First rally speech – 29 April 2011 (Serangoon Stadium)


My maiden political speech at a rally on First World Parliament theme.

http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/specials/General_Election/63278.html#/site/servlet/ajax/page;jsessionid=CAE175DADE8B9F21D28EE857BB659348.01?channel=contentbean%3a59830&view=asLargeVideoListBoxPage&page=1&autoLoad=true&video=contentbean%3a63278@59830_largeListPage@1304202615808

Original Text:

(greetings in Mandarin) 

On 18 April, SM Goh Chok Tong urged Singaporeans to examine the motivations of opposition candidates. I think this is a good idea, I think all Singaporeans should examine the motivations behind all their candidates, not just the opposition ones.

Seriously, what answers was the Senior Minister expecting?

That my colleagues and I are here because

  • There is a pot of gold waiting for  us?
  • Will we get a better job or more business by being in opposition?
  • We can get into Parliament on the backs of other established ministers?

Instead SM Goh actually knows very well that there are so many obstacles of being in opposition:

  • A common reaction by residents after I introduce myself as having taught computer science at NUS, am an entrepreneur and has served on a number of government committees: “WHY? Am I not afraid?”
  • This is SINGAPORE and the road in politics in Singapore is especially long – just think 2 elected opposition out of 84 after how many years.

We are the underdogs in this election. So when your PAP candidates come to visit you, you should all ask them what is their motivation for joining politics.

I joined opposition because like all of us, the candidates sitting here, I believe we cannot have only 1 dominant voice in Parliament.. There must be a choice for the people. There should be alternative ideas and your voices need to be heard!  Like Mr Low has said, we need to make ourselves into the co-driver of the Singapore car so that if PAP government doesn’t drive properly, we can guide them, talk to them and even wake them up if they are sleeping!

This is the election where The Workers’ Party will get its driving license. Vote The Workers’ Party, toward a first world parliament!

My colleagues and I have come to the Workers’ Party willingly.  We believe passionately in our country and in our mission. We doing so on our own free will. We love our country, we love Singapore.

2 weeks ago, Dr Yacoob Ibrahim said “Don’t play with your votes. This is the only country we have. There’s no margin for error.”  He is trying to frighten you. The PAP likes to say that  that the opposition will come in and make a lot of errors. But over the last 5 years, I wonder who is making the errors?

  • Who allowed so many foreigners in without building enough houses for them or making sure our transport system is good enough?
  • Who couldn’t handle the flood and then said it’s once in 50 years? And then it flooded again soon afterwards.
  • Who miscalculated the YOG budget?
  • Who let a crippled terrorist escape?

Well, it seems like people make mistakes, including the PAP, no matter how much salaries you pay the ministers.

Yes, we should all listen to Dr Yacoob Ibrahim. Don’t play with your vote.

Vote the Workers’ Party. Vote for a first world parliament where  there can be a checks and balance system in your Parliament so fewer mistakes like these will keep happening.

Next, the PAP also tries to frighten you by telling you that it would be really damaging for Singapore if we have a freak results if all of you vote opposition.

Let me ask you another question . Are you afraid we could have another kind of freak result, that come 7 May, we may have no opposition in parliament? Then you have no elected member of parliament to speak up for you!

The Workers’ Party has taken the step to come out and contest hard to win at least one GRC to move Singapore towards a first world parliament.

The PAP had a strong mandate in 2006 and GST was raised from 5% to 7% soon afterwards. If you have no more elected voice in parliament, you better be frightened, be very, very frightened. They can do anything they want again. Do you want that to happen?

-Fellow Singaporean, your vote is secret. Your vote is your right. You have a right to vote who you want. We will show them we are not frightened to vote for who you believe in.

The PAP is afraid . They are afraid of losing their grip on absolute power. They tell you  they are the only smart people who can run this country. They try to frighten you that investors will run away from Singapore if you vote more opposition into parliament.

But I say to you, Stand up Singapore! Stand up for the Workers Party! Majulah Singapore!  You don’t have to be frightened.

As and an entrepreneur and a businessman for the last 11 year, I know monopoly is bad. It is bad for you the consumers. Remember those days when your telephone bills were very high because there was only Singapore Telecoms? Then we had competition and your handphone costs and bills came down. Competition forces the companies to become more innovative. If you have a monopoly, the company can charge a very high price and afford to be complacent. The managers in that company  can afford to pay themselves a big fat salary and they don’t have to be innovative because you just have to buy from them.

The government also knows monopoly in business is bad. That’s why they passed a competition or anti-trust law to prevent monopolies from taking place. Yet when it comes to politics, they conveniently ignore this.  They say they want to have monopoly of the parliament. So it is up to you, dear voters, to make sure that we will never have this monopoly in parliament again. We want to have a proper and responsible debate, alternative views and checks and balances.

I like to end with a quote from a famous person, President Barrack Obama of the USA. He said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

The General Elections come once every 5 years. At the last elections, we had very strong support just like tonight. But when the ballots were counted, it was 82-2.

Think carefully – can you live with whatever decision you are making for the next 5 years? This election, we have a good slate of candidates for you. The press and everyone agree that this is the best opposition fielded since independence. This is a golden opportunity for you. The time for change is now. It’s time to move towards a first world parliament. Vote The Workers’ Party!

