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This election, the bulk of the media reports on local mainstream media seems to be dominated by reports on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) saga. I don’t know about you, but frankly, I am sick of it. While it is an important issue, it is not the SOLE issue affecting Singapore and Singaporeans, and definitely NOT the most pressing issue.
What about topics like rising costs of living, population and immigration policies as well as healthcare?
The AHPETC saga can continue after GE2015 for the People’s Action Party (PAP), the Workers Party (WP) and the government to sort things out. It does not need to dominate the precious campaigning period which is just ten days.
This brings me to the rally speech last night by the secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), Dr Chee Soon Juan.
Chee has come a long way.
In his first rally speech after nearly 15 years, Chee chastised the PAP government policies for Singaporeans’ unhappy and high-stress lives today, and addressed questions that had been raised about his past and character.
He wants us to focus on the policies and stop the “gutter politics”.
Chee been through a lot. He had been bankrupted through defamation suits by PAP politicians and been called a psychopath, a liar and a cheat, among many other names thrown at him for over a decade.
Both Chee and his wife are PhD holders, and yet they live in a crammed 3-room HDB flat with three kids, leading a simple life. Check out this documentary about the human side of Chee and his family life:
Without true grit and determination, many others would have given up and migrated to greener pasture or simply retire from politics. Yet Chee soldiered on. For that, he earned my respect, just like the late JB Jeyaratnam.
It will be great to see him start on a fresh slate this election. I am not saying you should agree with Chee and blindly vote for the SDP this election, but at least give the man a chance to put his ideas across. After all, he is just human like you and I; not a crazy monster he is often perceived to be.
The PAP is not letting up though. Lawrence Wong and Sim Ann fired the first salvo during a televised debate:
During his speech last night, Dr Chee said: “As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the PAP will say our ideas are dangerous and reckless, and that they will ruin the country and drive it to bankruptcy. If they cannot convince you, they will throw out a standard line – they will say Chee Soon Juan is untrustworthy, Chee Soon Juan is a liar, a gangster, a psychopath.”
“Their idea is to attack me and to see if I respond, and whether I defend myself. If I do, they will attack even more, and by the time we are done with nine days of campaigning, the whole elections would be over, and they would have achieved the objective of stopping me and my colleagues from talking about our issues. And more importantly, to distract you from the real issues.”
I seriously hope this election would not degenerate into name-callings and mudslingings. Debate on the policies and ideas please. I think Singaporean voters have moved beyond that kind of politics.
If you missed Chee’s speech last night, you have to watch it online:
The part where he talked about wanting to buy a box of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for his kids, but instead, went for Wall’s after looking at the prices, even then, his wife asked him to buy it only when the ice cream is on offer… that totally tugged my heartstring:
Ending off this post with a music video from Chee’s two daughters:
GE2015 will be an interesting comeback year for Dr Chee Soon Juan and the SDP. This is why the battle for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC is on my top ten battles to watch list for GE2015.