Tag Archive | "Janil Puthucheary"

NS men worried MPs Janil Puthucheary, Zainudin Nordin feel left out on SAF Day

NS men worried MPs Janil Puthucheary, Zainudin Nordin feel left out on SAF Day

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They’re happy to provide the duo with No. 4 and camo-cream to wear.

Janil Puthucheary (left), Zainudin Nordin (right)

Janil Puthucheary (left), Zainudin Nordin (right)

Singaporean men from all walks of life who have served National Service are worried that PAP MPs Janil Puthucheary and Zainudin Nordin are feeling left out.

This is because these two PAP MPs did not serve NS and today is SAF Day, a day where men who have served NS feel somewhat proud that they did and share photos of themselves on Facebook.

One proud Singaporean son who spent two years of his life wearing leaves and eating combat ration, Kee Zho Peng, said: “I scared the two MPs feel left out. Because without serving National Service, you wouldn’t feel like a real man.”

And to help tide the two MPs over this period of feeling excluded from the world where real men inhabit, there are other Singaporean sons who have volunteered to help them feel included.

Ki Chiong Sua, a seller of NS equipment at Beach Road army market, said: “Should make them wear No. 4 and camo-cream the whole of SAF Day. I can donate.”

Others, however, were quick to point out that Janil Puthucheary and Zainudin Nordin are inspirational figures.

Bian Zho Peng, a Singaporean youth trying to evade NS, said: “Wah, never do NS can still be MP ah? Steady…”

GE results

GE results

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Find out the election results here, as well as who your MPs will be. Map updates will lag.

2011: PAP: 60.1%, Opposition: 39.9%

2006: PAP: 66.7%, Opposition: 33.3%


View Larger Map

White: Constituency goes to PAP

Blue: Constituency goes to Opposition

Update:

2.49am – PAP wins Potong Pasir at 50.36% while SPP garnered 49.64% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 81, Opposition – 6

2.21am – PAP wins Jurong GRC at 66.96% while NSP garnered 33.04% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 80, Opposition – 6

2.10am – WP wins Aljunied GRC at 54.71% while WP garnered 45.29% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 75, Opposition – 6

2.03am – PAP wins Choa Chu Kang GRC at 61.20% while NSP garnered 38.80% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 75, Opposition – 1

2.03am – PAP wins Holland-Bukit Timah GRC at 60.10% while SDP garnered 39.90% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 70, Opposition – 1

1.56am – PAP wins Nee Soon GRC at 58.56% while WP garnered 41.61% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 66, Opposition – 1

1.54am – PAP wins Sembawang GRC at 63.89% while SDP garnered 36.11% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 61, Opposition – 1

1.48am – PAP wins Pioneer SMC at 60.73% while NSP garnered 39.27% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 56, Opposition – 1

1.45am – PAP wins East Coast GRC at 54.83% while WP garnered 45.17% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 55, Opposition – 1

1.38am – PAP wins Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC at 56.94% while SPP garnered 43.06% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 50, Opposition – 1

1.34am – PAP wins Punggol East SMC at 54.53%, WP garnered 41.02% of the votes, while SDA got 4.45% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 45, WP – 1

1.28am – PAP wins Ang Mo Kio GRC at 69.33% while RP garnered 30.67% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 44, Opposition – 1

1.22am – PAP wins Sengkang West SMC at 58.08% while WP garnered 41.92% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 38, Opposition – 1

1.19am – PAP wins Yuhua SMC at 66.87% while SDP garnered 33.13% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 37, Opposition – 1

1.12am – PAP wins West Coast GRC at 66.57% while RP garnered 33.43% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 36, Opposition – 1

1.04am – PAP wins Hong Kah North SMC at 70.61% while SPP garnered 29.39% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 31, Opposition – 1

1.04am – PAP wins Tampines GRC at 57.22% while NSP garnered 42.78% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 30, Opposition – 1

12.58am – PAP wins Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC at 64.79% while SDA garnered 35.21% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 25, Opposition – 1

12.56am – WP wins Hougang SMC at 64.81% while PAP garnered 35.19% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 19, Opposition – 1

12.53am – PAP wins Marine Parade GRC at 56.65% while NSP garnered 43.35% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 19, Opposition – 0

12.44am – PAP wins Joo Chiat SMC at 51.01% while WP garnered 48.99% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 14, Opposition – 0

12.30am – PAP wins Moulmein-Kallang GRC at 58.56% while WP garnered 41.44% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 13, Opposition – 0

12.27am – Strong win expected for PAP at Sembawang GRC.

