Saturday, March 12, 2011

Singapore Cannot Lose 新加坡输不起


There are a lot of comments on my previous post on Friendship and Politics. Terrence from New Nation has even written a pretty critical article on my blog post. I have made a comment on his article as well.

How opposition parties contest is an important National issue because at this stage, it involves the critical development of the Nation's political landscape for Post-LKY era.

There are a few points I would like to put forward which I believe represent the aspiration and expectation of Singapore voters at large:

1) Singaporeans want to have credible opposition MPs in parliament
2) Singaporeans want opposition to win at least 1 GRC so to put pressures on PAP
3) Singaporeans do not wish to see 3 corner fights especially for GRCs.
4) Singaporeans want to vote, wish to see as many seats contested as possible.

Many people have mistakenly perceived my previous blog post as "attacking" fellow opposition party WP. Those who have met me during my ground work would know very well, whenever I meet people staying in Aljunied or East Coast GRCs, I would naturally encourage them to vote WP. How would I be attacking a party which I promote?

As I have explained to Terrence of New Nation, when I wrote that blog post, I was writing as a normal person, not a politician. It was true feelings that I have expressed which includes my frustrations of how things went wrong.

As I have mentioned, I regard Mr. Low Thia Khiang very highly as my political mentor while I was still with WP. Even till now, I would still respect him as my political mentor. I believe he too has the soft spot for his ex-student like me when he said he has given up WP's "first choice" because he knows I am going to contest there. Thus, WP chose Moulmein Kallang as the target for its expansion plan.

However that is really the crux of the problem.

I think most people really think too much of my blog post. The Zaobao reporter actually thinks that I am hinting WP is trying to block NSP because NSP is becoming a "threat" to its position. That is just that bit too far off. The truth is, when the space within the eastern corridor is so packed, two opposition parties enjoying growth will definitely face each other in a situation of 3 corner fight if they don't want to move towards the "untested" territory in the WEST.

NSP has done its part. Although NSP has generally been contesting and working the ground in the eastern corridors like Tampines and Jalan Besar (which is now split into Moulmein Kallang and Whampao), in order to avoid clashes with WP, we have started our expansion plan in the wild wild west, Jurong GRC which was not contested in 2006. We have tried to avoid WP's traditional ground like Aljunied and East Coast.

The clash of 3 corner fight is inevitable because unfortunately WP has taken up a totally different strategic approach from NSP. WP chose to stay put and expand in the eastern corridors which inevitably step into "traditional turfs" like NSP's Jalan Besar. Mr. Low Thia Khiang has even indicated that WP's first choice was Tampines.

That is why I say I would understand why it is inevitable that both WP and NSP will end up with 3 corner fights, in the eastern corridor.

In both NSP's and WP's perspectives, the mid-eastern part of Singapore would have more "fertile political land" basically because most parts in this area has been contested in past GEs. Consistent GE contests would naturally improve political awareness and consciousness of voters.

When good people like Tony Tan and Hazel have shown interests to join NSP and contest in the coming General Elections, as the co-leader of NSP, it is my duty to make sure that they will get a reasonably good fertile ground to work on.

In order to protect Tony and Hazel's team from 3 corner fight in Moulmein Kallang, I have even offered their team to stand in Tampines but both of them have declined the offer immediately citing the reason that I have worked so hard on the minister-specific strategy on Minister Mah for so long and I should stay put there. They decided to contest Moulmein Kallang instead, which is the other ground which NSP has worked on consistently for the past decade.

I believe that both WP and NSP are responsible and credible opposition parties which would make due considerations in terms of national interests to avoid 3 corner fight in Moulmein Kallang GRC in the spirit of trying to enhance Singapore's political landscape by trying to send good and credible people into parliament. This could only happen if and only if we could provide them a reasonable good fertile ground to work on.

It would be sad if both WP and NSP have two teams of good people clashing in a 3 corner fight. This is especially so when there are other constituencies like Sembawang GRC which will go uncontested for the coming GE. NSP has done its part in deciding that the team which is supposed to contest in Nee Soon GRC would be withdrawn from there to be deployed somewhere else.

Any opposition parties, including NSP, could afford to lose elections, but Singapore cannot afford to lose, to lose the opportunity to send in good and credible people into parliament. I just hope that in the coming days, the negotiation will have fruitful outcome that will serve the Nation's interests as a whole.

Goh Meng Seng

46 comments:

east said...

