Tag Archive | "eugene tan"

Oh Shut Up Already!

Oh Shut Up Already!

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Azim Azman

So I am not a remarkably well read man. I cannot quote liberally from the Shakespeare or remember the menu at McDonald’s.

So imagine my horror the other day when I open my free newspaper (given to me by this random uncle who was standing in the middle of the the staircase blocking the way up to the MRT) when I read a story about two public figures, PAP MP Hri Kumar and Eugene Tan, who apparently were having a very public cat fight about the exact nuances of when exactly the government has to call a by election in Hougang.

I appreciate the attempt at elucidating about the nuances of the legislation with regards to by-election procedures. We hoi polloi sometimes need to be pointed in the right direction, seeing as how we are usually heading towards the coffee shop when we should be heading towards work. Read the full story

Pritam Singh responds

Pritam Singh responds

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Plus, read PAP Nee Soon GRC MP’s Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim’s cheap shot and SMU Eugene Tan’s pointless punditry.

Here is what you should know:

Workers’ Party’s MP Pritam Singh gets quoted saying things that are uncharacteristic of him in a Lianhe Zaobao article by Yew Lun Tian on Jan. 1.

Pritam is read to have reportedly said that relieving and helping Singaporeans of difficulties and hardship is the job of the government, not the MPs to bear and that the opposition’s role is to raise questions in parliament.

This caused a bit of grief.

Without bothering to get to the bottom of things, a couple of people conveniently chose to get ahead with their cheap shots and political punditry.

Guilty: PAP Nee Soon GRC MP’s Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim

What he said on Facebook:

Guilty: SMU Assistant Professor Eugene Tan

What he said to mypaper a.k.a. mainstream trolling: “Political observer Eugene Tan feels that many Aljunied voters will be disappointed by Mr Singh’s comments… He noted that if as Mr Singh says, helping the poor is the responsibility of the Government, then Mr Singh would not need to meet his residents, as he could well put up a notice outside his office asking them to directly approach the Community Development Council. Assistant Prof Tan said when residents approach opposition MPs for help, these MPs should not “conveniently” push the responsibility to the Government.”

What Pritam really meant?

The gist of what Pritam had to say to Lianhe Zaobao can be summarised as such: Politics goes out the window the moment you want to help the needy. The Community Development Council, which is set up to help those who need assistance, will always be there regardless which party people vote into parliament.

Moreover, regardless who the vote goes to, the government’s responsibility is to take care of the people and the Workers’ Party is not going to spend its resources COMPETING AGAINST EXISTING outlets that offer help. They are here to HELP through existing means, even directing people to CDCs, not win votes through their Meet-the-People sessions.

The article also notes in a quote by Sylvia Lim that suggests there is no need to duplicate efforts when the Workers’ Party has established effective working relationships with various government agencies.

Here’s the real problem: Perhaps the problem stems from the original Lianhe Zaobao article being written and edited badly or purposefully to cause misunderstanding. (However, don’t give us the crap that Pritam is translated and misinterpreted. It’s not as if Lianhe Zaobao uses Google Translate to write articles!)

But the real problem is when Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Eugene Tan can weigh in with their sophistry without getting to the bottom of things first or waiting for Pritam to issue a proper response!

Scumbag much?

Read the previous article where this issue was first highlighted.

Political pundits-cum-academics try to be funny

Political pundits-cum-academics try to be funny

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Meanwhile, an SMU undergrad questions Singaporean voters’ motives.

From far right to the left is Eugene Tan, Cherian George, Jack Lee and erm… ya. (Photo from SMU Apolitical Facebook.)

You can trust a student and lecturer from the Singapore Management University to make this observation about Singaporean voters: Is Singapore turning into a “nation of dirty old men” which cares only about political candidates’ looks?

This idea was floated around at a discussion held on Oct. 14 on Gen Y voters, organised by SMU Apolitical, the student political association of the Singapore Management University.

About 50 students were present to hear SMU assistant professors Eugene Tan and Jack Lee, and Cherian George of Nanyang Technological University, speak.

One female participant, an SMU undergraduate, jibber-jabbered about why the two youngest candidates at the May general election, Nicole Seah and Tin Pei Ling, became public phenomena.

“Do we have a tabloid obsession with young women” she asked, flummoxed with a tinge of belittlement.

Nicole Seah ran under the National Solidarity Party’s banner, while TPL latched onto the People’s Action Party.

Replying, Eugene Tan said he felt TPL had been “demonised” by netizens, but she would not have attracted so much vitriol if she ran on an opposition ticket.

On the other hand, Nicole showed eloquence and empathy for the common man.

In a think-out-loud moment, Eugene then poker-faced: “I wonder whether we are moving towards a situation where form matters more than substance, where we are taken in by looks. Are we becoming a nation of dirty old men?”

He drew some cheap laughs.

What a blockbuster... erm, GRC-buster!

For Cherian, the situation highlighted the risks facing political parties in their candidate selection.

Thinking on his feet, Cherian compared political parties to movie studios in the way they “need to come up with their stars and try to frame them in a particular way”.

Hence, TPL, who was meant to “sweep young voters off their feet, just like movie studios have rolled out movies that they thought would be a blockbuster”, but bombed “because people found something else in that product to criticise”, he said, very cleverly.

Meanwhile, Cherian also noted that there can be “sleeper hits” that go viral, perhaps alluding to the Low-Sylvia-Mao trilogy.

“You can never know beforehand what is going to take off or what is going to flop,” he said some more.

Adding even more later: “That is what will make politics interesting in the future. It is never fully within the control of any party.”

This is a 60-second reduction of the original article by our favourite reporter, Tessa Wong, published in The Straits Times on Oct. 15.