Tag Archive | "hougang by-election"

Is Teo Chee Hean forgetful or contradictory?

Is Teo Chee Hean forgetful or contradictory?

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Our deputy prime minister’s demeanour this by-election suggests he might be both.

In case all of us have forgotten, check out this Yahoo! article from last year some time back in August 2011. It is about our Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean telling youngsters at a forum about how he feels “completely inadequate” and “never ready to enter politics”:

Teo Chee Hean said what again? Completely inadequate and never ready to enter politics?

Fast forward to May 2012 Hougang by-election hustings this week…

Our Deputy Prime Minister is politicking:
(a) like no one’s business
(b) like a boss
(c) like he just don’t care
(d) like he is adequate and ready to enter politics
(e) like all of the above

So, if you happen to bump into Teo Chee Hean one of these days… Do tell him…

The end.

Disclaimer: This guy in the yellow shirt is not from The Reform Party. Any resemblance to anyone dead or alive is purely coincidental.

‘WP was unprepared and had little clue about what to say’

‘WP was unprepared and had little clue about what to say’

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The most sarcastic coverage of the Workers’ Party’s first by-election rally stolen from someone’s Facebook note.

The by-election rally crowd at Workers' Party's first rally on May 19 to kick off the by-election fever.

I had my bag of popcorn out, awaiting some fireworks from the first rally of the much-anticipated Hougang by-election and I was not let down as the Workers’ Party produced the high-levels of entertainment that they are known for dishing out in their speeches.

Substance? Nope, there was no room for that, as the WP energised the crowd with a series of blunders, highlighting once again that they are nothing more than a motley crew in blue.

Candidate for Hougang, Png Eng Huat, led the series of mind-boggling and bewildering statements, that littered the WP’s arsenal.

We all would have heard the 5C’s that Singaporeans have been associated with over the decades but the ‘semi-retired businessman’ added a new dimension to the Singapore yuppie trend by adding another C.

Quite ironic that someone with a Beatles haircut would fashion himself to be a fashion icon, but Png strangely took the opportunity to use his maiden rally speech in these elections to introduce Singaporeans to the ‘Private C’, whatever that may be. (Editor’s note: I have no idea what the hell this sentence means.)

Then, in typical mafia “godfather” fashion, Png took on a new avatar and assured Hougang residents that should they vote for him and “the family” of WP, their children would be protected and never be bullied.

The strangest and most unexplainable moment of the night came when Png littered his speech with calls of “Hougang is not on sale” without any attempts to create any context for his comments.

Party chairman Sylvia Lim added to the mysterious comments of the night when she accorded a significant portion of her speech to describing the geogprahical shape of the Hougang constituency ranging from a trapezium to a parallelogram.

Maybe Ms Lim was trying to use her knowledge of geometry to convince the crowd that she was still relatively young and closer to her school-going years, than most would believe.

Whatever it was, the party chairman showed clearly that the WP was unprepared and had little clue about what to say other than to engage in some old-fashioned PAP bashing on national policies, without offering any substantial alternatives.

The WP is focusing on this national agenda and avoiding ‘local’ Hougang issues, as it has been disengaged from the ground there for too long and is incapable of feeling the pulse of the ground.

Maybe what Png was trying to say was that the Hougang people cannot be sold this time.

In which case, he would be right. Trouble is, none of us, not even his party can understand what he is trying to say.

That is an alternative voice indeed!

This was first posted on Peter Lock’s Facebook wall. It has been paragraphed and edited for punctuation and spelling errors.

Pre-election punditry in Hougang

Pre-election punditry in Hougang

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By Fang Shihan

The battle has begun. Nomination Day for the last opposition stronghold has been set on the 16th of May and polling day, on the 26th of May.

That gives us about two weeks to analyse and poke fun of two people, more than we’re normally respectfully allowed to.

And you thought political humor would only work in 2011.

Candidate 1:

First thing that strikes you about Desmond is his surprising lack of jack-assishness. No seriously, this guy, aged 33 is handsome, and earnest. Too earnest in fact, as seen in his first video appearance since the announcement of the by-elections. Is it just me or does his wide-eyed enthusiasm to serve Hougang seem…..scripted?

Desmond is a deputy director with the Industrial Relations Unit at National Trades Union Congress.
As a recently seasoned candidate having fought in the 2011 GE (and lost by a humiliating margin, registering only 35.2% of the vote), Desmond now has the advantage over the other candidate for being a known face in the constituency. He claims to have worked his butt off in the past 15 months as the Second Advisor to Hougang Grassroots Organisations, and claims to have connected with many people through weekly coffee sessions and regular house visits.
Now whether he should have buggered off a lost election is another question, but it seems that sticking around like a wart has paid off.

