Hougang by-election campaign shows PAP on auto-pilot

Political researcher James Gomez once said to me: “Elections in Singapore all follow a pattern. The first two or three days of the campaign are about the issues and the rest are about a man.” At the time, he was referring to general elections. I see now that it applies equally to by-elections.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) has made character assassination its chief campaign strategy. Again. The “man” in this instance is obvious – it is Png Eng Huat, the Workers’ Party candidate in Hougang. I see that today’s mainstream Straits Times has whipped itself up into a suitably loyal frenzy by using the phrase “allegations of dishonesty” in one of its headlines.

I have no intention of commenting on the details of these “allegations”. They are so ridiculously inconsequential, it only shows how clean the man is. Is that all the “dirt” that the huge machinery that is the PAP can find on him?

Sometimes, I wonder whether the PAP is aware how they damage their own brand by such strategies. Shrill personal attacks over nothing only remind voters how petty and perhaps vindictive PAP leaders are, from Lee Kuan Yew on down.

As my friend Jason Leow wrote on Facebook: “Didn’t voters reject this type of politicking in the last GE? Branding opponents as cultural chauvinists, liars and opportunists … give us a break. Whose era does this remind you of? If I were good at graphic design, I’d put out a YAWN poster to react to this kind of campaigning.”

The blog TR Emeritus shared similar sentiments. “PAP-ST slime campaign – small gains today for big loss tomorrow?” went the headline of a post dated 23 May 2012.

Then there was PAP member of parliament Denise Phua who told a small PAP rally crowd Sunday night that

. . . it was possible to have a check on the Government, without voting more opposition MPs into Parliament.

She also suggested that bloggers and independent-minded PAP MPs could provide enough diverse voices to bring about change.

— Straits Times, 23 May 2012, Remarks on opposition MPS sparks retorts

And one is immediately reminded of the absolutist tendencies of the PAP, and of the dismal days when the PAP controlled all but one or two seats in the legislature.

If there’s anyone out there who still believes that the PAP has changed since last year’s  general election when it took a beating, its behaviour at this Hougang by-election should disabuse him of the thought. The PAP continues to behave the way it has long behaved. I am tempted to say PAP stands for “Politics on Auto-Pilot”.

* * * * *

But will the measures work? Will Hougang vote in Desmond Choo of the PAP as its new MP?

We have no indications one way or another. Opinion polls on voting intentions are as rare as snow in Singapore. All we have are vote counts from previous elections.

In 2006, Workers’ Party leader Low Thia Khiang won 62.7% pf the Hougang vote against Eric Low Siak Meng (PAP). We have not heard about Eric Low since.

In 2011, Yaw Shin Leong (WP) won 64.8% against Desmond Choo (PAP).

While it looks as if the Workers’ Party has a significant buffer against vote erosion, I’d say it has no reason to be complacent. For one thing, there is almost no upside, while the downside risks are all too evident.

My guess is that Hougang voters went for the Workers’ Party strongly in previous elections for three chief, and overlapping, reasons:

  1. Disgust with the PAP and determination to vote against it (a strong emotional reason);
  2. Expression of frustration with recent PAP policies (a less emotional, more situational reason);
  3. Low Thia Khiang’s high likeability (a personal factor).

We know that the first factor generally assures almost any opposition party about 25% of the vote. This suggests then that about 40 percentage points of Yaw Shin Leong’s vote-share came from factors 2 and 3.

Has the PAP’s actions since last year’s general election – reducing ministerial salaries, focussing on transport improvements and revving up the public housing program – been enough to significantly reduce factor 2?  Has the departure of Low Thia Khiang from Hougang, and the mute stubbornness of Yaw Shin Leong since allegations of marital infidelity broke eroded factor 3?

If the Workers’ Party loses half the 40 percentage points that they got from factors 2 and 3 in 2011, then, at this by-election, their vote share will only be about 45%. It would be a veritable disaster for them and for opposition parties generally.

In three more days, we will find out.

64 Responses to “Hougang by-election campaign shows PAP on auto-pilot”

  1. 1 Anonymous 23 May 2012 at 13:20

    Exactly my sentiments. I am so sick of the PAP machinery and their lackeys (MSM). And I sincerely hope voters will reject this sort of disgusting behavior.

  2. 2 The Pariah 23 May 2012 at 14:27

    As one commentator said on TR Emeritus article — PAP is indulging in “sewer politics”, not merely “gutter politics”. Pee And Poo (PAP) make me Puke, naturally.

  3. 3 yuenchungkwong 23 May 2012 at 14:33

    making something out of nothing is a conventional electioneering method, e.g., neither Obama’s relation with Reverend Wright nor Bain Capital’s record in creating/destroying jobs, throws much light on presidential policies and capabilities; the crucial point is how a trivial/irrelevant issue came into prominence; in Png Eng Huat’s case, he himself created the opening by telling reporters that he was not in the running for NCMP, allowing a disgruntled WP insider (PAP spy?) to leak the CEC minutes showing that his name was on the ballot and he received one vote.

  4. 4 Chanel 23 May 2012 at 15:41

    The PAP (and its controlled media) is making a big issue out of a ridiculously inconsequential choice of NCMP made by WP last year.

    Had WP’s CEC chosen Png Eng Huat for NCMP role (and assuming Png agreed to take up the position) and field Gerald Giam in the present Hougang by-election, the PAP would most certainly made the same accusation that it is making now!!

    Using this twisted logic of PAP, voters can also ask why PAP discarded its erstwhile “best” candidate (i.e. Eric Low Siak Meng) for Hougang. If Eric Low was PAP’s “best” candidate for Hougang during the 2006 general election, why was he suddenly replaced by Desmond Choo?

  5. 5 Cheng 23 May 2012 at 16:23

    There can never ever be a ‘clean fight’ in politics.
    Just like playing soccer. When one side fail to catch the ball, they start attacking the player.
    Smell the garlics people. If you want politics (multi-party democracy), you get politics.
    Not necessary a bad thing. The voters need to mature alongside with such development after decades of single-party-is-good hypnosis.

  6. 6 IQ vs CBQ 23 May 2012 at 16:28

    Another factor that favours WP’s Png Eng Huat :

    Majority of internet-savvy, well-educated, Y-generation voters appreciate the critical importance of checks & balances in any country’s political machinery, especially Singapore’s…with such a few opposition members.

  7. 7 Lye Khuen Way 23 May 2012 at 16:31

    Wow. ! standard Gutter Politics became Sewage Politics. Soon it be Cesspool Politics. That is the way, elections are fought here in our fair Singapore, by the ruling party.
    As they seem incapable of raising much issues on the ‘local’ front and as a matter of their self imposed boundary, they will not touch on the so-called National Issues of High Cost of Living/High Inflation Rate / poor Public Transport / Competition from Foreign ‘Talents’ /High Medical Cost……
    Seem that Hougang is a Shangri-La in this tiny island state. None of the constituents there have any issues with public transport or Jobs. Amazing!

  8. 8 GoonDoo 23 May 2012 at 16:49

    In the words of Shakespeare, its ‘much ado about nothing’.

    Did you notice the photos of the WP in the ST today? PEH is flanked in the front on the right & left by Sylvia Lim & LTK all looking very serious; and other pic is of PEH alone in the rain….

    I hope the HG electorate is wise enough to see through all this smoke-screen.

  9. 9 Dexter Wong 23 May 2012 at 17:12

    “Those who claim to be supporters of the Workers’ Party dragged in their grandmothers, made all sorts of wild accusations, even unfortunately tried to capitalise on a tragic incident to make voters angry and emotional.

    “I am very saddened by that, they claim to be supporters of the Workers’ Party, I think they should stop doing that. I am ashamed people are doing these kinds of things on the net.”

    Congratulations, TCH had single-handedly killed Desmond Choo’s Hougang campaign.

  10. 10 Alan 23 May 2012 at 17:29

    If there is one truly dishonest person in Singapore to begin with, it must be that lone person who accused other persons of something without an iota of evidence that is proven in a court of law and have their lifes destroyed by jailing them, some for several decades.

    And if that lone person is indeed truly honest, it would have meant that many other people (including a priest among them) must have lied because there can’t be 2 versions of the same thing? Either one side must be lying. So between a priest and a cunning politician, who is more likely to be dishonest ?

    Just like that Bo Xilai case if oneself wants to be seen to be clean, then we better be clean ourseves to begin with. See how it can backfire at themselves when their master is even more dishonest if not downright evil, to begin with.

    • 11 CWK 23 May 2012 at 22:52

      The sins of the father, the loved ones will pay. Already set in motion, with more to come. To be a bird in a cage for decades may be better than a lump of shit for a few years.

  11. 12 Crap 23 May 2012 at 17:49

    We should ask PAP why it installed Goh Chok Tong as PM when LKY reportedly said that he wasn’t the best candidate for the job?? If PAP can install its less than best candidate for such an important job as PM, why can’t WP have some latitude in fielding candidate for a much more humble MP role??

  12. 13 Jammie Wong 23 May 2012 at 17:57

    Interesting categorisation of 3 factors. However, I am incline to think ..Hougang is special. 25% might be correct figure for factor 1 ..in overall Singapore context, but not in Hougang. In Hougang, it’s more like ..err, 40%?

  13. 14 Jit 23 May 2012 at 18:14

    It seems they take turns to do it. I remember Wong Kan Seng was very good at it too – pick an issue and bite at it real hard.

    • 15 ymac 24 May 2012 at 13:25

      you’re correct
      it appears to be one of the job specifications for ‘Deputy Prime Minister’
      WKS was DPM then, now it’s Teo CH’s turn

  14. 16 JEFFGOH 23 May 2012 at 18:39

    PAP is clutching at straws – this also reflects the calibre of the current lot of ministers –

  15. 17 Vincent Lok Kek Seng 23 May 2012 at 18:52

    Sharing an article from Roystan
    This is not about support ANY parties but tonight i experienced one of the most moving things in hougang that will last for a long time! what is amazing is that when it started to rain, those with umbrella started running around , sheltering strangers without umbrella, aunties tearing plastic bags into 2 to give to others, family of 5 gathers under one tiny umbrella, uncle taking off their shirt and shelter older folks and kids. Singaporean placing others before themselves, ! Respect! Tonight Hougang residents, i salute you for your giving spirit!

    This makes my day. I have been so disappointed with DPM Teo. I wished he was a better campaigner and communicator helping Desmond Choo in this by-election. His suggestion that WP have not chosen their best man for the by-election is simply inane. If I were WP and LTK, I would want to hold Hougang at all cost. Losing Hougang is like losing the Big Flag of your army. They will be completely deflated. I remember when Burger King took over the Liat Tower premises which used to house McDonalds first outlet here. Some of us thought Burger King was winning the burger war against the Golden Arches.

    The DPM is not stupid, he is just blindsided by his prejudice and low esteem of the opposition. I feel sorry for Desmond Choo. He should like Sitoh Yi Pin asked his party bigwigs to stay away.

    I worry about the willful blindness of the number two man in our government. I worry that he will fail to use his astute judgement so admired by LKY when we need it. It would be very costly to us. Raymond Lim, Mah Bow Tan and Wong Kan Seng have caused enough damage already. Stop at three please.

    Whatever, Desmond Choo is not the PAP’s best man for this election. I fear he will be just another sacrificial lamb. You are newly married, better you spend more time with your wife. Hougang can have any MP but she only have you as husband. Didn’t you say at the PAP rally that your wife complained about seeing so little of you? Be wise and also careful when you open your mouth.

  16. 18 Vincent Lok Kek Seng 23 May 2012 at 18:53

    Mr Yeoh Lam Keong was the chief economist of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation until June 2011. What he said was reported in The Straits Times on Friday 18 May 2012. I have selected the following from the report.

    “the Government’s spending, as a share of GDP, of around 17 per cent is among the lowest in the developed world, compared to 35-40 per cent in most OECD countries and 25-30 per cent in other advanced Asian economies.”

    “Our current levels of spending are low even by our own historical standards of up to 25 per cent of GDP seen in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.”

    “The original brand of the PAP, as I remember it, was pragmatically meeting the needs of the ordinary citizen and often exceeding expectations in doing so on a universal basis. And it did so from the 1950s to 1980s.”

    The PAP in 2012 is different from the PAP in 1980s and 1990s and earlier. Their policy is making the poor, poorer. For the last ten years or so, their policy was exclusive making the rich richer. Only after the last GE and losing a GRC, they started to have the inclusive policy. We must be grateful to the opposition parties, especially the Workers Party for hammering and awakening the slumbering PAP.

    How to measure inclusiveness? Government’s spending, as a share of GDP should increase from 17 percent to 25 percent (the original level in the 1980s).

