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Singapore politics: Alive and kicking

I wonder why PAP’s Koh Poh Koon is talking about sympathy votes at all. Does he really think talking about his growing up days will make people feel sorry for him and vote him in? A bit salah.

If that’s the case we should be feeling sorry for too many people with a rags-to-middle class past. Sounds like reverse psychology to me. It’s more likely that people will consider his rise from son of a bus driver to being a medical surgeon very commendable. He is an example of a meritocratic society at work – although, as he himself admits, he’s not sure that the system will continue working for the next generation the way it has worked for him.

I wish he would say more about education as a social leveller. He did so over the weekend, but I would be interested to know how he thinks the system should be maintained so that young people can move up the ladder through the system – the way he did. He made all the right noises, well aimed at the younger folks in Punggol East who have young children. Now let’s hear some more, or perhaps, a solution, from him.

So now he is being pitted against Workers’ Party’s Lee Li Lian. I wonder why people are surprised at the choice. It makes you think about us – our attitude and expectations as a people. Most thought that that the party would put up a credentialed candidate or as former WP member Eric Tan said “fall into the elitist trap’’. The WP didn’t.

It’s an inspired choice. Ms Lee looks as different as she can get from the PAP candidate. In fact, she looks like a heartlander – and probably wouldn’t have to make much of that because she looks so “believable’’. Plus, she really does seem more like a Daughter of Punggol, although wisely, she doesn’t label herself so. Married with no children, but not ruling out baby in the future. She and her telco consultant husband would be a target of the White Paper on population. I wonder what sort of views she holds on the baby front.
While the PAP is crafting the election as a local issue; WP’s Sylvia Lim has taken it national – the BE is a barometer of what people feels towards the PAP. This is according to what was reported in Today. I wonder how Punggol East residents will vote.

Dr Koh was reported saying (this is not from MSM but from TR Emeritus): “The residents have to be practical and realistic – that you must choose to vote the person who can do the work for you. I think it’s a fallacy to believe that you can have the best of both worlds – choose the person to make a statement but hope that the other person who’s voted out is going to be having all the resources, all the authority, to get the work done for you.”

You know, I will quickly give Dr Koh and Ms Lee a list of what I want in the estate – Rivervale Plaza ready by tomorrow, more LRT trains, more bus services, a couple of child care centres…and while we’re at it, lower S&C charges.

Isn’t it fantastic to be courted? And now, Desmond Lim of SDA has entered the picture and Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam. The first competed with Ms Lee against Michael Palmer in the last election. Mr Jeyaretnam, on the other hand, doesn’t think he needs an introduction. SDP is also announcing its candidate too. SDP’s Chee Soon Juan, by the way, said in Today that he never did expect WP to accept its offer of a “unity candidate’’. Makes you wonder why he even extended the offer in the first place? All that it resulted in is bad press for SDP – online and offline.

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So that makes it a multi-cornered fight unless some last minute pact is brokered before Nomination Day tomorrow. (Don’t forget the two independents who seem to like losing their electoral deposit every time an election rolls around)
Now who says politics in Singapore is dead?

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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