Since he began working in the shadows of Hougang after GE 2011, he has launched a Job Hub to help residents find jobs, tied up with a temple to provide free Teochew porridge, and gave out free hearing aids to the elderly. And on the 10th of May, he launched a monthly free legal clinic starting on May 15, helmed by scary looking veteran criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan and a team of lawyers.

In a strange twist of fate, it seems that Desmond will have to play the opposition in Hougang now, which has been run by the Worker’s Party for the last 21 years.

Does he have a proven track record in Hougang? No. Can he guarantee that Hougang will remain as stabile and united as the constituency has been Low Thia Khiang? No. What are his plans for Hougang? Probably — like other PAP candidates in opposition strongholds — he has a ton of PAP cash to splash on infrastructure upgrading. Do residents in the PAP-declared ‘slums’ of Hougang care about cash from the ruling party? Probably not.

Desmond is adamant about wanting a clean, fair election. And he looks honest, so I’ll take his word for it. It could however, be tempting for the campaign week to degenerate into a mud slinging competition given the dirt behind Yaw Shin Leong that was the cause for the by-election in the first place.

Verdict: I’m actually quite optimistic on his chances of surviving this fight with his face intact. While he has the disadvantage of being from a party that has done some injustice to Hougang, Desmond possesses a charm and, well, take-me-home-to-your-mum earnestness that will earn him some political credit from the elderly and less politically inclined in the constituency. In fact, I’ll hazard a guess that he should have been a shoo-in, if only he joined the right party.

Prediction: 45% of the vote. Assuming no one from the PAP tells Hougang to repent if they don’t vote for the PAP.

Candidate 2:

Png…who?

The first thing you notice about his facebook page is the way he spelt his name IN BLOODY CAPS. Maybe he’s appealing to the less visually equipped elderly? Or the short sighted nerd population? I don’t know. But besides the weird white bird on his timeline (pang pei ki…geddit? geddit? haha.), one crucial advantage he has over his better looking opponent is the sheer amount of online support that the Worker’s Party has. Few know who the heck Png Eng Huat is, but since Friday night 11 May, he’s already garnered 926 facebook likes. That’s almost twice as many as Desmond Choo, who for all his ass-busting in the constituency, has only mustered 560 likes on his fan page.

That’s saying something. If you don’t really know who the guy is, but you like his page anyway. I sure didn’t know who he is, and I covered the GE last year.

Upon some googling, I found out that Mr Png too, is a veteran of the GE 2011. He joined the WP in 2006 and stood in East Coast GRC last year together with better known faces like Gerald Giam (now an NCMP) and Glenda Han, previously known as the hot chick of the opposition until Nicole Seah came along. The team did respectably well, garnering 45.17% of the vote.

He’s not too bad on video too, judging by this little slip from campaign season last year.

Unlike Desmond Choo, Png has almost no personal presence in Hougang, having been put in charge of the party’s grassroots arm only in February after former MP Yaw Shin Leong was expelled for not coming clean on his alleged extramarital affairs. (Btw, I still stand by my stance that no one should care if he screwed a goat).

But, like other PAP candidates in single member wards, he does have the backing of a party that has a two-decade long track record in Hougang. Having the WP back you in Hougang is like Eminem endorsing your upcoming rap album — it’s likely that you’re going to hit the top 20 charts. It’s all about street cred when it comes to opposition politics. And the WP is possibly, the most badass of them all.

Does he have a proven track record in Hougang? No. Can he guarantee that Hougang will remain as stabile and united as the constituency has been Low Thia Khiang? Probably. After the Yaw Shin Leong case, there’s a high chance that Low the boss will be keeping a closer eye on Hougang. What are his plans for Hougang? Probably continuing the work that Low Thia Khiang has started. And that, was what people voted for in GE 2011.

Verdict: It’ll be a close fight. Png does not have to be terribly charismatic. Nor does he have to promise huge government policy changes. It is, after all, a local election. All he has to do is to play the uncle card, give a few good speeches in Teochew, and he’s probably going to win. But he will have to keep Desmond Choo at bay — the younger candidate will try very VERY hard to get under his skin and may even be hoping that he slips up.

Prediction: 55% of the vote. Assuming the Worker’s Party has no other skeletons in its closet.