Tag Archive | "Chen Show Mao"

Future prime minister spotted on MRT

Future prime minister spotted on MRT

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And no, Chen Show Mao-spotting is not a marketing ploy to up ridership numbers.

The cattle-class public transport system of Singapore is getting an unlikely boost having come under intense fire recently.

The future prime minister of Singapore, Chen Show Mao, was spotted by a hawk-eyed commuter recently who noticed the bespectacled hipster member-of-parliament minding his own business while riding on the North East Line.

Chen Show Mao on the North East Line. Photo from Wing Shun Kong's Facebook.

With overcrowded buses the norm and commuters having to put up with an MRT system that increasingly suffers from PMS in recent times, Chen Show Mao’s presence was a reassurance to many everyday commuters that everything is going to be alright.

“If it is good enough for Singapore’s future leader, it is good enough for you and me, the proletariat,” said Tah Dee Tieh, a 36-year-old heavily pregnant woman who is carrying triplets.

Others have even gone so far as to pledge to sell their wheels having seen the future prime minister take the train.

“I am inspired to sell my car and rely on SBS and SMRT from now on,” said a retrenched PMET, Meh You Qian.

An employee from one of Singapore’s train operators who refused to be named, said getting Chen Show Mao to publicly endorse taking public transport was initially proposed as a way to win back the trust of commuters after a spate of embarrassing breakdowns all over the island this year.

However, that was unnecessary as Chen Show Mao really does take public transport everyday anyways.

And his popularity among Singaporean women and hipsters meant that there will always be many out there who will secretly take photos of him and post them on Facebook ensuring constant free publicity for train operators.

The anonymous employee explained: “If you noticed, Chen Show Mao is always photographed by his stalkers sitting down while taking the train and the place is not very crowded? This portrays a very good image of our train system, which in fact, is always overcrowded all the time.”

“Furthermore, Chen Show Mao is also a picture of serenity whenever the trains work or break down,” the anonymous source also said.

There is always a seat for him and he is always happy even when the trains go tits up

Don’t talk Chinese in parliament

Don’t talk Chinese in parliament

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This is not Suzhou, so why make parliamentary speeches in Mandarin?

By translation meister Chong Zhi Ping

I have no idea how the trend snowballed.

Maybe it was from Chen Show Mao, who during his inaugural parliamentary speech last October, took the silk route to compare PAP with an ancient Chinese emperor and the Worker’s Party as the side-kick court adviser, before making his point that the Blues had a role to play in the legislature.

Chen is, of course, of Taiwanese origin and spent his majority career in Beijing – so perhaps he needed time to assimilate. Implausibly, the PAP MPs rushed to entertain him. In their non-native Mandarin Chinese. Some even became Tang dynasty experts overnight.

Oh sayang.

Why couldn’t they just condemn CSM as a Munjen chauvinist?

Regardless, I kept my faith in the PAP’s ability. Their track record for maintaining the impeccable standard of atas-ness in parliament over the years has been immaculate.

So I thought: the sudden Cheenafication in parliament was probably one-off. To defy the impression that they don’t give chance to opposition. Not the best PR move in my books, but acceptable.

Except… those ching chong chang continued clanging into “now-you’re being-really annoying” territory. Like the family singing KTV downstairs until 3am in the morning.

I shall name the latest culprits:

Josephine Teo, in a pseudo channel 8 anchor voice, began her parliamentary address in Mandarin, for no apparent reason. As if hosting the Tuesday Report, she detailed the troubles she faced while making the decision to join politics; you know, public scrutiny, loss of privacy, loss of personal time, and stuff. Of course the government’s fatal attraction of being ‘clean’ then swept her off her feet. Which is why she’s on the rostrum, all sparkling and doe-eyed.

Ditto Lee Bee Wah, heaping copious praises on the PM’s ‘transparency’ and ‘openness’ among others. She ended up sounding more like Henry Thia in a typical Jack Neo production.


Happy Chinese New Year from this writer by the way *^_^*

Goodness me. Are the ladies trying to justify their rocket salary by insinuating, “Hey look, we are effectively bilingual?”

Because if that’s the case, it’s not working. Especially for aunt Bee Wah, who clearly needs to work on her English as well.

Or are they mindful, that if they were to speak entirely in English, they might have had their message(s) lost in translation by Zaobao reporters, ala Pritam Singh?

Here’s the kicker: after all that effort to out-cheena CSM, the bodies of their speeches were ultimately delivered in Angmoh.

Which renders the gesture as lame as it can get.

Like neither here nor there.

Like the new ministerial pay scheme.

So, you may ask, why not just do the whole thing in half-baked Mandarin to complete the Chinese opera?

– I’ll tell you why.

1) They have to take into account that Tharman, Shanmugam et al also exist in parliament (even if they may privately joke that they can’t see them).

2) English is still the lingua franca of our ruling party elitists; they need English to convey the important stuff.

In which case, Tharman could have been excused for playing Fruit Ninja on his iPhone while his colleagues were busy getting street cred from the Chinese papers.

My question is then – why create this babel? If every MP starts telling grandmother stories in their so-called mother tongue, how on earth is the parliament going to continue solving pressing issues in double quick time?

Parliamentary efficiency and first-rate government, that was what the PAP promised when urging us to vote for them, no?

Take the cue from The Old Man. He already cannot tahan. Don’t make him repent for hanging on.

Chen Show Mao is the God of social media

Chen Show Mao is the God of social media

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How social media loves Chen Show Mao and vice versa.

Chen Show Mao barred from attending 7th Month event

Chen Show Mao barred from attending 7th Month event

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The Paya Labar Citizen’s Consultative Committee warned organisers that if they are “errant” by letting the MP attend, they will be rejected for future events.


Chen Show Mao, a Worker’s Party Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC, was “disappointed” when he was told by organisers for a Seventh Month dinner that he could no longer attend the event, he said in a Facebook note.

The reason was apparently because the CCC would only approve the use of the venue if the MP was no longer invited. “Errant” organisers who disobey will be rejected for future events. “The organisers were profusely apologetic,” said Show Mao. Read the full story

My wishlist for Singapore politics

My wishlist for Singapore politics

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No more football analogies, no more treating Chen Show Mao like God, and no more dumb tweets.

By Terence Lee

The Church of Show Mao at Bedok Stadium. Photo: TERENCE LEE

LIFE is meaningless again.

After days of doping on election news, attending rallies, chanting “Kate Spade!”, and getting teary-eyed when Aljuniedians gifted their GRC to the Worker’s Party, Normalcy feels incredibly mundane.

And it’s this normalcy I dread.

Soon, the rambunctious politician in all of us will hibernate, only to climb out of the cave again in another five years.

Soon, we will be concerned only about earthy, shallow things like getting that BTO flat, finding that succulent buffet spread, and watching Transformers 3. No one will care anymore about the fairness of the political system, high ministerial salary, and the intricacies of our HDB policy.

Of course, I sense that this time, things will be different, and more people will actually care. So, before we turn into amnesic, apathetic drones, here’s my wishlist for Singapore politics over the next five years:

1) No more football analogies, please

First, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong got started about Singapore only needing one national team. Then Ah Mao rebutted him by saying that the national team wears red and white, not white and white. Finally, WP supremo Low Thia Khiang complained about the People’s Action Party changing the size of the goalposts.

Honestly, I felt really left out throughout the campaigning period. While there are millions of Singaporeans that care about football, what about those who don’t watch the beautiful game?

And no, I don’t drive either.

So, for the sake of national unity, I hope campaigners will use analogies all Singaporeans can identify with. Like food for example. And please, don’t get me started about trees and mushrooms.

Seriously, what I’m hoping for is more inclusive politics. No more gerrymandering and grassroots network bias towards the PAP. No more painting the other side as dubious.

And for goodness sake, I hope the WP team in Aljunied gets proper Town Council offices. I also wish that Hougang and Aljunied will not be penalised in terms of Town Council funding.

