Saturday, May 07, 2011

Aljunied Resident On His Vote Today

An old friend who lives in Aljunied and does voluntary work in the neighbourhood took the day off yesterday to think about his choice today. He has made his decision, and asked me to make his assessment available on my blog. His thoughts follow below. You decide whether or not you agree with him.

Vote in the manner that you think is right today. I will be doing the same too. Majulah Singapura!

Happiness,
Dharmendra Yadav

*****

Dear friends of Aljunied,

I wish to thank my dear friend, Dharmendra, who has graciously allowed me to voice my thoughts here.

I am a very privileged person in that:
a) I am a resident of Aljunied, and maybe more importantly,
b) I have had the unique opportunity of seeing the inner workings of the PAP as an insider and yet, at the same time, be a recipient of its draconian oppression.

At the end of this simple note, you will not be told who to vote for. But you will have the benefit of hindsight of checking off the incumbents and its competition in a fair, objective manner. So let me start.

Compassion

I have written many letters for residents who have come in for unheard of problems, untold horrors, and situations which you and I, may never hear about anywhere – the type of things that make Nicole Seah cry her heart out for weeks and weeks. Some of these things that I am about to relate will sound familiar, the others, not very common. They are not yarn spinned from my imagination but rather, the very cases that Meet The Peoples' (MPS) sessions see. Uncensored.

True life everyday situations of the 60+ year old cleaner lady who sleeps at her Senior Citizens' Corner every day because her family has abandoned her, surviving on a meager intermittent income of $400. Unable to rent a room because room rentals are too high. But yet, having $50,000 in her Retirement Account and nothing much else anywhere else.

Or like the pretty, dolled-up mother who dragged her child in and was busy chiding him whilst pouring out her predicament on being unable to pay for her home mortgage because she is a divorcee and not working. Not working? So how then do you pay for your bills ? (Hesitation... and then in a low voice, I service men in my other room to get by. You mean you...? Yes, I have to, my maintenance sum was not paid and I was retrenched when some foreigners came.)

Can you just pause and reflect on this? She is “working” in the one room, while her children are studying in the other.

I can just go on and on and on, but that is not my intent. What we need to realize here is that, there is a crack in the system, and a rather huge on at that. I wish I can tell you about how some families sleep in tents by the beach, waiting for some kind relative to render them some assistance. About how some families get by, about how the banks will come for their houses due to their arrears, about the man who went to jail for not paying his ERP summons! (yes you heard me right!) The list just goes on.

But the point I am trying to drive here is simple. Somehow, with all the usual rhetoric about how many schemes are in place to help, a huge many people need help, in one way or the other. Don't believe me? Go down to MPS session and get a perspective on things.

Which brings me to my point.

What is my MP doing about it? Is writing a letter to appeal for so and so going to solve the problem? I don't think so. The problems are more deep seated than just that. Ministers who ask pointed questions on how much is enough should take a chair, sit down and wonder how those words can escape from their mouths.

So how do we solve the problem? Frankly, I do not know. But I do have a view. And let me share it.

I have heard many wonderful things about how Mr Low bothers about the well-being of his residents. I need that attention in my Aljunied. We the residents deserve more, than merely Ministers who come around for functions to shake hands, take photos, smile and be chauffeured away. I don't need a poster boy Minister. I need someone who can take care of the people who need help, the voiceless, the helpless, the desperate and the destitute.

I need love and compassion in my ward – and that my friends, George Yeo and company cannot provide. Either due to their hectic work schedules or their packed travel schedules. The only one who might be able to help is Cynthia Phua. And may I remind you, that I have witnessed first hand how she is when she speaks. I wonder why the papers did not pick up on the fact that the low IQ boy did not throw the chair on the numerous OTHER times he came to see her. All I can say is, this woman can improve her tone of voice.

My point. Mr Low Thia Khiang and his team will do a better job here. Sincerity is one of those strange things like love, it can be felt yet not seen.

Power

Next up, power.

During the formative years, the desire to serve the people burnt in the heart of men. Now, I fear that the desire to retire in a comfortable home overrides all else.

I am not against million-dollar salaries. But I do disagree if my MP is being paid a few million dollars and only appears during elections, and that too with his many bodyguards. I disagree with this line of argument that you have to pay the top dollar to attract the talent. That is absolutely untrue!

Men and women who have servitude written in their hearts will put service for the people first. Not the paycheck. If the salary is a strong contention point, then obviously we are attracting the wrong kinds of voices to be representative of the people.

