Tag Archive | "foreign minister"

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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