GE 2020 : 10 lessons we can teach our children



GE 2020 is officially over.

It might have been a short 10 days of campaigning, but it had been one that had changed the political landscape. While it is not a major shift in power, it is still a watershed moment. One that signals that the winds of change might have started.

Along this short but significant journey, a few lessons can be imparted to the future generation.

1) Do not rely on external circumstances to win. Instead, trust your own talent.

Historically, a national crisis or event had boosted the incumbent's showing at the polls. From Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 to the former PM Lee Kwan Yew passing in 2015, there was always a spike in support for the incumbent. However, this trend is broken despite the Covid19 pandemic. 

The underlying message is clear, rely on yourself and not on circumstances to win. Make your own destiny. 

2) Old ways do not always equate to success


Back in 2011 and 2015, Singapore had seen the mass turnout for opposition rallies. Yet despite the visible numbers, a breakthrough was not forthcoming. This year, there are no rallies due to COVID19, yet opposition party, in particular, Worker's Party had increased their share of votes and even won a new GRC. This was mostly done through a mix of on the ground campaigning and online presence. 

The new ways of doing things exposed the fallacies of the old.

Always innovate .

3) Youth can triumph over experience

Youth over Experience

It had been long emphasised that experience is important. The victory of the Workers' Party in Sengkang had a young team defeating a veteran team with 3 officeholders.

 In today's digital age, that notion may not hold anymore. With the environment changing at a faster pace, one must constantly upgrade to keep up. Being young would mean it is easier to learn and adapt to the future. Older folks need to recognise this and change their gameplan.

Experience may not always be key if one does not continue to learn. 

4) Society has become more mature and selective
In the past, most people would vote in a binary option. It is either opposition or incumbents and no in-between. This election had shown that we had become more selective. Not all oppositions are equal and the voters had shown by their votes whom their choices were. Divisive politics and those showing little regard for a decent competition could not triumph over hard work, new ideas and reputation. 

We have matured as a society. Recognised and adapt to it accordingly.

5) A few missteps do not always mean the end of a career
Despite a few hiccups and accusations on both sides, the voters had shown that they can look beyond one-off incidents. 

You can make mistakes and still succeed. The caveat is - Stay strong and do not give up in the face of a stormy rebuke.

Nonetheless, to be an MP means responsibility to the voters. We do hope that any notion of racism, derogatory intentions, or bigotry to be regulated to the past. It should be duly addressed and not repeated. Winning does not resolve one from responsibility.

6) You do not have to be extremely popular to win, you must be smart

Be Smart, not just Popular

The mandate provided to the incumbent was 61.24%.  The % of seats won is at 89%. 

It showed that you do not have to be popular to win. You must be smart to choose your battlegrounds.


7) Never rest on your laurels

A clear mandate does not equal to a strong mandate. With the popular votes declining, there is a need to review the current status. Adopting a change for the future could mean more drastic changes are required. 

To remain status quo could result in defeat in the future.

8) Never underestimate your potential

Sending Love Message

Star appeal had always been a factor in the election. This year the standout star is Jamus Lim. His literally 5 minutes of fame during the political debate propel him to the hearts of Singaporeans. To say that he had won Sengkang GRC singlehandedly would be an understatement.

You are greater than who you might think you are. Never underestimate your potential even if others do. 


9)  Do the right things and you would be rewarded



Despite the wave of opposition support, the results had also shown that if you do the right thing, you will be rewarded regardless of the parties you are in. Tin Pei Ling impressive 71.74% win in MacPherson had shown that despite a rocky introduction to politics, hard work will get you recognised. 

Jurong GRC helmed by the highly respected Tharman Shanmugartnam had also achieved the highest GRC votes at 75%.

Hard work and trust are values that would make you successful in life

10) Be gracious regardless of victory or defeat

From the press conference after the release of the results, one thing stood out. Regardless in victory or defeat, most would give credit to the opponents for a good competition. That is what we should do in life. Instead of discrediting the efforts of others, acknowledge it. 

In victory, you would be showing respect to those you defeat. In defeat, you would acknowledge your shortcoming and learn from competitors to improve. 

These 10 lessons would serve you well in life. Learn it well.

Majulah Singapore!

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