First, there was the “Your Singapore” slogan that the Singapore Tourist Board came up with that uncannily echoed the SDP’s “Your Voice, Your Party” message. In fact this website’s url is YourSDP.org.
Now we have the Foreign Minister, Mr George Yeo, coming up with the Friends of Singapore. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Singapore Democrats have Friends of SDP.
The Government’s FS is a group launched in Dubai by the Singapore Consul-General Dileep Nair to attract “in high-profile individuals and officials” from the emirate.
We know that creativity is not the PAP’s forte. But taking another leaf from the Singapore Democrats’ Internet outreach in such a short time is really too much.
A group of our supporters came up with FS, the Friends of SDP that is, as a way to reach out to Singaporeans who wanted to learn more about the Singapore Democrats and our alternative policies.
The informal network has evolved from just a Facebook page to a monthly Pow-wow session where members and friends get together to chat and talk politics.
In fact, we saw several new faces at this month’s Pow-wow which was held at a food court at Toa Payoh Central last Friday. Over coffee and chendol, the participants chatted over a myriad of issues. It was a good time to meet new friends and Singaporeans who continue to come forward to support SDP and the work that we are doing.
Back to FS Dubai. Why couldn’t Mr Yeo be more original? Why not “Sheiks for Singapore” or, more descriptively, “Singapore Group of High-Profile Individuals and Officials from Dubai”.
Are we angry? No, we don’t have the right to be. Ideas belong to everyone. We are amusingly flattered, though when you consider that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Again, like “Your Singapore”, did we just pay millions of dollars for a minister to come up with an initiative and name that the SDP did for free?
So what’s next? The PAP changing its name to the People’s Democratic Party? At the rate things are going that might just be the next change.
On a more serious sidenote Consul-General Dileep Nair was the UN’s Undersecretary-General for Internal Oversight Services where he investigated accusations of wrong doings related to the UN. The embarrassing oil-for-food scandal was initially investigated by Mr Nair’s office.
But the Mr Nair was himself the subject of accusations of graft in 2004. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in a controversial move that provoked widespread anger among UN staff members, cleared Mr Nair of the charges.
Mr Nair stepped down when his tenure was up and returned to Singapore in 2005 after which he was appointed as Singapore’s representative to Dubai.
Mr Annan himself has taken up a post at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.