The Workers Party’s rally on Tuesday night (pic left) was disrupted by a heavy downpour. Instead of ending the rally immediately and dispersing the crowd, WP leaders ‘soldiered’ on in the rain and was thoroughly drenched. As expected, the scene was captured on camera and spread throughout cyberspace to highlight their ‘dedication’.
This is the same old emotional trick used by WP time and again to rally their core support base and to portray their candidates as ‘selfless, dedicated and loyal patriots’.
Yaw Shin Leong played the same record during an election rally last year, giving a rousing speech in Teochew to galvanize the crowd, some of whom were reportedly moved to tears. Less than a year later, he left Hougang residents in the lurch and caused a by-election to be called after failing to address rumors about him being ‘romantically’ involved with two key WP married female leaders.
Any fine orator can give a rousing speech to inspire the crowd. Witness Hitler who managed to rally the Germans to his cause with his fiery speeches. Anybody can stand soaked in the rain motionless for hours to win public sympathy. You do not need a ‘Best Actor’ to do that. But beyond these emotional antics, what else can WP offer Hougang?
WP wants Hougang residents to preserve the ‘bastion’ of democracy in Singapore, so as to speak, but it already has five MPs and two NCMPs in Parliament. Will Png Eng Huat make a difference?
It is not the quantity of opposition MPs, but their quality which counts. In the 1980s, one Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam was enough to ‘shake’ the entire cabinet whenever he made a speech. Now, we have ‘opposition’ MPs who conveniently plagiarized articles from anonymous online sources to be their parliamentary speeches.
JBJ fought tooth and nail for Singaporeans and irritated former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew so much that he once told former President Devan Nair and he could not wait to see the last of him.
WP MPs have offered only token opposition to the PAP policies and offered nothing different. Their proposed salary scheme for political leaders differed little from the PAP and all voted ‘Aye’ to the PAP’s Budget. Even the PAP backbenchers and Nominated MPs are more vocal than them.
Given the dismal performance of the WP MPs in parliament, what difference does it make if we replace them with a bunch of dummies? Does our august house require another dummy in parliament who does not seem to remember or know what he saying?
Besides harping on its ‘twenty year track record’ in Hougang, WP doesn’t have any concrete plans to take the constituency forward.
The PAP candidate for Hougang Desmond Choo has done much more for Hougang in a year than its ex-MP Yaw Shin Leong. He managed to set up a job hub, a free legal clinic and a TCM clinic for elderly residents, among others.
Low Thia Kiang accused Mr Choo of using taxpayers’ monies to paste ‘gold’ on his fact, but in reality, Mr Choo did not spend a single cent of public monies on these social welfare projects which were tied up with external non-government agencies like the Criminal Association of Lawyers.
What did WP do other than whining time and again like an old broken recorder that the government has been unfair to them? Nobody is stopping its MPs from soliciting funds from elsewhere. Nobody is preventing WP from collaborating with external agencies and certainly nobody can dictate to WP what it can and cannot do in Hougang.
If an outsider like Mr Choo can do so much for Hougang within so short a period of time, what has WP been doing for the last 20 years other than shouting some empty slogans to ‘slap’ (or kiss?) the government?
Singapore was built by leaders who walked the talk, not just talk, talk, talk and stand in the rain to cry father and cry mother.
Come this evening, the lead actor Low Thia Kiang will take to the stage again to tug at the heart-strings of Hougang voters, reminding them again of the strong ‘bond’ they share with him and perhaps shed a fake crocodile tear or two to move their hearts.
Singaporeans are largely soft-hearted people and there will be some who will be tricked by WP’s grand ‘wayang kulit’ again. Not too much hard work to earn a $15,000 monthly salary for somebody who reportedly had a few failed business ventures in the last ten years.
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