian Qian, Editor Since Monica Baey first stepped forward online, conversations about sexual offences and gender equality have been... 256 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence May 26, 2021 4 min Parental Involution: Behind Singapore’s Academic Stress By Chua Swee Kune, Editor Singapore is consistently one of the top few countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment... 325 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Jul 7, 2020 4 min “Digitalisation is a journey and not a destination post-COVID-19”: Minister S Iswaran By Zhou Xizhuang Michael, Editor-in-Chief On 15 June 2020, about 280 graduating and recently graduated students from all five... 144 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence May 22, 2020 6 min Adulting in a COVID-19 Era: Is the Class of 2020 Prepared? By Nicolette Chua, Associate Editor At present, it is hard to re-imagine how the world was like before the COVID-19 crisis. No single day... 125 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence May 21, 2020 6 min The Class of 2020: Adapting to a New Normal amidst COVID-19 By Nicolette Chua, Associate Editor Midway into 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has already shaken up the global economy at an unprecedented... 463 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence Apr 15, 2020 7 min The Covid-19 pandemic robbed me of a long-awaited SEP (Student Exchange Programme) experience... By Edmund Leong (Guest Writer) ...However, I am fortunate to have received support from NUS, friends and family. And I am glad to be back... 993 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Apr 10, 2020 6 min What an experience! From exchange, coming back home, and serving SHN By Xenia Chan (Guest Writer) I first became concerned about the spread of Covid-19 to the UK when the earliest cases sprouted in Italy.... 607 views 0 comments 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 The Convergence Jan 3, 2020 4 min The Great Education Arms Race By Trina Priscilla Ng, Commentary Editor Inequality in the Classroom - The Great Education Arms Race In my younger and more vulnerable... 208 views 0 comments 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 The Convergence Dec 9, 2019 3 min Youths can participate in constructive and meaningful discussion of issues in Singapore By Rachel Yap, Commentary Editor Roald Dahl once said, “Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.” With reference to... 68 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence Apr 1, 2019 3 min How subject-based banding could impact the education system Commentary | Mohamed Fayyaz Bin Mohamed Faqarh On 5 March this year, Education Minister Mr Ong Ye Kung announced that the streaming... 273 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence Mar 9, 2019 5 min Reconciling preservation and pragmatism: preservation is pragmatism Commentary | Qoi Wen Ting, Event Associate Editor and Calissa Man, Managing Editor (Event) Singapore, a country characterised by its... 10 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence Feb 17, 2019 2 min The Value of Debate Commentary | Liang Tian Debate is a sanctuary for people who are willing to open their hearts and eyes to fresh ideas. Indeed, it is only... 21 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 The Convergence Feb 12, 2019 4 min Tackling inequality through education and bureaucracy Commentary | Rebecca Metteo, Managing Editor (Operations) Inequality has many culprits: policy, tradition, mindset and so forth that have... 19 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1
- Submission Guidelines | The Convergence
Submission Guidelines The Convergence covers a wide range of topics and issues related to Singaporean society and politics. It aims to present broad views and clear thinking by interested students and individuals, so as to raise greater awareness and stimulate active and constructive discourse among our readers. Articles should be written in proper English and delivered through a clear and cohesive tone that can be read with ease and pleasure by a general audience. The Convergence accepts and publishes online articles and materials of several categories according to topics. Examples of Topics: Pertaining to Education, Economics, Society, Health, Environment and Politics. Other topics are welcomed through discussion with The Convergence team. Articles that relate to Singapore would be preferred. Between 900 to 1,800 words. Please provide a (website) link to citations if used. Please also provide a Reference list. General guidelines for submissions: All pieces for The Convergence are to be written in English. Pieces have to be double-spaced and adopt the Times New Roman font, size 12. Justify all pages and use 1-inch margins on top and bottom as well as left and right. Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, although .docx is preferred. Our publication uses the Chicago/APA manual of style, but we do not require submissions to be formatted as such upon submission. All submissions or relevant pitch to be sent to email@example.com . Pieces that have been published on The Convergence may be re-published on other publication platforms with the approval of the Editorial Board. Such pieces should also credit The Convergence as the original publisher.
- NUSPA Social Policy Division | The Convergence
The Convergence Apr 18 8 min How about Me? The Mental Health Fragility of Caregivers for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder By N Rizwanul Bahmid (Guest Editor) Mental Wellness during COVID-19 Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about countless problems... 22 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Apr 14 10 min The Uncertain Life After Sports for Singaporean athletes By Rishika Ghanamoorthy, NUSPA Social Policy Division Life after sport is a scary thing for many competitive athletes. Many athletes plan... 69 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked The Convergence Mar 2 5 min The ‘Singa-parent Culture’: How we might be perpetuating the cycle of poor mental health By Rishika Ghanamoorthy, NUSPA Social Policy Division Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Singapore, with around one in seven... 65 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked