Vivian slithers in the gutter, SDP on knife-edge, part 2

The first point I wish to make is this: The fact that we’re having this huge controversy is testimony to Chee Soon Juan, his leadership skills, and the hard work and dedication of the core group that stayed with him through the leanest years.

The party has grown. It has become a force in new media. Over the years more and more people have joined, some quite prominent.  As discussed in part 1, the SDP’s sudden growth spurt seem to have “rattled” (to use SDP election candidate Vincent Wijeysingha’s word) Vivian Balakrishnan and his PAP team in Holland-Bukit Timah group representation constituency.

The SDP’s most recent coup was to bring in Tan Jee Say and Ang Yong Guan, two men who have spent the greater part of their careers as part of the establishment. That they would consider and eventually decide to join the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chee should tell you that thinking people do not consider Chee and the SDP a bunch of lunatics, despite huge efforts by the government and the People’s Action Party (PAP) to cast them as such.

But it’s not because Chee or the party has changed. It’s the skewed public perception of the SDP that has been corrected through the use of the internet. As Chee said to the Straits Times,

Asked by reporters later about the party’s public image issues, Dr Chee said: ‘I think that is a perception. The media has gone out of its way to trash what I have said and who I am.

‘When (people) see something directly by looking at our website, they see something very different. And they think, oh, something has changed. But it hasn’t changed. It is the perception,’ he said. ‘So I am very glad that there is this new media tool where you can reach the public directly, and we are going to use it as we go on.’

— Straits Times, 23 April 2011, Has the SDP changed?

The same internet however, is the source of this controversy which the party now finds itself embroiled in. No doubt, it’s public because of Vivian Balakrishnan hissing away in the gutter, but as I said in part 1, lobbing questions back at him will not achieve much. There’s a tsunami of speculation out there in the digital ocean.

* * * * *

Let me digress for a moment, however, to sketch two different perceptions of what has happened to the SDP, otherwise you will find it hard to make sense of the internet chatter. And for the purposes of this analysis, I need to outline three groups of SDP faces.

For many years, Chee Soon Juan, Chee Siok Chin, Gandhi Ambalan and John Tan were the leading faces of the party, often seen in street protests. I will call them the first group.

More recently, new faces emerged. Among them were those who’ve been with the party for quite a while, but haven’t become prominent until recently, e.g. Mohd Isa Abdul Aziz, Gerald Sng, Jaslyn Go and Jarrod Luo; plus Vincent Wijeysingha, James Gomez, Vincent Cheng and Teo Soh Lung, who joined over the last year or so. Let’s call them the second group.

The third group consists of the newest recruits, Tan Jee Say, Ang Yong Guan and Michelle Lee.

The first perception is of the SDP at last becoming “respectable”. When people talk of this, they tend to refer to the second and third group of new faces as the basis for their new opinion.

Why do they lump the second and third group together? Almost surely it’s because these members are not associated with SDP’s history of civil disobedience. Thus to these members of the public, “respectability” means complying with the law, no matter how unfair the law is. You’d be quite right to say that this perception is more a projection of the public’s internalised fear than any meaningful description of any and all the members of the party.

The second kind of perception is completely different. It sees a distinct separation between the first and second group on the one hand, and the third group by itself.

This perception is based on the track records. Those in the second group have a track record of standing up for human rights and the underdog. James Gomez founded Think Centre and Singaporeans for Democracy, Vincent Cheng and Teo Soh Lung were active in the 1980s fighting for workers’ rights (and got detained under the Internal Security Act on impossible-to-believe premises as a result), while Vincent Wijeysingha has long been a social worker working with the underprivileged. Jarrod Luo and Mohd Isa have been with the party for a long time through its darkest days.

The third group is starkly different. They have been part of the privileged establishment with no record of speaking up for human rights and social causes. To compound matters, their public profile seems to link very quickly with religion. And then, they joined the party only days ago (the whiff of opportunism).

Let me not mince words. I will not be doing the SDP any favours if I did not state clearly the public doubts they need to dispel: That the third group do not subscribe to the SDP’s credo of defending human rights including abolition of the death penalty, freedom of expression and gay equality. That both the SDP leadership and the third group are guilty of opportunism through this marriage of convenience, with the party leadership preparing to sell out its principles for a few extra votes.

The whole sorry business of Vivian’s innuendo over Vincent Wijeysingha’s sexual orientation has only added to the unease, when people see Wijeysingha not addressing the issue directly.

At this point, I need to say this: I still have no reason to believe, as internet chatter suggests, that Tan and Ang have views that run counter to the SDP’s core beliefs. Even if they’re Christian, I’d say So What? Chee Soon Juan himself, as far as I know, is a staunch Christian, and I’m sure it’s his faith that has given him strength through his most difficult times.

There is such a thing as a liberal Christian, and it may surprise Singaporeans that such a species is very common indeed in developed countries. There is also such a thing as a gay Christian, whose faith is no less real than a heterosexual Christian.

* * * * *

Vivian Balakrishnan’s politicking may be contemptuous, but sometimes, questions once raised, for however ignoble the intent, cannot just be dismissed. They have to be dealt with. Coming clean is the best way. As every student of politics knows, it’s not the initial mistake or embarrassing detail, but the cover-up (or mere perception of cover-up) that brings the whole caboodle down.

Wijeysingha and the party need to speak about sexual orientation and why it should not be an issue in politics. Tan and Ang need to speak about their views with regard to the social and civil rights parts of the party’s agenda. It may be that an honest appraisal may be along the lines of  “I’m not yet very comfortable with it” or “I’m new to this, I have never really given much thought to it before, but this is what I’ve signed on to, and my integrity demands that I live up to my word, and I will defend and advance the party’s mission with the fullest commitment.”

For a party that has long advocated that Singaporeans are ready to be a mature, democratic society, the SDP should not fear small-mindedness out there. I think the surest way to distinguish the party from the PAP is to be the exact opposite of Vivian Balakrishnan’s record. I think the party will be surprised how understanding people can be about sexuality, about life’s learning journeys and about the need to bridge differences. What people will not understand is how a party that has long argued for transparency and respect for people’s intellect, suddenly finds it so hard to live up to these noble ideals.

33 Responses to “Vivian slithers in the gutter, SDP on knife-edge, part 2”

  1. 1 Weiye 25 April 2011 at 06:54

    Rather succinctly put. =) I guess we will just have to adopt a wait-and-see attitude towards the whole issue for now.

  2. 2 Bobby 25 April 2011 at 07:20

    As I commented on another post, I don’t think now is the right time for VW to “come clean” on his sexual orientation. Doing so would play directly into VB’s hands – it allows VB to out VW without getting his own hands (too) dirty. That much is clear from VB’s comments to the media – he hopes netizens will do the dirty work for him and he wants to the issue to “play out” without him having to push in the knife himself.

    As of now, no one has directly asked VW about his sexual orientation and why should he take the initiative to volunteer such information? Is there something wrong with being gay that it needs to be “declared” in advance? Sure, some voters might have misgivings about voting for a gay MP, but some other voters might equally have misgivings about voting for (say) a religious conservative. Should we set a precedent of having candidates declare any scrap of personal information that might conceivably weigh on the electorate’s voting decision? Is this what politics should be about?

  3. 3 laïcité 25 April 2011 at 08:04

    I would really love to believe what you said in your last paragraph, that people can be understanding about sexuality. But it still seems that the most prevalent brand of Christianity that Singaporeans practice (especially if we’re talking about the Holland-Bukit Timah area) is of the more right wing kind that disapproves of homosexuality. Add to that the many non-Christians (but led by “traditional asian values”) whose conservative sensibilities would be offended by homosexuality, and I’m starting to doubt whether having an openly gay candidate run for the opposition would be such a good idea.

