Disgraceful, Grace Fu


So, as I had expected, it didn’t take long for the PAP to resort to below-the-belt attacks on Dr Chee Soon Juan – again.

Just a day after Nomination Day, at her party’s first rally for the Bukit Batok by-election, the Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Grace Fu, apparently launched an ad hominem volley at the SDP secretary general.

“He wants to be a full-time MP,” Ms Fu said, referring to Dr Chee. “As far as I know he’s not held a full-time job for a long time… The work experience is essential. It’ll be interesting to see if there is a referral letter from Chiam See Tong.”

First, it is a rather uncultured remark from a minister of culture. Yes, ironic.

Second, Ms Fu’s remarks would actually bring the same question to her colleagues, many of whom are helicoptered into ministries and GLCs and associations without any thread of relevant experience.

Lee Bee Wah in the table tennis association, for example.

Tin Pei Ling as some adviser in a football club.

And what about the many ministers over the years – perhaps including Grace Fu herself – who were sheltered into the ministries without any relevant experience.

Vivian Balakrishnan, an eye doctor, for example. Continue reading “Disgraceful, Grace Fu”

Murali’s unnecessary spending

TODAY, 8 September 2016
TODAY, 8 September 2016

The PAP candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election has promised a S$1.9m estate upgrading plan which will be implemented if he is elected as its Member of Parliament.

Before we readily applaud this, let us go back about 7 months – to September 2015, in the heat of the general election.

The former incumbent MP of the ward, David Ong – who has since resigned his position after some personal indiscretions – had promised a 5-year plan for Bukit Batok.

The plans would cost S$24 million.

According to news reports of his rally speech then, Mr Ong announced that this would include remaking the market in the estate and its surrounding areas, improving the shops in the ward, constructing a new hawker centre, as well as a new eldercare centre and two new early childhood education centres. Continue reading “Murali’s unnecessary spending”

The HDB and the URA should clarify or rebut what Murali claims

Straits Times, 25 April 2016
Straits Times, 25 April 2016

On 25 April, the news reported an exhibition by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council held in Bukit Batok, the single-member constituency which will see a by-election come 7 May.

The exhibition presented infrastructural upgrading plans under the Housing and Development Board (HDB)’s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) for the SMC.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate for the upcoming by-election, Murali Pillai, told reporters that the upgrading plans were “a plan by the PAP Jurong-Clementi Town Council.”

Accordingly, says Murali, he and his town council “will have the mandate to carry on only if we are returned at the by-election.”

“If we don’t have the mandate, then we won’t have the ability to carry on because we will not form the town council,” he explained. “That’s the rule.”

Singaporeans are familiar with the argument, rolled out by the PAP during elections, of how they must be elected first in order for such estate improvement plans to be carried out. Continue reading “The HDB and the URA should clarify or rebut what Murali claims”

Involvement of grassroots, civic and business organisations in politics – a cause for concern?

Straits Times, 2013
Letter to Straits Times, 2013, by Mr Ho Ka Wei, director of Corporate Communications, MCCY

The 5th election in 6 years will take place in Bukit Batok on 7 May 2016 – and it looks like it is not going to be a fair fight between the candidate from the People’s Action Party (PAP), Murali Pillai, and Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

Well, fair fights in Singapore’s elections (whether general, presidential, or by-elections) are rare, given how the ruling PAP controls all aspects of the propaganda machine – especially the mainstream news media. While Nomination Day is still a few days away, you see the news being quite fair for the moment, but as is always the case in Singapore, once the election proper kicks in, all sense of fairplay goes out the window.

The PAP’s candidate, no matter who he or she is, will always be given the better part of the (positive) coverage by the media here. Continue reading “Involvement of grassroots, civic and business organisations in politics – a cause for concern?”

Wei Ling vs Straits Times – the one unanswered question

Lee Kuan Yew would "cringe" at the "hero worship"
Lee Kuan Yew would “cringe” at the “hero worship”

Just a quick note.

In the ongoing saga triggered by a Facebook post from Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter, Lee Wei Ling, the Straits Times editor has responded to charges by Ms Lee that “three successive editors who had worked with her on her past columns were all ‘commanded to edit certain issues out’.”

“This is altogether unfounded,” the Straits Times’ editor, Warren Fernandez, wrote in a note in the paper on Tuesday, 5 April.

As one noted online, it is strange for the editor to write such a note when the paper itself had avoided reporting on the spat, triggered by Ms Lee’s post, between her and the Chief of Government Communications, Janadas Devan.

Ms Lee had accused the paper of wanting to edit out her articles in her column, which she had been writing for for some years.  Continue reading “Wei Ling vs Straits Times – the one unanswered question”