Desmond Choo’s Rally Speech: 20th May 2012, Hougang Stadium

 
Here’s a round up and excerpts of Desmond speech on the 20th of May 2012 at Hougang Stadium. Some of this is condensed, some of this is summarized. Please watch the video for a full contextual understanding.(Unfortunately, I do not speak Malay…if anyone can volunteer a translation, do write to us at: [email protected])

In Teochew:

The last time around, my residents told me: You’ve been defeated by the Hammers, bashed by them so terribly, aren’t you upset? Aren’t you bruised internally? Well, honestly… yes, I was very upset. I was the worst performing candidate and it was painful. But nevertheless, I’m back day two after the elections. I know my residents need me and I know I cannot walk away from them.

A grandma empathized with me. She said, “Ah Choo ah…” She took my hand and said, “Don’t be sad, you’re still young… you should persist… us in Hougang will understand and support you the next time”. Her tears came running down, I couldn’t help it and teared with her.

My constituents, I didn’t go away, because of you! Because of you, I’ll carry on working and carry on making things happen!

——


In Chinese

Thank you for supporting me although I lost in the General Elections a year ago.

– There are projects done, but there is still much to do. Tonight, I shall not discuss these projects, what I would like to talk about tonight though, is my passion for service to Hougang.

– I stayed on to show residents that I really have the intentions and the heart to do this. In the last year, I’ve got to know more and more residents and friends. I’m thankful for your support. An elderly lady told me that the attitude she got from me, was as if I was family – this one comment gave me a tremendous amount of courage, a tremendous amount of hope!

– Some people say, “Hey, vote WP in – Desmond will still be around to give you freebies!” I hate this and severely disagree with this view, why? Because I know residents of Hougang are not cheapskates and using such poison is a great insult to residents!

– Chen Show Mao says “The heavens are watching”. Indeed, I stand here proud and ready for inspection by the heavens that I am faithful, true and committed!

—–

In English:

– I’m not a good speaker, I want to try my best to let you know that whatever I say today is an embodiment of my work that I’ve done for the last 15 months.

– It wasn’t easy to lose an election, to take a defeat, and I must have been the worst performing candidate. Was I disappointed? Of course. But i knew I had to get over it, because you (Hougang) are my family.

– I just cannot leave you guys behind, when I see my residents needing help, I cannot walk away. I felt like maybe I should take a break (but) I just couldn’t because everyday that I walk the ground, every resident I meet, (I know) they need help…I have to be there for them. And as much as they need me, I need them as well: Hougang residents are a source of energy for me.

– Over the course of last year, I worked hard to bring up change in Hougang. When I realized that many people needed legal help and unable to afford legal service, I didn’t complain why the government didn’t help. I picked up the phone and called for help. And as for other groups with need, I arranged for TCM doctors, I helped them with heatlhcare, transport, many pilot programs for children – you can trust me there WILL be more to come!

– I was disappointed that others say that it was easy for me to find money to fund my schemes. Money does not fall from the sky, I worked hard to raise funds from private donors, sponsors and businesses. I worked with charitable organizations. But someone someone (at the WP rally) yesterday thought that it was WRONG for me to have done so! I’m not going to stop, I’m going to continue no matter what they (the WP) says. I’m going to persist.

– I know that you worry about your jobs, healthcare, rising cost of living, raising your children and old age. Government is working on these issues. DPM Teo has promised that the Government is tackling these issues and I promise, that even though DPM Teo is a wonderful mentor of mine, I will continue to pressure him more.

– The Worker’s Party, they’re very confident that I will continue my work regardless of the outcome of this by-election. I would like to thank them for their kind endorsement. Thank you so much for this faith in me. I will do so, but the question is: will they continue to do the same for you?

– Let’s get to the heart of what this election is about, this election is for you, my Hougang residents, my brothers and sisters: it is about your free choice to choose the person that best meet the needs of Hougang!

– Hougang belongs to you. Hougang does not belong to the Worker’s Party and it does not belong to the PAP. It can never be taken away from you.

– You’re not choosing someone who can only make grand speeches and to manage a town-council. Managing a town-council well is a given! You’re choosing someone to deliver solutions to problems, not just talk about it. You want somebody with youthful energy to see things through.

– But I still believe in one thing, that you must have someone who is committed to the long term good of Hougang. If elected, I will raise your key concerns: inflation, healthcare, medicine to government and fight for issues close to your heart and mine too.

– I feel strongly about families. It is easy to say “raise fertility”. You don’t just talk about it, you work on it. Here’s something that’s close to my heart: insurance for unborn children. This is something close to my heart and I will fight for it.

– We need to provide more dedicated space for childcare so that rental is controlled – and savings passed on to parents. I will fight for this.

– We need to take care of the elderly, they should not be left to fend on their own. Healthcare costs worry them, especially outpatient costs.

– I feel strongly about engaging the voice of the youth, for them to have a say.

– The last 20 years of Hougang is history. This history is important, Hougang people appreciate this history. The next 20 years belong to the youth and I fully intend to make sure that they shape what Hougang is going to be like for the next 20 years.

– Choose the person who best represents your values and your hopes. Choose the person who has already demonstrated their commitment to you. From the bottom of my heart, to all of you today, you have become an integral part of my life. (Sometimes my wife says I spend more time in Hougang than at home!) But truly Hougang is my family.

– I’ve come to understand to humbly serve and to contribute to my Hougang family, I have, I am and will ALWAYS be here for you. I will put my heart and soul and I will serve you better.

 
Vote for me and for a brighter future at Hougang!

About the author

Benjamin Chiang

Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, labour issues and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com and occasionally on Yahoo!

The views expressed are his own.

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