At its core, Lee Hsien Loong's complaint of "free riders" is the claim that S'poreans have engaged in unethical tactical voting.

His objection reflects the PAP's deep distrust in the electorate, and its belief that politics should only be practiced by the ruling elite. But...
...the issue here is that tactical voting is rational and moral behaviour, especially against a one-party authoritarian state that wields an arsenal of electoral & political controls.

Think of gerrymandering, malapportionment, pork-barrel tactics, GRCs, NPPA, POA, POFMA, etc.
Many S'poreans understand the political circus and cage that have been imposed on them.

This explains the rich history of tactical voting, such as vote spoilage and the famous "by-election strategy". Our political vocabulary (eg. referee kelong) channels that defiance as well.
At minimum, tactical voting suggests that the institutions, policies, and norms of the PAP regime are unfair & unresponsive.

This complicates the "free rider problem", defined here as folks who consume collective goods without contributing or working for them (hence, free ride).
So for the dispossessed and the dissident, why pay for crumbs left by an unjust ruling order? The scraps will be there anyway, since it's suicide for the PAP to starve the population.

Why contribute to the success of a political group that’s antagonistic to your being?
Like "echo chamber" & "polarization", the PAP's invocation of "free rider" is the latest in a long line of scarecrows & strawmen. It's been only 2 months since #GE2020.

To paraphrase anthropologist David Graeber, even if opposition voters are "free riders", so what if they are?
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