Singapore (dpa) – The People’s Action Party, commonly referred to as
the PAP, is the ruling party in Singapore and has won a large
majority in every election since independence.
Formed in 1954, the PAP won by a landslide in the 1959 election, the
first to produce a fully-elected parliament and full internal
self-governance in colonial Singapore.
The party has formed the government of Singapore ever since, through
Singapore’s merger with Malaysia in 1963 and continuing after the
city-state’s independence in 1965.
The PAP’s best-known figure is Lee Kuan Yew, the party’s first
secretary-general and also Singapore’s first prime minister, a post
he held from 1959 until 1990.
Lee died in March 2015, prompting a week of national mourning. His
son Lee Hsien Loong is the current Prime Minister.
The PAP has often been credited with Singapore’s success as an
The PAP government has been known internationally as being efficient
and relatively free from corruption.
But the PAP has also been accused of stifling civil liberties in the
city-state. Members have been known to resort to expensive lawsuits
against political opponents and the international press, including
The Far Eastern Economic Review.