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9 comments on “First rally speech – 29 April 2011 (Serangoon Stadium)

  1. I am a aged man and have most of my life been under the rule of PAP.

    I live in a private flat but I had a HDB flat during 1969 even in those early days
    the flats had to be renovated in order to get them to be livable. I went to borrow
    from my boss and his remarks were “what you renovating your NEW flat”
    but it is even now everybody renovates his NEW flat. Imagine paying hundreds of
    thousand dollars and renovating with further hundreds of thousands dollars.

    The waiting list by governments statement is around 5 years.

    You would have to work out the hassle the HDB gives and the process it makes to check the eligibility. The income of applicant, the people living in the property
    and stringent rules charges for parking and unavailability of it near your flat .

    The income tax the government boasts that there is non but it charges on every item 7% forefront collecting from each and everyone whether young or old.

    The bankers pay no interest on deposits this includes the aged who have worked hard in their past years and have accumulated nest egg had paid HDB interest and or Banks interest much higher then now are earning no interest now. Were the to go same bank and ask for loan they pay more like nothing less then gross interest up to 15% or more.

  2. I respect Mr Low for what he has done for the people of Hougang and the causes which he has stood up for in Parliament. However, if he truly cares about Singapore, why did he say he will not be a NCMP if he loses the election? The NCMP scheme was instituted so that there can be still be alternative opposition voices in Parliament. Ms Sylvia Lim has served this role well. Why did Mr Low choose to opt out and not stand up for the people’s alternative voice if he is not elected? Does this show that he cares for Singapore? Is this not also a threat to ‘frighten’ the people in Aljunied?

    Conversely, if Mr George Yeo is not elected, there is no place for him in Parliament. Ms Sylvia Lim has said he can serve the country in other capacities. Similarly, Ms Lim can also serve in other capacities if she is not elected, if she truly cares for Singapore. I believe in her capability and competence. If she does not think so, does it mean that she is not as good as Mr Yeo? If she is not as good as Mr Yeo, why should people choose a less capable and competent candidate?

    I am not pro-PAP or pro-WP or pro-opposition. I am pro-Singapore. It is easy to criticize mistakes that the other party has made. For every mistake that the government has made, are there not more achievements which have been done right which has made Singapore what it is today?

    I am proud to be a Singaporean. And everyone, irregardless of race, language, religion or party, should work collectively for the greater good of our people and nation.

  3. To Pro-Singapore, if Mr. Low said he is willing to be a NCMP even before the votes are cast, tell me what will be the incentive for people to vote for the opposition? That is as good as telling people no need to vote for them and continue with the status quo.

    This is a modern world, long long time ago, China abolished emperors and dynasties. This means in a modern world, a country should belong to all citizens and not just to a dynasty consisting for an emperor and his relatives. Singapore should be belonged to all Singaporeans (whether they are from ruling , opposition parties and the ordinary people). No one should have this thinking that only he/she and his/her relatives have this special right to rule and others don’t.

    This is not just about ruling vs. opposition parties. For our own sake, we should not put all the eggs in one basket. I believe we should give chance to those from the non-PAP the experience in running the country, so that one day if the ruling party is so rotten that it is not fit to rule, other people who are experienced can take over the running of the country effectively as soon as possible. If we continue the status quo, it will be like ancient China under the dynasties rule. When one ruling dynasty crumbles, the whole country would be in chaos for a long long time.

    I look at the policies mistakes that come out from those high-paying ministers and feel that the opportunity costs of not voting them are no longer high and so fearful. Tell me what is the risk of getting rid of a Minister who makes various high profile mistakes relating to Singapore security? Since they cannot bear to retrench him, I think the people have to do this job to sack him! Just like in private sector, we make serious mistakes in our work and get fired! We don’t need to cry for these fallen ministers because the government controls a lot of companies and these places are often being used to reward their loyal slaves. Just take a look at Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), an army guy takes over from a guy with shipping experience. It is said that this army guy may in future be chosen to run for PAP in future election. I see no meritocracy but lots of cronyism ! What I’m trying to say here is that those fallen PAP people still have very bright future with plush posts reserve for them in government-linked organizations.

    • if Mr. Low said he is willing to be a NCMP even before the votes are cast, tell me what will be the incentive for people to vote for the opposition? That is as good as telling people no need to vote for them and continue with the status quo.

      Actually he does not have to say that he is willing to be a NCMP. But neither does he need to declare that he will NOT be a NCMP. If he wins the election, it means he has Aljunied people’s mandate, well and good. If he loses the election, he can still serve as NCMP. But even before the election results are out, he has publicly declared that he will not be an alternative voice in the Parliament if he loses. This is something that puzzled me, what truly is his motivation if not a threat or scare tactic? Did he not despise PAP for using the fear factor and yet he himself uses it on the people of Aljunied? And if he loses, he wants out.

      From where I see it, Ms Sylvia Lim did a very credible job in her role as NCMP. Even when she did not get the majority’s vote in the last election, she continued to uphold the voice of the opposition because she knows that there are 43.6% of people who had supported her.