My dear friends, George Yeo mentioned that he wants to reform the party from within or something. Let me tell you, this will NOT HAPPEN!

He tried to do that when he was new in Parliament. Vivian Balakrishnan tried that. Now look at them, both poster boys for PAP and its policies.

Why wouldn't this so called take place? Ah, this is what the public has been missing for so long.

You see my dear friends, the power lies in the hands of only a select few. The rest of them merely string along. And if that is not enough, the constitution has been tweaked to guarantee that.

So the ones who disagree or ask too many questions will be subject to a dismissal (stepping down in the name of renewal), public humiliation (Devan Nair) or covertly moved around.

This power now rests with the ruling party. Not with the people any more.

Which is why there is no need for them to consult us on anything. To avoid answering questions which are asked. To defend their kind should there be the rare debate. And naturally, to tweak the boundaries even further so that the votes come swinging in their favour.

Your MP is impotent in Parliament. Your MP cannot be asking any hard questions. Your MP will not be allowed to ask any questions that run contrary to the doctrine. Debate will be for the sake of debate and not much else.

All the best intentions and promises have no bearing when put forward to the Council of Elders. So you think people like Cynthia Phua or Zainul Abidin or George Yeo will ask any questions?

Let me put it another way, when was the last time you heard them speak in Parliament?

My point. Mr Low Thia Khiang and his team will do a better job here. They have an agenda which is different from the PAP and that will serve my family well. It is good to have some debate on the things that matter. Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh have a fiery attitude that can be harnessed to good use. In Chen Show Mao and Low Thia Khiang, we have the breadth of experience and the depth of corporate knowledge.

Accountability

Accountability is next. (Bear with me here, we are near the end :-))

The PAP does not need to answer to anyone now. My MP in Parliament was often caught snoozing on camera and I suspect things are not going to change. I believe some debate will help everyone do some work before coming into the House.

I cannot fathom why and how people like Tin Pei Ling can serve. Maybe she can. Maybe she cannot. I don't know. And I don't wish to know. Because, I believe, she might just stomp her feet if her higher ups stare down at her. She is not the decision maker. Merely one of the numbers required to form the consensus.

We need to know our current situation on a lot of things. There is nothing secret really. You think Malaysia or Indonesia have nothing to do except look at our reserves and drool? Come on. Anyone who reads a balance sheet can put one and one together to form at least part of the actual picture. So no surprises there really.

My point. Mr Low and his team will be able to ask questions on a huge spectrum of issues. Why GST is at 7% ? If not 7% then how much? Why so much of this and not that? Why Why Why?

Because no shareholder in his company will be able to sleep at night if he does not know the fiscal position of his company. And my friends, we are all shareholders.

I want to touch on my last point very briefly. I believe this is something that can help the middle 50% or so voters who are undecided on who to vote for.

Let me begin my opening my argument on PAP since they seem to have the upper hand on literally everything.

Minister George Yeo is an engineer who went on to perform really well in his portfolio. I know the man and he is warm. Pritam Singh might just be right. GY is in the wrong party. But if you dig deeper, you might notice that he too did not say anything when his pay increased. I suspect reform from within is merely an aspiration.

Senior Minister of State Zainul Abidin Rasheed is in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Minister George Yeo. He is slated to be the next speaker. And truthfully, he is also a warm man who has a ready smile for everyone. But smiles do not solve problems. And I cannot recall he spoke about anything at all in Parliament.

Mdm Lim Hwee Hwa has a flourishing business outside of politics. But what irks me is that she questions without examining her conduct first. She was the one who could not / refused to give official figures when asked.

Mdm Cynthia Phua is a walkover. So is the other chap.

Next, Workers Party.

Mr Low Thia Khiang, politician and parliamentarian for the past 20 years. Has a proven track record to caring for residents and their well being. Might not sound very good in English, but I can see his heart resonates with us.

Ms Sylvia Lim, lecturer and politician. Ms Lim is a grounded lady. I have seen her on numerous occasions and am also keen to hear her speak on issues which the incumbent MP cannot broach on. Her speech on Ministerial Salaries was positively a stunner given the candour and demeanour she dished it out.

Mr Pritam Singh is a fiery chap who is able to rouse the crowds. I believe his vigour and sincerity will come through when he leverages on his legal background to ask some very touchy questions with a straight face.

