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Posts Tagged ‘National Solidarity Party’

Why history is not on the side of the PAP and WP

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 09/11/2012 at 9:18 am

But on the side of the SDP and NSP (maybe, if it keeps on its present busy beaver path).

There is every reason to believe that these developments [states approving initiatives on gay-marriage and marijuana] reflect national trends in public opinion. And these national trends are driven in turn by the same general processes of social change behind the gradual liberalisation of values in Europe and around the globe. Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, was first to document this process in detail. Mr Inglehart’s well-confirmed thesis is that, roughly, as societies become increasingly secure in material terms, each new generation is predictably less “materialistic”—less focused on merely economic concerns—and more concerned with equality, autonomy, and the injustice of arbitrary authority. If we take the long view, we can see the success of this cycle’s gay-marriage and marijuana initiatives due to the inexorability of death, which in time disposes of antiquated mores, and to the relentless liberalisation of cultural attitudes in well-functioning market democracies. Thus are the young ever the vanguard of progressive social change. And the young stayed away from Mr Romney in droves

Extract from an Economist blog. No link as the rest is very, very US centric

NSP: Not in hibernation, but beavering away

In Humour, Internet, Political governance on 07/11/2012 at 6:10 am

So the NSP has not gone into hibernation. It is co-organising this seminar entitled “How to Survive the Perils of the Online World?” . Pretty impressive speakers: three lawyers (one an academic, while another is a former president of the Law Soc and former DPP) and Cherian George. New NSP member, Ravi Philemon, ex-TOC chief editor, blogger, do-gooder and social activist is moderating. It should be an interesting, entertaining and educational do. Do try to attend, but make sure you park carefully*.

Traditionally the NSP (referred to by trolls as the “No Substance Party”) falls asleep after a GE, to waken just before the next GE. It happened after 1996 and even after 2001, when Steve Chia became a NCMP. He, and the NSP, didn’t build on that position for the 2006 GE. After the 2006 GE, it went into hibernation to be roused in 2008 by one Goh Meng Seng, who had joined NSP from the WP.

After the 2011 GE, GMS resigned from the NSP (a troll said he is a serial resigner from parties after GEs, having resigned from WP after the 2006 GE: if he set-up his own party, he would quit it after losing a GE.).

The expectation was that the party would go into hibernation what with internal disputes earlier this year.

Well the party has proven us sceptics wrong. It is walking the ground regularly in Tampines GRC. I hear Nicole Seah is doing something in Marine Parade GRC, Hazel and hubbie are wading in the North Western marshes and recreational farms, and Jeannette Chong is cycling (though there are trolls saying she is doing so to lose weight) in Mountbatten.

As befits a party with two scholars (Hazel and hubbie) and a lawyer (Jeannette), NSP is planning to do a policy paper entitled: “My Singapore: Identity, Population and Manpowe”’. To help it write the paper, is doing a survey. The survey format is undergrad stuff but it shows NSP is trying to solicit people’s opinion, not hectoring while ignoring them (PAP). Nor ignoring them, unlike WP.

It holds regular legal clinics to advise S’poreans. After Alex Au’s row with AG on his comments on a legal judgement, I had suggested to a NSP member I knew, and on Ms Chong’s FB wall, that maybe it should use one of its legal clinics to advise netizens on how to avoid upsetting the AG. It would have the additional advantage of getting some PR and goodwill from netizens. So maybe, I should get a bit of credit for this Saturday’s seminar? But easy to propose, organising isn’t so easy.

But more needs to be done. NSP’s website is pretty basic (Rumour is that GMS designed it). As at time of writing 5th November, it didn’t even advertise  “How to Survive the Perils of the Online World?” on its website: this appeared on 6 November. But it is advertising a 2011 November event, I kid you not. So its online presence is even less than that of the WP or SPP, and miles behind that of the SDP.

The good thing is that with such a low starting point, there is no further downside. Can’t get any worse.

My suggestion to NSP is to anoint Ravi as online Czar, responsible for online strategy and delivery. He did a gd job at TOC, when he was editing the contents: claiming Han Seng Tong’s scalp, getting minister Shan say nasty things about TOC, and making KennethJ angry (Ravi didn’t publish his rants).  Against that, Mrs Chiam has said nice things about TOC under Ravi’s editorship.

To conclude, NSP is shedding its “No Substance Party” image and the hibernation habit between GEs. But it has a long way to go in building its cred among voters. Giving Ravi the online portfolio will help built cred online. But NSP should make sure Ravi doesn’t skive when it comes to walking the ground: not because he needs to shed kilos, not juz pounds (he does) but boots on the ground are needed to win a seat (Juz ask auntie Sylvia, and he-man Steve Chia). Every member must do the walking or cycling.

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*LTA might not be happy that Ravi is kicking up a big fuss over how LTA exercises its rules when an MP intervenes. He has also alleged that an MP had parked illegally.

TJS, Hazel Poa and Tony Tan

In Political governance on 26/03/2012 at 7:38 am

Both Tan Jee Say and the NSP have refused to rule out contesting Hougang. But this isn’t the only link between the two has-beens of opposition politics.

