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The Singapore Democrats conducted another walkabout this Sunday at the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC at the Ghim Moh Road market centre. In the past several months the SDP has been quietly doing its campaign rounds in the 5-member constituency, assessing the ground situation there.
Result? The feedback has been very positive with residents welcoming the SDP to contest in the warded and expressing unhappiness at the PAP.
A typical response that we have received came from a middle-aged man: “I have been a PAP supporter until a few years ago. I don’t know what’s happening to Singapore now. It doesn’t feel like our home anymore.”
The GRC is helmed by Minister for Community, Youth and Sports Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and NTUC Chief Mr Lim Swee Say. The other MPs include Ms Yu Foo Yee Shoon, Mr Christopher de Souza, and Mr Liang Eng Hwa. The GRC was uncontested in the 2006 GE.
The SDP intends to change this. We are putting together a formidable team to take on the PAP in the ward.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, with his questionable ministerial perfomance, cannot go unchallenged.
Many still cannot get over the blunders that the minister made in his handling of the Youth Olympic Games that was held in Singapore this year. Dr Balakrishnan had blown the budget, spending a total of $387 million – three times the original amount allocated.
In return, we received almost zero coverage of the event from the international media. Along the way, the Internet painfully exposed the questionable leadership qualities of the minister.
Another minister, Mr Lim Swee Say, with his tone-deaf ‘I-feel-so-rich’ quip, must also not be allowed another walkover. Who can forget that during the depth of our economic crisis, all Mr Lim could do was sing his NTUC jingle ‘Upturn the downturn’, leaving Singaporeans quite speechless.
Over the past several months, the Democrats have been working at Bukit Panjang SMC and in the course of our work there we have spread our campaign to the adjoining Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
The intention is to ensure that which ever way the PAP redraws the boundaries, we will have ensured that our work will not be wasted.
Residents at both the SMC and GRC have become familiar with the SDP red-shirt. Danny also came along to help in the campaigning and continued to attract attention among the residents.
An interesting note: Many, if not most, of the residents who approached us and bought our newspaper were women. The photographs give an indication of this observation.
“Are you coming to contest here?” one 40-something lady asked. “I haven’t had a chance to vote in my entire life.” Several people indicated the same view.
Another lady asked to take a photograph with Dr Chee Soon Juan. She said: “We need a different voice in Parliament. I hope you will come here to run. Thanks for doing what you’re doing.”
We also met a former PAP MP who was having breakfast with some friends. He bought a copy of The New Democrat. (We won’t mention his name in case he’s still collecting his pension.)
In the coming weeks we will step up our campaign in the GRC and continue to reach out to the residents there.