Mr Chen Show Mao is indeed a celebrity. He has all the makings of an extraordinary human being, but with a heart. Let us think for a moment, why would anyone in his right frame of mind come forward to be taunted and tried by joining the opposition? Why would he want to come forward when he has to forgo his million dollar salary package and perks to come walk the ground with his colleagues? Surely, the PAP would have died to have him in their ranks. The only reason I can think of is his humility and his magnanimity.

No views on the Malay candidate.

So, to round things up, I wish to say this.

The foundations and mechanics of the system we have today have been laid by our forefathers. People like David Marshall, Goh Keng Swee, Rajaratnam, Lim Chin Siong and so on. The system is already operational, and it does not require any drastic changes to keep it from running.

The current crop of leaders have inherited a “franchise”. All they need to do is to be present to operate it. It is a turn-key so there is not much there to do.
Having said that, competition is real. Be it globally or from within. And our leaders, save a handful, might not be able to appreciate that.

So it is only fit and proper that someone who has international exposure to look into how we can tweak this further. That man is Chen Show Mao. He will be the one who can, with his experience, look at things objectively and make a call. He has within him, the calibre to ask the right set of questions.

And trust me, none of the current Cabinet have anything even close to him. The closest match I see will be Mr K Shanmugam.

And so my dear friends of Aljunied and Singapore, my vote is for the Workers' Party.

Yours faithfully,
An Aljunied Resident

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?
Do leave a comment as it will make a difference.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

extremely insightful. i am an Aljunied resident as well; i will vote for a change in the very dogmatic system that had resulted in disengagement between the policy makers and the people. we all hope to see that change, albeit small, come into fruition this sunday on 8 may. thank you for sharing your thoughts!

P.S: i lol-ed at your "No comments on the malay candidate". but i say, give him some time haha

Anonymous said...

One of the most well thought-out and insightful articles on GE 2011...and I have ready quite a few.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I also heard a lot of stuff abt Mr Low... I felt happy that your GRC gets some of his love.

Anonymous said...

I just voted light blue. The WP team is sincere, competent, credible and humble. BTW, when GY said he would help reform parliament/PAP, none of his GRC team members echoed what he said. Pritam Singh is right. He is in the wrong party.

Anonymous said...

I hope WP win in Aljunied too. How fortunate to have them as MPs. I want to move there!

aikhui said...

Faisal (the malay candidate for Aljunied) is a social worker. I believe he has the heart for people too.

Anonymous said...

Well said my fellow singaporean. At the end of the day, we are all singaporeans, whether you are Chinese, Malay, Indian or Eurasian. We are one, we have been duped and abused by the PAP.We will win and we must win for the sake of our children and gran-children. Let us all pray for a good result at the end of the day.

God Bless all opposition candidates.

Anonymous said...

I hope the WP will grow from strength to strength after this GE. S'poreans have proven to be not politically apathetic, maybe we work too hard n long to reflect on politics. It is also a good thing the young, and I am talking abt those in secondary schools asking more questions. I certainly have hope. Many thanks to the brave S'poreans who has shone a path.

Anonymous said...

I think incumbent should view WP as a partnership, to work together for a better Singapore for every Singaporean.

The problem, is that are too arrogant and snobbish to listen to others.

Is like, mummy always wanted their grownup son to listen their way of doing things.

Vi Gal said...

thank you my fellow aljunied frend :)

i've voted, its sacred but i'm not scared

i really hope Mr Low's and his team efforts paid off

Anonymous said...

Wow Aljunied Friend Thank you so much for sharing...Being staying here in AMK for the past 20 years, I have not seen my MPs visiting me or my Family when my Dad passed away just 2 months ago and now my Mum will be joining my Dad soon. Only those Church members and Volunteer Doctors and Nurses from HCA comes around and May God Bless Them and Their Families Always...they are our Strength and Support during these trying times for me.

My MP who also just passed on could not help me writing to HDB for assistance and infact propose I get marry again to satisfy the HDB Policy is really an insult to my intellect.

Yes how I wish Low TK, Sylvia, Pritam, Chen SM and Faisal were standing for elction her in AMK but sadly we do not have a voice because I can sense the Loyalty here and I maybe 30% disgruntled resident who are doomed for the next 5 years for sure.

