Deconstructing WP speeches

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Sylvia Lim
So Hougang voters, I think you know which party has your welfare at heart. Is it the PAP, who for the last 20 years was quite happy to let Hougang residents suffer? Which party really cares for Hougang? You know the answer.

This is Sylvia’s well worn war cry – the government has “punished” you. The government has “made you suffer”. Take a look at her blog, it’s riddled with the same rhetoric over and over again. Give the people an enemy and watch them fight for you. My friends, let us reminded ourselves that the Worker’s Party runs Hougang. The Worker’s Party runs the town-councils. If the voice of the opposition is so mighty, why has nothing been done about it? A friend of mine had a walk around Hougang Ave 5 – he’s a smoker and he realized that there was not a bin to be found with cigarette disposal facilities, yet the floor is littered with cigarette butts. Is this part of a grander scheme of things to make it LOOK LIKE the government is destroying your lives?

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Glenda Han
Right now, singles are only allowed to purchase flats from the resale market, subjecting them to the same criteria for PR households in Singapore. Not only are singles relying on their sole income, they also have to cope with surging prices of flats in the resale market. Besides that, they also usually have the responsibility of taking care of their aged parents. This outdated rule needs to be reviewed and revised. Should Singaporean singles be penalized just because they have not found a marriage partner?

Glenda conveniently left out the fact that there have been so much assistance for singles to buy houses. Now if she intends to implement her idea, I’m curious how she will address the multitude of singles competing with married couples for BTOs then – would that be fair for married couples? Would that be a policy that encourages the setup of more families? And given the social norm now to marry late, co-habit or not at all… wouldn’t that put undue stress on the BTO apartments?

We all know of the local joke: When a man asks a woman to apply for a flat together, we know it’s just a terrible way of proposing. The fact that this joke is in existence shows that this scheme encourages the setting up of families.

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Pritam Singh
And I would like the DPM Teo to look into his heart of hearts and ask himself why the PAP punished the residents of Hougang, young and old, his fellow Singaporeans, NSmen of Hougang and tax-paying residents of Hougang for 21 years by putting them at the back of the queue for programs like lift upgrading? What crime did the residents of Hougang commit? I am sure DPM Teo knows that in the PAP’s eyes, the crime they committed was that they exercised their democratic right to vote – and the PAP punished everyone in Hougang for it, including their own PAP supporters

This is the same rhetoric that Sylvia has posted, so I’d like to trouble the reader to go back to paragraph 1 for clarifications.

22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally speech by Chen Show Mao
Singapore should reduce its over-reliance on foreign workers through increased automation and productivity improvements of our local workforce.”

Well, Mr. Chen also fails to highlight that automation also contributes to manpower redundancy. And by the way, the entire statement screams “duh”. Of course we have to improve productivity and reduce reliance on low cost workers. The question is: how do you intend to do so Mr. Chen?

SG’s Explanation on the sidetracking issue of NCMP – 22 May 2012 Hougang By-election Rally
But this is a weak attempt at discrediting the Workers’ Party. In fact, I would invite all of you to take a look at the minutes. It shows that the Workers’ Party functions in a fair and transparent manner, where decisions are made collectively. In addition, it also dispels rumours that the CEC is made up of all yes-man and women, or even fully controlled by Low Thia Khiang!

No indeed Mr. Low, there is nothing wrong with the minutes. What is wrong and questionable is why did the candidate say one thing a day before and the next day say something else? And each time he opens his mouth, it just opens up more questions.

So yes we face problems with running Singapore – foreigners, inflation, healthcare etc. But the way to fix this is to have better enforcement, better policies and to work closely with Government to have all this sorted out with good, constructive ideas – not by having more “X”s on the hammer.

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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