Photo of Eugene Tan from CNA

Singapore government-owned universities are fronting the propaganda drive again, this time, with the usual apple polishers calling for voters to vote ruling party-endorsed candidate. According to the lecturers, professors and academics, the current recession means the ruling party can be fully entrusted to spend whichever amount they want from the national reserve and the President should assist in the raid.

Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Eugene Tan said the new President will need to help the PAP government have free access to the national reserves:

“If the global economy takes a beating in the lead-up to PE 2017, then the spotlight would shift to a focus on which candidate has the requisite expertise and experience, would better inspire confidence on being able to work closely with the People’s Action Party (PAP) Government to help Singapore overcome the economic challenges, including drawing down on our past reserves if the situation warrants it.”

Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Woo Jun Jie said that only a “very vocal minority” are against the ruling party and their “effect is limited”:

“The outcomes of the past two General Elections (GE) have also shown that the mood is not widespread among voters in Singapore, even though there is a very vocal minority. While there may be some spill-over (effect) … my sense is that its impact on local politics will be limited.”

National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Tan Ern Ser dismissed opposition supporters and praised the ruling party for “addressing Singaporeans’ concerns” and that the 70% majority in the last election means that the Presidential Election is going to be a sure-win for the ruling party:

“Given that the Elected President cannot be a centre of power, I doubt it can act as a lightning rod of sorts that can attract the disaffected hoping to vote a strong figure to ‘shake up’ the government to do their bidding.”

Institute of Policy Studies’s (IPS) Gillian Koh said that Presidential candidates should not talk about national policies during campaigning:

“We saw that in PE 2011 but the question is whether candidates will go any further and whether Singaporeans will buy that line of campaigning. I am certain that the Government will guard against that by clearing the decks of any policy controversies. Instead, it would want the vote to be more a decision about who will have the wisdom, integrity and courage to screen through the proposed Bills to use the country’s past reserves.”

The above reasoning, or the lack of, by Singapore academics however fundamentally questions if there is a need for an election. An election is political and political campaigns are about election promises and the power to change. The numerous new changes introduced further only ascertains the fact that Singapore does not have free elections and that the Prime Minister is only a dictator who wants an obedient President.

Corruption in Singapore education institutes remains a bugbear in Singapore, with academics posing as “experts” to carry credibility for the government’s legalised corruptions. New policies introduced in the past, like million dollar ministerial salaries, CPF changes and election changes, have always garnered spontaneous support of these academics on government paycheck. Singapore academics effectively work as propagandists like the 154th ranking mainstream media.