What we are asking for is not the 8 months bonus the Minister Gets or their Million $$$ pay or for that matter $15,000 MP Salary or pension but just MAKE IT HAPPEN...I am so happy that we have dedicated, comitted and daring Singaporeans like the WP, SDP, SDA, NSP, and RP to speak up for us THEY ARE TRULY OUR VOICE but Please Do Not Betray Our Trust in What You claim to Stand For....

Devoted Son of Singapore, Honest to Goodness and I Love Singapore and the People of Singapore (33 years serving the Nation)

Anonymous said...

I agree and I prayed for the oppositions to seat in Parliament after 7 May 2011 and give a notch to the right direction for Singapore and Singaporeans. Good luck to all Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

The crowd that packed Serangoon Stadium or wherever Low and his party go is not without a reason.
Its those apathetic who couldn't be bother to find the out ground sentiments that will continue to shackle us. I just voted for change in Aljunied and there's still time yet to convince the undecided we need to have the courage to ditch out the status quo

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to Faisal personally. He is an amazingly humble fellow. A bit on the shy side and lacks the kind of confidence his teammates have, but his heart is 100% gold. I can't say much here, but he spoke of sacrifices he had to make to stand as a candidate, and he wished there were others more qualified to take his place. But he must step up to heed the calling to serve the poor and neglected, especially the Malays in Aljunied GRC.

That's when I told him there is none other more qualified than a man who feels for his fellow men and women. All he needs is a good team of supporters. And that's when he asked me whether he has the honor to keep in contact with me so as to seek my advice from time to time (I am a Chinese and a professional with some knowledge and skills that may be helpful). I had to hold back my tears faced with such humility and sincerity.

I just came back from the polling station. My PAP MP was standing there, looking somewhat forlorn, almost begging that she would be noticed. This is different from the last 5 years when she was always talking about herself in her speeches to the residents and grassroots. Arrogance turning into panic, no sincerity and humility at all.

Anonymous said...

I am jealous....i am jealous why LTK and team did not sent a team to challenge Tampines. Treasure your vote to all my friends at Aljunied.We hope to see you make history tonight. :)

Ron said...

Thanks so much for your candid sharing. I have faith your wish will come true... =)

Anonymous said...

I purposely moved from Sembawang GRC to Aljunied GRC so that I could vote for the Workers' Party in this GE.

However, the Elections Department disallowed me to vote in Aljunied GRC. Instead I have been kicked back to Sembawang GRC to vote during this GE.

This reason: I have changed my address in Jan 2011 and the Elections Department's updating of the Electors Register cut-off date was 31 December 2010.

From Dec 2010 to May 2011 is a good FIVE months' long. WHY can't the voters addresses be updated every month? With computers and intranets between govt departments, this should be as easy as ABC.

My question is: Is the Elections Department really so inefficient, or is there something else that caused the 5-month time lapse?

Anonymous said...

I am nervous about tonight's results. The stakes are high for WP A-team. I wish them the best of luck and hope that they win.

Anonymous said...

the way you put things together somehow reminds me of a fiery minah tudung in parliament... good to know that you have woken up from your slumber... u might want to switch sides come this 8 May... wassalam.

Anonymous said...

It's really a insightful and honest piece here. I can feel your sincerity and love for the Aljunied community in the article.
Thanks for sharing and i really hope this would help those that are still indecisive in their decision now.

sennywolf said...

I wish next GE, WP would come to Tanjong Pagar.

Anonymous said...

well said my friend.

Anonymous said...

If we Aljunied residents do not vote for this A-team from WP, we would be doing a great dis-service to our fellow countrymen.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I just voted at Aljunied this morning. We will be at hougang stadium tonight...




... In our light blue tee that we just bought.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes to Aljunied Resident for such an insight and I wish with all my heart to see LTK and his team to be be able to serve you humbly for the next 5 years!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes to Aljunied Resident for such an insight and I wish with all my heart to see LTK and his team to be be able to serve you humbly for the next 5 years!

Anonymous said...

Don't we all wish one of the stellar opposition teams are contesting in our own ward. To make sure that they get voted in and forever make a change to the way things are done. But we are fortunate there are so many qualified, brave and sincere Singaporeans standing in opposition today.

Lehlioman said...

Thanks for the well written article. I have kept workers party in my prayers for the whole day. Wish they have success in aljunied and other constituencies..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a very insightful analysis. The WP team deserves the people's support all the way as each has a heart of gold and resonates well with the people.

Anonymous said...

I am definitely envious of residents in Aljunied GRC, because you get to exercise your votes and exercise them right for a credible party with humility and humanity.