    But like you said, (with some paraphrasing), now that Vivian has already stirred the shit, then coming clean would be the next best options. Gay or not, the SDP was never going to win votes from the conservative pro-status-quo folks anyway.

  4. 4 Voter 25 April 2011 at 08:54

    I was wondering about the video and so I appreciate the info. here.
    A sad day for S’pore when younger ministers resort to old guard tricks to score political points. Vivian has lost my respect not that I thought much about him as a credible politician in the first place.

    As for SDP: no need to be defensive but best to come clean and stick to message and let us know why they deserve our votes. What’s behind the marriage of convenience?

    C’mon opposition, don’t waste this historic chance. Get your act together and play for Singapore.

  5. 5 Gard 25 April 2011 at 09:37

    Groupthink is a real problem in any organisation; if everyone in the group supports some particular agenda, no matter how noble, it runs the risk of blindspot. A party leadership weighs the benefits of taking in people from diverse backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs vs the long time implications of value-clash. A party leader should not be overly worried about any contrarians in his party; as long as the rules of the game within the organisation is understood and respected (“by majority vote?”) by the members, or future resolution.

    Apart from frank talk, SDP can talk another approach: “So-and-so has a, uhm, personal addiction problem and he is undergoing therapy. But his ability to perform as MP is not compromised by the addiction or the therapy.”

    Singaporeans are also mature enough to accept imperfections in an candidate who is willing to undergo restorative therapies. Dr Vivian was once a ‘rebel.’ But the monarchy has apparently succeeded converting him to its machinery, although the restorative budget is a bit on the high side.

    • 6 Gard 25 April 2011 at 11:29

      Let me offer a record of how once Dr Vivian was once a rebel, if you needed it:

      I suppose another way of looking at it: you can take the rebel out of the person but not the person out of the rebel. Dr Vivian’s comments proves that he is ultimately not (yet) a person of high politics espoused by the monarchy, but at least, we can acknowledge that Dr Vivian tried to change from ‘rebel’ to ‘mainstream’ for the good of the party. Maybe that gave him the confidence to ask others to change.

      • 7 Poker Player 25 April 2011 at 12:34

        Is this some kind of a joke?

        The problem is Vincent Wijeysingha being the way he is – his condition requires some sort of remedy, as long as he is undergoing it, Singaporeans will be OK with it.

        His heart is in the right place. After all Singaporeans are mature people.

      • 8 Gard 25 April 2011 at 19:46

        To cut through the layers of metaphors and parables, I advance a simple point:

        – Don’t bother (to declare anything) or just make a gracious joke out of it.

        It is a trap set by Dr Vivian (or the monarchy). The victim does not necessarily refer to Dr Vincent W.

        When you reveal information that has nothing to do with your ability to perform your job, you run the risk of losing control of that message and having that message distorted or turned against you in future.

        It is also another trap to get people to realize that so-and-so is not like ‘one of us’, employing the us-vs-them mentality. Once this impression is created, it is easier to manipulate people into accepting wrong ideas about your opponents.

        Is it surprising that nearly one in five Americans think Obama is Muslim? Read why here:

        Why did I bring up Dr Vivian’s past? The fact that he could have been an (capable?) opposition member makes his current behaviour doubly disappointing, especially to those who had believed that he could bring forth change. Change, he did.

  6. 9 yawningbread 25 April 2011 at 10:48

    With respect to my statement above — “I still have no reason to believe, as internet chatter suggests, that Tan and Ang have views that run counter to the SDP’s core beliefs” — let me record here Tan’s answer at the party press conference on Friday 22 April 2011:

    “I believe in the SDP credo — human rights. I think that’s basic. You know, as a student of politics, the values of the French Revolution — liberty, equality and fraternity — these are three basic qualities. Why [did] people over the centuries fight for [them]? You look through history, not just in Asia where there’s violence, bloody revolutions. You go back [to] English history, French history, battles have been fought on the streets. So there have been cries starting from the first french revolution 1789 — liberty, equality and fraternity. Liberty is the first thing. Man wants to be free. So human rights are basic rights too; that is why I believe in the credo. You cannot subsume all these rights. you cannot compromise these rights just because you want economic growth. What’s the purpose of economic growth when there is no freedom or no liberty?”

