Speaking at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) conference, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung warned that democracy would ruin Singapore, and claimed that his ruling party is Singapore’s success formula and that having opposition parties impedes decision-making.
“The Republic’s formula for success could well be a one-party system. A multi-party system could slow down decision-making and nimbleness while navigating an ever-changing world and environment. Imagine, if we have a multi-party system back in 1965, will we have come so far so quickly?”
According to Minister Ong Ye Kung, a democracy with multiple political parties will create racism and politics will become a “toxic mix” and “nasty”:
“Should the political landscape here evolve into one with more than one dominant political party, it could mean a lot more jostling on the ground as unions and various associations and even the media become split as parties seek support. Should political parties align themselves along sinister lines, such as by race, language or religion, this toxic mix could leave the country broken. Even as political parties represent diverse views, that very same essence can take a nasty twist, sowing discord and dividing societies.”
The Minister who shares half the education ministry profile also said that Singaporeans are the ones who chose PAP as the single ruling party and that they reject having a multi-party government:
“But a single-party system in the case of Singapore is not a prescription but an outcome of choice resulting from elections. If the people of a country wish for a multi-party system, it will be so.”
Minister Ong Ye Kung also dismissed the role of Opposition parties as critics, and that they do not have the nation’s interests at heart:
“The job of the opposition parties is to point out the risks of a single-party rule. That is their job. But the job of the PAP (People’s Action Party) is to make sure that Singapore continues to flourish. We will also point out the risks of a multi-party system and, most importantly, we must always keep out the ills of complacency, elitism and corruption.”