Why Gerald Giam should be NCMP

Posted on 11 May 2011

At only 34-years-old, this baby-faced dude has a tremendous upside, and could benefit most from a boost to his profile.

By Terence Lee

Gerald lays the smackdown on the PAP at a rally. Photo: TERENCE LEE

OKAY, fantasy time: If I were to be Worker’s Party boss Low Thia Khiang for a day, who would I pick as Non-constituency Member of Parliament for East Coast GRC?

But before we get into the whole shebang about who to hire or fire, let’s get something out of the way first. I think the tribe of Thor should take up all NCMP seats offered. Here’s the deal: Party chairman Sylvia Lim made a name for herself in Parliament, where she gave a speech criticising the fat salaries of the Ministers.

This speech made it on YouTube and garnered about 100,000 hits, if you combine all the videos together. It gave Chairman Lim some streetcred, and may have helped Team Aljunied snatch the constituency from Georgie and gang.

So yes, Lina Chiam, the lone SPP ger, should take up the seat too and make a heartfelt speech in Parliament (but get her well-loved hubby to vet it first). She should do well as long as she’s not forced to go off-the-cuff where she’ll probably descend into another off-topic, incoherent rant.

Soft-spoken Joo Chiat boy Yee Jenn Jong should answer the call too. He sounds rational and measured, and being an entrepreneur, he’d relate to the SMEs and bootstrappers. As long as he focuses on this group of people, he could build a brand and niche area for himself and win Joo Chiat in 2016.

In the age of social media, positive exposure is everything. So put on your make-up, and play it up for the camera folks!

Now, back to East Coast. As the headline goes, I pick Gerald Giam. Here’s five reasons why:

1) He’s obviously tipped for greater things

My man Gerald did reasonably well at the Channel NewsAsia debate, which also featured Finance Minister Tharman Shamugaratnam. He’s in the Central Executive Council member despite only joining the party for two years. And he was an elections candidate, duh. So the next logical thing for the Worker’s Party to do now would be to push him for the NCMP seat.

2) Eric Tan and Png Eng Huat are too old

Let’s be blunt: Eric is 55, while ‘Huat Ah’ is 49. They’re old (I mean no disrespect), and it’s time they make way for the future. Fresh-faced Gerald, on the other hand, is only 34, and he’s part of a new wave of young politicians who will make an impact in the future. Why invest in an old horse who has at most 20 or 30 years of political service left, when you can put your money in a energetic young person with tremendous upside?

3) Gerald is a blogger, full-stop

There’s something romantic about having a member of the Internet Brigade becoming a yapper in Parliament. This guy’s the real deal, folks. He was deputy editor for The Online Citizen (take that!), and he still writes on his own blog. So whenever a Minister or MP spout nonsense about the evils of the blogosphere, you can count on him to quench the fire spewing from the dragon’s mouth. He’s every blogger’s knight in shining armour.

‘Uncle killer’ Glenda and Fazli, sorry to say, hardly register on the map.

4) I sat in his car once

After talking to him a couple of times, I’ve reached my conclusion: He’s a really nice guy. And my girlfriend concurs too. ‘Nuff said.

5) He’s got kawaii good looks. And the only girl on the New Nation team agrees

Wong Kan Seng should work on his hand gestures. Photo: STRAITS TIMES

Count on the Worker’s Party to put up candidates who appear not only calm, but have a nice, gentle demeanor too. While the Singapore Democratic Party tends to throw up candidates that are colourful and know how to ham it up (think Chee Soon Juan, Vincent Wijeysingha, Ang Yong Guan), the WP is a picture of calm. They are the sort you want to marry.

Which was why on cooling-off day, I made sure I surrounded myself with blue, and ended up voting for the Worker’s Party. Geez, who can help it?

Anyway, Gerald has that reliable-looking face, and he’s got the cheekbones although he’s hardly as hawt like Tom Cruise. He’s hard to hate. So I have a pet theory about politics: Lousy politicians are despised even more if they have a face that’s not up to scratch. George W. Bush has that snarky smirk. And Wong Kan Seng just looks awkward on the podium.

Look, curse me if you want, but I’m just saying what voters hate to admit about themselves: We’re superficial on some level. And we judge by appearance. Which is why Chen Show Mao, with his trademark mop of gray hair and glasses, has many fangirls and boys.

So there you have it: Three smart reasons for picking Gerald Giam to keep the kopitiam chatter going (and two shallow ones for kicks).

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This post was written by:

- who has written 81 posts on New Nation.

Terence is an online media nut that is obsessed with writing and publishing on the Internet. Recently, he took up photography to expand his repertoire, and hopes to learn videography soon. He has worked in both online and print publications such as The Straits Times, Today, Mind Your Body, The Online Citizen, and Funkygrad. He is currently the assistant editor with SGEntrepreneurs, a website that covers entrepreneurship in Singapore and Asia. Terence can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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  • skponggol

    Eric Tan should take the seat. He is the Team Leader and has worked many years for the party as well as on the ground as compared to Gerald Giam. It would give him a wider exposure in 2016 when he again leads the team. Gerald is not a good debater and speaker as compared to Eric as seen in the televised debates. Gerald may not give WP a higher profile as compared to Eric. Besides they already has new and young bird in Yee from Joo Chiat when he takes up NCMP. With only Low, Sylvia and Chen as senior and more experienced members in the Parliament, with Pritam, Faisal, Yaw and Yee as younger members in the Parliament, WP needs more senior and more experienced members in the Parliament to raise their profile. If they were to send another young bird there would be 5 young vs 3 senior, they may not compete well with PAP.

    Moreover, looking at WP attrition rate in the past election, Gerald as a first-timer, may quit WP, join other party or even politics mid-way thru the Parliament. So instead of wasting the seat, WP should give it to a safe and experienced pair of hands.

  • Something to consider

    Don’t dismiss Gerlad Giam as Chia Ti-Lik…

  • terence


    look who decided quit after he was passed over for Gerald Giam! looks like eric tan is more concerned about personal glory than the larger picture!

  • Something to consider

    Looks like the WP leadership made the right moves, Terence.

  • Puppet Master

    Well we are a greying population. Eric Tan at 55 has the largest segment of the population with him. He have been made NCMP. Rather than wet behine the years Gerald.

  • Puppet Master

    Eric should have been made NCMP. WP has been listening to forces outside the party that is not interested in a faster progress towards a 2 party state in singapore.

  • chen show mao

    what about chen show mao, he should be also given the change to drive at the steering wheel of the workers party as well, given his top notch educations and experiences, wow this guy is also the real deal here, none so far in the workers party can match up to his level yet. A good leader will be CSM to change and improve on WP’s policies and standards will be a total benefit to WP and singapore as well.