    • 19 Gazebo 24 May 2012 at 13:53

      government spending has gone down, because tax rates have also gone down. our government’s insistence on maintaining a balanced budget thus necessitates lower government spending.

      why have tax rates gone down? I can’t speak accurately for personal tax rates, but the plummeting corporate tax rate is a direct result of the economic policies pursued by the government, especially the EDB. instead of embracing domestic enterprises, EDB pushed the country towards this “race to the bottom”. it is obsessed with attracting foreign enterprises — often at the expense of local enterprises — by offering lower and lower tax rates.

      as a result tax revenues as a percentage of GDP has plummeted. this has in turn dragged government expenditure down. and the EDB, powerful as it is, would rather stick with ideology, than change its model. completely oblivious to the negative social externalities it has directly caused.

  17. 20 ;ABC 23 May 2012 at 19:08

    If TCH thinks he can somehow steer the election towards a discussion about the “integrity” of Png and the WP instead of national issues he is mistaken. His repeated assertions of dishonesty is not only unfounded but reflects badly on his own himself. Furthermore it shows that the PAP has run out of ideas and arguments. Now for the facts of the matter. The Straits Times stated that Png had written to their Forum Page rejecting the idea of an NCMP in April 2011. Why did they not publish it? The WP similarly rejected this idea in the Parliamentary Debates some years earlier. Low Thia Kiang had stated that he would resign from the party if it forced him to accept the NCMP position during the last GE thus making it clear that it is the party that makes the decision and not the individual, not even in his case. Png has come out to say that he meant the balloting process and not the ballot paper, a candid and entirely satisfactory explanation. Why then the insistence that there was a lack of honesty? B y the same token will TCH tell us whether there is a PAP mole in the WP who e-mailed the WP CEC minutes? Was he aware of the contents of the minutes when he first asked if Png was the best man the WP had for Hougang? I believe the the people of Hougang (and the citizens generally) are not easily taken in by TCH` tactics.

    • 21 Vincent Lok Kek Seng 24 May 2012 at 13:02

      It was reported in the Straits Times on Wed 23 May 2012. TCH also emphasized that Mr Choo, 34, was the PAP’s “best man”. This is definitely a dishonest statement. The PAP’s “best man” is obviously the PM! So, can we say that TCH is lying?

  18. 22 Anonymous 23 May 2012 at 19:10

    I sincerely hope that PAP win with a huge margin, so that they will think that everything is A-OK, and so carry on doing all these destructive policies and so will then lose Big Time in 2016

  19. 23 Jentrified Citizen 23 May 2012 at 20:01

    It is ironic and highly hypocritical for the PAP to allege dishonesty when they have a record of unanswered questions and questionable behavior. Hopefully, after so many elections battles, the Hougang residents can see through their dirty, unethical political games and vote for the right candidate and party on Saturday.

    • 24 Vincent Lok Kek Seng 24 May 2012 at 15:13

      For justice and sportsmanship – please give your votes to the Workers’ Party

      Do not vote like an economic barbarian who wants materialist rewards.at the expense of ethical values.

  20. 25 Jit 23 May 2012 at 22:18

    In chess, you sometimes make an attacking move not because it is a good move, but because it puts the other player on the defensive (so he has less time to think of striking). If the player isn’t careful, he may make a wrong move to fend off the attack and end up in an even more precarious situation.

    This is what our DPM Teo did.

  21. 26 Anonymous 23 May 2012 at 22:56

    Ask yourself if you were in hougang seeing that all these years upgrading and other carrots have passed you by, who would you vote for? Suffer another 4 years?

    I’d like to say something to the contrary but I have no faith in singaporeans. Humans are selfish and hougang by election 2012 will prove as a heartbreaking reminder of something we wld like to forget

  22. 28 Benz 24 May 2012 at 01:41

    Tactics aside, even in a job interview, the character of the applicant means a lot. I think it’s better to dig up the shits now abt Png than after the by-election. Yaw’s actions are surely going to cost WP a significant no. of votes.

    • 29 Sgcynic 24 May 2012 at 10:36

      Compare with this shit someone else was shielded from. Under oath, no less. Just pluck from memory and anyhow say.


    • 30 Peter Mak 24 May 2012 at 13:08

      This is not a job interview. The candidiates are not indepedent candidates. Both are subject to the internal rules and control of their respective parties. Ultimately you would look to the party instead of the individual to consider the actions they will take, the questions they may ask in parliament and their impact on policy-making.

      • 31 Benz 25 May 2012 at 01:08

        Agree. But we saw how Yaw acted independently in spite of his party. Png was defiant when it comes to his personal beliefs abt being NCMP. Were any of this part of WP’s “internal rules and control”? Surely, the residents did not vote him in to be a WP puppet.

