The rumblings started shortly after Singapore’s ruling party won 89% of seats in last year’s election.

What would be hailed as a fantastic outcome in most places amounted to the worst parliamentary performance ever for the People’s Action Party, which has been in power since the country’s independence in 1965, one of the longest uninterrupted stretches for any party around the world.

Even more troubling, it could be viewed as a lack of enthusiasm for Heng Swee Keat, who had become heir apparent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a carefully managed succession plan.