I used to work as a social worker (not convenient now to discuss about my current job *you can already guess* which more or less makes me see red tape and bureacracy in our beloved nation in another light) and I echo what you see in the MPS in your area. I left the social services 6 years ago, and it makes me sad knowing that things have not moved a single bit since then.

I know what the 60 yr-old who has to sleep at the Senior Citizens Corner. I know the divorced mother who is unable to pay her utilities bill, conservancy charges and rental/ home mortgage (and likely face incessant pink slips from the uncaring officer behind that pc at the town council/ hdb, sometimes even evicted from the homes). I also know many others, like the wheelchair bound divorcee with sores all over him due to sustained periods of immobility due to an accident who has to forego his meals and even change his diapers less only when they are soaked through and through so he could put together whatever little money he receives from the community for his secondary school-going girl and primary school-going boy to be able to go to school just like any other kid.

At the end of the day, I know that whatever little assistance these people receive, came many a times from non-governmental organisations/ VWOs/ religious self-help groups. You are right by saying writing a letter of appeal does not help our people solve their problem.

Indeed, there is a huge crack somewhere. It is really no wonder that a number of my friends who are still in the social service sector are frustrated especially in this whole campaign. Because what they see on the ground truly reflects this crack that has yet to be addressed, and yet, someone-up-there has been unable to FEEL this!

Derek said...

I hope that the support for the Worker's Party (and all worthy opposition candidates) will continue long after this election is over, whether or not they secure enough votes to be our true voice in Parliament.

DEN said...

Today on voting day-- it was the last straw. Not that my mind was not already made up but http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150246814006063

GC said...

Dear Mr Dharmendra Yadav and my dear fellow Singaporean in Aljunied, thank you for providing a 1st hand account from within.

I have taken the liberty to repost your post on my blog as well. Hope that is ok.

http://mychangingperspectives.blogspot.com/


Wishing Aljunied the best in your voting.

Anonymous_X said...

'freak' result is whatever it is going to be to either Party. yeah!

Anonymous said...

From one who has also seen a bit of the inner workings, I find your views familiar. Although I am not so sure about Shanmugam. I would deem Tharman to be more critical to the running of the franchise.

Anonymous said...

i find it unconvincing when George Yeo seems to be saying that sending his team into parliament will bring abt change from within PAP n that he will be "our voice" in parliament.

even if he really tries to change the PAP from within, i am not convinced that he has the influence in cabinet to do so.

as a Foreign Minister how much input or influence will he have on the formulation of internal policies like HDB, FT, transportation infrastructure overload and etc? I don't think it makes sense to think that he can meddle in the affairs in other ministries.

it's all common sense, if u say, u r the Finance Minister perhaps u can have some influence on say, the Ministry of Transport, since the allocation of their budget have to go through you. for a Foreign Minister? no way.

secondly, appointment aside, as an individual politician,the political influence represented by George Yeo in the cabinet also appears to be unconvincing, for example, Teo Chee Hean entered politics later than George Yeo, yet he was appointed into as the Deputy PM ahead of George Yeo, I think if he were so influencial he would be able to secure a more politically powerful position than he has currently.

so i reckon his influence is rather limited and even if he wanted to, it is unlikely he can change the PAP from within.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to Aljuneid residents. Hope we get the change and it provides the impetus for more change to come. I agree that Tharman is much better than Shanmugam. Shanmugam, epitomises PAP's arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Your views at first glance seems learned, experienced and wise. However, without too much effort, you can spot the biaseness and lack of critical sustance; almost like a 15yrs old secondary student airing his views after reading Singapore history on politics.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately MM is 87 years old or he would be capable of spoiling it all! Unfortunately his early comrades aren't around to chastise him, but I have studied enough about Dr. Goh to think that he will find a lot in MM to be disagreeable.

Janson Choo said...

I am so inspired by you and the WP team at worker's party that if WP were to take over Aljunied, I will definitely give up one night a week to help out WP at the MPS.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Aljunied and I have voted for change and progress. Love, kindness and sincerity will prevail. The WP has inspired me to want to become a better, less self-centred person, and I am going to contribute to my community by doing weekly volunteer work with young people in Aljunied. Let us embark on this journey of Hope and Change together.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Aljunied and I have voted for change and progress. Love, kindness and sincerity will prevail. The WP has inspired me to want to become a better, less self-centred person, and I am going to contribute to my community by doing weekly volunteer work with young people in Aljunied. Let us embark on this journey of Hope and Change together.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Aljunied and I have voted for change and progress. Love, kindness and sincerity will prevail. The WP has inspired me to want to become a better, less self-centred person, and I am going to contribute to my community by doing weekly volunteer work with young people in Aljunied. Let us embark on this journey of Hope and Change together.

ruth said...

if what you say its true about the lags of meeting the social needs of the poor and needy, i am so glad that today i casted my vote as a singaporean and not for my constituency.

