The president and PM have called for unity.
The PM for the fifth time. Read my take on his call.
Well since about 7,000 votes separated the winner of the presidential election from the runner-up, one easy and popular way of making the 35% of voters that voted for the runner-up happy and contented is for the PM and president to announce that one of them is offering to appoint Dr Tan Cheng Bock as a member of the presidential council. Remember the government and the president (at his personal discretion) can each appoint two persons to the council.
This will show the 35% of the electorate that voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock that their views matter.
If the PM is wily, he will offer to appoint Tan Jee Say to the council, thereby making about another 25% of the electorate happy that the government recognises their voices. Whether it would be wise for TJS to accept is another matter.
The only reason why no offer will be made is that the PAP and the government (and the president has been in both) has a mindset that has problems distinguishing between “popular” actions and “popularism”. They seem to think that the words are synonymous. They hate “popularism” because by definition it is opposed to rule by the elite. Fair enough but then they think that being popular is being a populist.
Worse they think that the way to go is to do “unpopular” things. Witness LKY’s boast of not doing popular things to win elections, and Philip Yeo saying,”My greatest fear now is that the government is terrified of the people. You cannot have a system where the people are pampered.”
So while I hope Dr Tan will be appointed to the presidential council, I won’t hold my breath. As to Tan Jee Say being offered an appointment, pigs will fly first, even though there are advantages to the PAP and government offering him an appointment. Offering him an appointment, will be a poisoned chalice. He is damned either way. If he refuses, the label “confrontationalist” can be attached to him by the government and PAP. If he accepts, his ex-SDP pals will unfriend him for selling out.
As to PM’s “reinvented” PAP, I’ll acknowlege it when I see it.