Monday, 22 August 2011

Leopards and spots

It is as if the PAP is determined to prove that leopards cannot change their spots. The People's Association can try its best to spin the truth, but the latest revelation from the Workers' Party completely destroys any plausible deniability that could possibly be left.

The Workers' Party's revelation has to be read to be believed, but in a nutshell, the HDB had the brazen nerve to lease some prime spots for grassroots events -- apparently previously by the PAP-controlled Aljunied Town Council -- to the People's Association. This was done quickly after the General Elections, on 27 May and 13 June, and apparently without any announcement or publication anywhere. On 15 August, the PA informed Sylvia Lim, Chairman of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, that "bookings by WP will not be allowed".

This is offensive on so many levels. The HDB needs to explain why it did what it did, and the timing for those actions. Why did it suddenly lease those areas to the PA, after the PAP lost Aljunied GRC, when those areas had previously been managed by the town council? Has it ever leased such areas to the PA in other constituencies ? What was the criteria for choosing those areas?

As for the PA, this drives the final nail through its pretense of being a true grassroots organisation -- as opposed to a state-funded para-political organisation used as a mobilisation vehicle by the ruling party. If it was truly non-political, it would not issue a blanket refusal to lease these areas to the Workers' Party.

Many will consider me naive, but I had hopes after the General Elections that the PAP would truly learn its lessons, and become a fair and just party truly focused on doing the right thing for all Singaporeans -- instead of working for the party's own narrow interests. I now see that that was too much to hope for.

Before May 7, I had privately predicted that GE2016 would be Singapore's equivalent of Malaysia's GE2008, when the opposition tsunami rocked the long-time ruling coalition. I did not see that happening this year. After May 7, I thought that the PAP still had a chance of avoiding an opposition tsunami in the next elections.

Well, let's just say that the PAP MPs and prospective candidates better have a Plan B in 2016, in case they lose. Many of them will likely need to use it.

28 comments:

Joseph Chun said...

"Many will consider me naive, but I had hopes after the General Elections that the PAP would truly learn its lessons, and become a fair and just party truly focused on doing the right thing for all Singaporeans — instead of working for the party’s own narrow interests. I now see that that was too much to hope for."

Same here.

Danielboy said...

This coupled with the latest SMRT security/media debacle. Seriously more of the same.

Singapore is beginning to become a very aggravating country to care about.

The Observer said...

I think the siege mentality is still a very strong mindset in the ruling party. It will take a few generations to overturn it.

Rockeye said...

Your article has finally convinced me and my family members (total 10) to vote for Tan Jee Say in the upcoming PE to questions government policies.

sgcynic said...

Yup. Thanks to the PA, I know who to vote for this presidential elections, even if I be accused of cutting of the nose to spite the face. The PA, a supposedly politically neutral statutory board has clearly demonstrated how to politicize and immobilize by creating political gridlock.
Tumultuous times ahead. Teo Chee Hean has also stated that the transition to a non-PAP government will not be smooth. We now know why. So be it.

Alan Wan said...

The land in question doesn't even belong to PAP or HDB or even LKY for that matter, it belongs to all Singaporeans. So why is our PAP govt dividing the country into such a divisive society by its unfair practices ?


I thought I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Now I am sure I don't even want a dumb, phony or disgraceful man to be our President.

Wong Sheng'En Samuel said...

Any politician's talk is as cheap as it gets before the election vote is casted. Never trust their words.

Gary said...

Spring, Singapore?

vizard said...

On Yahoo News: "The PA reiterated that it is non—partisan and does not allow any political party or MP to hold activities on PA premises or other facilities managed by the PA. And this applies to all political parties and MPs, including the PAP." (Source: http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5187363)

Sneaky wording here. It can be read that so long as a political party *initiates* the request to hold activities, PA will reject. But if a group of residents invites an MP or former MP to the activity, it would be okay. So an 'advisor' to a grassroots organisation being invited to an event is perfectly permissible because it is the grassroots organisation that is initiating the event, not the political party.

The PA needs to be clear that for it to be non-partisan, no MP or political party member, former or current, may STEP onto their premises. Otherwise, inviting such people automatically construes the activity as political, even if it's a curry night event!

On a sidenote, there should be nothing wrong with WP setting up a grassroots organisation and then setting themselves up as 'advisors'. I can't imagine how the PA can say no because to do so would really be practicing true double standards.

Snowball said...

Before May 7, I had privately predicted that GE2016 would be Singapore's equivalent of Malaysia's GE2008....

I believe more people like you who would join the opposition party to champion for the Freedom of Singapore. Spring Singapore will come in 2016. Thanks for the write here and in parliament.

Aragon Tan said...

“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
– Dr. Milton Friedman


“It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want.”
– Harry Browne


“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
– Frederick Douglass


“Most authoritarians do not surrender power voluntarily.”
– Victor Davis Hanson


"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
- Frederick Douglass

Kelong said...

Dear Mr Siew, you were one of those NMP who dared to speak up against the PAP about Temasek Holdings loss, the Casino and a few other issues while in Parliament. If you believe that the government has being doing too many things to harm our people you can join an Opposition Party as a candidate and contest in GE 2016.

Kevin Jang said...

Mr Siew Kum Hong, your analysis of this matter speaks for matters as they are. This HDB leasing to PA is an outright and flagrant abuse of the power the PAP has enjoyed for decades, and now, is using to try "fixing the opposition" as they promised, courtesy of PM Lee who himself stated that he would do so. It just never fails to surprise me at the shamelessness with which the local papers try to gloss over this matter itself with words and press reports which create a lot of hollow rhetoric.

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