What i find lacking is that they have so many hoops for those who are really needy to jump through before they get their assistance. What's worse, after telling their sad story, they are turn away with nothing. This is injustice especially when held in juxtaposed with the high pay of the ministers.

May justice and equality be rebirth after today!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Anonymous said...

I agree wtih comment on Tharman & Shanmugam. After the ugly comment that the latter made abt the opposition, I was disappointed. Not that I'm a PAP fan but there are some good men among them.

Anonymous said...

You are not objective and you are making up stories to justify your sentiments.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those who went to a MPS in my GRC to help solve my problems. I am staying on a street with terraced houses and my neighbour was bought over by some person who apparently rents the place out to many vietnamese and chinese prostitudes. I have seen on many occasions sleazy and scantily dressed women walking in and out of the house. despite my many attempts to connect with the neighbour, it was to no avail.

The MP in my walkover area said "maybe i can treat you and your neighbour to a beer, and then perhaps we can solve the problem". My children and all the people on our street are living in a substandard place, even though we pay so much to be in this supposedly good location.

Tell me, a beer to solve issues? this cannot be true. I doubt the capabilities of our current MPs. if a beer can do it, i would have treated my neighbour to a beer a long time ago. why would i waste my time to queue up for hours and put together a case with a timeline to explain to this MP? i left the MPS dumbfounded.

Anonymous said...

I think we will get better mileage if we vote George Yeo as president. He can then speak from his heart without fearing the party whip. Unfortunate that he's in aljunied but he cannot blame anybody except his own party who came with this grc idea.

Maggie said...

I am an Aljunied GRC resident. My two experiences at the Meet-the-people session can confirmed the writer's account whereby the MP, came on one occasion, nodded and smiled and went into his pte room while his team of volunteers attended to the residents. Both letters of appeal did not yield any positive replies and I had wasted a total of 5 hrs trying to seek help from my MP. All I had was only a glimpse of the man who is supposed to be my rep in parliment.

Anonymous said...

I have the utmost respect for the WP Aljunied team. Sylvia Lim is right when she says that joining the opposition is not for fame or money. They have successful careers and do not have to be taking this difficult path. Yet they do so that the unheard voices of the people of Singapore may be heard.

I think this election campaign has been a fantastic advertisement for the opposition in Singapore. In 9 short days the pressure on the PAP has forced an apology out of them. They have had to defend their records and policies which up till now had not needed to face up to scrutiny. Imagine what more can be done by having this level of scrutiny in Parliament?

It is laughable that in 2006 the PAP won 66% of the popular vote yet were represented by 82 out of 84 seats in Parliament. This flies straight in the face of the spirit of democracy. This time round the WP Alujnied team is comprised of people who are not only well qualified, but who also have a proven track record. What more reason do we need? What better chance do we have?

I regret that I am not an Aljunied constituent. But I stand with these brave people who have stood up to the plate. May Mr. Low and his team prevail in a few hours' time, and with them the hopes and dreams of the future of democracy and accountability in Singapore.

Hoosier said...

Excellent piece. I believe you have also timed the release of this letter well...12:08am.

Mel said...

i am an aljunied resident and thank you for confirming what I've always thought to be the case.

I have voted for change.

Anonymous said...

Excellent writing, I am reading this from Beijing and I pray that tomorrow will be a new page in history for our people. Truly, the PAP has lost their Morale Compass!!! Sadly but true!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. How can I get in touch with this grassroots volunteer ? My realative lives in Aljunied area and tried going to MPS, but she was late for work and so, no outcome. Pls help put us in touch with someone who knows the workings of MPS, thank you: lynlee30@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

when you attract talents with money just like what we do in a corporate world you get a team that is aligned to the leader who pays you. when talents are attracted by virtue of their own choice, you get a passionate team that is aligned to the people whom they serve.

humility, servanthood and authentic passion for the country cannot be purchased by million dollar package

Anonymous said...

