I was interested to read my ex-colleague Chua Mui Hoong’s piece on how Hougang’s choice is not reflective of general voter sentiment. Hougang is “special”. Then again, the same was said about Potong Pasir. As is always the case, numerous political commentators are at the fore, dissecting the results of the by-election, and speculating at what the WP/PAP did right/wrong over the past nine days.
I’ve given up trying to make sense of voter sentiment. I know of people who have made up their minds before any election and people who change their minds in the voting booth. Contending political parties will read the vote their own way. They will say in public what would be in the party interest; behind closed doors ..who knows? Some kind of post-mortem is likely to get underway and while Low Thia Khiang won’t say much about investigating the Secret Squirrel leaks (he said he had no resources to do so!) or Poh Lee Guan’s stunt before Nomination Day, I can bet any amount that the WP will be tightening discipline and closing party loopholes.
Because if the WP doesn’t, the PAP can simply play the waiting game. Its patience appeared to have won over Potong Pasir voters. That, as well as Mr Chiam See Tong’s inability to build up a party infrastructure for the future. So when Mr Low gets much older and more tired, will Hougang still remain in Hougang’s hands? Seems like the WP will have to be more than a one-man show or Hougang will go the way of Potong Pasir.
In any case, I congratulate WP for winning the Png Pong match in Hougang. As for the PAP, there’s always a next time.