12.10am – PAP wins Whampoa SMC at 66.11% while NSP garnered 32.89% of the votes. Seats won: PAP – 9, Opposition – 0

12.07am – PAP wins Radin Mas SMC at 67.11% while NSP garnered 32.89% of the votes.

12.04am – PAP wins Bukit Panjang SMC at 66.26% while NSP garnered 33.74% of the votes.

12am – PAP wins Mountbatten SMC at 58.65% while NSP garnered 41.35% of the votes.

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Parachute politics in Singapore

Parachute politics in Singapore

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PAP brings in two new citizens as candidates for the upcoming elections. Will this move cost them?

by Terence Lee

Photo: PETER TAYLOR / Creative Commons

POLITICAL parties here have the nasty habit of springing surprises at the eleventh hour. Candidates are announced only weeks before Polling Day, and right now we do not know where most of them are contesting.

Recently, we were blessed to know that Tony Tan and Hazel Poa parachuted from a wobbly Reform Party jet and into the arms of Uncle Meng Seng, secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party.

He announced with great fanfare that his prized catch will be contesting in Moulmein-Kallang GRC, but even that is now uncertain.

Blame it on the short electoral time frame imposed by a government who would rather get on with business and leave behind messy politics, and messy opposition parties unwilling to reveal their cards early.

But the PAP recently gave parachute politics new meaning: Two of their new candidates, Dr Janil Puthucheary and Foo Mee Har, are new citizens. Janil, a paediatrician at KK Children and Women Hospital, came to Singapore in 2001 but only became a citizen in 2008. Mee Har, the global head of premier banking at Standard Chartered Bank, also became a citizen the same year.

Netizens have roundly criticised the commitment of these candidates, but Janil seems to be hardest hit because – gasp – he did not serve National Service. They also questioned whether new citizens like them truly understand the concerns of native Singaporeans.

I, for one, would not judge so quickly. It’s just like meeting someone at a speed dating event – don’t expect to know someone well within five minutes, let alone through a pithy soundbite or newspaper article. An atas Singaporean who has lived here for fifty years may have never interacted with the poor even once in their wasted lives, whereas a new citizen, concerned about the well-being of his or her adopted society, would volunteer at Meet-the-People sessions.

So time is no indicator of empathy.

But I wonder if everyone thinks the same way? Judging by calls for Dr Janil to pick up the SAR21 and shout “arty, arty, arty!”, maybe not. And I suspect this is a vulnerability the opposition parties will exploit during the hustings. Expect them to call out Janil for not being committed to, or understanding the country enough. Mee Har will not be susceptible because she has been in Singapore since 1989.

Citizenship, to some, is a fleeting concept. So is National Service. Why expect Janil to serve NS when many of us are happier without it? There is no point in making him suffer like us.

So, given the anti-foreigner and anti-immigration sentiments pervading Singapore nowadays, I cannot vouch that they will be readily accepted by voters.

But I can be wrong.

If I were them, here’s what I’ll do: To ensure that I get into Parliament, I would play it safe. Don’t start a blog, or have a Facebook page. Don’t make any controversial statements, or be overly aggressive. Toe the party line, at least until I get elected, or become a minister. Let the anchor Member-of-Parliaments I am contesting with do the heavy lifting. That’s what GRCs are for, ain’t it?

The other alternative would be to portray themselves as the rebel in the camp, but that seems unlikely to happen, given how kosher they have been in their interviews.

They should also keep harping on their credentials. Many Singaporeans who don’t really care much about politics will be hypnotised by the fact that Mee Har is some bigwig at a big bank. And don’t forget: apathetic Singaporeans have a significant influence on voting results (as Belmont astutely pointed out), since voting is compulsory.

The only way for opposition parties to counter this would be to put on the pedestal someone more impressive, maybe the CEO of a bigger bank.

Ultimately, whether these two candidates will be a boon to the PAP depends on where their parachutes land. I suspect these characters will appeal to wealthier, cosmopolitan types – Singaporeans who spend plenty of time abroad to work or study. Much will also depend on how the opposition candidates attack their credentials, and how they deflect them. Soon we will know whether both candidates truly understand the concerns of Singaporeans.

Citizenship, to some, is a fleeting concept. So is National Service. Why expect Janil to serve NS when many of us are happier without it? There is no point in making him suffer like us.

