PM Lee's apology has come too late, said a string of opposition candidates during separate rallies held on Tuesday night.
Seizing on PM Lee's apology earlier in the day that the government had made mistakes with regards to housing, transport as well as the Mas Selamat escape and Orchard Road floods, no less than five candidates said these could have been avoided if the country had a stronger opposition, reported The Straits Times.
The Singapore Democratic Party's Ang Yong Guan said during a rally in Bukit Panjang, "Now they are scared because we are giving them a lot of pressure. And when they are scared, they apologise."
The candidate for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC added, "We don't just want them to apologise during elections, we want them to apologise frequently within the five years. Only a strong opposition can give them the pressure to do their jobs well and serve the people better."
Radin Mas SMC candidate Yip Yew Weng, 60, who spoke at a National Solidarity Party rally in Chua Chu Kang, asked, "Why are they admitting they're wrong this time? Why didn't they acknowledge these concerns before? Isn't this too late?"
Jeisilan Sivalingam, who is part of the party's Chua Chu Kang GRC team, added, "PM finally acknowledged that PAP and its super-talented and multi-million dollar team has not delivered."
The 41-year-old asked, "Are you going to bear with PAP for the next five years? Are you going to bear with your salaries continuing to stagnate for the next five years?"
The NSP's star candidate, Nicole Seah, 24, also touched on the PM's apology, when she asked, "In the past five years, the PAP has not said or done anything to address all of this until the past week. My question to them is, where were you the past five years?"
In a lunchtime rally on Tuesday at Boat Quay, PM Lee made the unusual decision to own up and admit his government had made mistakes on issues such as housing, overcrowded transport as well as the escape of Mas Selamat and the Orchard Road floods.
"These are real problems, we will tackle them. But I hope you will understand when these problems vex you or disturb you or upset your lives, please bear with us, we are trying our best on your behalf," said PM Lee to a crowd of about a thousand.
The secretary-general of the PAP continued, "And if we didn't quite get it right, I'm sorry but we will try better the next time."