1. Fear-mongering alert: When asked about Low Thia Khiang contesting in Aljunied GRC (and therefore leaving his Hougang SMC which seat he has held for 20 years) and thus creating a mouth-watering contest in Aljunied (vs. foreign minister Georgeo Yeo), PM said, “[Mr Low] is perfectly entitled to want to win a GRC. [But] think carefully because it affects your property value, it affects your neighbourhood, it affects your country, it affects your future.” Think carefully before you vote because it might affect your property value?!
1b. Anyway, LTK has explained why he moved from Hougang SMC to Aljunied GRC: “The single most important tool used by the PAP government to keep our political landscape stagnant is the GRC system. This system totally dilutes your vote by ushering in a group of PAP candidates on the coat-tails of one or two PAP heavyweights.”
“The constant gerrymandering also prevents Singapore from developing a First World Parliament. For example, the recent redrawing of electoral boundaries transferred more than 29,000 voters of Aljunied GRC to Ang Mo Kio GRC (the prime minister’s ward) and some other wards! Clearly the purpose is to disperse the supporters of WP into different constituencies to prevent WP candidates from being elected and posing a challenge to them in Parliament.” And that’s why he put his best team into a single GRC. The opposition needs a breakthrough; they must win a GRC now. And Aljunied is the best chance to do so (they obtained 44% popular vote in 2006).
2. “What if the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) loses a GRC in the coming election? Will a by-election be held to retain a minister?” PM said no. “Once the voters have decided, we have to accept their decision.” These kinds of questions could only be possibly raised in Singapore, I guess. I thought it is the norm that you respect the outcome whatever it is. But here they make it as if it is the exception. Last time I checked, Singapore is not Ivory Coast, right.
3. I have received a newsletter from my MP who will run again in Pioneer SMC. He wrote a letter, telling the achievements and what has changed in Pioneer since 2001, the first time he became an MP here. He put some photos of him with the residents. He inserted a short 4-language CV. He put some pictures of recent major town improvements (Joo Koon station is not situated in Pioneer SMC, btw, it is located in West Coast GRC; but, yeah, I like the new Boon Lay bus interchange and other stuffs that he mentioned). Finally, he outlined plans for future town improvements: more child care centres, CCTVs in 45 blocks (Martin was right; the CCTV was newly installed), new primary school in 2012, new mosque (although technically it will be located in Hong Kah North SMC, he did note that the mosque will be built in response to requests from Muslim residents in Pioneer — and other neighboring areas, I suppose), and new regional hospital. I am not sure whether the final one fits the picture, though, as the new hospital will be located in Jurong East, which is significantly located away from Pioneer.
4. I just realized why Singapore is obsessed with acronyms. I guess it must have owed its origins to Chinese name initials. LKY, GCT, LHL, CST, LTK, CSM, TPL, MBT, WKS, …
5. Random FES connection: Nicole Seah (NSP, contesting in Marine Parade GRC) is a former VCF-er. Ben Pwee (SPP, contesting in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) will be speaking in the upcoming EARC.