congrats to wp for winning the grc....well, it maybe true that some unhappiness happens in MPS or with policies laid down by the govt. i understand the people want changes...just remember, changes come with a price....yes, u want check and balance....see what happen to countries with 2 parties...taiwan, thailand, uk, and even usa. parties come up with check and balance...but do they think of u....PEOPLE? they are more interested in staying power, by arguing, by blocking policy, by handing which some maybe a hard decision...coz they know they will be voted out after 5 years if they cannot have the people's support...end of the day, its the people who suffer.....singapore is a very tiny red dot with no natural resources. yes, some policies seems hard but who wants to ruin the country they lived in. end of the day, did pap run the country so bad that we live in slum? ask yourself, if no foreign investment, we would happen to us? think of the bigger picture when u think of your frusration....well enough said, god bless.

Anonymous said...

i'm a resident in Aljunied grc. i'm super saddened that this place is going to be under WP. despite i agree that life & challenges are getting tougher than before, these are facts of life.

i cannot agree with comments that the PAP MPs did not do much. i think they are from a bunch of lucky spoilt brads who are enjoying all the good fruits that these MPs have helped grown over the years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Aljunied residents for giving Singaporeans a chance to be heard. My family & I have done our part @ Marine Parade. We hope WP will come to Marine Parade 5 years later. Although we are still a long way from true democracy but we will wait... for the day to come... hopefully in our life time.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

This is funny coming from someone who helped out at MPS, who is perhaps a party member. It's a pity that you didn't step up to take the lead in doing more for the MP you were helping and instead, watching, pointing fingers and doing a political commentary. Yes, please go ahead and volunteer for WP. We don't need finger pointing back-benchers like you to help the PAP.

On second thought, perhaps you aren't even an active volunteer. Maybe the party just gave you the opportunity to do so and then this is what you give them in return. Because if you were an active volunteer and have both your eyes open, you would know that the MPs do their walkabouts throughout the year for the entire term, and in fact drive themselves around (and not chauffeured).

Anonymous said...

The PAP needs to reform and GY has said the right things last few days. Even LHH has echoed after GY regarding change is required. She also said for the first time in the elections about the extent of resentment that she felt in the people against PAP. I am not a PAP supporter but I am thankful that they spoke the truth.

But truth be told, I am sceptical that any genuine reform will take place. PAP may introduce some measures or window dress policies or appearance of how decisions are made or things are done. But that is likely to be all. My rationale for my belief is that as long as some of the key PAP ministers remain in power, things will not change sufficiently or in the same way that GY or LHH has envisaged. It is too much for them. Just look at how smug some of the ministers or ex ministers were about PAP or their track record during the elections or after they won their seats eg WKS, NEH, LTY, GCT, VB, KBW and even MM. Who among them admitted that they have fallen short and need to change their policies or approach?

The PM (and some ministers) has apologized and have promised review of policies. Mere review is not enough. Cosmetic changes are also not enough. Many people expects nothing less than significant changes in policies and maybe even complete u-turns, be it in the management of foreigners' inflow, prices of HDB flats, cost of living (constant increases in utilities, oil, transport charges, necessities, rentals of hawker stalls,), taxes. The sincerity of the PM in his apology must be judged against what concrete measures he will take. Apology and even mere review of policies is not enough and will not satisfy many Singaporeans. If PM fails in this respect, the opposition should highlight this to the people in the next election and the PAP will have to bear the responsibility at the next polls.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking: I don't think MPS volunteers are there to 'help the PAP'. After all, the main purpose of the MPS is to help the residents. Since when was there a rule that said opposition supporters cannot also volunteer in PAP MPS sessions? Doesn't it just show that the volunteer values helping his fellow residents over his personal party preferences? I think it is perfectly possible to reconcile personal disagreement/unhappiness over today's policies with a genuine desire to serve (the people, not the PAP).

That said, I do agree that people frustrated with the government sometimes tend to broadly dismiss the entire PAP as arrogant/out-of-touch/etc. That certainly cannot be true. But it cuts both ways, doesn't it? Just like how not all PAP MPs are dismissive or distant, not all opposition contenders are opportunists out to grab the limelight or nutcases bent on 'blocking' every single PAP policy.

If we want to be objective, we have to be objective for both sides.

Anonymous said...

I think the minister with whom you are comparing Chen Show Mao, should be Tharman Shanmugaratnam, NOT K. Shanmugam. The latter in my opinion is a pale shadow to the former.

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