By: Yoong Siew Wah
It is an auspicious start for Singapore Democratic Party Dr. Chee Soon Juan that there is complete unity of the opposition parties in support of his candidature in the Bukit Batok by-election. Even Kenneth Jeyaratnam of the Reform Party has pledged to organise the opposition parties to support Dr. Chee in his election campaign. Such a show of opposition unity is unprecedented and augurs well for Dr. Chee’s is his pursuit of an election victory.
Dr.Chee had started off his political career in a turbulent manner which did not stand him in good stead but he has since matured into a consummate politician with sound principles. He is certainly more articulate than many of the PAP lawmakers, even some ministers, and, with his fertile ideas to further the public interests and livelihood of Singaporeans, will be a potent alternative voice in Parliament. He also has the prescience to cobble an impressive Town Council Transition Team to improve the welfare of the constituents especially the elderly covering a wide range of assistance including fiance, education and legal matters if he is elected. He has also pledged to devote full time to his constituency work and to give part of his MP allowance to ten deserving poor families in the constituency.
Dr. Chee may also have an ethnicity advantage especially with the elderly Chinese voters in Bukit Batok.The PAP may be over-confident in bucking the trend by putting up a non-Chinese candidate. The result will show if they are vindicated in their choice of candidate.
That Dr. Chee has a sizeable mass following could be seen in the last GE 2015 where he contested in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. That crowd that was attracted to his rally and book-signing event was an encouraging sign but his party failed to win because of the political circumstances prevailing at that time leading to a fantastic 69.9 per cent victory for the PAP, which even stunned the PAP wallahs. Dr. Chee has certainly learned a lesson from his failed mission and is now contesting in Bukit Batok as a more seasoned and wiser politician. He is certainly more than a match to his PAP rival and with God’s help and a sympathetic electorate may just romp in in this by-election.
A stimulating scenario will be for Dr. Lee Wei Ling, sister of PM Lee Hsien Loong with whom she is having a political spat, to come out in support of Dr. Chee Soon Juan as both are advocates of the freedom of speech. It will be a miracle if this were to come to pass and she will forever be remembered as a national heroine. However, it is hoped that this may serve to kindle a favourable imagination in the mind of the enlightened Bukit Batok electorate.
Finally, this is a deeply earnest appeal to the Bukit Batok voters to exercise your sacred votes in favour of a candidate who will bring improvement in welfare and municipal services to your constituency and more important to act as a potent alternative voice in Parliament in matters of public interests affecting your political life and livelihood. The PAP has 83 seats in Parliament and is in a predominant position. The loss of one seat in a by-election is not going to cause any dent in its armour. If elected, Dr. Chee Soon Juan will become the most successful underdog to win a seat in Parliament.
May God bless you.
Republished with permission from Mr Yoong’s blog ‘Singapore Recalcitrant’.
The erudite Mr Yoong was the Director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) from 1971 to 1974. He was Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in the 1960s, and had a distinguished career in the Singapore Special Branch in the 1950s.