      • 32 Poker Player 26 May 2012 at 17:45

        If a Minister instead of Yaw had been in a similar situation, how would the matter even see the light of day?

    • 33 Poker Player 24 May 2012 at 15:46

      Voters have to factor in that one side has both better digging equipment and better protection against digging.

      • 34 Poker Player 24 May 2012 at 15:50

        Ministers especially. The law even makes it difficult for their wives to gather evidence of their sexual infidelity.

  23. 35 Tan W H 24 May 2012 at 02:53

    I am Hougang resident and I actually voted for WP 2 electins ago, but PAP last round. PAP promised change and healing, but so far, it seems like there is no change, after the post usual election reflections, and instead of healing, PAP actually tried to widen the gulf between PAP and opp supporters by their RC/PA politicking. DC is a nice guy, but so is PEH. vote wisely,

    • 36 Poker Player 24 May 2012 at 15:33

      “PAP promised change and healing”

      I think you got confused with the Obama campaign. What they actually said was “repent”.

  24. 37 Interested Observer 24 May 2012 at 10:52

    I’m surprised that the PAP is using this tactic in a by-election where only a single seat is up for election. In past general elections where they’ve focused their fire on a particular opposition candidate, that candidate has usually polled very well. There is one exception – Chee Soon Juan’s team in 2001 polled only 20.3% of the votes in Jurong GRC. But other candidates singled out for the PAP’s fire during general election campaigns have given the PAP a real scare on election night – Jufrie Mahmood’s team in 1991 polled 47.6% in Eunos GRC, Tang Liang Hong’s team in 1997 polled 45.2% in Cheng San GRC, and James Gomez’s team in 2006 polled 43.9% in Ajunied GRC (possibly helping to lay the ground for the Workers’ Party’s capture of that GRC 5 years later). Possibly the focus of campaign fire helped the PAP elsewhere in a national election, but it didn’t necessarily help them in the specific candidate’s constituency. Indeed the candidate concerned may have benefitted from sympathy votes as a result of being the target of the government’s campaign fire. So I’m surprised to see the PAP using this tactic in a by-election, and think that it might actually have the effect of helping Png’s chances rather than damaging them.

    • 38 Macy 25 May 2012 at 04:05

      Just imagine PAP will use underhand and despicable means to capture hougang at all cost and reputation, you people believe that hougang will not be absorbed into PM or Old man ‘s GRC once Desmond Choo win ? Gullible PAP Hougang voters should stop being naive and daft as old man once reprimand.

  25. 39 The 24 May 2012 at 11:46

    /// My guess is that Hougang voters went for the Workers’ Party strongly in previous elections for three chief, and overlapping, reasons:

    1. Disgust with the PAP and determination to vote against it (a strong emotional reason);
    2. Expression of frustration with recent PAP policies (a less emotional, more situational reason);
    3. Low Thia Khiang’s high likeability (a personal factor). ///

    Alex, I personally think the good showing by Yaw Shin Leong was due to gerrymendering.

    Yaw was a rookie and it is unlikely to do better than LTK who has held the fort for 2 decades and well liked by the folks there. In fact, by “abandoning” Hougang, LTK’s high likeability could in fact turned into a negative for Hougang, but it did not happen.

    Why I think it is due to gerrymendering? If you looked at the results, PAP fared very badly in almost every ward, except Ang Mo Kio where the PM was fielded. Was AMK’s better performance due to PM’s popularity? I doubt so. I think it is due to the fact that the PAP did all it can to protect the “mothership” – that is padding the AMK GRC with “friendly voters from its adjacent precincts – that is Hougang. Hougang was lost to WP for 2 decades and is considered a lost cause by the PAP. So,it only made sense to throw the pro-opposition voters to Hougang (which explains why a rookie like YSL can out-do a highly likeable veteran like LTK), and rope in the pro-PAP voters to AMK GRC (which explains AMK’s improved percentage.

  26. 40 Chow 24 May 2012 at 13:03

    Well, after being caught flat-footed in last year’s elections, I think the PAP figured that they’d seize the offensive this time round. They are, to an extent, successful. They’ve put WP on the defensive for now, and the MSM are trumpeting whatever they are supposed to trumpet. I think it’s also more interesting that they didn’t drag Mr Yaw into the fray as well. Perhaps they figured that moral conservatives aren’t a very great number in the swing voters of Hougang. The best battle plan in their minds is to keep plugging at allegations of dishonesty and hope that it rubs off on some of the swing voters.