2) Chen Show Mao is not God. So, stop treating him like one

Will he become Chairman Mao of the Worker's Party? Graphic: CARTOON PRESS

I think the team at New Nation must repent. We got a little carried away during the elections, and started worshipping Ah Mao. Someone I knew even called him “Jesus”.

Sorry, fangirls and boys, but he is mortal like all of us. He can’t walk on water, and should he fumble and fall, it’ll be hard to resurrect his political career.

Same goes for the entire Aljunied team. Anything can happen in five years. Aljunied may not be well-run, and they may lose the GRC in 2016. Lee Kuan Yew may prove to be prophetic when he said residents will need to “repent”. The PAP may raise their game by the next elections, and voters could swing back into the warm embrace of the ruling party.

So, the WP better bulk up and improve.

3) No more petty catfights within the opposition parties

There’s too much pettiness within the opposition. For goodness sake, how old are you guys, 12??

Leading up to the 2011 elections, Goh Meng Seng left the WP to join the National Solidarity Party. Chia Ti Lik, too, left the men in blue to form the Socialist Front.

Many moons ago, J.B Jeyaretnam, unhappy with the lack of support from Low Thia Khiang, left the party he led to kickstart the Reform Party. After he passed away, his son Kenneth snatched the leadership role from Ng Teck Siong, and he got kicked out in the process.

And more recently, prominent Reform Party members like Tony Tan, Hazel Poa, and Nicole Seah left Kenneth’s party to join the NSP. As for Ng Teck Siong, he joined the Socialist Front but resigned soon after finding out they are not contesting in this elections.

There’s enough material here for a 20-episode drama, something we don’t need.

So by the next elections, I hope the opposition candidates can move beyond party hopping. It’s stupid to squabble over scraps when they should be gunning for the PAP. Although there’s recent talk of a merger between the SDP, SPP and NSP, these parties have a lot to prove.

And now we’ve received news that Eric Tan of the Worker’s Party has resigned because he was passed over for the NCMP position. Yet another episode to the long-drawn drama.

4) No more dumb tweets

Social media has given us unexpected stars like opposition darling Nicole Seah and Returning Officer extraordinaire Yam Ah Mee. But there’s a raw, unrestrained, and downright ugly side to it as well.

Case in point: Xiaxue resorted to childish name-calling when lamenting over PAP’s loss in Aljunied:

What a way to prove to her haters that she’s no dumb blond: Calling the other 54.71% of Singaporeans who voted for the WP “moronic” and “blind”. She blames voters for the loss of George Yeo, but does she realise that even the Straits Times, in at least two editions, have hinted that the GRC system could be responsible for his exit from politics?

5) Reform within the PAP

This is the major biggie. To earn the respect of opposition supporters, they need to reform the political system. Cut ministerial salary, reform the GRC system, and respect the opposition parties. They also need to listen to young voters, who don’t take kindly to high-handedness and arrogance.

Policy-wise, Workfare must be enhanced to give more aid to the hardworking poor, and housing costs must be reined in. Censorship of the arts and the media must be adjusted to keep pace with the times, and more help has to be accorded to disenfranchised groups like AIDS sufferers and single families.

If the Men in White are serious enough about reform, my vote in the next elections might just go to them.

Why Gerald Giam should be NCMP

Why Gerald Giam should be NCMP

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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. Read the full story

Post coitus care: What happens after the climax?

Post coitus care: What happens after the climax?

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Now that Aljunied GRC has turned blue, the real test lies in making the relationship a long lasting one.

By Fang Shihan

Worker's Party voters in ecstasy. Photo: TERENCE LEE

THAT wasn’t such a big deal was it? For nine days the Worker’s Party campaigned hard and rallied the masses to a climax on 7th May when the 140,000 voters cast their votes. Result? Worker’s Party wins by 54% but a fine Foreign Minister was lost in the crossfire between the PAP and an electorate that’s grown frustrated enough to want to… spank them.

Aljunied voters are satisfied and satiated with Low and team’s tireless effort, so what’s left of the deal is the aftercare – they need to know the WP is in for a long-term relationship. Of course the cuddles will have to wait until they recover from campaigning exhaustion. Case in point? Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong fell asleep at the wheel the day after.