Only a good politicians will think of the post LKY era. And as Singaporeans we have to look into these issues like parliamentary representation in the future. Thank you for bringing up the subject. This election will be like the baptism of fire for NSP, hope you will do well and have the support of Singaporeans. Remember, its the Singaporeans who cast the votes, how are you going to make them cast their votes for you. can you read their minds?

Anonymous said...

Dear MS,
I understand the constraints of being a opposition member, what with trying to make a living and canvassing at the same time.

I stay in Tampines and share a similar sentiment with a fellow guy who contributed a post on TR, that I have not seen NSP around in my neigbourhood pre-election.

There was a Wanbao article critical of the claims of some alternative parties claiming they have worked the ground when some of the supposed activities they do is just going to a coffee shop for meals, distributing pamphlets occasionally etc (e.g. at Tampines round market). I tend to agree with this article.

Considering the gargantuan odds against an alternative party, I will overlook these but I hope NSP will look into its ramping up its community exposure and neighbourhood profile, like attending wakes etc.

One look at SDP website and their many activities and you can tell they are really engaged with the communities they intend to contest in.

Hope you take this suggestion positively.

DongFeng_21 said...

hahahaha v sad to say this is the state of opp politics we hv in spore, cant even settle internal diff properly yet they hope to take on PAP. had li zhicheng & wu sangui wk together history would hv to be rewritten but li failed to c shanhaiguan is an impt post, once u lose it ........

cos of a lady he gave up da hao jiang shan hahahahah

DongFeng_21 said...

y is it tht no 1 wana move to "uncontested territoty" they know best pple know best this is where they stand the slimmest chance of winning.

cy said...

from the day you decided to step into politics as a candidate,you are no longer a private person,but a public figure.Thus,any emotional outburst is to be read from a public figure point of view.

I hope you are not giving the wrong impression to your inexperienced NSP new members that emotional outburst are ok w/o paying a price.

Here's a quote from Thomas jefferson for you to ponder upon:
"When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property."

Anonymous said...

You are just wasting your time and probably deposit trying to contest in a 3 way corner fight.. As you know from the past, WP is capable of gathering the same number of votes even if you field the 2 Ex RP scholars.. The only one who benefit from such actions is non other than papee themselves.. This only will reduced the chance of the 2 ex scholars with impressive credentials getting a seat in the parliament.. If you are a good general, you will know how to field your soldiers probably to maximized their chances..

You guys are also taking away too much on the portion of from the SMC section.. People still remember steve chia is the person who committed political suicide back in year 2003.. It will hard for him to gather much supporters especially female voters.. Focus on fixing the papee and not fixing yourself..

Anonymous said...

From someone who no longer believe in nor trust the PAP:

Mr Goh,

We were quite impressed with you until we read about the scholar couple being allowed to join your party.

We feel you have just taken poison. This is our opinion.

We hope for your party and party's sake we have been wrong! Only time will tell.

We hope you and your party leadership has done your due diligence in your decision to accept the couple and their follwers into your innermost centum.

In our books, the behaviour of the couple in inciting a group of RF members to leave in that spectacular manner can only mean one thing - at best they don't have the best interest of the opposition cause and at worst it was a deliberately planned move against the RF because the late JBJ and Dr Chee SJ are truly hated credible figures of MM Lee. He has openly declared this many times and it leaves little to the imagination that the couple and perhaps other moles (I assure you there are also others within the opposition party right now) are planted as assassination squads becasue the price of loosing more seats to the opposition is too high for the ruling party to accept when they already have SO MANY WEAK POINTS TO COVER.

For what's is worth, good luck. But, I would suggest you watch the couple like a hawk and scrutinise their every move and statement. Remember, what LKY send out for such a job cannot be people of low calibre. They are smart. I hope you have an answer and plan B.

Incidebtally, I have no party affliation.
Just simply abhor the corruption, dictatorial methods, greedy, hypocritical and uncaring ways of the present govt.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is such a small island and yet has so many opposition parties. They should consider merging into one single opposition party undr the established brand
'hammer'. I notice that NSP got a
lot of new leaders deserted from
other parties esp WP which is not healthy. Esp with the 4 ex-RP members just joined NSP and now become your election candidates,
what kind of screening process and
criteria does NSP adopts. It look
like NSP just a collection centre
for deserters from other parties.
The integrity of the member is in
doubt. If you can't coopeate among yourself and can we expect you to
serve the people. Look at LTK,
he did not become SG straight away
only after proven himself in Hoguang and then elected to be SG.
What about you GMS, jump from WP
and suddenly apointed as SG w/o proven anything in politics?
My advice is better group under WP
if you really want to win against
PAP.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly think Steve Chia is a credible candidate with his bad records? Don't say women, men will not vote for him as well. Please do not waste a SMC on him. He may be a good person, but his actions speak otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I find NSP very arrogant, even before govt dissovle paliament and
your negotiation with WP, you already announce the candidates
(deserters from RP) in M-K GRC
and shutting out the door for further negoiation. This is political incorrect and immature
and have nor regard for opposition
unity. Very impulsive behavoir.

