SINGAPORE — Amid earlier speculation that snap polls could be held this year, political analysts are divided on whether this year’s Budget provided sufficient hints of an imminent General Election (GE).
Traditionally, the presence of Budget goodies has been seen by some as an indication of an impending GE, with the Government sharing its surpluses with the people before its current term is up.
While Budget 2019contained what the analysts described as “generous” measures, some of those interviewed by TODAY expect the GE to be held next year, following a string of incidents since the turn of the year which could have affected public confidence.
These included the death of actor Aloysius Pang, which was the fourth NS training fatality in 16 months, SingPost’s postal service lapses, and the leak of confidential information of 14,200 individuals diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
While the Government has acted quickly to address the lapses, the analysts noted that it would take time to restore public confidence.
Murdoch University's Associate Professor Terence Lee, who researches Singapore and Malaysia politics, said he believed the Government had initially crafted Budget 2019 with a GE in mind, but had second thoughts after the recent incidents.