  27. 41 CRICKET 24 May 2012 at 13:21

    I wonder who emailed the minutes of the WP CEC meeting to the PAP.

    If I am not wrong, all parties have to file a copy of the minutes of meetings with the Registrar of Societies.

  28. 43 Do you know why? 24 May 2012 at 15:37

    Do you know why Desmond keeps saying “he is his own man”. Because he knows what PAP did to Hougang residents is wrong – denying them estates upgrading, market stalls, bus services, etc and as usual character assasination!

  29. 44 james 24 May 2012 at 16:01

    To Desmond Choo’s credit, he said the NCMP saga is closed despite Teo Chee Hean continuing to harp on it. Or maybe this is their ploy to make the young man look good and keeping to his promise of a clean fight.

    • 45 Macy 25 May 2012 at 04:07

      This clearly show that Desmond can never be his own man since he unable to make his senior to shutup ? don’t you think so ?

  30. 46 Gatecrash 24 May 2012 at 16:39

    This by-election should be remembered as “Teo-Chee-Hean-gate”, instead of Straits Times label of “NCMP-gate”.

  31. 47 ricky 24 May 2012 at 23:29

    my my, look at all the donkey WP supporters…

    i am willing to bet none of you have an IQ above 50, how anyone can even take the jokers at WP seriously is beyond me, what has been their performance in parliament so far?
    they were ripped apart in their every argument, all these gas bags can do is talk, talk , talk, makes me ashamed to a cal myself a singaporean when one of them opens their mouth

    • 48 Sgcynic 25 May 2012 at 00:03

      I guess you have every right to be ashamed.

    • 49 Lim Bt 25 May 2012 at 01:00

      What can you expect WP MPs to do in Parliament other than to talk, talk and talk. When PAP led by LKY were the opposition in the 1950’s, does he have anything solid to offer other than to talk, talk and talk in Parliament? The WP have demonstrated that they can successfully complete their projects like covered walk ways, lift upgrading inspite of all the obstacles and rejections from HDB, PA and PAP related agencies/institutions. And Hougang residents do not have to pay a single cent. I would give them credit for such achievements in spite of all the obstacles placed in front of them by the PAP government. The WP do not have the machinery like the PAP and yet achieved these results.

      One way of making yourself look good or more superior than your opponents is to run your opponents down. This is what PAP is good at.
      If you are good or superior it should be based on your capability and your own merits. This is honesty. You can walk with your heads up. Look at all the good athletes, when they win they are magnanimous. And when they lose they are gracious.

      I just returned from the WP rally tonight. On the contrary there are many young couples and single – males and females attending the rally. Not the uncles and aunties. You can see them jumping up and down and waving both their hands each time Low TK spoke on the many issues that are close to their hearts, in Mandarin, English and Teochew. Each time when DPM’s name was mentioned the booing was the loudest. He must be the most hated PAP man in Hougang. Each time when Png EH’s name was mentioned the cheers were the loudest and shouts of Huat, Huat ring around the open field. My assessment is that both the Yaw’s and Png’s issues are not the priority with the Hougang residents. Their anger is fueled by the treatment they received from the PAP during the past 21 years – being deprived of facilities/amenities whereby these facilities/amenities were funded by the tax payers money. And the policies like large number of FT taking over their jobs, HDB prices to name a few.

      • 50 Poker Player 26 May 2012 at 22:48

        Each time when DPM’s name was mentioned the booing was the loudest.”

        As our Malay speaking friends would say – “padan muka”.

    • 51 Poker Player 25 May 2012 at 05:47

      YB you naughty boy. Stop moderating out the better comments from the other side. People will think this is the best they can come out with.

    • 52 Vincent Lok Kek Seng 25 May 2012 at 07:31

      If you are bought over by the PAP, you are an economic barbarian who wants material rewards even at the expense of ethical values.

    • 53 Daniel Lee 25 May 2012 at 12:29

      Here we go again with another Singaporean expecting WP to have the political machinery and smarts of the PAP. Yawn…

    • 54 Gatecrash 25 May 2012 at 14:01


      If 40% of voters had IQ lower than 50, how on god’s earth did S’pore become what it is today??? The 60% must be Einstein-type geniuses and extremely hardworking to pull the 40%!!

