Monday, September 5, 2011

Are young PAPs "Marxist conspirators"?

Compare the complete lack of proof of guilt against the "Marxist conspirators" detained under ISA in Operation Spectrum, with the manifest close comradeship between the Young PAP and the Chinese Communist Youth League.

What hypocrisy. Operation Spectrum is a most blatant and cynical use of  detention without trial against the government's perceived and potential, not even real, political opponents.

Does any opposition party or politician in Singapore dare to associate with the Chinese Communist Party?


Source: Wikileaks (here)

created 2009-9-9


1.  (C) Summary.  The youth wing of Singapore's ruling party,
Young PAP (YP), is pursuing closer ties with the Chinese
Communist Youth League, two YP executive committee members
told PolOffs on August 27.  Recent YP "study visits" to China
have focused on political education and recruitment.  In
contrast, YP's relations with fraternal parties in Indonesia,
Malaysia, and Taiwan are less active.  Though YP membership
has recently increased by about 150% to approximately 9,000,
it remains a relatively small organization even by Singapore
standards.  It has never fulfilled its intended role of
cultivating new leadership for the ruling People's Action
Party (PAP), with only one former member in a cabinet-level
position.  Instead of influencing policy, YP appears geared
toward creating a positive image of the PAP for young
Singaporeans, with the ultimate goal of encouraging them to
become PAP members.  End summary.

Young PAP Pursues Ties with Communist Youth League...
--------------------------------------------- --------

2.  (C) Young PAP (YP), the youth wing of Singapore's ruling
People's Action Party (PAP), nurtures close ties with its
communist Chinese counterpart, two members of the
organization's executive committee told PolOffs on August 27.
Joel Leong, Chairperson of the International Relations
Sub-Committee, and Phyllis Chng, Executive Secretary,
explained that YP's "easiest" international relationship is
with China's Communist Youth League (CYL).  Leong said the
YP-CYL relationship dates back many years.  In keeping with
Singapore's growing ties with China, YP officials have made
two "study trips" there this year.  In February, they visited
a party school in Beijing to seek inspiration for their own
political education and training programs, and in July, they
received advice on recruitment strategies from their CYL
counterparts in Chengdu.  After the February trip, YP
chairman Teo Ser Luck told Singapore press that associating
with a Communist organization did not trouble him:  "We're
not worried because it's the governing party and
Singapore-China relations are so close.  We don't talk about
political philosophy."  (In a throwback to the PAP's early
days as a member of the Socialist International, YP members
still use the honorific "Comrade.")

...But Is Less Engaged with Other Regional Counterparts
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3.  (C) YP has more difficulty maintaining active
relationships with other fraternal parties in the region.
Leong described parties in Indonesia and Malaysia as more
"closed" to YP than the Chinese Communist Party.  He also
noted that the presence of active opposition parties in both
countries poses occasional dilemmas for YP.  For example, YP
received an invitation from the youth wing of Malaysia's
opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition but declined because of
concerns about the potential political ramifications of
accepting.  Leong reported that YP has some ongoing relations
with the DPP in Taiwan, but the youth wing there, like its
parent party, is focused on an internal split over the
direction of Taiwan's relations with mainland China.  YP has
no relations at all with the Republican or Democratic parties
in the United States, but it would be interested in
establishing some, Leong said.

Membership Surges, but Organization Remains Small
--------------------------------------------- ----

4.  (C) YP has recently focused on boosting recruitment.  YP
does not publish its rolls or membership figures, but press
accounts in early 2009 estimated membership at 6,000.
Phyllis Chng confirmed that the current figure is closer to
9,000, and she and Leong suggested that this reflects a
substantial increase over the past year.  Membership is open
to Singaporeans up to 40 years old.  In addition to regular
members, YP also registers "friends" - mainly, according to
Leong, civil servants who are forbidden by law to join
political parties but who may still want to signal an
affiliation with the dominant party.  Despite its recent
growth, YP remains a small organization in the context of
Singapore's 3.2 million citizens.

Young PAP Plays Limited Role in Cultivating PAP Leaders
--------------------------------------------- ----------

5.  (C) Although one of YP's original objectives since its
1986 founding was to help renew the PAP leadership over time,
Leong and Chng agreed that its success in this respect has
been limited.  YP has been one source of leadership and
technocratic talent for the PAP, they said, but the party has
drawn equally, if not more, on the youth wing of the National
Trades Union Council, the civil service, and sources
unconnected to the party or government.  Singapore's Foreign
Minister, George Yeo, is the only current cabinet-level
official who was a YP member.

For the Moment, Merely a Social Club and Recruiting Device
--------------------------------------------- -------------

6.  (C) Comment: YP appears focused on trying to make the
ruling party more attractive to young people and acting as
one of the many channels through which Singapore fosters
closer relations with China.  As a result, it currently
places little emphasis on substantive thinking or on trying
to influence public policy
.  For example, Leong, although in
charge of YP's international activities, claimed to have no
opinion about the state of bilateral relations between the
United States and Singapore; he merely commented that YP
leaves such things to the civil servants.  Likewise, though
Leong and Chng said YP is an effective conduit for
transmitting young people's feedback and ideas to the
government, they were unable to give a single concrete
example of this.  They also claimed that YP helps the PAP
change with the times by keeping "an ear to the ground," but
in support they offered only the vague and commonplace
observation that as young Singaporeans become better educated
and cosmopolitan, demands will grow for greater openness in
government.  Singapore will have to respond, they said, but
only incrementally over time.  Meanwhile, two other young
Singaporeans recently told PolOff in unrelated conversations
that they have considered joining YP - not out of affection
for the People's Action Party, but because they think it
would enhance their career prospects.
  End Comment.

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