Brace yourselves and moderate your expectations people, your caretakers – Sylvia, Uncle Low, God, Chewbacca and Faisal have only just embarked on the beginning of a long five-year ride with you.

Remember all those complaints Chiam and Low had about the lack of funding from their Town Councils? That’s going to happen to you. Or being pushed all the way back in the queue for HDB upgrading? That too. Or being told every now and then that you live in a slum? Most likely.

Infrastructure repairs are a luxury and not a right when you live in an opposition ward.

As for all those promises about pegging HDB prices to the national median income? Better moderate your expectations.

Obama swept into power in 2008 with the promise of healthcare reform. Though the Big Plan did materialize eventually, it was severely compromised and led to a sharp drop in Obama’s approval ratings.

Likewise for the WP team in Aljunied: HDB honcho Mah Bow Tan called their housing plan ‘irresponsible’ while PM Lee has accused them of wanting to run a ‘welfare’ system. In other words, spending without a credit limit. Nevermind that he wants to build 7 new MRT lines each year for the next 7 years.

The WP team will not get a friendly reception to their ideas in parliament, to say the least, though all 6 of them will get to vote on bills this time.

While the PAP and its electorate had a consumer-service relationship, the voters in Aljunied voted with no expectation of a multi-million dollar town upgrade plan.

Furthermore, unlike the PAP which has tacit support from the People’s Association, the WP team in Aljunied have close to no organized grassroots support locally. Low hopes to take over the Aljunied Town Council but it remains to be seen if his reception will be as frosty as the one Sitoh Yih Pin received in Potong Pasir.

But problems aside, the WP has an edge over the PAP in one key area – popular support. How popular? Enough to fill an entire stadium full plus 10,000 stragglers outside.

Now that’s what I call political participation. While the PAP and its electorate had a consumer-service relationship, the voters in Aljunied voted with no expectation of a multi-million dollar town upgrade plan.

While the PAP would get faulted for even the most minor of details (like the a tile sticking out from the floor of a void deck), chances are, the WP will get away with it because..they were elected as representatives of their voters and not the chief janitors of the estate.

In return for increased self-reliance in the constituency, the WP will be expected to bring sweeping change into parliament. Though that’s unlikely to happen, you can be sure that the PAP will be reminded by their co-driver time and again that they need to get back on track.

Better than nothing? I guess so. Better than the last bunch in power? Most definitely. But moderate your expectations because change comes with a significant amount of resistance.

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George Yeo soon to be jobless?

George Yeo soon to be jobless?

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Foreign Minister George Yeo spotted lurking at Hougang Mall before and during Worker’s Party Rally.

By Fang Shihan

Foreign Minister George Yeo makes up for lost time

IT MUST be tough being the incumbent that’s facing an opposition team at their maximum strength. Spotted doing his walkabout at Hougang Mall just an hour before the Worker’s Party’s first rally on Thursday was about to begin, George Yeo looked like a… pretty busy man.

Shaking hands, taking pictures with his entourage of Aljunied GRC grassroots leaders, he seemed eager to touch (literally) as many people as he could within the 9-day campaigning window. More pictures can be found on his facebook page.

If that’s not enough, he even proceeds to campaign inside Hougang Mall, greeting the sales assistants at the Giordano store and moving up each level methodologically. Maybe it was out of pity that the mall security let this pass (shopping malls have never been amenable to political campaigning), or maybe there are different rules for politicians clad in white.

The question is: why Hougang Mall of all places? And right before the rally too. Well, he could be on a pre-emptive search for a new job, or this could be an attempt to inform opposition supporters that a heavyweight was still around, or maybe he was hoping to draw the 10,000 strong crowd away from the rally 5 minutes away.

Didn’t happen.

