Hougang may be the impregnable ‘fortress’ of the Workers Party for the past twenty years, but the betrayal by its ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong has caused some young Hougang voters to wonder if they should still support the party.
The seat of Hougang was left vacant after Yaw was sacked by WP for his failure to address swirling rumors about his alleged extramarital affairs with multiple married women, including two key WP female leaders.
During a WP rally last Saturday, WP leaders exhorted Hougang residents to continue to support WP to preserve the ‘bastion’ of democracy in Singapore as if Hougang is its ‘property’.
With WP already having 7 MPs in Parliament including two NCMPs, there is no longer any overriding ‘pressure’ for Hougang residents to vote for WP to ensure an opposition presence in parliament, as evident by some comments left by young Hougang voters on the Facebook of PAP candidate for Hougang Mr Desmond Choo.
Former WP supporter Christina Lee regretted voting for WP in the last election:
“Wasted my votes in the past but now wake up liao. Ya they voice in Parliament but no solutions. Object object object no solutions how to lead our country?? Later we become like Greece OR 3rd world country HOW???”
Another Hougang resident Issac Lau asked what has WP done for Hougang:
“What had wp done for hougang? so wayang. only lim kopi with residents, attend wakes and funnerals. always cry father cry mother, but never give any good suggestions. like to complain pap never give them funds. your father never give you pocket money, dont know how to go and find yourself izit? so lazy!”
[Source: Desmond Choo's Facebook]
One long-staying resident of Hougang Marcus Chong asked WP why Hougang residents must continue to ‘sacrifice’ for WP after twenty over years:
“后港人民以经为工人党牺牲了二十多年，为什么还要我们后港人继续为工人党牺牲下去? 为什么定要我们小小的一个后港为你争取民主?除非你工人党国会里七八个议员全部是无能的?! GE2011 你骗了我们 ，2012二月你耍了我们，BE2012你又耍来哄我们，后港人不昰傻子，呆孑，小孩子!”
One Hougang resident Kenny Ong was even estranged from his relatives in Hougang because of his support for Mr Choo:
“As much as it will be a uphill battle to take over Hougang from WP’s hands, we all know what you have done. In fact my relatives in HG who ate staunched WP supporters are turning against me for my 101% support for you & PAP. It doesn’t matter to me at all, as long as we all know you are trying your best. If you still lose this election, it is clear to all that no matter what you do in the next 10 years won’t change abit. CHOOse Desmond, Dispose the rusty Hammer (20years without Handling Hougang with a well polished Hammer)”
Despite growing disaffection among young Hougang voters against the Workers Party, their views are not aired in pro-WP media outlets and blogs such as Yahoo News which has been actively campaigning for WP in influence the outcome of the by-election.
WP supporters are so confident of a ‘resounding’ victory this Saturday that many have already popped the champagne to celebrate with some predicting WP will win by a much ‘bigger’ margin this time to kick Mr Choo’s ‘sorry ass’ out of Hougang forever.
The air of confidence and arrogance displayed by WP leaders was acknowledged by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who told the media:
“The Workers’ Party is very confident, and as (Deputy Prime Minister) Tharman (Shanmugaratnam) says, ‘super-confident’ about their chances here; they’ve been in this ward for a long time – Low Thia Khiang personally was here for 20 plus years, but he’s not here anymore.”
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