The struggle for Singapore’s Chinese heartland: the People’s Action Party versus the Workers’ Party versus the Singapore Democratic Party, 1998-2013

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Abstract

Singapore’s political struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, between a Chinese-educated, working-class left wing and a middle-class, English-educated faction, have not been completely eradicated but continue to cast a shadow over modern political developments. The moderate, English-educated faction achieved an important victory when it took over control of the People’s Action Party (PAP) in the early 1960s. However, the surprise ascendancy of the Workers’ Party (WP), under Low Thia Khiang, has seen a long-marginalized section of the Chinese-educated galvanize around a district, Hougang and Aljunied, and a Teochew-speaking charismatic but low-key individual in Mr Low. The WP’s ability to develop an enduring ‘brand’ over the 2006–2013 period surprised many commentators. By 2013 it had become Singapore’s second-strongest political force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Politics
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Singapore Chinese
  • Singapore Opposition Parties
  • Singapore Political History
  • Workers’ Party of Singapore

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