    As for Ang Yong Guan, I have this comment from a friend I know:
    “I think Dr Ang Yong Guan is quite well known among Chinese-speaking community as he often appear in Channel 8 Good Morning programme and talk about social issue from the point [of view] as psychiatrist. His view to me is definitely not conservative, if not liberal. In fact, I was surprised to even read that he is Christian.”

  7. 10 Weiye 25 April 2011 at 10:51

    Random thoughts.

    It might actually play to the SDP’s advantage by acknowledging both Wijeysingha’s sexuality, and the religion of both Ang and Tan. For one, it shows SDP’s willingness to include potentially dissenting opinions. And two, claims of whatever agenda by Balakrishnan can be easily countered by Ang’s and Tan’s presence in the team.

  8. 11 Poker Player 25 April 2011 at 11:12

    “Even if they’re Christian, I’d say So What? Chee Soon Juan himself, as far as I know, is a staunch Christian, and I’m sure it’s his faith that has given him strength through his most difficult times.”

    And he is pro-repeal. This is something that takes a lot of moral courage in the Singapore context. (Considering that this is not a vote winner and will probably make his faith suspect among his co-religionists).

    Juxtaposed against this, the use to the word “slithers” in the title is entirely appropriate.

    Another so what: I am married with two children.

  9. 12 V 25 April 2011 at 11:15

    I agree with Bobby that now is not the right time for VW to ‘come clean’. VB has not actually made any firm accusations, and it would be to SDP’s advantage to let VB fire the first salvo and get his hands dirty. In doing so he would be implying that gay people are somehow ‘inferior’, and result in some form of a backlash. If VW starts talking about it at this point, the focus would be on him and in the process likely alienate a portion of moderate voters.

    Few other points:
    1) The video is found on Youtube, so its effects would be largely limited to the online community, which Yawning Bread has postulated to have limited reach.
    2) The online community is generally more aware of LGBT issues, and so far the response to the smear campaign has been rather encouraging.

    On the issue of religion,
    1) Dr Ang’s blurb on the conference site makes no mention of his religious affiliations. Please remember that he is a prominent psychiatrist often invited to media events for his professional medical opinion. All the other speakers were listed in their religious capacities. We do not have any evidence of his religious affiliations at this point, so fears may be unfounded.
    2) Don’t forget who Tan and Ang are standing against. We know VB is Christian and obviously not sympathetic to the liberal cause, and also Christopher de Souza, who gave one of the more nasty speeches during the 377A debate.

  10. 13 Chanel 25 April 2011 at 11:42

    Alex Au,

    I believe it is the correct strategy for SDP to ask Vivian to state exactly what in the video he finds objectionable. Vivian has thus far cleverly used the compliant press to reveal the video content (TODAY has already done so) without personally stating his stand on what kind of sexual orientation he hates.

    My guess is Vivian would not dare to take that leap for fear of offending certain community and opening a can of worms (i.e. giving opposition parties licence to make similar personal attacks).

  11. 14 RG 25 April 2011 at 12:30

    Personally, I think Vincent Wijey has done a strategic thing to throw back the question to Vivian and asked him to come clean with his words. Let Vivian set his own spear against his own shield. SDP is now daring Vivian Balakrishnan to expose himself as a discriminative person.

    On the other than, if the new faces of SDP were to come clean about their stand on homosexuality or human rights issues, we cannot assume thereafter the internet world will be put to silence since we can talk about sexual orientation indefinitely. What difference will it make except to satisfy some people curiosity in the internet world only to cost SDP many votes if the main stream media could not resist to paint them negatively at the slightest opportune to PAP advantage?

