It has been a surprisingly quiet period. Nothing seemed to be happening out there. Didn’t get to write much as a result. I would have thought the Elected President issue would have given the usual critics of the government a lot of fodder and opportunities to take a below the belt hit at the ruling party. Alas, Singaporeans understood the issues at hand. Or they are just not bothered by a non-issue that doesn’t give them any money or take away any from them.
This Paul Tambyah fellow finally gave me something to chew on. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post ran what I thought was a pretty balanced piece on the proposed changes to the elected presidency here. But Paul, the SDP ex-candidate, was not happy with the coverage. He went into the reporter’s Facebook post, accusing him of leaving out the recent Bukit Batok by-election. He even accused the reporter of being influenced by the paper’s owner, China’s Jack Ma, without a shred of evidence.
Funny, how Paul is giving this SCMP fellow a taste of his own medicine. A media friend tells me the same cocky reporter had apparently gone into a local journalist’s facebook to accuse him of convenient lapses in editorial standards in his coverage of a local issue. Talk about doing unto others.
Back to the good doctor. Put aside that Tambyah himself is ignoring data that says over 90% of Singaporeans prefer a President from their own race. Let’s look at what Bukit Batok actually tells us.
True, a minority did win the BE. But that was against Chee Soon Juan. That unelectable fellow who refused to take a hint even after over 20 years of clear non-mandate. Still, Chee pulled off virtually the same swing (12.11%) as in the Punggol East BE, despite being
- From the SDP
The SDP’s average vote share in GE2015 was more than 12% less than the WP. They are simply not as popular as a party.
- Proven to be unelectable
CSJ got 38.8% of the vote, 5.5% higher than in the GE just 8 months ago, and much higher than he has ever achieved (ranging from 20.25% to 34.86%, including 24.5% in the Marine Parade GRC by-election in 1992).
Would Chee have gotten such results without benefiting from the race card? Judging by media reports that some were asking voters to “just vote for the Chinese guy”, even some of his supporters didn’t think so. Perhaps Dr Tambyah’s party loyalties prevent him from seeing this.
Paul obviously isn’t the brightest politician around. (Isn’t he the same fellow who said we need to cut defence budget by 40 per cent and combine home affairs and defence into one ministry?) What he doesn’t realise is he actually dug himself into a no-win situation with that comment about Bukit Batok. Don’t you see how flawed it is and not doing his own idiotic boss any favour by saying that?
If race does not matter in Bukit Batok, it actually means Singaporeans there truly put aside race considerations and reject the SDP chairman by a large majority even if it is a harmless by-elections – yes he is not electable. Ouch! One way or another, he is that idiot who is not electable.
What’s more, during by-elections, people mainly vote according to party, favouring the opposition party. But in a presidential election, where the candidates are not members of any party, race will probably be even more of a factor.
It’s sad that race is still a factor in our elections. But equally sad how SDP is deliberately ignoring this fact, despite any evidence to the contrary, just to further their political agenda.