Friday, April 29, 2011

No Emo Dilemma in Aljunied Obviously

Over the past few days, I have had the opportunity to meet friends from both sides of the political spectrum in Aljunied GRC. Some newspapers are doing a very good job in underscoring the case for the ruling party. That is not surprising, given where their loyalties should lie.

George Yeo recently spoke about the "emotional dilemma" of the Aljunied GRC voter. With respect, I think he was probably referring his own emotional dilemma, including that of the PAP and his team.

Most voters in Aljunied GRC are decided whether to vote one way or another by now, and that is why some have told George to not take things personally. But I want to touch on two reasons that Aljunied GRC voters have shared about supporting the PAP.


"I am concerned about the management of my estate and that my property values will fall. I will also miss out on other upgrading, " says one.

If the Workers Party was really such a bad estate manager, they would have been voted out of Hougang long ago. To these voters, I say take a walk in Hougang. The estate may not look as new as those in certain PAP wards but the managers have done a decent job.

I think both Potong Pasir and Hougang have remarkable character. There is still a 'mom-and-pop' or 'mama' shop in Block 102 Potong Pasir Avenue 1. You would be hard-pressed to find a similar shop in other estates, which have now been replaced by 7-11 or NTUC or other government-linked franchises. Of course, that does not mean to say you can't find no 7-11 in Potong Pasir; it does exist too.

I have been trying to purchase a property in Potong Pasir for some years now. The apartment that would have cost me S$700,000 some years ago is today going for nearly S$1,000,000.


Someone else shared, "We will lose so many Ministers."

If you don't vote for PAP, you will be sacrificing:

a. George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs

b. Lim Hwee Hua, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport

c. Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Let's look at what's really at stake.

George and Zainul are at the end of their political careers. They have one term to go, if not two.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is run almost totally by the Foreign Service, if not the Prime Minister's Office. If you don't believe so, go get this book and read it.

The Prime Minister has also said that he intends to ship Zainul out of Government to Parliament, if Zainul wins. This is possibly to create spaces in Government for the new blood that the PAP is bringing into its fold. The Prime Minister is right that Zainul has a knack for relating to people. But, with such a strength, why would Zainul be best placed as Speaker of Parliament?

My own view is Zainul would be better off as President of Singapore, and I hope he runs for the Presidential elections if he is voted out of Aljunied GRC. It is his high time that Singapore has a President from a Malay background, especially a personable individual like Zainul.

Finally, we come to Lim. That answer is in the very title she holds. What does a Minister in Prime Minister's Office do? In effect, this means a minister that holds no portfolio but draws a remuneration package worth millions! Concurrently, she is also "Second Minister" but to me this only means she is second choice.

In effect, what you have presently in Aljunied GRC is PAP's B-Team of Ministers, a team they will not miss much in Parliament.

The Workers Party has sent its A-team comprising leader of the opposition Low Thia Kiang and other key members of the Workers Party. The current and future leadership of Workers Party hangs in the balance.

Sometimes the message is obvious.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?
But do leave a comment; it will make a difference!


mela said...

Love the picture :)

christian said...

Hmmm. I would also say that even if PAP had indeed sent their A-team, the 'emotional dilemma' that Mr Yeo claimed that Mr LKT is forcing on the voters is fallacious. WP has argued for an abolishment of the GRC system such that an individuals abilities should not be sacrificed for the lackings of the group (as argued for by Ms Sylvia Lim in parliament)

Think of Marine Parade GRC. If GCK is voted out because of Ms Tin Pei Ling's failings, who's to blame?

It's the election process that is flawed, WP is not to be blamed for the emotional dilemma even IF PAP had indeed sent an A-team. For PAP are the ones who champion the GRC system, and now complain of forcing voters into an 'emotional dilemma'. LOL at the hypocrisy .

Anonymous said...

Minister salaries - some numbers!

'07: 60% boost in ministers' salaries, to an average of $1.9 mil. NYtimes: 9-Apr-07

'10: TODAY, 23-Feb-10: Salaries for political appointments (ministers, ministers of state, parliamentary secretaries) estimated to be $58.28 mil, 8.8% higher than '09.

'11: Estimated salaries went up about 30%, from $58.3 mil in '10 to $75.7 mil in '11.

Anonymous said...

That picture is so appropriate..haha :-)

Anonymous said...

If George Yeo get vote out, it is not Singapore's loss, it is PAP's loss. The idea of using minister to entrap voter is a game create by PAP to vote for the party. So why should we fall for it knowing that PAP will have much greater loss than Singapore.

