1. You want 81 vs 6 or 82 vs 5? PAP currently has 81 members of parliament (MPs). The opposition is overwhelmed even at 81 vs 6, so what are the prospects of 82 PAP MPs versus 5 opposition MPs? Therefore, voters have to consider carefully whether they want to end up with 82 PAP voices against 5 opposition voices or they want to keep the previous status quo at 81 versus 6. For those who believe that every single opposition voice is precious, you know what to do.
2. Two for the price of one. It is okay for Desmond Choo to stay on as the Hougang SMC grassroots advisor. Like what Pritam said in the WP rally 22nd May 2012, a previous losing candidate was appointed Hougang SMC grassroots advisor. Think of it as two ‘MPs’ for the price of one, and look forward to more Teochew porridge
3. Look at what befell Potong Pasir. Hougang voters need not look further than Potong Pasir. Now, there is a fracas over the lift upgrading programme at Potong Pasir. Sitoh Yih Pin, now PAP MP for Potong Pasir, claimed that he needed 9 years to pay off the amount needed for the Lift Upgrading Project, which is contrasted by Chiam See Tong’s rebuttal that the project could be completed by 2014. Indeed, the Potong Pasir saga serves up a grim enough reminder.
4. A real independent voice. Desmond claimed to be independent. Can he defy his party whip? If you want to compare Png Eng Huat and Desmond Choo in terms of independence of the ruling PAP, the conclusion is forgone as to who is more independent.
5. A message to Desmond Choo to get his priorities right. Choo says he wants to fight for low wage workers. Choo’s LinkedIn profile states that he is a deputy director, industrial relations department at NTUC. Er, isn’t it part of Choo’s job to fight for low wage workers? Think about it, not voting for Choo means he will have more time for his NTUC job and concentrate on fighting for low wage workers, provided he is serious about his point about fighting for low wage workers, that is.
6. Putting up with PAP threats for 20 odd years, what difference will 4 additional years make? Denial of upgrading, reduction of transport routes, what else are Hougang voters unable to put up with? As if 4 additional years make a difference. Probably even a decade more won’t make a difference any more.
7. Set other Singaporeans an example of what it means to uphold the Hougang spirit. Earlier, we talk of the loss of Potong Pasir, and now Hougang voters have it in their hands to decide who should be their MP. Their spirit of putting up with “withdrawal of privileges” although rights is a more accurate term (rights to public transport and upgrading) and sticking with an opposition MP is commendable. Save for Potong Pasir until the last elections, we don’t see this spirit anywhere else in Singapore. There is a good reason to uphold this spirit!
8. A matter of Math. Koh Choon Yong brought up a good point. All MPs have an allocated time of 20 minutes* each to highlight issues concerning the government ministries. So, having an additional opposition MP will provide extra air time for highlighting national issues right? This goes back to the 81 versus 6 or 82 versus 5 point in (1). Will you want the opposition to have less air time? A total of 120 minutes to highlight national issues close to your hearts versus 100 minutes, take your pick!
9. A wake up call to PAP? For those of you who are not happy with (a) transport fee hike; (b) floods; (c) disruption of train services; and (d) scholarships for foreign students, as opposed to devoting money to nurturing local Singaporeans, kee chiu! Yes, this is not necessarily a local election because national issues are just as important. In crude terms, in every part of the democratic world, voters have every right to give a party the thumbs up or middle finger at the ballot box, if they feel it is not performing to their satisfaction, and this may and usually involve issues at the national level. Other constituencies are now envying Hougang voters. Forget about Yaw. Think of it as a ‘yearly’ election if it suits you. If you are unhappy with current developments, and you want to send PAP another message, you have a chance to do it cum 26th may.
10. Huat Ah! This is a frivolous reason. But if you cannot really decide, do like what some of my chinese Singaporean friends do – study the name, and decide which one has more connection with greater fortune and prosperity. The number 8 has significance, as is the Hokkien term “HUAT”. So, maybe after marking the cross beside the “Huat” cum 26th May, you can try your luck at 4D/Toto. Huat Ah!
Photo courtesy of the Workers’ Party.