Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hougang By-election: The Finale on the Battle of Hearts and Minds

Both PAP and WP have concluded their Election Rallies and interesting enough, both are battling for the HEARTS now. Both sides talk about HEARTs, bottom of my heart, touch the hearts... etc.

Watching the WP rally tonight reminds me of GE2006. The emotions ran high. The tears and sweat...

WP has successfully arouse the emotions of the voters again. Although I would say that the speeches by a few people could have been better and the points are really sounding very pale. It seems that WP's think tank was unable to come up with new angles, new issues and new rally slogans except that "Huat Ah".

To win an elections, it depends very much on the middle ground swing voters. WP has managed to secure the support of its hardcore supporters in Hougang in spite of the various problems it faced right from the start of this by-election... from the resignation of its Nee Soon Indian candidate Sajeev, the mysterious double singer of Dr Poh Lee Guan to the unfortunate Secret Squirrel leaking document to discredit Png Eng Huat etc, these hardcore supporters will not be swayed.

But emotions aside, my mind tells me that WP's Png Eng Huat is really inferior in many counts when compared to Desmond Choo. As an opposition member, we carry the flag of democracy and voice of the people into parliament. We must make sure that every MPs in the parliament counts in the battle for the rights and welfare of the people. There is no luxury like PAP which has over 80 MPs and they could afford a few MPs who cannot speak, debate and talk well in parliament. As my last posting has indicated, Png Eng Huat is really not ready to be an EFFECTIVE MP in parliament by the assessment of his performance during this BE.

But emotionally, I still hope that WP could win Hougang. Yes, I know, I have declared independence and not supposed to help any parties to win this election and I have stuck to this until tonight.

I have walked and worked the ground in Hougang many donkey years ago, prior to GE2006. I have emotional attachment of how we have done every little possible things to help the residents there, in spite of the lack of critical resources. We sweat with determination to over come all odds to achieve our aims. We helped to write parliamentary speeches and engaged in policy issue discussions to strengthen our MP's voice in parliament. Sometimes the debate on key issues could drag on over midnight. Hougang may not be the BEST constituency in Singapore in terms of infrastructure but we tried out very best to enhance all the heartware.

These are the experiences that one would not forget easily. Even for former WP members like Eric Tan, in spite of feeling betrayed and disenchanted with the party for whatever reasons, our hearts will hold true to the days we have spent in building and developing the party throughout the years. No one would want to destroy the work and foundation which he has contributed in building. Thus, I could understand why Eric, in spite of his disgruntled heart, has chosen to step forward to speak up for Png Eng Huat in all truthfulness.

I may be different because I have chosen a more long winded path. I may sound cynical and mean in my critiques of WP and its MPs, but ultimately, for a true blue fighter who believe in democratic development for Singapore, we will always stand in solidarity when the beating comes. My critiques of Workers Party and its MPs come at a cost to me but I don't really mind. I always believe that every parties, politically, will need to be checked and balanced. If they really take my critiques in proper light, I hope that they will benefit from it.

I have said before in my Facebook, I may just spoil my vote if the candidate from the opposition party really could not make it. But the truth is, I didn't spoil my vote in GE2011 when the opposition party team contesting in my Ang Mo Kio GRC was just so weak. I voted for them and that is heart over mind, really. Voting is never a rational decision for hardcore opposition supporters like me.

Thus, in retrospect, even though with all honesty, I find Png Eng Huat much inferior than Desmond Choo in many aspects, if I were to be Hougang voter, I would still vote for the sake of democracy development, the opposition party Workers Party.

For the middle ground voters in Hougang reading my post, I just hope that you could give democratic development a chance and vote for Workers Party. Yes, you have seen the true strength of WP candidate Png Eng Huat here which I have made unreserved criticisms on his bearing and weaknesses, but ultimately, Democracy needs the process to groom opposition members over time. Nobody is a born leader or politician. I believe that Png Eng Huat, after this tough battle, he would accelerate through the learning curve and hopefully, he would become a seasoned politician in time to come. I also hope that Workers Party would be humbled and recognize the fact that they alone, may not be strong enough to fight the battle against the mighty PAP machinery.

The arrogance of WP members and strategy is less than desirable. They have been overwhelmed by their success in GE2011 and unfortunately, become the prisoners of their own success. As I have said before, the success of GE2011 should belong to each and everyone who have played their parts in the GE2011 and not WP alone. Without the effort of other opposition parties raising various issues, WP could not make that critical WOW impact. This BE has demonstrated very clearly the lack of new policy issues and focus when WP is being left alone to do the battle. The issues raised in BE has been recycled again and again until they are very stale. WP must understand that their success in GE2011 is not solely due to their own effort or branding but rather, they have rode on the waves created by many other opposition parties in the build up towards the GE.

On the other hand, I hope WP could do some reflections on why there are so much internal problems and unhappiness within. I do not believe the series of events are the result of some high level conspiracy which Low TK seems to suggest at tonight's rally. I believe these things happen because there are disillusioned members who are unhappy with the management of the party by the leadership. Low TK has put it quite well that for our Nation, we need a government who is just and fair. However, this may also apply to running a party as well. I sincerely hope that Low TK and his CEC members should review and reflect upon whether the management style has been fair and just to others.

All these problems WP is facing, may just be the process of growing pain. As Low TK has rightly put, even PAP has gone through such painful growth process in its initial years. But I sincerely hope that Low TK would also realize the importance of the coordinated efforts of other opposition parties as well.

Last but not least, once again, for the middle ground voters in Hougang who are reading my blog, I sincerely hope that you can give Democracy a chance, vote WP.

Goh Meng Seng

3 comments:

Mohammad Nizam Abdul Kadir said...

Give Democracy a chance??? Are you kidding me? For the past 21 years, what have they given chances to??? isn't it DEMOCRACY??? You are putting it as if, they have not been giving chances... They have for over 20 years. It is Yaw and Low who have not done what Hougang had done for them, remain loyal in Hougang for Democracy....

kelly said...

Ayo, Mohamad Nizam! Ask WP why they did not announce LUP which was approved in 2009? The whole of HG think they have NO UPGRADING! WP was sitting on it la.

Let's see how long Png can last. I really hope LTK doesn't need to intervene in everything. Or else Png will only continue to appear like someone on strings.

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing..