Straits Times Forum letters, Part III

Straits Times Forum letters, Part I:
(1) Why PAP’s politics works for me
(2) I want constructive, not confrontational, politics

Straits Times Forum letters, Part II:
(3) Rebellious nature may not lead to productivity
(4) Chee’s passion for democracy admirable

(5)   Chee must reinvent himself

DR CHEE Soon Juan’s letter on Thursday (‘PAP just as confrontational, replies Chee’) reads like the tired ramblings of a politician who has lost the plot.

When Dr Chee entered the political scene in 1992, he described himself as having ‘a good brain’. Expectations were high as the opposition saw hope in a candidate of good calibre.

However, his electoral performance since then has been dismal:

– 1992, Marine Parade by-election, 24.5 per cent of votes polled

– 1997, MacPherson, 34.86 per cent

– 2001, Jurong, 20.25 per cent

– 2006, ineligible to contest.

During this time, he attracted public attention with his bizarre acts done for unfathomable reasons.

Instead of galvanising the opposition, he has conceivably dealt his party and the opposition a death knell.

Is Dr Chee the big hope that he was made out to be?

As a citizen with no party affiliation, I argue that he has lost voter confidence and is in dire need of a strategy overhaul.

If he is able to think like a (political) entrepreneur, he needs to ask himself these key questions.

‘Who is my ‘customer’ – or ‘target voter’?’

‘What is my (political) ‘product’?’

‘Why should my ‘customer’ buy my ‘product’?’

I believe Dr Chee has failed to comprehend the strategic importance of these simple questions.

On the other hand, Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang have carved a niche for themselves in an unfriendly political landscape, remarkably achieved with their humble qualities and modest resources.

By opting to focus on providing a calibrated voice in Parliament and addressing the municipal needs of their constituents, these respected gentlemen have created a unique political ‘product’ that resonates well with their supporters.

The ability of the ruling People’s Action Party to transform itself to respond to the changing needs of the electorate is also well known.

With the poor voter response he has received, Dr Chee should respect and listen to the wishes of Singaporeans, and reposition himself to be relevant to our aspirations.

Doing otherwise brings no value to his political career, family, party, supporters, the opposition, the health of our political system and fellow Singaporeans.

Han Tau Kwang


(6) I want constructive, not confrontational, politics

I AGREE with Mr Patrick Tan’s view (‘Confrontational model not ideal for Singapore’; April 6).

There are some policies of the People’s Action Party (PAP) Government I disapprove of instinctively as they hurt my wallet. But in my heart, I will admit that while the policies are personally unfavourable, they are nationally beneficial.

I want Singapore to have constructive opposition parties which can act as a check and balance. On the other hand, I do not wish the PAP to lose control as the ruling party.

The current Singapore Democratic Party with its attitude of confrontation is not the type of opposition party I wish to see in Parliament, unless it changes to a more constructive style that will add value to national politics.

The fact remains that we must credit Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and his successors who, through integrity and reliability, have transformed Singapore from a vulnerable state into a thriving, stable country of which we are proud.

Roy Ong

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