Lesson on Ge2020

The GE2020 are over and PAP had formed the government with 83 seats and 10 seats went to the opposition. WP had raised the occasion and apologised for their team mate in SengKang. Singaporean accepted it and put their decisive vote to send WP into the parliament.

The below is an extract from Violet Lim from Lunch Actually who share her view on the life lesson learn from this GE2020.

[7 Business and Life Lessons Learnt from GE2020]

Last night, as a first time voter, it was exciting watching the results come in last night knowing that I have done my civic duty.

This morning, as I woke up and reflected, I realised that there are many life and business lessons to be learnt from this general election.

== 1. What got you here will not get you there.

It’s important to stay relevant and change the playbook regularly. Just because it has worked for 30, 40 and 50 years does not mean that it will work for the future. We are dealing with people with different life experiences, at different life stages, who have different reference points. If we keep repeating the same old formula, we will just be stuck at the same spot or worse, decline.

I have learnt this the hard way and I am now conscious that I have to constantly revisit my business strategy, my team composition and even my execution plan to make sure I stay relevant.

== 2. It is ok to admit your mistake and say “I’m sorry!”

People are looking for leaders who are willing to take responsibility and accountability. I have learnt that if I have made a mistake, the best thing to do is to come out and say, “I am wrong, I can do better, let me fix it.” Even when I did not make the mistake and someone in my team did, it has worked best when I said, “I apologise on his/her behalf. Let me look into this urgently. I will do my best to solve the problem ASAP.”

If you throw your team member under the bus, it looks bad both externally and internally. We all want leaders who have our back, not leaders who leave us to fend for ourselves in times of trouble.

== 3. If you work hard, you truly care and you are genuine, it pays off.

Tin Pei Ling won with one of the biggest margins. And she totally deserved the win. Some might say it’s because she was not going against WP or PSP. However, I am confident even if she has gone against one of these 2, she would still have done well. Why? Because she has worked the ground for many years, she is sincere, she has given not just 100% but a lot more. Her constituency knows this, loves her and rewarded her for it. The same effect is observed at the single member constituencies (SMCs) helmed by Grace Fu, Patrick Tay and Lim Biow Chuan.

== 4. Optics and presentation matters.

Heng Swee Keat is highly intelligent, has done well as finance minister and is probably one of the best men if not the best man to plan and execute the Singapore’s 5 years plan, 10 years plan, 20 years plan. Unfortunately, with his Parliamentary debate against WP and his recent nomination speech about the East Coast Plan, many are now concerned about him representing Singapore on a global stage.

Is it fair? Probably not. But fairly or unfairly, optics and presentation matters.

I was so impressed by Ong Ye Kung’s TV debate in Mandarin that I have been inspired to spend more time brushing up on my Mandarin so that I can one day converse at that level. I was equally blown away by Vivian Balakrishnan’s masterful debating skills and he came across as a wise, measured and respected statesman.

And look at Jamus Lim. His 60 mins of fame on national TV where he showcased his intelligence, quick wit and debating skills is probably one of the key contributing factors that tipped the swing voters over. And that has helped the WP team win Sengkang GRC and warmed the cockles of their hearts.

== 5. Strong storytelling makes a difference.

Have you watched Nicole Seah’s video about her making her own Teh C Kosong? If you have not, I highly recommend you do. The video was well-executed from the start to the end – the messaging, the pace, the cinematography, the script. I was emotionally engaged right from the start. Did it make me warm up to Nicole and know her better as a person? Definitely!

WP has done a remarkable job with their videos as compared to many of the campaigning videos that have been painstakingly put together but are often mind-numbingly boring which I admittedly switched off after the first 10 seconds.

== 6. Give people what they want.

The ground wants Tharman as PM. The PAP supporters want him. The opposition supporters want him. The cab drivers I have spoken to want him too. This is reflected in his constituency winning with one of the highest margins in this and last election.

I understand that we cannot become a populist government who panders to the citizens’ every whim and fancy. However, the people’s choice of Tharman as PM is not unsound or unwarranted for. Similar to the sentiments shared by many, I too believe that PAP would probably have a much better showing in this election if Tharman is the PM in waiting.

== 7. Have a clear strategy and a compelling message and stick to it.

My last lesson learnt and perhaps the most important one. Hats off to Low Thia Khiang, Pritam Singh and their team for their clear strategy and compelling message. First World Parliament (2011) followed by Do Not Give Them a Blank Cheque (2020) is brilliant. It is something that PAP can never fight against effectively. And it is a compelling message that would sway the 30-40% swing voters. The 12 NCMP seats for the opposition even though well-intended simply does not inspire and does not sway votes.

WP had a crystal clear strategy and the team just kept hitting the same message over and over again like a broken record. And of course it worked like a charm!


Now that GE 2020 is done and dusted, whether we are PAP or opposition supporters, let us all close ranks and work together as Singaporeans. To build a Singapore that we will be proud of to pass on to our children.

Majulah Singapura! 🇸🇬

Both the PAP and WP shall work together to guide Singapore out of Covid 19 and revived the economy. The government must daring to admit their mistake and say SORRY. We are not perfect but will learned from it.

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