      There are many ways to suck up, but please do it intelligently.

    • 55 Wong 25 May 2012 at 14:12

      I tend to agree with Ricky. All those sitting in Hougang coffeeshops and so called WP supporters are mostly unemployed not because they cannot get one but too lazy to work and hoping that voting in opposition can pressure the government to give free handout. Do we want to end up in a welfare state like Greece and many other European countries? We work hard, pay taxes and expect all to do the same. Why some of these opposition supporters are so lazy? They have nothing to lose if Singapore goes down.

      • 56 twasher 27 May 2012 at 02:07

        How about asking: do we want to end up as a welfare state like Sweden and Germany?

        My answer would be yes.

        Blaming Greece’s problems on the ‘welfare state’ is simply disingenuous.

    • 57 Sylvia 26 May 2012 at 18:29

      I can’t agree more. I’m so sorry to say this, but what has LTK and his team done for Aljunied this one year?

      Nothing extraordinary. Nothing new.

      When Aljunied was still under PAP, George Yeo took the time out to meet residents door-to-door. Being a foreign minister at that time.. I’m sure it’s not because he’s ‘bo eng’, right? And NOPE, it wasn’t anytime near last year’s elections.

      Granted the PAP has changed drastically over the years, but Hougang residents need a lot of upgrading done, considering there are many seniors living there. It is a weak reason to vote for PAP, but for the sake of having work done.. Why not? It’s not like WP will be able to do anything else but talk.

      Choose the best person to DO the job, nt just be a voice that is not unlike an empty vessel.

      I’m neither pro-opp nor anti-pap, just stating my views. And if u must know, I voted for George Yeo and his team(not because they’re PAP) last year.

  32. 58 Rabbit 25 May 2012 at 05:15

    I was at the rally and I must say the national spirit brought by WP was strong. You can’t find such Singaporean unity on National Day. Everyone there was like brothers and sisters, one big field of family even though they were strangers. This is the kind of Singapore I love to see everyday, all came together as comrades rain or shine. In my heart WP has already won. I have no doubt WP will continue to win Hougang voters this Saturday Bi election.

    On the other hand, what brought home during this BE is our medias preferred to take a deep plunge in their “journalism” again. The reports carried were not quite on par with the last watershed GE. Fairness in writings and photos were lacking which shows PAP will take all actions and at all cost to win Hougang SMC even at the expenses of putting msm in bad lights to the world. Teo Chee Hean merciless attack on their opponents was not convincing, supporting reasons let substance and even backfired on their own fragility. This is another cause for worry, such hooligan-style of trying to convince voters reflect very strongly why many PAP policies went wrong – self-believe they are always right, others are wrong. With that, I see no difference in PAP now and those in the 80s. As such, there is no reason why PAP should be given support when they already have majority seats in parliament.

  33. 59 Ziggy 25 May 2012 at 11:38

    “24 May 2012 at 23:29”

    Ha ha…I see what you did there Alex…Nice one!

    If it weren’t for people like Ricky and Teo Chee Hean, PAP might have gotten more votes.

  34. 60 skponggol 26 May 2012 at 06:39

    This By-election takes place because of the character issue of the former Hougang MP.

    Thus the character of the candidate is more important than issues. If the character of the candidate is as flawed as the previous Hougang MP, how can he talk about issues in Parliament?

    Even in Western democracies, the characters of candidates are of utmost importance.

    Why is it that Republicans keep going after Obama’s birth cert and his former pastor? Or why is the Democrats keep going after Palin’s family members?

    Did the PAP or the local MSM ever go after the family of Opposition candidates? Did they attack their personal lives?

    They are merely pointing out the obvious flaws in the WP candidate which, in Hougang By-election, is very relevant because of the previous MP.

  35. 64 Rabbit 26 May 2012 at 21:22


    Don’t be too quick to criticise people sitting at coffee shop. They were there for various reason, no job no pay is fair unlike some civil servants who get paid for doing nothing. Besides, it remains question in my mind what does the staff at election department do during the gap between last election till the next one. If someone can take 3 months full leave to learn french cooking, I wondered how heavy was his responsiblity? If I were to take one week leaves,my office will be in stress mode. Tax payers monies are raided not because “lazy people” have no job and we are not even a welfare state yet. They were wasted to maintain too many overpaid ministers for them to just talk and that is not even including some top civil servants “retired” ones and non-retired ones.

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