Safeguards in place to entrench single party rule

I refer to the 1 Oct 2015 Straits Times letter “Safeguards in place to check single-party rule” by Mr Edmund Lam (Dr).

Mr Lam wrote:

Some members of the intelligentsia have expressed concerns about the implications this unexpected development will have on the future of our democracy and on possible abuses by the dominant party.

But this is based on the false assumption that an ideal democracy with a two-party system will bring about a better life for the average lot.

Leading democracies, such as the US and Britain, are seeing widening inequalities and disillusionment among their electorates.

Mr Lam’s selective comparison is no argument at all. Why only compare with US and Britain? Why not compare with Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand or Australia?

Even if we consider US and UK, it can hardly be said that their people aren’t leading better lives. Inequality in US and UK are lower than in Singapore while nearly all other First World nations have much lower inequalities than us.


[United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

Both US (15th) and UK (21st) are ranked above Singapore (24th) in the World Happiness Report 2015. US (10th) and UK (13th) are also ranked above Singapore (18th) in the Legatum Prosperity Index 2014. UK (41st) is also ranked higher than Singapore (90th) in Happy Planet Index 2012. So based on data, it is unlikely that US and UK citizens are any more disillusioned than Singaporeans are.

A 2009 Gallup survey shows 165 million and 45 million adults worldwide want to migrate to the US and UK respectively compared to only about 10 million adults who wish to migrate to Singapore. The US and UK are therefore about 17 times and 5 times as attractive a migration destination as Singapore is respectively.

The United States is the top desired destination country for the 700 million adults who would like to relocate permanently to another country. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of these respondents, which translates to more than 165 million adults worldwide, name the United States as their desired future residence. With an additional estimated 45 million saying they would like to move to Canada …

Forty-five million adults who would like to move name the United Kingdom or France as their desired destination.

… This means that Singapore’s adult population would increase from an estimated 3.6 million to as high as 13 million.


An updated version of the Gallup poll in 2012 shows similar numbers:

Roughly 150 million of them say they would like to move to the U.S. — giving it the undisputed title as the world’s most desired destination for potential migrants since Gallup started tracking these patterns in 2007 … large numbers are attracted to the United Kingdom (45 million)


Conversely, more than half of Singaporeans wish to migrate if given a choice (The New Paper, More than half of S’poreans would migrate if given a choice: Survey, 9 Oct 2012,

The combined picture of all these surveys is clear: contrary to Mr Lam’s assertion, life in US or UK isn’t worse than life in Singapore. The evidence points to the contrary, that life in most First World nations are better than in Singapore which should validate their two or more party systems instead. In any case, without trying out a two party system here; there is no way Mr Lam can say for sure it won’t work better for Singapore.

Mr Lam wrote:

But there are safeguards in our system.

Our independent first-class judiciary is one antidote for our one-party system.

The very mention of safeguards gives away the lie and points to the obvious danger inherent in a one party system.

Mr Lam shouldn’t confuse the powers of the judiciary with the powers of the legislative. The judiciary can only operate within the laws made by the legislative in parliament. The judiciary cannot go against unjust laws and hence cannot serve as the antidote to our one party legislative system.

Mr Lam only has to read this: “” to understand the grave injustices our opposition politicians suffered.

Mr Lam wrote:

Another equally important institution is the mainstream media, especially The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao, which can act as proactive and constructive arbiters in our society.

Mr Lam must be kidding, with a global rank of 153; our mainstream media is only good for laughing stock.

Mr Lam wrote:

They have done a remarkable job in covering the recent general election in terms of impartiality.

Disagree, especially for Mediacorpse. The host of a TV programme allowed Lawrence Wong to attack Dr Chee Soon Juan below the belt but prevented Dr Chee from defending himself after that.

Mr Lam wrote:

This is not to advocate that the media play the role of the opposition.

Why would Mediacorpse play the role of the opposition when it went into overdrive to broadcast pro-PAP reels 24 by 7 in the months leading to the general election?

Mr Lam wrote:

In essence, this election has shown that Singaporeans need to evolve a social and political system tailored to our limitations and needs of our people, and not to blindly emulate Western democracy.

This election has shown that even phDs like Dr Lam can be complete idiots when it comes to political understanding and have nothing to contribute other than blind regurgitation of government propaganda.


One Response to “Safeguards in place to entrench single party rule”

  1. Concerned Singaporean Says:

    Did a PhD really write that letter? How could someone who spent 4 to 6 years doing research gloss over so many obvious facts?

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