Singapore is a country located in the region of Southeastern Asia. The People’s Action Party (PAP) has been directing Singapore since the 1950s. A few people figure in the political summit. PAP’s dominance contributes to a stable domestic political climate, but also to democratic shortcomings. In recent years, however, the opposition has managed to make some steps, even though it is long before the PAP’s power monopoly is seriously threatened.
Since 1959, only three men have held the important post of Prime Minister: Lee Kuan Yew (also called LKY) 1959–1990, Goh Chok Tong 1990–2004 and Lee Hsien Loong (son of LKY) from 2004. Land grief was announced when the nation’s founder LKY passed away. on March 23, 2015 after a period of illness. He no longer had any political assignments. LKY led Singapore’s development from a small port city to one of the richest countries in the world, but at the same time kept its residents, the media and the opposition in strict control.
- Countryaah: Country facts and history of Singapore, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
A few months after Lee’s departure, in August 2015, President Tan announced on the advice of Prime Minister Lee an early parliamentary election in September of that year. The PAP government wanted renewed confidence from voters after a period of social unrest and popular dissatisfaction over rising living costs and increased government spending on immigration (see Modern History).
During the election movement, immigration policy was primarily in focus. Many Singaporeans also expressed concern about high youth unemployment. For the first time, the opposition lined up with candidates in all electoral districts. Since the 2011 elections, the number of seats in Parliament had increased from 87 to 89.
The election results showed that PAP, which had expected to win big with 70 percent of the votes, compared to 12.5 percent for the Labor Party. The design of the election system gave PAP 83 of the mandate and the Labor Party 6 mandates.
Trouble within the Lee family
Many Singaporeans were shocked when Prime Minister Lee fainted during a televised speech in August 2016. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean immediately took over as head of government for a week when Lee was submitted for medical observation. The doctors determined that Lee was not affected by anything serious, but the incident raised questions about the prime minister’s general state of health.
In June 2017, media reported strong contradictions within the Lee family. The prime minister was openly criticized by his brother and sister who accused him of exploiting his father’s good aftermath for his own political gain. This was quickly denied by Lee. The brother told media outlets that the Lee family should leave top policy after the current prime minister leaves office. The siblings further accused Lee of harnessing his political power to harass them, prompting his brother to leave the country. The siblings added that they lost confidence in the prime minister’s leadership skills.
First female president
The presidential elections in September 2017 were canceled (not uncommon in Singapore) when only one candidate has been approved (see Political system). It was Parliament’s President Halimah Yacob, who thus became Singapore’s first female president. Halimah Yacob is Malay and Muslim.
The ongoing rejuvenation of the leadership layer continued when Prime Minister Lee replaced in April 2018 three ministers from the old guard for younger abilities. The reform of government seemed to be a step in a larger shift in power. Lee announced in 2017 that he was ready to leave the prime minister post within a couple of years. Elections to Parliament will be held by 2020.
Corona pandemic strikes
In March 2020, Singapore took a series of measures to try to stop the spread of the new corona virus, sars-cov-2, which caused a pandemic. For example, entry into the country was prohibited. Exceptions were made for Singaporean citizens, people with permanent residence permits and certain work permits. Almost all Singapore Airlines aircraft fleet stood still.
When it became clear in April that the spread of infection was escalating, the authorities closed the country’s schools and most workplaces. School students were given distance education at home, while tens of thousands of foreign guest workers suddenly stood without a job. The authorities ordered “social distancing” and the person who deliberately violated this could be punished with six months imprisonment.
A large majority of the covid incidents confirmed in Singapore were discovered in crowded dormitories that foreign guest workers, mainly from South Asia, spent the nights.
At the beginning of June, the schools were reopened, as were several workplaces. This happened as part of the attempts to gradually re-open the country after the shutdown that followed the corona pandemic.
Parliamentary elections are announced
On June 23, the government announced parliamentary elections until July 10. According to Prime Minister Lee, an opportunity to hold elections opened when the pandemic seemed to have subsided and the spread of infection was relatively slow. Lee emphasized that the election would not be like the previous election; strict restrictions on the spread of the coronavirus would apply. Voters would wear mouthguards and gloves in the polling stations and no electoral movement was to be expected.
The opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) criticized the decision to hold elections and warned that it jeopardized public health. Singapore had at that time more than 42,000 confirmed cases of corona-infected and 26 deaths with covid-19.
The election appeared to be a battle within the Lee family when Prime Minister’s brother Lee Hsien Yang announced on June 24 that he had joined the opposition PSP (Progress Singapore Party), which was formed in 2019.
FACTS – POLITICS
Republic of Singapore / Republic of Singapore
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Halimah Yacob (2017–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (2004–)
Most important parties with mandates in the last election
People’s Action Party (PAP) 83, Labor Party (WP) 6 (2015) 1
Main parties with mandates in the second most recent elections
People’s Action Party (PAP) 81, Labor Party (WP) 6 (2011)
93% in the 2011 parliamentary elections, 95% in the 2011 presidential elections, 92% in the 2015 parliamentary elections
parliamentary elections on July 10, 2020, presidential elections 2023
- The number of seats in Parliament has been increased from 87 to 89 since the 2011