Tag Archive | "Moulmein-Kallang GRC"

S’poreans agree with DPM Teo: Electoral boundary changes affect Minister Lui Tuck Yew the most

S’poreans agree with DPM Teo: Electoral boundary changes affect Minister Lui Tuck Yew the most

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Poor Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

lui-tuck-yew-mp

Singaporeans from all walks of life who have the well-being of others in their hearts, have come out to agree with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

This after DPM Teo said electoral boundary changes affect the incumbent the most, a response he gave after there were accusations that Joo Chiat SMC — which the People’s Action Party almost lost to the Workers’ Party in the 2011 General Election — and Moulmein-Kallang GRC were scrapped to better PAP’s chances at the polls.

One Singaporean, Jiang Fei Hua, said he agrees with DPM Teo and that Minister Lui Tuck Yew is the most affected: “Poor Minister Lui Tuck Yew. From a minister at Moulmein-Kallang to a minister with no constituency. So poor thing.”

“Overnight, Minister Lui went from a minister who could lose an entire GRC to a minister who doesn’t even belong to a GRC.”

“Therefore, there is no doubt DPM Teo is right to say that electoral boundary changes affect the incumbent the most.”

Another local, Gong Jiao Wei, said he also agrees electoral boundary changes will have the most impact on the PAP: “Poor PAP MP Charles Chong at Joo Chiat. From being able to lose one SMC to Workers’ Party to not even having an SMC to lose.”

“So changes. Much affect.”

 

 

 

 

 







S’poreans accept GE2015 gerrymandering changes to electoral boundaries

S’poreans accept GE2015 gerrymandering changes to electoral boundaries

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They understand lines redrawn to keep up with tradition.

joo-chiat-smc

Singaporeans from all walks of life, who are kind and understanding, have come out to say that they accept the gerrymandering changes made to the electoral boundaries ahead of GE2015.

This after Moulmein-Kallang GRC and Joo Chiat SMC are among some other constituencies that have suddenly disappeared overnight.

One Singaporean, Gao Zhen Zhi, who used to live in this thing called Moulmein-Kallang GRC, said: “I always read about gerrymandering but never had a chance to appreciate what it means.”

“Now I get to witness it first-hand, this almost makes you want to believe the rumours that constituencies that almost went the opposition’s way in the last election get conveniently redrawn.”

Other Singaporeans said they have also learnt the same valuable lessons so far from seeing how Serangoon is still classified as part of Marine Parade GRC.

Another local, See Long Kong, said: “The incumbent has always made it a point to make it seem like they want to win by practising some unfair advantage.”

“I guess they are just sticking to tradition.”

 

 

 

 

 







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.