So, in an increasingly cosmopolitan Singapore, it will matter less how much time a candidate spends in the country, and more how a candidate makes the most of his or her time here.

Piping hot candidates roll off the PAP assembly line

Piping hot candidates roll off the PAP assembly line

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Men in White maintain consistency and quality control with new products politicians.

By Fang Shihan

Photo: Straits Times, PAP

THE stale smell of pre-election fever wafts in the air. Voters stand patiently in line for their turn at the menu while the state propaganda machine revs into motion.

“Desmond Choo! Ong Ye Kung! Janil Puthucheary! New! Fresh! Hot! Just out of the fryer! Only 1 serving each, special offer!”

Like any self-respecting McDonald’s outlet, the PAP takes great pride in maintaining consistency and quality control in terms of policies, ideology and of course, its politicians. Order a pack of fries anywhere around the world and chances are, they’ll look, taste and smell exactly the same.

A winning formula that must be replicated repeatedly. Because customers return only for the exact same experience they’ve had before. As the old PAP adage goes: “You must love us. Otherwise why would we get re-elected time and time again?”

How about: “We don’t really like you that much, but you’re the lesser of two evils”.

Fast food outlets dominate the F&B industry in lower-income neighbourhoods because it’s relatively inexpensive and satiates hungry workers quickly, giving a temporary energy high.

Likewise, the 45-year reign of the PAP has been based upon a guarantee that the PAP candidate will be the safer, less politically expensive choice (he won’t take risks with policy or potentially give you a suckerpunch out of the blue). The intentionally designed 9-day campaigning period also provides a temporary rush of free choice or even chaos, satiating a growing call for freedom of expression.

Such long reigns, especially with a quickly evolving population and landscape such as Singapore, are usually difficult to maintain. However the PAP has done it remarkably well. Not by oppression or by quickly adapting to a changing environment, but by having a good marketing department.

The ruling party claims that the new candidates offer new voices and more diversity. It also claims a willingness to adapt to the times.

McDonald’s supports a healthy lifestyle too.

Let’s see how much diversity the three newbies provide.

Desmond Choo, Ong Ye Kung and Janil Puthucheary have emerged from labour, labour, and in labour respectively. Maybe give Janil extra labour points for working in KK women’s hospital, in addition to being the son of a formerly detained Barisan Sosialis politician.

The PAP’s merely maintaining the stuff that got them elected in the first place. It was a winning formula after all.

They all score points for being more leftist than the current PAP.

And boy does the Straits Times know how to play it up.

“In what is believed to be the first, two are sons of former leftist politicians… They were keen to stress that despite being on the wrong side of history, their fathers supported them fully in joining the PAP”. Ye Kung is the other second-gen leftist.

Pray tell. How does this make them different from any other pseudo-leftist PAP politician? Oh wait. They’re hardcore labour because they have a bloodline to boast about. Really?

Let’s do a quick comparison with the PAP man most criticised for being overly ‘capitalist’ – Mr Mah you-made-HDBs-unaffordable Bow Tan. Mah started his career at the Singapore Bus Service and was also formerly Chairman of NTUC Comfort (1983–86) and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Singapore Institute of Labour Studies (1990–2002). Oh dear, it seems that even the most ‘right’ of the ruling party is… left!

Perhaps in the event of factionalism, the PAP would split into: left, lefterer and lefterest.

To be fair, there are some differences between these 3 guys and the rest of Team White. Desmond Choo, clearly playing in response to opposition accusations that the PAP doesn’t care for the poor, plays Santa Claus by advocating more help for the underprivileged. Unlike previous brave men who have ventured into Hougang and emerged pants down, he attempts to out-teochew, out-chinese-ed Low This Khiang.

Oh, and he tears up during the interview with ST too. What a nice boy and what a drastic change to the cold uncompassionate image of the PAP.

It’s all about the image. The product doesn’t ever change. Like how McDonald’s claims it’s adding diversity and nutrition into its meals by selling apple slices with caramel dip. Or worse, the revolutionary chipotle shaker fries.

As the old saying goes: All the same kuan one (kuan can be replaced with ‘pattern’).

Some food for thought: should consistency, quality control and replication be condemned? Voters at the ballot box need to choose between clearly differentiated parties with different identities and values. The PAP’s merely maintaining the stuff that got them elected in the first place. It was a winning formula after all.

More New Nation content on GE2011 here.