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Hougang by-election is about Hougang residents and not national politics

Posted by temasektimes on May 11, 2012

For more than twenty years, long-suffering Hougang residents have shouldered the national ‘burden’ of ensuring an opposition presence in Parliament during every election especially last year when their long-term MP Low Thia Kiang left his stronghold to contest in neighboring Aljunied GRC.

With the opposition having an unprecedented five seats in Parliament and eight if we include the three NCMPs this time, the result of the coming by-election in Hougang will have no impact on Singapore.

One extra seat will not affect the PAP which will still be the government and neither will it make the opposition more influential in parliament.

As such, it is time for national politics to take a back seat and allow Hougang residents to vote for a candidate who will best serve their municipal interests after being neglected for so long a period of time.

In his statement on the by-election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong encouraged “Hougang voters to use this opportunity wisely, to elect the best candidate with commitment and integrity: someone they can rely upon to express their hopes and concerns, address their needs, and make a real difference to their lives.”

What improvements do Hougang residents want to see in their estate? What other amenities do they need? What more can be done to help the needy residents? And who is in a better position to serve them better?

These are the questions that Hougang residents will be pondering over carefully and they should vote for the most suitable candidate to take care of them in the next four years regardless of party affiliations.

There are some people who want to hijack the by-election to pursue their own selfish agenda and to turn it into a national referendum for the PAP’s performance in the past one year.

They made grandiose proclamations and all kinds of motherhood statements on why it is important to ensure Hougang remains in the hands of the opposition and that the by-election is a showcase of opposition unity which show scant respect to Hougang voters.

Did they ask Hougang residents what they want exactly? Have they even stepped foot into Hougang?

Some netizens have started digging up the past speeches of one of the candidate’s uncle who was a MP and using them to smear his character to cast doubt on his integrity.

Will such vicious mudslinging help Hougang residents or promote national unity in anyway? Will it make a difference to the lives of those concerned?

After two hotly contested elections last year, Singapore does not need another one to divide the nation. The Hougang by-election is simply an election for its residents to select the best candidate to serve them in their ward and not about national issues and politics which can be left till four years later.

Let us give Hougang residents the time, space and peace of mind they need to make an informed, correct and wise decision on 26 May for they truly deserve it after all the sacrifices they have made for the nation over the years.





19 Responses to “Hougang by-election is about Hougang residents and not national politics”

  1. Never Mind What They Think said

    I think any decrease in the number of non-PAP representatives in Parliament represents a step backwards in Singapore’s democratization.

  2. Vote for PAP said

    Vote for PAP, vote for loss of your job, vote for more foreigners, vote for more crowded public transport, vote for under the carpet crime, vote for more PRCostitutes wreaking families. To a ghetto Singapore, vote for PAP!

  3. Observer said

    I agree with the article. Why not we have no opposition, anyway PAP is still the government. Why not we not have election, its such a waste of resources. Why not we adopt the ancient Chinese Imperial Examination system, just appoint the best talent to run the government.

  4. by-stander said

    ‘scare’ tactic again?? dont vote PAP means the estate remain ‘old’ with no new facilities??? Isn’t Hougang residents are also citizen of Singapore???? or just because petty government taking out on ‘rebellious’ citizen who voted opposition?

  5. Hogwash is how I wld describe this article.
    Hougang is more than just a constituency issue. An Opp win esp by a landslide wld be a clear wakeup call to the ruling elite that, as Prof Tommy Koh put it courageously, the widening gap between the rich and poor is an unconscionable social divide that shd be narrowed in the best interests of everybody.
    Clearly, the writer of this article is a PAPie opportunist whose only interest is to advance himself/herself regardless of the costs to our country. Sad.

  6. Jaded said

    lousy article, Temasek Times’s biasness against the WP is disgraceful.

  7. PAP love FTs said

    If everyone thinks like the writer, we will all be slaves to PAP forever. PAP doesn’t own the country and it is NOT right for them to dangle upgrading and amenities as incentives to vote for their party. In most countries, this is a simple case of vote buying. Tax payers money used for such upgrading doesnt belong to PAP for goodness sake! After the last GE, PAP has gone back to their old ways and broken all their pre-GE promises. LHL probably even forgot he said that they are supposed to be servants, not masters. If Hougang falls to PAP, does this mean that Singaporeans are suckers for punishment? Daft as ever??
    This writer doesn’t deserve to be featured here.. Singaporeans in Hougang have to show some backbone!!

  8. SGC said

    If it’s only about Hougang residents, then we are going for town councilors/managers/maintenance officers. No, we want Parliamentarians, real politicians and political leaders in Hougang and beyond!

  9. HG said

    Remeber HG residents. If you like what you see in PAP’s responsiveness (even if its mostly superficial now), think what you can achieve for the rest fo SIngaporeans when you give them a big kick in their butts at the by-elections. Notice that Singaporeans are no longer said to be lazy, daft, in dire need of spurs in our behind.

