Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has cautioned Singaporeans against “tinkering with a system that has worked so
well for the country for such a long time.”
Speaking at a lunchtime rally in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, Lee noted that there would be several young voters in the election, including people voting for the first time.
He said this group has a different perspective of the world, as they are more idealistic, questioning and searching for causes and values to uphold.
Lee also said that young voters are very unlike older ones, who will vote based on instinct and loyalty.
Lee had this message for young voters: think about what each party can offer, which one can serve the best and whose plans will ensure a brighter future.
“This country belongs to youit is yours to build further,” he was quoted by local television channel Channel NewsAsia.
The prime minister said that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is actively engaging young people in different ways. PAP supporters are active on the ground and on the Internet, he added.
Lee also noted that the past five years had been “exceptionally turbulent” but said that Singapore managed to perform quite well over the period.
Lee added that the country faced not just economic problems, but security issues as well. He noted that despite the fact that Osama bin Laden was killed on Monday, security threats continue to exist.
With reference to the opposition’s calls for alternative voices in Parliament, Lee said Singapore already operates a multi-party system, with the PAP as the dominant party.
“That is because the party has the strongest team and the confidence of Singaporeans,” he said, adding that the Singapore political system is ‘open’.
Lee said it is easy for parties to enter the arena and challenge the PAP. “What keeps PAP MPs on their toes is the risk of losing voter support,” he pointed out.
Speaking about the contest in his Ang Mo Kio constituency, Lee said that it was good that most seats were being contested in this election.
He said the average standard of the opposition had improved and this was good since the PAP would have to work harder to win votes.
He also found it beneficial because voters had to pay attention, weigh their options very carefully and decide which party served them best in their constituencies, as well as in government.