    As discussed in your previous articles, it is going to be an uphill election battle and every vote count for opposition parties if they want to win into parliament.

    I am gay too but bread and butter issues are my top concern in this coming election than my own sexual orientation which can be discussed in any other day after this election. Every party has their own pro and anti 377A candidates, it is best their members sort it out within the party as they mature and settle down after this election.

    This election is about staying focus and not distracted by PAP deliberate attack on personality otherwise we will see ourselves trapped and distracted and ended up voting for PAP whose stand on 377A is clear. I do not want to lose SDP, regardless of their member religious affiliation or differing views on homosexuality. Most importantly, human rights will still be SDP fundamental value which suffice to vote them into parliament

  12. 15 Lucy 25 April 2011 at 12:38

    I really wish u wld at least get Tan Jee Say’s name right. You keep calling him Tan Jee Seng all over your post, so that’s hardly a typo?

  13. 17 Lynx Ng 25 April 2011 at 13:07

    I agree with Bobby. Now is not the time to VW to ‘come clean’. He was not addressed directly with a question, so as such an answer would seem inappropriately defensive.

    Until VB has the cojones to ‘come out of the closet’ and ask direct, pointed questions, there is no reason to play along with his game. Maybe VB will get some reporters to do just that for him. Or maybe he will deepen his own grave. Heh.

    I actually do think that the SDP response so far has been pretty good.

  14. 18 mx 25 April 2011 at 13:41

    Alex, juz a feedback, it’s Tan Jee Say, not Tan Jee Seng – you’ve been spelling his name wrong 🙂


  15. 19 T 25 April 2011 at 13:45

    Alex, your excellent illustrations of the SDP do somewhat point out to the issue of its unity and possible cracks in this GE and beyond.

    With regards to this and coupled with the current exchanges over sexual orientation in politics, SDP has a very good opportunity to rise above the small-mindedness that Mr Balakrishnan has initiated. I suggest the following line of argument.

    Everyone is entitled to their views, including Mr Balakrishnan. And the party respects (and indeed cherishes) all of such views, even those that go against the party’s credo. The party principle is that sexual orientation should not matter because a) it does not affect one’s contribution to the society and b) it is the right thing to treat everyone with respect because they are entitled to such decency as the people of Singapore.

    As much as the party feels that sexual orientation should not matter in politics and in general life however, there are others who are not supportive or sympathetic of such a viewpoint and the party fully acknowledges this. The party does not see these antagonistic views as negative views. Rather, it sees such a plethora of opinions as the basis for constructing an inclusive society that accords dignity, equity and recourse to everyone in it. The party does not discriminate against those who do not share its views but seeks to understand the diversity of public perspectives and work towards how everyone can be persuaded to willingly endorse a general consensus that can be fulfilling to all.

    At this point, candidates who wish to declare their sexual orientation may do so in response to Mr Balakrishnan’s query. The point they should make is that homosexuals and heterosexuals are not much different from each another and are fully capable of being good friends. They might also like to quote MM Lee’s frank assessment that gay MPs are fine and that although the party disagrees with many of MM Lee’s views on other issues, they are in agreement with this particular one.

    This emphasizes the reasoning that the aim of the party is not to be anti-PAP, but to be a better servant to the people than the PAP. This is even if it means sharing the views that PAP members might have. Party ego should not stand in the way of serving the people, itself being a moral (and not political) imperative.

    Thus in addition to being open about the facts, the next measure should be to reiterate the party’s principle (for equality towards sexual orientation) while at the same time, not antagonizing people who are not supportive or sympathetic of them. The party may also humbly ask Mr Balakrishnan about his “strategy” in inquiring about sexual orientation in politics in the first place for the interests of clarification and closure on the matter.

    In the heat of the election exchanges, the PAP has run the risk of contradicting the past comments from its own members (and indeed its own ideology) in its pursuit of dealing with political challengers. It is tempting to exploit such contradictions just for political points but I feel that the greater path is to use these contradictions to steer the electoral discourse back towards focusing on the population.

