As he embarked on the "most intense" election campaign in his political career and observed the "outpouring of pent-up emotion", Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo and his team came to a conclusion: "The PAP must be transformed."
Acknowledging the "resentment against the government", the Minister who is heading the People's Action Party's Aljunied GRC team said, the party needs to exercise "flexibility" and treat its citizens as "human beings".
The PAP government needs to learn how to communicate and engage its people, in particular the young, so that Singaporeans do not feel helpless, he said in a heartfelt address at the party's last rally at Aljunied GRC on Thursday evening.
He cited the difficulties people face, such as the rising cost of living and health care costs, pledging that the Aljunied team, if elected, would "be your voice in government".
It was a message some other Aljunied GRC candidates had for voters too - that they would "listen hard" to the people.
The other PAP Aljunied GRC candidates are Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Minister Lim Hwee Hua, Cynthia Phua and new candidate Ong Ye Kung.
Recounting how a simple two-minute video he recently posted had went viral, Minister Yeo said he "felt a bit sad" that people were so moved.
"It shows that they crave communication and that they feel that somehow we are talking at them, and not talking to them," he said, pointing out that it is through talking and listening that respect and trust is built.
And even when the party is not always able to solve all problems, it must be able to listen and comfort, he noted.
All this would go to creating a "new unity" among Singaporeans, just as the older generations were united in the creation of Singapore with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, he said.
Minister Yeo noted, the reason for the large crowds at the Workers' Party rallies was because the WP acts as a "loudspeaker" for people's grievances. But this creates "negative emotions," he said.
He questioned their "political ambition" in seeking to contest in Aljunied GRC and said their plan outlined for the GRC "means nothing".
He called for a strong mandate from voters so that his team could speak up for them in Parliament.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also turned up at the PAP rally to show support for the Aljunied GRC team.
He assured the elderly that the PAP would take care of them, and told young voters that the PAP needs to do more to engage them so they can express their aspirations and contribute to Singapore.
Once again stressing that this election is about the future, PM Lee said, "In fact, these younger Singaporeans, you are our future, we have nurtured you, educated you, prepared you, given you every help to do well, we cherish you, we cheer for you."
"We want you to succeed because Singapore belongs to you. You will be Singapore but you must make Singapore even better what it is today."
But we must do much more because with every passing year, this younger generation will take on greater responsibilities and make larger contributions to Singapore."
This article is published by Yahoo! Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd., 60 Anson Road #13-01 Mapletree Anson, Singapore, 079914.