George Yeo walks around Hougang Mall

Foreign Minister George Yeo, head of the diplomatic strategy of Singapore, who shakes hands with dictators nearly on a daily basis to persuade them to kill less civilians, who went for a jog with the residents at Bedok only a few hours after flying back to Singapore from a diplomatic mission, who was the first minister in 2006 to tell the rest that attacking James Gomez for forgetting a form..was lame, THAT George Yeo was largely ignored in favour of a Worker’s Party rally where the stars were clearly still Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and god himself, Chen Show Mao.
He is up for a tough fight – one almost feels sorry for him. One of our best ministers, and a really nice guy too (he actually bothers to engage people on Facebook), he will not be voted out because of incompetency.

Over 9000 but not a 5-digit figure. Seriously guys, it was only day 1.

If he does lose his seat, it will not only be because the WP owned his ass. If he loses, he has the GRC system to blame. Designed on the pretext of securing minority representation and even harnessing economies of scale, the GRC system divides the heavyweights into different teams.

One minister per team is the norm, two if there are too many and fillers occupy the rest of the spaces. GRCs were designed with the assumption that a minister would never be beaten by anyone from the opposition, thereby shielding the younger and weaker candidates from the brutal glare of public scrutiny.

And so if the opposition were to want a GRC badly enough, “a minister has to fall in the process“. This was an observation made by National Solidarity Party Sec-Gen Goh Meng Seng just last year.

Don't forget your plastic Thor and balloon hammers.

But is he truly in any danger of losing his ministerial position? This is a man with sterling credentials and a stunning portfolio of running the well oiled Foreign Ministry. If anything, it is Wong Kan Seng of Bishan-Toa Payoh and Mah Bow Tan of Tampines who should be sweating in their expensive suits now. The PAP is a victim of its own electoral maneuvering. Our government is now in serious danger of losing a good minister, while the others should be able to be re-elected with less anxiety.

This is not to say George Yeo is indispensable. He may have been a Cambridge graduate, a Brigadier-General in the SAF, and he may have been an excellent minister for 23 years. But the Chen Show Mao of the Worker’s Party has studied at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, brokered an IPO for the Agricultural Bank of China (3rd largest lender in that very very big country) that raised $19 billion, and speaks Malay, English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Everyone's trying to get that aerial shot.

Even if Chen Show Mao were to become an MP, he’d still be taking a very big pay cut. This is the sort of guy that the PAP uses to defend its GRC system and the Ministerial pay. Without the help of heavyweights and a ‘competitive’ paycheck, qualified candidates would never bother joining politics.

Well, the PAP has been proven wrong. This is a man of ministerial quality. Seriously, given he heads a multinational law firm in China, he’d be excellent for Sino-Singapore economic ties. Which is what the PAP always wanted.

Ideally, GE2011 should see incompetent ministers being voted out, and opposition members being voted in based on their capability to lead the country. Ideally, if we were actually a more representative democracy. Instead, we’ll see young, eager ministers like Teo Ser Luck trying his best to rally a crowd while Teo Chee Hean and the rest take a free-ride (warning: very painful to watch), we might lose George Yeo, and we’ll probably see Wong and Mah being rotated around with different portfolios for another 5 years. And don’t get me started on Tin Pei Ling.

A minister has to fall in the process of change. But is it fair? Even if we don’t see a dramatic increase in the number of opposition-held seats this time, it’s time for the PAP to reflect on their home-made model of formal democracy. This will be a very very painful ride.

In the meantime, Lucas Chow of Mediacorp will be leaving his seat soon and the Presidential elections are due sometime later this year.

Hint to George:  Jobs are still available. :)

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Whose coattails would you ride on?

Whose coattails would you ride on?

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If you could be fielded in a 5-person GRC team and given the choice to pick any candidate from any of the opposition parties to be your running mates, what would your dream team look like?

OR TO put it in a more vulgar way, on whose coattails would you want to ride on?

Guess what? All three editors at New Nation have unanimously picked Singapore Democratic Party’s Vincent Wijeysingha and God, erm, no.. I mean, Workers’ Party’s Chen Show Mao as part of their dream teams.

Explanation of choices follows.

