Letter Published In The Independent Singapore
I am a resident of Bukit Batok. You published an article yesterday which listed 10 reasons why the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s secretary-general, Dr Chee Soon Juan, may be elected in coming Bukit Batok by-election. But I want to list 10 reasons here why I think Chee Soon Juan will not be elected in the next election.
1. The Tharman Factor
Mr Tharman is a very popular anchor-Minister for the constituencies in Jurong, including Bukit Batok. We believe Mr Tharman will campaign hard for the next PAP candidate fielded in the constituency.
2. The Low Thia Khiang Reason
At the 2013 by-election in Punggol East, despite popular calls for the NCMPs Gerald Giam or Yee Jenn Jong to be fielded as WP (Workers’ Party)’s candidate for that constituency, WP’s secretary-general Low Thia Khiang fielded the candidate he fielded in the constituency during the 2011 GE (General Election) – Lee Li Lian.
The voters in Punggol East saw that Mr Low did not did not field a second class MP in GE 2011, and gave Ms Lee an overwhelming endorsement.
If SDP does not field the candidate it fielded in Bukit Batok constituency in GE 2015, Sadasivam Veriyah, and fields someone else, it is natural for voters like me to question if SDP offered its voters second-class candidate in the last election.
3. The Chiam See Tong Betrayal
Older voters like me have not forgotten Dr Chee’s betrayal of opposition doyen, Mr Chiam See Tong. SDP was once the leading opposition political party in Singapore. Mr Chiam had brought Dr Chee into the SDP in 1992, mentoring and promoting him.Dr Chee then proceeded to betray Mr Chiam, isolate him and force him out of the SDP. More recently Dr Chee had tried to explain what actually led to Mr Chiam’s expulsion – but it was viewed by many as throwing more mud on Mr Chiam’s face.
4. The Rebel Image
Dr Chee has consciously cultivated an image of him as being a rebel. Singaporeans are not willing to elect a rebel who engages in confrontational politics into parliament.
5. Former SDP Members who Continue to Accuse Dr Chee as being Unethical
Former members of SDP like Jeremy Chen have continued in their accusations that Dr Chee Soon Juan is less than honourable, and SDP nor Dr Chee has rebutted Mr Chen appropriately (at least as far as I know).
6. Using Foreign Media to run down Singapore
This needs no further illustration. Dr Chee has never failed to use foreign media to run down the Singapore government. This is very unlike Mr Chiam or Mr Low, who close ranks with their Singapore counterparts when they speak to foreigners.
7. The Goh Chok Tong Harassment
Singaporeans have not forgotten how Dr Chee like a pai-kia went after Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, with a loudhailer in GE 2001. He lost that election miserably.
8. No Experience Running a Town Council
The SDP has zero experience running a town council. They may claim that they managed town councils when the Party had Members in Parliament. But their MPs, Ling How Doong and Cheo Chai Chen, who were elected in the GE 91 did so badly managing their town councils that the voters decided to give them the boot at the next election. The fact is, besides Mr Chiam See Tong, who subsequently left SDP to form his own party, no one has effectively managed a town council. From rats to mosquito breeding, Bukit Batok has a number of municipal issues which only an effective town council can resolve.
Dr Chee is seen to be flip-flopping in the type of candidates his Party would offer Singaporeans. In GE 2011, he fielded Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, an openly gay party member (who has since resigned), and in GE 2015, he fielded Damanhuri Abas, a leader of the ‘Wear White’ campaign (a campaign against the LGBT Pink Dot event).
10. Western-style Liberal Democracy
Dr Chee is a proponent of western style liberal democracy and freedoms. Middle class families like mine are not clamouring for more freedoms, but for bread and butter issues. Will life for me and my family be better or worse if Dr Chee is elected to Parliament?