Tag Archive | "Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss"

The battle for Mountbatten could be the closest of all

The battle for Mountbatten could be the closest of all

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The Single Member Constituency is gearing up for a fight between two lawyers. The best part? Both candidates are well-known for being very nice.

IN A Group Representation Constituency, it is a fact that the heavyweight candidate fronting the pack will always hog the limelight and publicity.

So if you cannot hold your own, especially in a SMC, you’re more or less done for.

Which is why the battle for Mountbatten might just be the most exciting to watch yet.

Lim Biow Chuan from the People’s Action Party is a lawyer who first stepped into the shoes of an MP after the 2006 General Election when he was fielded in the Marine Parade GRC that went uncontested.

Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss from the National Solidarity Party is facing her first fight this election in a constituency she knows like the back of her hand. And she is planning to take it on as a (even more?) well-qualified and credentialed lawyer.

Here are some interesting facts: Both candidates are 47 years old, which means they have crossed paths professionally and personally many times before this GE.

Based on their replies, both candidates advocate for more to be done for the elderly.

Lim obtained his Bachelors of Law from the National University of Singapore. Chong-Aruldoss has a Masters in Law from the London School of Economics (gasp!).

And from what New Nation has seen on the ground, both candidates have their fair share of supporters.

This fight could be the closest of all among the 12 SMCs that are being contested.

Click on the links below to view the questions New Nation posed to both candidates and their replies.

Q&A with Lim Biow Chuan | Q&A with Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss

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Q&A with Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss

Q&A with Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss

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New Nation speaks with National Solidarity Party’s candidate for Mountbatten SMC.

Q&A with Lim Biow ChuanQ&A with Jeanette Chong-AruldossMain story

What advantages do you think you have contesting in Mountbatten SMC?

I spent my childhood living in Mountbatten and I also lived in Mountbatten in the early years of my marriage. I know the area very well. I also have many friends living in Mountbatten including some former neighbours who are still there.

The demographics in this area have changed drastically over the years. Although much physical progress has been made, there are still people in this community that needs help for very basic things in everyday lives, such as getting around or paying their bills on time.

There is also much to be developed in the Mountbatten community spirit after being in the shadow of distant cousin Marine Parade for so long.

What is your view of Lim Biow Chuan as your political opponent?

Both of us are part of the law fraternity and I respect him for his work both professionally and in the field of serving his residents.

We are even because this would be his first contest for the mandate of the residents of Mountbatten SMC.
What are some issues you would raise in Parliament if you were elected?

For a start, we would scrutinize every policy and start getting the government to listen to the people. I would like to be the voice of the people to hold the government accountable and to ensure that there are ‘checks’ and ‘balances’ in Parliament.

Specifically, I would like to advocate for our senior citizens to enjoy well-deserved privileges, having contributed their most productive years to the development of our society.

What are the two most pressing issues affecting Singaporeans at the moment?

Housing is definitely an issue that Singaporeans are very concerned about because this is a long-term issue that affects very much how they are able to live their lives in terms of whether they are able to settle down to start a family, to pursue their goals and reach their true potential and have enough for their retirement after 30 years of mortgage and interest payment.

The other issue would be the cost of healthcare, particularly for the lower-income families. It is not so much the quality of the healthcare service, but rather, the affordability of these services.

What is the most difficult aspect of contesting in Mountbatten SMC?

It is an area with a wide distribution of residents from all walks of life and each of these segments has their own set of issues and concerns. When I look at the issues affecting Mountbatten residents, I realised that they are not peculiar to the constituency but symptomatic of some of larger issues faced by the nation.

To be effective, I know I need to step up to address them on a national dimension. However, this is where I think I have the advantage over Mr Lim in offering alternative views challenging the dominant power.

Why should voters vote for you?

I am a wife, a mother and a practicing lawyer. I am well qualified and credentialed. These include a Masters in Law from the London School of Economics. I have been in legal practice for over 20 years. Over the teo decades of professional work, I have dealt with many types of cases and I have seen too many real-life cases of hardship.

This is especially so, as I specialise in Family Law in my legal practice. What I offer Mountbatten residents then is my experiences as a lawyer and my understanding of their bread and butter issues as an ex-Mountbatten resident, a wife and mother of four children. I believe I have what it takes to do the job of an MP for Mountbatten.

In addition, I would like to serve the constituency by ensuring the delivery of a high standard of upkeep and maintenance of public amenities. I will also ensure that Mountbatten residents will benefit from greater access to public services which will be more responsive to their needs.

I intend to be the voice for Mountbatten and speak up on both national issues as well as municipal issues.

Q&A with Lim Biow ChuanQ&A with Jeanette Chong-AruldossMain story

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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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