People's Action Party

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This article is about the People's Action Party of Singapore. For other groups with the same name, see People's Action Party (disambiguation).

Template:Politics of Singapore

Missing image
Party logo with a symbol of red lightning that signifies action.

The People's Action Party (PAP) is a political party in Singapore. The party was formed in 1954 by English-educated middle-class men who had returned from Britain. PAP first contested the legislative elections (25 of 32 seats were allowed to be elected) of 1955, winning three seats, one by Lee Kuan Yew. PAP has controlled the Singapore government since the party won the first full general elections of 1959.

Between 1963 and 1965, Singapore was a part of Malaysia and PAP functioned as a Malaysian party. However, the prospect that PAP might rule Malaysia upset PAP relations with UMNO and the Malay nationalist belief in the Tanah Melayu. The clash of personalities between Lee Kuan Yew and the Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman resulted in an ensuing crisis and led to Singapore's separation from Malaysia in 1965. Upon independence, PAP ceased operations outside of Singapore.

Because almost all professional politicians in Singapore are members of the People's Action Party, PAP has held the overwhelming majority of seats in Parliament since 1966, when the opposition Barisan Sosialis Party (Socialist Front), a left-wing group that split from PAP in 1961, resigned from Parliament, leaving PAP as the sole representative party. In the general elections of 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980, PAP won all of the seats in an expanding parliament. After that, opposition parties could win at least 1 or 2 seats.

Adopting a traditionalist Leninist party organization together with a vanguard cadre from its communist-leaning faction the PAP Executive later expelled the leftist faction, bringing the ideological basis of the party into the centre, and later in the 60s, moving further to the right.

For many years the party was led by Lee Kuan Yew, who was prime minister from 1959 to 1990. The current prime minister, and secretary general of PAP, is Lee Hsien Loong who succeeded Goh Chok Tong on 12 August, 2004. Lee Hsien Loong is the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew.

Even though PAP can be credited with the economic success of Singapore, it rules the country with authoritarianism. It suppress political opposition in ways such as prosecuting the opposition under libel charges and requests for astronomical figure of damages (which always promptly granted by in effect kangaroo court), requiring government permits to hold demonstrations, and controlling the press through state monopolies, and the imprisonment of opposition political leaders without trial ([1] ( (Simpified Chinese page)).

One example of such oppression is all demonstrations against the 2003 Iraq war withered due to lack of demonstration permits registered by the demonstrators. The leading newspaper of Singapore, the Straits Times is often perceived as a propaganda newspaper because it is rarely criticises of government policy, and covers little about the opposition. The PAP is alleged to commit gerrymandering, the redrawing of electoral districts before general elections to ensure that most of the districts elect PAP candidates. Both the Housing Development Board (in charge of public housing) and Land Transport Authority (in charge of public transit) have based the provision of their services on the voting of individual districts. However, this form of carrot-and-stick policy perhaps only occurs because being a city-state, the government both has powers of state and of city-planning.

PAP's Election results.

1955: won 3 of 25 elected seats, % NA.(PAP began in opposition with Lee Kuan Yew as opposition leader. The Labour Front won 13 seats and was the governing party.)

1959: won 43 of 51 seats, with 53% of the vote (since 1959, voting in Singapore has been compulsory).

1963: won 37 of 51 seats, with 47% of the vote (opposition votes were spilt between the Barisan Sosialis Party and the United People's Party).

1968: won all of the seats, with 84% of the vote.

1972: won all of the seats, with 69% of the vote.

1976: won all of the seats, with 72% of the vote.

1980: won all of the seats, with 77% of the vote.

1984: won all except 2 seats, with 65% of the vote.

1988: won 80 of 81 seats, with 63% of the vote.

1991: won 36 of 40 contested seats, with 61% of the vote.

1997: won 34 of 36 contested seats, with 65% of the vote.

2001: won 25 of 27 contested seats, with 75% of the vote.

External link

ja:人民行動党 zh:人民行动党 minnan:Jîn-bîn Hêng-tōng-tóng


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