Anonymous said...

All opinions and suggestions here and in previous threads have to be taken seriously by NSP.

Steve Chia had committed only a very minor 'illegal act', hope he can be forgiven. Ministers have been complacent and inefficient in their duties, yet they were not made accountable. Compare the mistake of Chia and the Ministers' negligences, the Former seems to commit less fault. Voters must also be aware that Steve Chia did his NCMP duty very well.

Anonymous said...

NSP is not arrogant but NSP had made the right to announce and let votes aware to be contest.

Any times government will dissolve the parliament.

Good job NSP your Party have done and please contest seats where WP contest because if WP serious, WP now have to make and discuss as leaders, times is going on...? Why 'Worker Party' delay...??? (Shadow or Spy)

Singaporean said...

If NSP and WP engage in a 3-corner fight in M-K GRC, both of you WILL LOSE. Singapore will lose.

Only the PAP will win.

Please don't play a game of political "chicken" with WP.

Please don't lose sight of your common enemy which is the PAP.

Anonymous said...

when one party is confident and has committed to take accountability and ownership to deliver its responsibility i think that is giving a clear signal to the PAP and the Singapore citizen that They are prepared. I believe that is not arrogant. But when when dislike that party for whatever reason then it is unfair to speculate word to decribe them as a whole or for the matter of fact they have been accuse for being arrogant. If u are a tru citizen with great intention u should have approach NSP to give your thoughts and if you want your thoughts to be put across seriously then i suggest u joint NSP and be part of them. And even you hate them or anyone in NSP then I would also suggest that u meet the person or email them to express your impression and give your honest feedback how they can improve but not to express your own personal emo or preferences that has nothing to do with NSP and what they have been trying to do for the Singapore Citizen at large.

Anonymous said...

In the face of a powerful common enemy (PAP), I hope that you can propose to WP for a joint WP-NSP team to contest Moulmein-Kallang together. Such a coaltion team would be a very powerful combination. It would make the 2 PAP Ministers in that GRC shiver with fear and have sleepless nights.

Anonymous said...

This is so much like: 倚天屠龙记:六大派铲除魔教!
So true!
LOL!

Anonymous said...

I think NSP has made a mistake
of appointing a deserter from WP
as S-G so soon w/o going thru any election battle under NSP. Now GMS
openly criticise his former boss
and dare not admit it. I am sure
he will drag NSP into big trouble
ahead with his attitude of discussing problems among opposition parties online. He is just exposing his weakness for
others to attack. Not tactful at all.

Anonymous said...

WP will not contest in M-Kallang because they have no candidate just to make NSP confused? WHY ...?

Silvia You Should know better, your politic had be ack...? Your own members have informed us and others about your plan will not only contest at M-Kallang also others as nee soon GRC too.

Talk and think as human true......

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Goh,

I'm a resident of Jurong GRC and very excited at the prospect of Jurong being contested at the coming elections. I understand NSP has made a number of visits to Jurong. I was very sure I'm going to vote for NSP at the coming GE. I even joined the NSP Jurong FB group.

However, looking at how you (mis)handled the negotiations with WP over M-K, I wasn't so sure anymore. You were brash and seemed like a political novice but worse of all, you came across very arrogant, not unlike KJ. Now, msm will have a good time highlighting this so called opposition disunity. If anyone thinks WP has fallen into PAP's trap of more NCMP seats, I think you've just fallen into the MSM's trap. LTK had openly said he will resigned if WP insist he accepts the NCMP seat, not likely he will want WP to contest for merely NCMP seats. (If he does go back on his words, he and WP will be brought into disrepute.)

You are the Sec-Gen of NSP. No matter who you sent to NSP, voters will associate NSP's candidates with you. I don't really care if you send Hazel or Tony as ultimately you are NSP's leader, voters will assume NSP takes its direction from you, your actions will have an impact on NSP's performance as a whole. Alas, what's done is done. Your actions are really regrettable.

With that, should I vote for NSP, with you as its leader? I'm really not sure. Now I'm hoping RP will consider sending a team to Jurong GRC. When PAP's, NSP's and RP's leaders are more or less the same, then I can compare the candidates - apples to apples.

Regards,
Ah Boy

Goh Meng Seng said...

