#GE2020: Cooling-Off Day Compendium of Singapore Election History

With the election campaign about to end and Cooling Off Day about to begin, I’ve compiled a handy collection of my election history primer as well as my four election specials for your reading pleasure.

This election has been dominated by familiar slogans and political attacks. We’ve been amused by Heng Swee Keat’s East Coast Plan, charmed by Jamus Lim’s charisma and touched by Abdul Shariff’s willpower. Social media has made the election more accessible but also restricted within echo chambers.

Old worries such as retirement adequacy, living costs and employment have meshed with ongoing concerns about the fallout from the pandemic and Singapore’s place in the changing world order. A newer generation tries to push back against established orthodoxies, alarming more conservative elders.

As a millennial voter, I wish for a strong, capable government that consults closely with a well-informed, empowered and rugged citizenry to tackle the complex challenges we face. Welcoming a diverse range of views and ideas is crucial at a time when no one entity can claim a monopoly on talent and competence in every speciality.

Former President Ong Teng Cheong said, “My loyalty is first and foremost, to the people of Singapore. It has always been so, and will always remain so.” I hope that every voter and candidate remembers that we must all be in this for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans as we head to the polls on Friday. Majulah Singapura.


Introducing the Singapore Election History Primer for #GE2020 ! See a full overview of all 14 of Singapore’s General Elections from 1959 to 2015, learn about four colourful past opposition figures (including one who infamously said “Don’t talk cock” in parliament) & enjoy a selection of quotable quotes from politicians past & present.

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Ever wondered what foreign diplomats report about Singapore’s election? I dug into US diplomatic cables released in 2010 by Wikileaks to see what the Americans thought about our 2006 election. Learn about their views on the state of our opposition, the role of Malay Muslim MPs and the conduct of the election campaign. Then read their assessment of PM Lee’s performance and the impact of MM Lee on voters.

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As the election campaign continues past the halfway mark, there has been some buzz over the Singapore Democratic Alliance’s posters, which feature vintage style illustrations rather than photos of candidates. That prompted me to look into the history of Singapore’s election posters and leaflets and see how the designs have evolved through the decades. Check out some fascinating examples in my latest piece!

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Did you know that JB Jeyaretnam was not the first WP candidate to win a by-election at Anson? Or that Marine Parade is the only GRC to ever face a by-election? Learn all about the curious history of Singapore’s by-elections in my latest piece!

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On the final day of election campaigning, most voters are likely exhausted from the torrent of news. So here are 20 interesting pics I dug up from the National Archives from bygone elections. Check them out!

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