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Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a press conference following the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore, Nov. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Yong Teck Lim).

Can a New Political Party Shake Things Up in Singapore?

Friday, March 29, 2019

Throughout its history, Singapore’s political scene has been tightly controlled by the People’s Action Party, or PAP, which currently holds all but six of the 89 elected seats in the island nation’s Parliament. While the PAP’s dominant position is unlikely to change anytime soon, it faces a potential uphill climb in the next general election, which is due by January 2021 but could be held as soon as this year. Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP presidential candidate, is setting up a new political party to challenge the PAP, an effort that has earned the support of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang. A number of other regional and global factors present possible threats to the PAP, says Kai Ostwald, a political scientist who specializes in Southeast Asia at the University of British Columbia. In an interview with WPR, he evaluates whether Tan’s efforts could provide a needed shot in the arm to Singapore’s weak opposition.

World Politics Review: How has Singapore’s political landscape been affected by recent developments in the region? ...

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