Lucky Tan reminds that we have been here before. While the GRC helped to retain seats for the PAP … If nothing was done, there was a good chance the PAP would lose a few GRCs in the 1991 elections. The PAP had 2 choices – fix their policies so that ordinary Singaporeans will benefit from them or tweak the system to retain their dominance. The PAP chose to do the later by linking votes to estate upgrading … sad to say their “kiasu” nature got the better of them and the % votes for the PAP went up after that.
Well we are back to 1991, and the PAP has the choice of listening or tweaking again, to avoid losing a few GRCs. It is clear from the PM that the PAP “don’t do listening”. NTUC minister’s “Deaf frogs” comment comes to mind.
So it’s tweaking the system again. But what can it tweak? The PAP is still trying the upgrading approach. But I’m sure the PAP knows that this is not enough, so what else can it do? What is the 2011 equvalent of upgrading for PAP areas?
I don’t think there is one major new tweak, but here are several tweaks that it can do.
Given the reserves that the PAP-managed town councils have built-up, the PAP could offer voters the carrot of lower maintenance charges. The town councils could even afford to pay part of the utility bills of poorer residents.
The excuse: allievating inflation pressures, is now a better use of town council reserves since inflation is so much higher than bank deposit rates.
The the government can increase welfare spending and use the PA to administer it.
I’m sure that the combi of asset enhancement,, smaller bills for residents in PAP areas, and increased welfare spending via the PA will win the PAP the Kiasu votes, juz as asset enhancement in PAP areas did in 1991.