Past Events

The First Wave: Reflections on the Opposition in Singapore

Penang Institute is proud to host a public lecture titled “The First Wave: Reflections on the Opposition in Singapore” which is scheduled as follows:

Date: 27 August 2019, Tuesday
Time: 8:00pm – 10:00pm (Doors open at 7:30pm)
Venue: Conference Hall, Penang Institute

Why has the opposition in Singapore made little headway in Parliament? Commonly cited factors such as the barriers for opposition parties fail to give a comprehensive account. The First Wave tells the story of the rise – and fall – of the first period of democratic awakening in Singapore, beginning with a by-election in 1981 that broke the ruling People’s Action Party’s monopoly in Parliament. The opposition went on to make gains at the 1991 general election, but the main opposition party was wiped out of Parliament in 1997 as a result of internal strife. Over the course of the next decade, the opposition experimented and searched for a new winning formula. In reflecting on themes such as the contestation between the moderate and radical approaches of the opposition, as well as their coalition-building attempts, The First Wave also prompts us to better understand the dynamics surrounding opposition parties beyond the case of Singapore.

About the Speaker:
Loke Hoe Yeong is a London-based researcher and consultant on politics and international affairs. Formerly an Associate Fellow at the European Union Centre in Singapore, National University of Singapore, he has published widely in academic journals and in the media on subjects ranging from EU-Asia relations to Southeast Asian politics, as well as being a guest commentator on TV. He is the author of Let The People Have Him: Chiam See Tong, The Early Years, a biography of one of Singapore’s longest-serving opposition MPs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize.

He holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.