Seriously, think about it. If PAP lost a good minister, who will be responsible again picking up the legacy (if any) of the disposed minister consider that the PAP is likely to rule again ? It is the onus for PAP to retain the minister for the party good in case other incompetence pap people with no track record screw up, creating more bad reputation for the party. As we know, PAP never in its history risk lose ministers, they just shuffled it around.

So voters, do vote for opp party, and when opp party win, you see the same old story by PAP of how George Yeo is so important that he need to continue to retain his job as foreign minister or whatever shit.

Anonymous said...

God is not with you or he would have sent a lightning bolt as you did not have flash.
That way the message would have been real obvious.

mel said...

the time has come for me, an Aljunied voter, to do my part as a Singaporean.

Good article!

Aljunied dude said...

Disclaimer: I am a current resident and potential voter in Aljunied GRC (GE 2011).

The existing management team in Aljunied has done a good job making life better for many residents over the years, and with concrete plans for the estate for the future, I am confident in the execution of these plans for the betterment of the lives of Aljunied residents. In fact, since coming under the fold of Aljunied in recent years (the so-called gerrymandering touted by the Opposition), and under 'heavyweight MPs' who do WALK THE GROUND throughout the term (not only during the campaigning period),
I must commend the ward on the many improvements made (more RC events for residents to interact and participate in, more estate improvements - not just lift upgrading, but also exercise facilities, even changing traffic lights to make the flow of traffic more smooth into and out of the estate, more avenues to reach out to the needy by the town council) since the last GE. It is a team that LISTENS to problems and then ACT to solve or work around these problems. Kudos to the whole team for the effort!

Actually, I think that Low/Sylvia would make a good president - both possess great interest in SG's future (the reserves is for the future isn't it?) and both can speak relatively well (A P represents SG and is no longer chosen by Parliament). Think about it: The President of Singapore is in possession of reserve powers over government expenditure of financial reserves and appointments to key public offices. What better way to apply the checks and balances necessary in the system of governance than to be the gatekeeper of Singapore's reserves and participate in the 'top management' of the country? What greater service is it than to promise to be able to do so much in Parliament when the WP's plans are so vague and the only value I can see the WP adding to Aljunied residents' lives is Estate Management expertise from HG (btw, what's wrong with the current Estate Management team in place @ Aljunied)? Dear WP, my MP and the local estate team have done a fantastic job with the resources made available, so convince me that you can one up that.

With either of the duo as President, it does not matter if there is a 100% single-party parliament, because (1) if the PAP does not work hard and makes large, glaring mistakes on national issues, residents ANYWHERE would not want them to remain in power; (2) One-party governments are very efficient at executing policies and enacting law (The stalemate in many western democracies is due to a mishmash of the self interest ('democratic voice') of individuals and the endless political lobbying by large corporate lobbies) and if the government makes a mistake in (1), it'll be out (That's the democratic check and balance in place); (3) Low/Sylvia's resources and skills may be put to much better use as the P of SG instead of MP; (4) With either in the capacity of P, then SG would be seeing the WP's vision of a First World Parliament come true, although it'd be the PAP in control Parliament and a P who can provide the necessary checks and balances on Parliament. Hurrah, don't we all just love a win-win outcome?

A word of advice for the Opposition: Interact with us RESIDENTS if you want to have us even consider you for the next elections. I have never seen any of you guys in my area before but I have seen my MP at least a dozen times since GE 2006.

Low/Sylvia for President. If only voters give them a chance! Low did mention that he would not accept a NCMP seat, and I think that's great, because it'd free him up to run for P! Dear residents of Aljunied and people of Singapore - what do you think?

Dharmendra Yadav said...

I don't think Low / Sylvia will meet the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) selection criteria. They must satisfy the PEC that they are persons of integrity, good character and reputation; and if they have not previously held certain key government offices or acted as chairman of the board of directors or chief executive officer of a company incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50, 2006 Rev. Ed.) with a paid-up capital of at least S$100 million, they must demonstrate to the PEC that they held a position of comparable seniority and responsibility in the public or private sector that has given them experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs.

Aljunied dude said...

@ Dharmendra: Low is listed as a businessman and has held the position of Member of Parliament - one of the more senior positions of responsibility in the public sector, I believe? Perhaps Sylvia may take up the NCMP offer (if not elected).

The qualifications ( of a person wishing to run for office of P, Low seems to pass the criteria comfortably. In addition, as an MP and public figure, I do not doubt that he is a man of "integrity, good character and reputation".

To be objective, I am personally not enticed by the Lift Upgrading Programme as my unit is already on a lift-access floor, but it's the holistic and thoughtful improvements such as exercise corners for both the young and old, sheltered walkways linking much of the estate together and great public transport connectivity that makes living in the estate a pleasant experience.

Anonymous said...

Aljunied dude -- if encouraged by voters like you, i am sure low will try.