For starters, the trains were running regularly then. I mean, one of the gd points about having an authoritarian government, is that the trains run on time. So, I’m surprised that the PM is not publicly blaming the 40% of S’poreans who voted for the Opposition for the trains breaking down. He could have said government and public services cannot be so efficient with so many unhappy voters to please, so expect problems.
Seriously, this time last year, who had heard of Tan Jee Say, Chen Show Mao, Benjamin Pwee, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Nicole Seah, or Jeannette Chong Aruldoss?
TJS stood for two elections in May, as a candidate for the SDP in the general election (GE) in May and in the presidential election (PE) in August. He did so-so in May but got a credible 25% of the votes in the PE. He is now trying to unite the Opposition parties, or so he says).
Show Mao became an MP at his first attempt and then gave a speech in parly that warmed the hearts of many Chinese-educated S’poreans. They and the other four showed that the Opposition could attract academically brilliant people (Nicole is smart, not juz sassy and pretty), and successful professionals to boot. A far cry from “demagogues”, “opportunists” and bicycle thieves.
Who knew of Tin Pei Ling, Denise He or Puthucheary in December last year? Tin and Denise He (Tin’s Face book administrator) showed that the PAP had problems getting smart, young Internet savvy people, while Nicole Seah showed that the Opposition had no such problem. Puthu showed S’poreans the kind of FTs that become citizens and PAP members. Shumething that didn’t impress many S’poreans (self included).
Last December, the Reform Party (who?) and its Secretary-General were seen as the brightest stars in the Opposition firmament. True, KennthJ had to live down his failure to take over the SDA. But one Chiam See Tong, the SDA’s chairman, had given KenJ his backing, so it wasn’t as though it was all KenJ’s fault. To show each other that they had no hard feelings, Chiam invited KenJ to SPP’s Christmas party, and he accepted. And KenJ could boast of attracting two government scholars turned educational entrpreneurs (marriage partners Tony Tan and Hazel Poa) into RP.
Today, the RP and KenJ are no longer seen as serious players in the Opposition. Most of the then party members (including the dynamic duo) walked out in early 2011, saying they had differences with KenJ. He then made things worse by his petulant reaction their leaving. In the GE, the RP did badly partly because of the weakened state of the party, but also because of one GMS of the NSP, who played hard ball with the RP over which seats the RP could contest.
(To be continued on Wednesday. Getting too long.)