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 You would be hard-pressed to find a similar shop in other estates, which have now been replaced by 7-11 or NTUC or other government-linked franchises.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.
SACRIFICING SACRED COWS
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.
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