I have to clarify, I am not the one who said WP has dropped into the trap of NCMP. I would not speculate who said that.

It is a contest of candidates as far as I am concerned. Of course, we will try to avoid 3 corner fight as far as possible. If WP could put up a very good team with very good candidates, I believe we will make compromises. We are not unreasonable people.

Goh Meng Seng

coolingstar9 said...

i think Mr. Goh is the reasonable person who know what are the expectation of opposition supporters.
Opposition supporters want to see the breakthrough this time.
They do not want to wait further.

noname said...

Dear leaders of WP, NSP and SDP,

We Singaporeans have suffer long enough under the fox Lee family. Please spread your team wisely so that each zone has 1 opposition party contesting in the next General Election. I can assure you, many of us are VERY VERY SICK of being "Native but 3rd class citizen of a nation governed by idiots who import congestions and contention". We want those people who made our island a "Congested Islet of Foreign Talents (42% of population) - Singapore." - TOTALLY OUT!

Also please come contest in Chua Chu Kang or Jurong GRC, the western side! Many of us want to exercise our rights - to vote those PAP elites PIGS out!

Sincerely hope for a CHANGE for Singapore!

crescit said...

Dear Mr Goh,

please keep the lines of communication with WP and other parties NSP may have a 3 corner fight with open all the way to nomination day.

Remember, having a stronger candidature and beating the other opposition party doesn't change a thing for us voters, when, at the end of the day, PAP still wins the majority of the vote in the constituency.

I'm sure you have sensed that the groundswell for change is stronger this time round. Splitting the opposition vote is just going to make this futile. Please help us help you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Goh

Instead of squabbling with WP and end up in 3 corner fights, why not send a team to places like AMK GRC, Sembawang GRC etc? I saw your team active in AMK area a while ago but why are you giving it up? I stay in AMK GRC and will certainly welcome your contest here.

VT

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear All,

I will give my assurance that we will make sure that all efforts will be made to avoid 3 corner fight in Moulmein Kallang. We will resolve this issue with good reasoning and I believe WP is a reasonable party.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Well, Meng Seng, we really hope you will settle it with WP for the good of singapore. I definitely think you screwed up badly when you blogged about the whole issue. Your public image dived and it doesn't give the picture tt ur trying to maintain a professional but friendly relationship with WP. Finger pointed at WP for being unrelenting but it end up more fingers pointing at you and the whole of NSP are dragged. Don't be to arrogant to learn from this.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Blogging about this issue is a necessity here as we should be open and transparent about how such "horse trading" is being done.

There are reasons on why I say something and there are witnesses to it. You will be surprised that I am really not the arrogant one in comparison.

I have put forward all the reasoning on why certain things end up like that. It is up for people to judge for themselves.

I would understand the frustrations of WP ardent supporters but we must look at things in perspective. We would either be reasonable or unreasonable people.

Blind loyalty brings us no where. We need to practice good reasoning, fairness and justice in our dealings so that we could extend it to other areas such core values.

Goh Meng Seng

furrybrowndog said...

Hi GMS,

I think it's best if you focused your energies on campaigning and negotiating with other parties. By commenting too much on other blogs, you're giving people more ammunition to take yourself down.

NSP just got a big boost because of their new candidates. The last thing your party need is for someone who doesn't like NSP to take what you said on some blog or forum out of context and twist it to discredit yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ya, Mr Goh, stop talking so much.. you're blowing yourself up!

Anonymous said...

I think GMS is the one with head-swell. Who is he to dictate that
LTK to contest in M-K GRC as a condition? Is he running the WP?
He is just a defect from WP and now
he is giving instruction to WP.
This type of attitude is not suitable in politics.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Goh,

I'm going to be very blunt, don't bother coming to Tampines, you have no chance here. Let the others have the chance.

Tampines on a rating of 0-5, is level 5 difficulty, really. Even thought MBT is really hated for his HDB policies, but if I touch my heart and speak, he really did a good job with turning Tampines into a beautiful and prosperous town.

Roy said...

GMS

As a party leader, you claimed you need to provide Tony and Hazel with fertile ground for competition.

These 2 had their fertile ground with RP. For whatever reasons, they choose to forgo it at the last minute, indicating they are prepared to possible miss participation in this GE, or at best do it at a place less favourable.

They made their choice and should be at ease.

Is it right for you to put the interest of these people who are prepared to lose participation in the GE, above that of the Singaporean citizens? your ex-colleagues at WPs?

Why don't you, Hazel and Tony set up an online poll so gauge sentiments of the voters. Your party did not have them, and they did not have your party just a few weeks ago, but the you are all part of this country since forever.

