Low Thia Khiang’s tussle with the press shows the MSM has regressed to pre-GE2011

May 29, 2012 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 May 2012

WP Sec-Gen Low Thia Khiang’s recent tussle with the press, in particular, Lianhe Zaobao, shows that the mainstream media (MSM) has regressed to the state it was before GE2011.

In the 2011 general elections, the MSM was recognized for giving decent and fair coverage to all political parties, though with a couple of glaring exceptions. One glaring exception was the New Paper’s smear attack on Dr Chee Soon Juan, accusing him of trying to stage an illegal demonstration after an election rally was over, even though there was absolutely no evidence to support such a spurious claim.

However, the MSM’s recent coverage of the Hougang by-election shows that this move toward fairer coverage of political issues and elections has been reversed. It seems that the clock has turned back to pre-GE2011.

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Hougang by-election aftermath: The Morning-After Pill

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
27 May 2012

The voters of Hougang have spoken, and they have spoken not only for themselves but for the whole of Singapore. However the PAP would like to position the by-election, they cannot escape the fact that a large percentage of Singaporeans shares in the joy of the Hougang electorate.

The PAP is the ruling party and it fielded an experienced candidate. Desmond Choo has contested Hougang in May 2011 and his face is better known to the voters of Hougang. He is also the grassroots’ adviser. Yet, the PAP lost.

We must also note that the PAP was fighting a party that had been handicapped by the Yaw Shin Leong affair and his subsequent sacking, prominent resignations by other key members, and also the inexplicable sideshow by Dr Poh Lee Guan. Yet, the Worker’s Party still won.

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WP post-election press conference

May 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Media articles 

Mr Low Thia Khiang delivers a surprisingly hard-hitting post-election press conference, in which he hits out at the government for denying Hougang residents estate upgrading for the past 21 years, contrary to PM Lee’s assertion that his government aims to build an inclusive society. He said that we should build a first world society, not just a first world economy.

Mr Low pointed out there had been several calculated moves to discredit the WP candidate and attack the party, similar to tactics he has witnessed in the 1980′s and 1990′s. He said that this by-election has been characterized by baseless attacks, distractions, and character assassination. He also criticized the mainstream media for being once again a political tool of the PAP.

Mr Low gave his assurance that Mr Png Eng Huat will be a caring MP, and will serve residents to the best of his ability.

Victory for Mr Png Eng Huat of the Worker’s Party!

May 26, 2012 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Mr Png Eng Huat of the Worker’s Party has won the Hougang by-election by a convincing margin.

He garnered 13,447 votes against PAP’s Desmond Choo’s 8,210 votes. That means out of the valid votes cast, Mr Png received 62.09%, while Mr Choo received 37.91%.

Mr Png’s victory is remarkable given that the WP has been exposed to much negativity over the past several months. The major backlash occurred when Mr Yaw Shin Leong, the former MP, was sacked by the WP leadership and lost his Parliamentary seat over his silence amidst allegations of infidelity.

The more minor issues included accusations of plagiarism by WP MPs Chen Show Mao and Pritam Singh, WP’s poor performance during the ministerial salary debate, and the hoo-ha over Mr Png’s confusing answers to the media regarding his stand on the NCMP issue.

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The Hougang by-election is not just Png versus Choo, it about the national agenda as well

May 24, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
24 May 2012

As we head into Cooling Off day, let us set aside the rhetoric of the past several days of campaigning, and examine the issues from a national perspective.

The Hougang by-election is not just a local election between Mr Png Eng Huat from WP and Mr Desmond Choo from the PAP. If Singapore were a truly plural, multi-party democracy, it would be. But Singapore is not.

The PAP is still in control of over 90% of the seats in Parliament despite having only won 60.1% of the popular vote in the last general elections. The Elections Department is under the direct purview of the Prime Minister’s Office. GRC boundaries are subject to gerrymandering, and opposition wards are last in the queue for flat and lift upgrading. The mainstream media is still guilty of biased reporting, and at times, even gutter journalism.

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WP by-election rally speeches 24 May 2012

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Desmond Choo: Certainly not “his own man”

May 24, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
24 May 2012

Right at the start of the by-election campaign, PAP candidate Desmond Choo said that he was “his own man”, and that he was “independent”. Yet, one by one, cabinet ministers and other PAP heavyweights lent their support and presence to Desmond Choo. On nomination day itself, PAP Chairman and MND Minister Khaw Boon Wan, as well as Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, were there to support him.

Several days ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself paid a visit to Hougang with Mr Choo. DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam also weighed in, calling on WP not to trivialize the electoral process, and up till today, DPM Teo Chee Hean is still on the offensive, accusing WP and Mr Png Eng Huat of not being honest and forthright with voters.

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Gutter politics and biased reporting by Straits Times

May 23, 2012 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
23 May 2012

The PAP is up to its usual bag of tricks again. When the campaign for Hougang began, Mr Desmond Choo, the PAP candidate, promised a clean fight. What he did not promise however, was that his fellow PAP ministers would also fight fairly. It is disingenuous that the dirty work of smearing the opposition has been left to his colleagues while he preserves his clean image.

In the first couple of days of the campaign, both sides focussed on issues that concerned the people. But as to be expected, straight out of the classic PAP playbook, the dirty punches were thrown at the opposition and there is no more mention of national or local issues on the part of the PAP as polling day draws near.

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WP Hougang by-election rally 22 May 2012

May 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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WP Sec-Gen Low Thia Khiang addresses the NCMP issue.

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Png Eng Huat clarifies remarks concerning internal NCMP balloting process

May 22, 2012 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

WP candidate for Hougang Mr Png Eng Huat did in fact go through the internal balloting process for the NCMP post offered to the party’s East Coast team last May after the general elections, but he did not receive enough votes to be selected.

At a PAP election rally on Sunday night, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had asked the Worker’s Party why it didn’t send Mr Png to parliament as an NCMP when it had a chance to do so.

This prompted Mr Png to respond that he had not wanted any NCMP post as he was opposed to the scheme.

The Worker’s Party’s East Coast team was allowed to choose one member for the NCMP post because it was the highest scoring GRC team in the opposition slate after Aljunied. The Elections Department had offered three NCMP seats to the best losing opposition candidates in last year’s general elections.

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