    What we will get when you give them a even lower % than Desmond got in GE2011, it may translate to actual things which will do good for Singapore. Such as stop leeches from coming over (read unwanted immigrants), actually narrow the wage gap, actually reduce the cost of living, actually reduce the cost of HDB to a real affordable level.

    Gone are the condescending tone but the self serving policies stay the same. Do not be bought over by little gifts by Desmond Choo but lose much more with no change in their policies. Think long term. Think of your children.

  10. wtf said

    If PAP takes back hougang, there won’t be free porridge, no free legal advice, no free hearing aids. I sure know what’s best for hougang.


    Good that WP expelled Yaw. What about the many ministers in PAP who have failed us? 1 of them is even our president now! surely now my CPF gone case already..

    If you think free legal advise, coffee shop talks are more important than your already suppressed wages thanks to the open-door policy, go ahead then.

    Vote wisely.

  12. The "Silent" Majority said

    The writer is sprouting nonsense and evil nonsense for that matter. This is about Singapore, not just Hougang. If PAP wins, it would be one smiliing PR person taking smiley pictures with old folks and giving some free porridge. I ask the writer not to play this dangerous game with our future whatever your reason are. If PAP wins this one, we are sending the wrong message to the PAP and all the opposition parties. I do not know what is happening to TR, but article writer….please…..touch your heart with your hand and look yourself in the mirror

  13. Ken Lee said

    SINGAPORE: Former Member of Parliament Choo Wee Khiang has been charged in court with three counts of corruption and one of criminal breach of trust.

    The amounts involved total about S$10,600. The offences were allegedly committed during Choo’s tenure as the president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).

    The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said it received several anonymous complaints against Choo from 2005 to 2007 alleging that he had charged his personal airfares, expenses, phone bills to STTA and received gifts from Chinese coaches and players.

    Acting on the information received, the CPIB conducted an investigation which revealed that in 2005, Choo had received S$1,500 from Liu Zhongze, who was then a national team player, and Luo Jie, who was then an assistant coach of the STTA, in return for giving Liu more opportunities to represent the STTA in table tennis tournaments.

    Investigations also revealed that between 2003 and 2004, Choo is believed to have accepted US$600 on two separate occasions from Shi Mei Sheng, who was then a STTA coach. This was allegedly his reward for approving the use of two different training facilities in China.

    The last charge of criminal breach of trust also involves the former High Performance Manager of STTA, Koh Li Ping, who was charged in the same court on Thursday.

    The CPIB said that between 2002 and 2003, Luo Jie, whose work pass only permitted him to work for STTA, provided table tennis training to students of Fuhua Secondary School.

    But the school was unable to pay him for the training provided, which amounted to S$8,400.

    Luo Jie told Choo and Koh about this.

    They then allegedly arranged with the principal of the school to engage STTA in a new training arrangement with the intention to use the proceeds received to pay Luo Jie for the outstanding fees.

    Subsequently, after STTA received the payment from the school, Koh obtained approval from Choo to authorise a payment of S$8,400 to Luo Jie, even though the latter did not provide any training services under the new training arrangement.

    Choo’s case has been adjourned to December 22. If found guilty of corruption, he can be fined S$100,000 and jailed five years for each charge.

    The punishment for criminal breach of trust is a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine.

    This is not the first time Choo has been on the wrong side of the law.

    In 1999, the 57-year-old was sentenced to two weeks’ jail and fined S$10,000 for helping a family friend to use false invoices to cheat a finance company into granting an S$830,000 loan.

    Choo resigned from the STTA in July 2008.

    Current STTA president, Ms Lee Bee Wah, posted on Facebook her comments on Choo’s case.

    She said that since taking over the STTA, she has put in place proper systems and procedures, especially when it comes to governance.

    Ms Lee has also promised not to be complacent and to constantly review and improve on these procedures.

  14. Best Deal!! said

    I think it make sense for Hougang residents to vote in another opposition seat, while the very kind-hearted Mr Desmond Choo will still continue to serve well as grassroot leader. Just like what he’s been doing over the past year. Sounds good…. win win…!

  15. sibei iDL said

    of coz they don’t want it to be national issue. if they are confident about their policies benefitting singaporeans, why wouldn’t they want it to be national issue? in the past, people voted pap all because of national issue, feeling lky did a good job bring us forward. how many seen their own MP before or felt benefits under pap rule in their constituency? now it is against them, they say dont talk abt national issue.

    how many times they harp about PAP bring us to current stage? i don’t dispute it, but they are unable to bring it to a higher level but lower, hence either they change or pass down.

  16. sangent said

    The Hougang voters will treat this as a referendum and send a strong signal to the ruling party “enough is enough”. We need complete change come 2016 by voting WP. Hougang is the fortress of WP for the past 20 yrs and will continue to be.

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