Fang Shihan’s 5-person GRC Dream Team:
1. Sylvia Lim (Workers’ Party)
2. Chen Show Mao (Workers’ Party)
3. Vincent Wijeysingha (Singapore Democratic Party)
4. Gerald Giam (Workers’ Party)
5. Fang Shihan

Shihan’s explanation: Sylvia’s awesome because as an Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, she’s proven her vocal worth by saying sufficiently smart and important things in parliament. The specific substance of it doesn’t matter actually, nor does her political stance.

Because people like me will vote for her, and whatever team she’s leading, simply because she symbolises ‘a credible challenge to the incumbent’.

You know, like how it is a matter of posturing? It’s like people playing mahjong for the first time, who don’t really know the specifics of the game, but they know when they get a damn powerful set and it’s time to follow through to finish it?

So, it’ll be Sylvia leading the pack, together with Chen Show Mao, Dr. Vincent for the minority, and Gerald Giam. Yes, egos may clash and Vincent may feel out of place compared to the hammers, but hey, he being the best minority candidate now.

You could say I’d have four coattails to ride on, but in reality, it’s only the leader that counts. The leader is the face of the GRC team. Sylvia’s an alpha female, has whopped the garhmen’s arse in parliament and lived to tell the tale (unlike, ahem, Viswa), and is relatively good-looking. We’ve satisfied the lesbian population, the anti-PAP ra-ra sector and also anyone who’s superficial.

That more than covers a large voter base.

Conclusion: Shihan is a closeted Workers’ Party supporter. She doesn’t even bother to explain why she chose Gerald Giam. Gerald Giam… just because. Furthermore, she might also be a progressive at heart. Or, somewhat queer.

——————

Terence Lee’s 5-person GRC Dream Team:
1. Sylvia Lim (Workers’ Party)
2. Low Thia Khiang (Workers’ Party)
3. Vincent Wijeysingha (Singapore Democratic Party)
4. Chen Show Mao (Workers’ Party)
5. Terence Lee

Terence’s explanation: For me, experience comes first. On this count, Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang come to mind.

Sylvia has served one term as an NCMP and she appeals to the younger, English-speaking crowd. Low has been an MP since 1991. Plus, his Teochew is second to none, and older folk respond to that. Both are relatively young, and pretty sharp.

If this was the 2006 elections, I’d want Chiam See Tong. But after hearing him speak in person recently, I’m not impressed. He has lost a step. And he doesn’t seem as sharp anymore. A team, in my view, must also have longevity, which means I want the team to stay intact not only in this elections, but the next. So no, I don’t want him on my team.

I must confess something: I like the Singapore Democratic Party. No, not the old, slogan-chanting, placard-waving SDP of the Chee Soon Juan mould, but the new SDP featuring Danny the Democratic Bear. Policy-wise, SDP actually has really solid proposals. They have a Shadow Budget that tells us how they hope to fund their policy proposals, something that WP has failed to do.

I also like the fact that they are a principled and loud party who would stand up for the values even if it costs them in the short-run. A perfect complement to the WP’s pragmatic, quiet approach. WP is the yin to SDP’s yang. But I have an issue with Chee Soon Juan’s confrontational style. It’s off-putting, repulsive, and quite alien. Plus, Singaporeans remember him for all the wrong reasons.

So, therefore, I really like Dr Vincent Wijeysingha. He might be confrontational too, but he’s milder than Chee Soon Juan. I was impressed by the way he stood up to Tharman, rebutting him not just with platitudes, but arguments backed by actual figures at the Channel News Asia debate forum. He’d make a fine Parliamentarian, and furthermore, he’s openly gay (minority voice!). He’ll be a fine addition to my team.

Finally, since Singaporeans are such paper-chasers, we need a candidate with credentials so impressive that it would cause Tin Pei Ling et al. to shit in their pants and wallow in self-pity. More importantly, Singaporeans will swoon over him in no time.

That man is Chen Show Mao. Check this out: He graduated from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, and has tremendous experience in international securities offerings and merger and acquisitions. Here’s more namedropping from his law firm’s website:

“In capital markets, Mr Chen advised the Agricultural Bank of China on its recent $22 billion IPO, which is the largest by an Asian issuer, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on its $21 billion IPO, which is the second-largest IPO ever, and the first global offering that involved a concurrent listing in China. He also advised Sinochem on the largest-ever international debt offering by a Chinese company and the underwriters for China Unicom in the largest-ever international convertible bond offering by a Chinese company. Mr Chen completed the global initial public offerings of Air China, China Construction Bank, MCC, Sinoma, Sinopec, Unicom and others.”

I sure as hell don’t know what the paragraph is talking about, but count me into the Cult of Show Mao. He not only had a good career, but he’s eloquent too, judging by the interviews and soundbites he has given to the media. He’s cool as blue.

Conclusion: Terence might also be a closeted Workers’ Party supporter given that three out of five choices are from WP. He should also be forgiven for favouring flair but it is obvious that Low, Lim, Chen and Wijeysingha are hot, hot, hot. They have seared themselves into many people’s brains.

———–

Belmont Lay’s 5-person GRC Dream Team:
1. Sebastian Teo (National Solidarity Party)
2. Tony Tan or Hazel Poa (National Solidarity Party)
3. Vincent Wijeysingha (Singapore Democratic Party)
4. Chen Show Mao (Workers’ Party)
5. Belmont Lay

Belmont’s explanation: I doubt many people have heard of Sebastian Teo of the NSP. But from what I gather, he is a fluent speaker of Mandarin, Teochew and Hokkien. His demeanor puts heartlander folks at ease and he has worked the ground very, very hard the past few years doing his rounds and meeting the people face-to-face.

This is old-school politics and I like that style. And best of all, Sebby has a MBA from NUS! He is a self-made man, therefore, I approve.

Now, look: As a bargain-hunting Singaporean, what more can you ask for if you had EITHER Tony Tan or Hazel Poa in parliament? Tony and Hazel are a husband-and-wife team. Wherever one goes, the other will be right behind. Even if just one of them becomes an MP, I can be assured that taxpayers will be getting two MPs for the price of one.

Tony’s got a problem dealing with the figures of a new policy? No worries. We have a numerate Hazel to look through the numbers. Oh, you mean Hazel’s got a draft that needs some editing and needs another pair of eyes on it? Tony’s right on it.

Even Groupon.com can’t beat this deal, you know (Terence’s note: Belmont missed out on the fact that Nicole would be on this team, since they are a couple. What a bargain!).

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha. Ah… It’s always good to know that someone was a social worker. He would have seen a side of life not many people can even come to terms with. This parliament needs someone who is burdened by the problems of the poor and needy.

Lastly, I would definitely want God, erm no I mean, Chen Show Mao to be on my side. Chen has a statesman-like demeanour as he is someone who has been at the highest echelons of the corporate world, unlike say, someone who used to serve in the SAF.

And the last time I checked, he has more credentials than Tin Pei Ling has handbags.

And imagine if Chen wasn’t denied entry into medical school last time. Then he would have served National Service for real and be a doctor who would continue to serve the people. This is unlike some doctors who never served NS and still want to enter parliament.

I would prostrate myself in His presence, erm I mean, I would have a lot to learn from Him, erm no, I mean, Chen.

Conclusion: Belmont is a typical cheap bastard who is also god-fearing, no erm.. pragmatic and politically astute in his choices. His choices may appear wide-ranging, but he is a National Solidarity Party supporter.

Who would you pick? Join this Facebook poll!

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PAP can represent everyone’s interest? Thanks, but no thanks

PAP can represent everyone’s interest? Thanks, but no thanks

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Here’s the scary part about last night’s Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum: For a minute there, I actually bought what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had to say. But not for long.

By Belmont Lay

The Prime Minister's wife, Ho Ching, was there to lend her quiet support. Photo: FANG SHIHAN

THE gist of Prime Minister Lee’s argument about leadership renewal is pretty straightforward: There really is only one party in Singapore that is wise and talented enough to attract the best and the brightest to lead this country.

And that party happens to be the PAP.

