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SIIA Media Note: 12 May 2011

Updated On: May 12, 2011
Evolution of Singapore's Parliamentary System
"Following the elections, the opposition have the most seats since independence, and the PAP their lowest share of the vote," said Simon Tay. 
"But that is just 6 seats for the Opposition and still 60pct for the ruling party. Things are changing but the government still has, in global comparison, a strong mandate. The results may indeed represent an evolution that will make Singapore more stable, not less, for the longer term."
Professor Simon TAY is the Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is a professor at the Law faculty and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore [bio].
The 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta: Indonesia's Vision for ASEAN Economic Community
"The 18th ASEAN Summit was concluded on Sunday, 8 May in Jakarta," notes Hank Lim.
"The Leaders agreed on the establishment of an ASEAN Community requiring the region to have a common platform for global issues by 2022. They also agreed on cooperation to avert human trafficking across member states and on the establishment of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation." 

"What is more vital and immediate is the statement by President Yudhoyono on Indonesia's vision for ASEAN to narrow development gap in achieving ASEAN Economic Community. As Indonesia is preparing for the 19th ASEAN Summit in November in Bali, the issues of implementing and monitoring of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) have become a central theme of the upcoming ASEAN Summit in November that may lead to the adoption of Bali Concord III."

"As important are the other AEC objectives of a single market and production base, competitive economic region and integration into the global economy, the objective and vision of ASEAN as a region of equitable economic development has been the focus of Indonesia as this year's ASEAN Chairman. Infrastructure building and connectivity in ASEAN is not just about efficiency but also about reducing economic disparities, asserted the Indonesian President."
Dr. Hank LIM is a Senior Research Fellow at the SIIA [bio].
PAP Soul Searching
"I think soul searching will benefit the party," said Reuben Wong.
"The ruling party has won what by international standards is a landslide (60% of the popular vote and 81/87 seats in Parliament).  But the PAP's percentage of votes has fallen for three consecutive elections and sunk to its lowest level since it came to power in 1959.  It has also lost two cabinet ministers and a potential Speaker of Parliament. The ruling party needs to better respond to Singaporeans' demands for a more humane and humble style of government, and a more equitable distribution of Singapore's wealth."
Dr. Reuben WONG is an SIIA Council Member, and also the Assistant Head for the Department of Political Science in the National University of Singapore [bio]


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