During our weekend walkabout this morning at the Bukit Timah Food and Market Centre, the Singapore Democrats chanced upon a bunch of PAP ministers and members who were also out for their campaign.
Billed as a ‘ministerial visit’, no less than four ministers descended upon the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC to meet with the morning crowd. Joining Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Mr Lim Swee Say (who are MPs at the GRC) were Mr Ng Eng Hen (Education Minister) and Ms Yu-Foo Yee Shoon (Minister of State for Community, Youth and Sports).
Coursing through the tables at the hawker centre, the Ministers did their utmost to avoid a face-to-face encounter with the Democrats who were out selling our newspaper The New Democrat.
At one point, however, Minister for MCYS Dr Vivian Balakrishnan came in front of Dr Chee Soon Juan and the two men exchanged pleasantries. Dr Balakrishnan then asked if the SDP was going to contest in the GRC.
“It looks like it,” Dr Chee replied. “I think there are some issues that the voters here would be concerned about, don’t you think?”
The PAP man did know what Dr Chee was referring to.
“I’m talking about the YOG and how you mishandled it so badly,” Dr Chee clarified.
“We’ll talk about it at the appropriate time,” Dr Balakrishnan evaded.
“I’m sure we will,” Dr Chee assured before resuming his rounds.
Also present were SPH reporters who were, of course, on hand to report on the ministers’ rounds. Several asked if the SDP was going to contest Holland-Bukit Timah.
They also repeatedly asked if we knew that the ministers were visitng the area this morning. It may come as a surprise, but the SDP has its own programme which doesn’t quite revolve around where the ministers go. The Singapore Democrats have been visiting the various areas in the Holland-Bukit Timah and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRCs for the last couple of years in preparation for the coming general elections.
We continue to work hard on the ground to get our message across to the electorate. Singaporeans need a party in Parliament that is not afraid to ask the hard and necessary questions about policies that harm the people and this nation. These include the continuing escalation of the cost of living in Singapore and the immigration policy that encourages the displacement of Singaporean workers by foreigners.