Send the party hoppers to some other GRCs. There is a price to pay for last minute party changes. We must all be adult about this. Please learn from SDP in this aspect. They are always willing to pay a price for what they do, even serving time in prison, for what they believe in.

If they are unable to see that and u insist such personalities are beneficial for Singapore (not NSP) You all do not deserve a vote from Sinagpore.

Anonymous said...

Mr Goh MS, plse organise a team to challenge GCT in Marine Parade GRC. All constituents in Marine Parade will appreciate you and NSP. GCT has lost his credibility as his talks cock stories most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Mr Goh, do not waste your party resources to get into 3 corner fight. Instead, you should work with WP to form coalition teams to contest in Marine Parade GRC, AMK GRC and Sembawang GRC. The ground is very sweet for oppositions with influx of foreigners.

Anonymous said...

Even without 3 corner fight, I believe opposition candidates have only 40% or less chance of winning (i.e. unlikely to win).

With 3 corner fight, 0% chance of winning.

Tampinesian said...

when are you coming down to tampines for a walk? hope steven chia comes along as i always voted for him when i was staying in CCK.
I dunno about others but all i see are filthy hdb blocks in the estates, useful playgrounds torn down to make way for useless plastic contraptions which no kids wanna frequent ever again and the obvious promise to build a livestyle hub and covered-link walk ways only when election is nearing. what kind of nonsense is this. I rather they pour more money into helping the poor tissue sellers/buckers near the mrt or have more cleaners for the estate. i don't know why am i paying my monthly s/c fees for. Feeder bus services like 291 and 293 are horrendous as well. either you see no bus for 15 mins, or you see 2 to 3 buses coming at one go.

Anonymous said...

If Opp ever got involved in 3 corner fight, it has been proven to be sure-lose situation. That being the case, why can't one party give in. If Opp parties are genuinely concerned abt Sporeans future, why can't all Opp stay united ? If there be 3-corner fight in my constituency, I will either spoil my vote or vote for the ruling party.

crescit said...

Anon 11:00am

'If there be 3-corner fight in my constituency, I will either spoil my vote or vote for the ruling party.'

How does doing this help the opposition cause? Think about it.

A concerned Tampines resident said...

Dear Mr Goh,

I am a Tampines resident and bought your newsletter at the Tampines MRT during your night cavassing. What I observed was hardly a handful of people stopped by and bought the newsletter. Many Tampines resident may have the fear or uneasiness to approach your party, this is understandable.

May I suggest that you write a open letter on this website addressing all Tampines resident on the following :

1) ask for their feedback
2) appeal for volunteers in the coming election
3) request for ideas / suggestions / methods on how to your team can stand a better chance to win the election

I am sure if just 10 % of the Tampines resident can come forward and reply to your letter, the half battle is won. The thousands of your Tampines supporters ' mind may provide overwhelming ideas which you may not be capable to think of.

Interact on the Internet is faster and can reach to a wider audience.

I hope you will look into this and take prompt action.

Tampinesian said...

Is the NSP site useful to know of NSP visits? Cuz im upset that i can't find any information at all even if i want to show some support to you guys in Tampines.
Where to get the newsletter? where to see u guys patrol? Are you guys even making use of online social media to allow supporters like me to understand more about you all? gosh...

Anonymous said...

Dear NSP, like to propose to your party that it list the blogsites of all the local social and political bloggers in your newsletters. This will allow the voters to have better understandings of the ground sentiments.

Anonymous said...

你们这帮土匪,别再婆婆妈妈了!快合作攻进城把黄四爷干掉吧!- 让子弹飞。

Anonymous said...

Dear readers,

Watch GOPALAN NAIR's talk on freedom of speech in :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glJb7RbV79Y

Pls bear with him for the initial part, the second half of the video is more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Mr Goh,

Welcome your NSP come to contest in Marine Parade GRC. If we let go GCT easily, he will field a monkey MP in 5 years later because he thinks Singaporeans are all fools.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Friends, supporters and readers,

It is official. NSP will give up Moulmein Kallang GRC to WP and Yuhua SMC to SDP.

Goh Meng Seng

ch said...

thank you for sending a good team to contest Jurong GRC. your party has my vote! i started a family in Jurong in 2008, moving out of Tiong Bahru. i know the severity of the housing issues and it was enlightening to read your blog.

i spotted another trend among my friends who married recently. shortly after staying in their new homes (4-room resale HDB), they had to decided to rent out one bedroom to cope with the cost of living.

ch.