      Some people feel that the NCMP scheme is ‘display purposes only’. I beg to differ. Often Parliament sessions are telecast, and the news do report issues being raised by the opposition parties. People are well educated enough to discern sensible debate. So even if one feels that it is for ‘display purposes only’, I would feel it is displayed for public scrutiny and serves its purpose of having alternative voices in Parliament. The voice may be softer, but it is still better than no voice.

      • <iSome people feel that the NCMP scheme is ‘display purposes only’. I beg to differ. Often Parliament sessions are telecast, and the news do report issues being raised by the opposition parties. People are well educated enough to discern sensible debate. So even if one feels that it is for ‘display purposes only’, I would feel it is displayed for public scrutiny and serves its purpose of having alternative voices in Parliament. The voice may be softer, but it is still better than no voice.

        it is from watching the telecast of parliament sessions that i am aware of how PAP MPs are often absent from them (which is why i prefer to have full-time MPs), & how quite a few PAP MPs do not pay attention (e.g. sleep) when other MPs (be they from the same party, another party, NMP or NCMP) are speaking. mainstream media does report issues raised by the opposition parties – often in a negative, partisan way.

        as long as NCMPs do not have full voting power in parliament, the purpose of having alternative voices in parliament is not served.

  4. The China dynasties era is over, but China is still not a democracy. But under a one-party rule, it has prospered to be the second largest world economy. Yes there are social issues. But China is big and very different from Singapore. So it is an unfair comparison.

    I believe in democracy, but not in the liberal sense of the word, and definitely not the western democratic models wholesale. Singapore is still not a first world country by some metrics, so we need to evolve our own unique model of democracy. But this process takes time and we are still a young nation with many vulnerabilities and critically dependent on many external factors, so we should not rush into things when we are not ready. Else we will collapse easily and all these years of building will come to naught.

    The reasoning of not wanting to put all eggs into one basket is on the premise that PAP will eventually become corrupt so we better buy some insurance. I do not see this happening (at least in the next 5 years). The idea of exposing the opposition to experiences in running the country is a valid one, though I feel there should be someone in the opposition who is suitable and is up to task. He or she can be in the shadow cabinet to understudy the current office bearers. Otherwise to replace the incumbent with someone new and inexperienced overnight is not the wisest choice for the country. Singapore cannot afford to take such uncalculated risks because people’s livelihood are at stake.

    We keep delving on the fact that ministers’ mistakes are intolerable because of their high pay. I believe things need to be put in a bigger and proper context. List down their achievements and their pitfalls, and which ones become more significant and the overriding factor? Then we have a more objective view to make a more informed conclusion.

    Singapore belongs to Singaporeans. But we cannot have everyone becoming MPs or ministers or office bearers, else the whole place will be in real chaos with everyone having his/her own different voice without any consensus. We still need able and competent people to lead and represent us, and we also need strong, different and sensible alternative voices to debate policy issues, not just oppose for the sake of opposing. No policy is perfect and without its opportunity costs, but as long as it is effective and benefits the majority of the people, we should support it for the good of the people and mitigate any social costs. It is a more constructive way to move forward as a nation. If people at the top are not doing their job (and we need to put things in the larger context), then people will know what to do in the next election.

    Now the pertinent question is, will Mr Low still represent the alternative voice, regardless of the results of the election? I really want him to be. It is his public declaration that he will not be (if he loses) that worries me and makes me question his motivation.

    • Actually the performance and capability of our ministers have been highly questionable over the past years. As a business owner, professional and ex stat board postgrad scholar, I have grave doubts over many policies as well as the capability of our ministers. They have made mistakes after mistakes in their policies and I am not even going to start commenting on the EQ of many ministers. Actually I am not alone and a lot of educated people in Singapore share my concerns and views. It is not just a matter of disagreeing. A lot of us are concerned that these ministers have not delivered and probably cannot deliver. The PAP way of choosing ministers has a very narrow criteria for reasons best known to themselves. We in business know that there is no lack of talent in Singapore so PAP’s common excuse of there being not talent is only accurate insofar as many other talented do not necessarily agree with them or their philosophy. Over the years, myself and many people I know have come to the conclusion that the government does not actually have the best talents in Singapore. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but a lot of highly educated Singaporeans have begun to form the opinion that the PAP leadership is no longer a safe pair of hands. That is why many people have become vocal. And that is good for Singapore. As a Singaporean myself, I want to be proud of my country and if there be any shortfall from the PAP government that can be eradicated, I would like to see that it be done. Singaporeans have to take ownership of the issue of right governance and not leave it to any one party government. Any party can come and go just as in history, no regime has lasted forever. The PAP can afford to fail but for the interest of Singapore, Singapore cannot fail. PAP cannot fail at the expense of Singapore. Majullah Singapura.

  5. Talk budget you should question why budget was surplus 40 billion

    Why should you punish Kasturi’s relatives they did what anyone would do
    punish Wong Kan seng

  6. Vote for the hammer and you get eltcerocuted. Hehe! Sad case. Btw guess what, I don’t have to vote this year. F. But methinks, not like my vote will make a difference la. Sigh.

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