    Even if the incumbency and mass media tries to steer it back onto the political parties.

  16. 20 george 25 April 2011 at 14:08

    Dr Balakrishnan has lost all integrity by being vague with his slur. If he knows of something wrong about an opponent, he should expose it.

    If it is about someone’s sexual orientation, it is for Dr Balakrishnan to explain how that is relevant to one’s ability to govern and represent the people?

    If Dr Balakrishnan believes being gay makes that person unfit to stand for office, then make it clear and let the people decide if they agree with this prejudiced stand.

    Taking Dr Balakrishnan’s position, the electorate should also demand that PAP members declare their sexual orientation too.

    There is no need for anyone to declare openly about his or her sexuality for it is irrelevant, just as being straight is totally irrelevant to one’s character and competence.

    The PAP will be on shaky grounds as the tide of enlightened opinions, locally and around the world, will be against them.

    I believe SDP is taking the right strategy by asking Dr Balakrishnan to come clean with what he was objecting to. This stance of the SDP shows it is ready to debate the issue openly, and is just waiting for Dr Balakrishnan to be explicit about it.

  17. 21 recruit ong 25 April 2011 at 15:14

    I think the 154th media will break the story soon, playing the bad cop. While Vivian pretends or continues to play the Good Cop routine.

    Meanwhile SDP should prepare for it. But until the 154th takes the 1st step, there is no need for SDP to make any sort of public pronouncements.

    my 2 cents.

  18. 22 Sprechen Sie Singlisch? 25 April 2011 at 15:37

    He’s gay! Really!? Does it effect his ability to formulate policies? Not really… speaking of which I just read Mr Tan’s paper

    and what interesting bedfellows they make! I always had the impression that the “old” SDP was heavy on fuzzy Principles but a little light on the economic rationale and implementation. With this tie up, those principles have their feet firmly on the economic ground.

    “Introduce paternity leave for working fathers to share the burden of caring for the family.” a very direct node to gender equality.

    Less directly, making “advertising, arts and craft, design, fashion, film, video and photography, …” and other services the linchpin of the economy would require a rethink of our social policies to train and retain creative types which have disproportionate large gay/gay friendly representation. Add to that the removal of bureaucratic distortions on creative products like censorship and licences would make entrepreneurship so much easier.

    Finally, there is a whole lot on wealth transfer that Mr Wijeysingha can sink his teeth into from a social services point of view.

  19. 23 Tan Tai Wei 25 April 2011 at 16:04

    Maybe Vincent’s innocent question “What video?” was the right response. To show he read Vivian’s innuendos would be to display the sort of sensitivity coterminous with suppressed “guilt” over being gay.

    Truthfully, innocently, “What video?” he asked. And should Vivian himself, or other “guilt-conscious” netizen produces that video, his response could be “O, now I see. So what’s wrong in that? I had assumed “talented” persons, especially those wanting to lead, have left those uneducated prejudices far behind…”, and he could go on and quote LKY’s “hard thoughts” on the matter.

  20. 24 This is Anfield 25 April 2011 at 16:30

    Personally, I find this use of religion into the political discussion a very disturbing development. Are we interested in the content of a candidate’s character or who he calls god? I recall James G reacting severely to Khaw BW’s use of religion in his answer on the nursing home issue. And now, the ruling party has retaliated (albeit with great subtlety) with the same subject matter.

    When will this ever end?

    Are we going to end up like the United States, where political candidates outdo each other with their love of their god as proof of their capability?

  21. 25 anon 25 April 2011 at 17:39

    Is it a secret about Vincent’s sexuality. I believe it is an open fact. I do not get the impression there was any attempt for the SDP or Vincent himself to hide this. When I watched that Mediacorp ‘debate’ involving Tharman, Vincent and others, I am already fully aware of this. why has it suddenly becomes controversial? Just because Vivian Bala said those stupid remarks?