This is a re-iteration of what his father, Lee Kuan Yew, famously once said: If a jumbo jet carrying 300 of Singapore’s top leaders were to crash, Singapore would be finished.

So you want viable opposition parties to be at the helm? Nope, sorry. They are going to find it even harder to attract the best.

You want a two-party system? Nope, not even remotely possible. Not that the PAP did not think about splitting itself into two.

The younger Lee said: “But the most important reason why a two-party system is not workable is because we don’t have enough talent in Singapore to form two A-teams.”

He added: “We are now pulling together the next A-team of Singapore. And the PAP candidates in this round will form key members of this team and in the next couple of rounds.”

Fair and good, right?

Well, not until you take a look at what is happening on the ground in the opposition camp and you can easily dismiss what Lee had to say about the shortage of talent.

The simple fact is that not everyone who is bright and able wants to be part of the PAP.

The National Solidarity Party has two ex-government scholars: Hazel Poa and Tony Tan, as well as a lawyer, Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss.

The Singapore Democratic Party has Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, who worked as a social worker (with a doctorate in social policy) and absolutely rocked at the Channel NewsAsia debate last week.

And short of introducing God himself to run in a GRC, the Workers’ Party has Chen Show Mao.

So, pray tell, I want none of these but Tin Pei Ling? Just because the PAP says she is good?

Why should I trust the PAP’s ability to screen for potential candidates let alone attract top dogs? There is nothing in their mechanisms that inspire confidence or convinces me that they are not just making up numbers or creating the appearance of looking diversified by fielding Tin Pei Ling.

Therefore, two rebuttal points to the PAP system: It reeks of hubris and it has a tendency to breed bureaucratic apparatchiks.

But what really got my goat was what Lee had to say about PAP wanting to represent every Singaporean: “I think we should try to the maximum extent we can, align all the interest of Singaporeans and make sure one party can represent you, whether you are the CEO or whether you are a taxi driver.”

Right…

I just cannot buy the argument that one party can represent the interest of every segment in society.

If you’re gay, or if you’re staunchly single, or if you’re divorced, or if you’re a swinger, or if you’re a single parent, or if you’re homeless, or if you’re liberal-minded, or if you’re a hippie, or if you’re really old, or if you’re really poor, or if you lack next-of-kins, you’re screwed.

Even lesser so, when it is one party trying to be representatives of all the people by manipulating the interests of its citizens.

This is social engineering gone mad.

Let’s not argue about hypotheticals but illustrate using a vivid example: Just look at what happens when you have one Housing Development Board dictating the housing needs of 80% of the population.

The system eventually went tits up late last year when it can no longer make affordable housing to cater to the needs of the masses.

My take on this is pretty simple: If the present Government (a term that was interchangeably used with PAP last night) is indeed as brilliant as it makes itself out to be, it should have been able to create an alternative to the HDB, or made tweaks to refine it.

But it didn’t.

And you ask: Why is there a need for an alternative?

Because public housing, which are built across the island, 1) do not have any quotas reserved solely for local Singaporeans and 2) are subjected to open market competitive pricing, forces prices of housing across the board (private property included) to explode the moment demand goes up.

HDB prices have gone up drastically over the last twenty to thirty years, outgrowing the average Singaporean’s ability to afford them.

And yet the HDB would still insist on providing for the majority, which means it will come back to bite you and me in our asses, because no matter how much richer you can get, you might still end up in a HDB.

Or remain staying with your parents.

I see you have half a million dollars there? I’m sorry, you can probably only afford to buy a three-room flat in Ulu Sungei Goondu, behind Woodlands forested water catchment area, you high-income earner you.

So, here’s the point of today’s missive: If you’re gay, or if you’re staunchly single, or if you’re divorced, or if you’re a swinger, or if you’re a single parent, or if you’re homeless, or if you’re liberal-minded, or if you’re a hippie, or if you’re really old, or if you’re really poor, or if you lack next-of-kins, you’re screwed.

The PAP doesn’t represent your interest at all. It can’t and I won’t even humour myself to say it can.

Period.

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