Singapore. On January 2, general elections were held to
Parliament. The ruling People's Action Party (PAP), with
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong as its leader, won 81 of the 83
seats in Parliament's only chamber. In fact, even before the
election, the party's victory was clear, as the opposition
(Workers' Party) was running with counter-candidates to only
36 of the 83 parliamentary seats. However, this did not
prevent the Prime Minister from describing the exit as a
popular rejection to Western-oriented liberal democracy.
has been ruling since 1959.
In a lawsuit against one of the opposition leaders JB
Jeyaretnam in mid-August, his defense attorney accused PAP's
leadership of using the justice system to effectively
silence all opposition to the government. Jeyaretnam was
consenting to the right to have insulted in a election
speech the Prime Minister and several of his government
colleagues. Ministers had claimed the equivalent of SEK 1
million in damages. The court ruled in their favor, but
Jeyaretnam's damages were reduced to the equivalent of SEK
Singapore was one of the countries in Southeast Asia that
was affected by stock market crashes and currency falls
during the latter half of the year. The economic turmoil in
this part of the world continued at the turn of the year and
had little impact on the entire world economy.