    By the way, I know for a fact there are staunch Methodist Christians in the Holland-Bukit Timah area who are going to support the SDP against Vivian Bala because they are fed up with the policies and track record of the PAP and VB himself.

  22. 26 Michael 25 April 2011 at 18:25

    I wonder, among the PAP elected MPs, how many are LGBTs? Would they declare themselves, including those who are standing for the 2011 elections? Surely there are some, otherwise why the MM preempts the need for acceptance of gay MPs?

    Let them likewise stand up to be counted. If they would not, surely those of youi who are in the LGBT circle will be able to point them out for our benefit.

    Are we uneasy having an elected gay MP? Hey, you might already have one in the current Parliament.

  23. 27 Silvercoin 25 April 2011 at 20:51

    I have a little quote from Pastor Martin Niemoller who lived in the first world war in Germany, speaking about NAZI and their raise to power.

    I admit I’m not gay, but that doesn’t mean I, nor in SDP case just because they are Christian they cant speak up for you or should not join the party. Fundamentally we are all Singaporeans. else hope they speak up for us Singaporeans.

    ->hope I didnt interpret this essay wrongly. Reading yawningbread has been an eye opener, just hoping more ppl would be able to do so. 2cent worth.


    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  24. 28 Gazebo 25 April 2011 at 21:55

    i hope this backfires on vivian. i don’t think there’s anything wrong if vivian wants to run his campaign on preserving 377a, “Asian values”, etc. But at least be open about it. tell the voters exactly where he stands too. but he dares not, instead resorting to this lowest of all lows, insinuating hidden agendas and using slurs. the SDP has made it completely clear for years, their positions on the constitution and the changes they will make once elected.

    pathetic, really pathetic.

  25. 29 prettyplace 25 April 2011 at 22:59

    I think Vivian & his silly crew wants to clarify if SDP is going to lobby for 377, once elected.

    They should answer it and keep moving. I am not sure if the public is understanding, but i hope they would be.

    Given the days ahead hopefully it blows away. Vivian would be far more fearful of stirring shit. He will be marked as a homophobic & a shallow person, in Singapore and overseas as well. Which I believe, he would dread.

    However, on hindsight, your stand is the best, given the eventual process towards a liberal Singapore. However, for todays GE, it might be a wee bit costly.

    Someone should question the cross-breed, if he had any vested interest in the new law, with regards to having 2 races in our NRIC.

  26. 30 Anon 25 April 2011 at 23:22

    Alex, great analysis of how u identified the three different groups in SDP and the issue of changing perceptions.

    Should VW come clean? Or rather what is SDP’s stand on this? SDP should come out strongly and cleanly on VW and the two establishment personalities. Else, it will be a whispering campaign with all sorts of imaginative and wild stories being passed around about the type of SDP candidates in this election and the lack of due diligence if any was undertaken. SDP’s message will get drowned by this VB-PAP diversionary tactic. And this will have an impact on the other SDP GRC teams since they too will need to address this issue that will definitely be raised by the MIW teams. Lets see how VB reacts to VW’s “what video”? Or if and when the PAP unleashes their MSM attack dogs then at least SDP is ready to counter swiftly.

  27. 31 Elijah Lau 25 April 2011 at 23:36

    Dr Chee’s Youtube response to VB

  28. 32 Media Watcher 27 April 2011 at 01:00

    Media Corp has already shown the video on Chanel News Asia news.

  29. 33 R.B 9 May 2011 at 11:02

    I am straight, am Christian, am Singaporean, and have absolutely no problem with Vincent’s sexual orientation. Best part is, neither does my mother. I have spoken to a lot of people from all walks of life and they do not either. All of us think the same. Who cares as long as his heart is in the right place.

    Christians have no right to condemn people. Only God has that right. And throughout history, we have seen God used the most unlikely of people to do His work.

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