This man here is one of the most brilliant, fearsome opponents PAP has ever had. He rose to prominence during a time when PAP was far less tolerant of opposition, and proved himself to be a formidable opponent of Lee Kuan Yew. He was the only political opponent who got public apologies from Lee Kuan Yew (For misstating the number of credits he got for his O levels), and from Foreign Minister S. Dhanabalan and Defence Minister Howe Yoon Chong, for making unfounded statements about him. He fought to retain his stronghold over Potong Pasir during an era where battles were fought on the ground, instead on social media, and won the hearts of people, who valued him over a $80 million upgrading carrot that PAP dangled in front of them.
This here, is a newly formed political party in Singapore. This image went viral on the internet yesterday. Members of the Tamil-speaking community pointed out that the tamil translation of the party’s slogan is incomprehensible and a disgrace to the beautiful language that is Tamil, which, to add insult to injury, happens to be one of our 4 official languages. The party’s general secretary is Tan See Jay, a man who managed to win 25% of Singaporeans’ votes during the 2011 presidential elections.
In an online poll conducted by mothership, approximately 1/3 of the voters seem to think that SingFirst should win PAP in both Tanjong Pagar GRC and Jurong GRC. Is this is the dire state of alternative political parties in Singapore right now? This, in my opinion, is a huge disgrace to strong alternative leaders such as Chiam See Tong and J.B Jeyaretnam who were politicans of excellent calibre, and who gave Singapore a fighting chance against a one-party political rule.
This Tan See Jay spends all of his time slamming PAP. Recently, he attacked Chee Hong Tat (PAP’s candidate for Bishan – TPY) because he spoke in Hokkien in his introductory speech, despite having mentioned that it is not necessary to advocate the structured learning of dialects. But what about the fact that YOUR political party, Singaporeans First, cant do something as simple as checking that all language translations during a press conference that is going to reach all Singaporeans is accurate. Also, why is it that your website has your manifesto in English, Malay and Chinese? What about Tamil? Or do we not qualify as Singaporeans?
Let me refer you to your mission statement.
To be the political party of choice in Singaporeans.
Maybe you want to modify it a bit? For content AND GRAMMAR?
To be the political party of choice
in for majority of Singaporeans.
I think we as citizens need to make sure that we make the right decisions with our power to vote. All political parties, both PAP and alternative parties, should be subjected to the same scrutiny. No party should be voted in just because they are the opposition and everybody hates the ruling party. If you want a change, fine. Bring about a change. But make sure that the party that is going to go into power will be just as effective, if not more, and that it would be a party that can address the shortcomings of the party that was just kicked out. I think it is impossible to find a political party, or a government that is perfect. If an opposition party has lapses in their financial accounts, then they should be brought to task. These lapses should not be excused just because some claim that the ruling party also has lapses in their financial accounts. If thats true then both parties should be made accountable.
Some then argue that the ruling party makes it impossible for the opposition party to have a shot at governance. Regardless of whether PAP allows for it or not, the citizens have made it happen in Aljunied. So what changes have been implemented by Worker’s Party? What have they done that is different from what George Yeo used to do? How have the lives of the citizens in Aljunied improved? What is the impact of their presence in parliament? These are the questions Singaporeans need to ask WP as part of their GE2015 campaign so that they are deserving of the more SMCs and GRCs that they want to claim. They should be able to stand on their own merit, instead of being popular because they are populist, and anti-PAP. Yes, we need opposition in the parliament, but we need to make sure that the opposition is credible. Forget showing our gratitude to Lee Kuan Yew. We all know that that will be done regardless. But what about showing our gratitude to statesmen like Chiam See Tong who have done so much to carve a niche for the opposition in Singapore?