As readers will know, former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say is setting up a centre for policy discussion in Orchard Road.  Known as Heart Beat, he plans to host weekly policy discussions there. And I assume sell drinks and light refreshments to the thirsty and hungry participants of these discussions. An integrated model that sustains itself. Bully for him and his Mrs.

He hopes to sign up 100 people for his policy discussion group by year-end. The plan is for the group to meet regularly to research and brainstorm ideas, and draw up a set of alternative policies by 2014. These will be offered to opposition parties for use in their manifestos in the next general election, or submitted to the Government for consideration. Hazel Poa and her hubbie Tony have agreed to help him recruit people for this centre. 

The aims of this centre is  an advanced version of what he was thinking abt before the 2011 GE. In his article (in his book A Nation Awakes) “From Essay to Ho Say”, talked of “my plan for a non partisan [huh? strange this] central resourse pool of 15 to 20 candidates who could be distributed to the various opposition parties to augment and strengthen their existing team of candidates.” He described this to that Dynamic Duo (Hazel and Tony) “who promised help me find candidates”. The plan never took off, and TJS ended up being a GRC MP candidate for the SDP. And the dynamic duo stood as NSP candidates.

Well now it seems they are trying again. Let’s wish them luck in their plans to research and brainstorm ideas, and draw up a set of alternative policies by 2014. These policies will be offered to opposition parties for use in their manifestos in the next general election, or submitted to the Government for consideration.

 
 

The silence of the NSP

In Political governance on 23/03/2012 at 7:13 am

Even more farcical than GMS’s call for Nicole Seah to avenge the humiliation that he and NSP felt when the WP refused to acknowledge the NSP’s “chopping” of Moulmein-Kallang, and Nicole Seah’s response of, “Don’t drag me into yr pettiness, I’m a fan of Low”, is the reaction of the NSP’s central executive council (CEC).

When Hazel Poa, the sec-gen, was asked months ago if the NSP would contest Hougang, her reply was the CEC had yet to meet to discuss the matter. Since then nothing has issued from the NSP’s CEC. Even after GMS’s extra-ordinary outburst, there is only silence. BTW, he forgot that he is no longer the sec-gen or a member of the NSP? Or is he Gong Mad Soon?

The reason for the silence is that the NSP’s CEC is split on the issue. Hazel, her hubbie and other ex-RP friends, and the two lady friends of Tan Jee Say (Nicole and Jeannette) have no problem staying away from Hougang. But the third faction, the old guard, are like GMS. They want to hurt the WP even if it means the Opposition losing Hougang. To them getting their revenge is the most important thing. The problem is that this lot can’t find anyone willing to stand in Hougang. Who wants to lose his deposit? And bear the shame of doing the PAP’s work for free. I mean PAP MPs are paid $15,000 a month for their efforts.

Enter GMS? Tired of waiting for Mrs Chiam to call him to invite him to donate his blood to the SPP’s rejuvenation, GMS it seems is eyeing to go down in history as the man who lost Hougang.

Think again GMS.

State of the Opposition Update: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 30/01/2012 at 5:30 am

This is the “news” I picked up over the last week while feasting and dicing. I have tried to indicate which are the more reliable stories, and which are the more rubbishy ones. As usually I add my very personal takes i.e. analysis.

SPP

Juz before the hols, I was told by a reliable source that Mrs Chiam had said that the coming party conference would be a “non event”. Some non event:

– two men that were expected to lead the SPP post Chiam said they were no longer interested in being on the central executive committee (Mrs Chiam was blamed for their lost of interest); then

– six central executive members (including the above two) resigned from the party juz before the conference with one saying “that one or two key CEC members are not willing (to accommodate) a complete change over for collective leadership and accountability, and that being the case, my presence in the party will not add credible value.”

For jet-setters (like one DYadav) and planet hoppers who were away, read here and here.

Desmond Lim (remember him) was one happy man this hols, people who know him tell me. Remember he had a bad 2011 initially, being slimed by Mrs Chiam as lacking the “X” factor to succeed Chiam and hence the trouble he was giving the Chiams, then losing his deposit in the May GE. Well with the failure of the party to retain Potong Pasir and to renew itself, and the unhappiness of long serving stalwarts and newbie ex-scholars all becoming public before the hols, he feels vindicated in opposing the Chiams in 2010 and 2011. I hope he gambled big time before the Year of Rabbit ended as his luck certainly did improve.

WP

No need to say anything abt Yaw because he said “IF it is rumours …”, the other lady said, ““I hope you will not identify me or the other woman involved,”, his wife withdrew her Facebook comments about irresponsible journalism, WP’s Low Thia Kiang said: “You said yourself that these are rumours, why are you still asking me?”, and deputy treasurer of the WP, a Mr Png, said: “We have to think carefully about our response”.

They shld realise that their comments collectively give the game away. Why so stupid leh, WP Sec-Gen, members and Mrs Yaw?

All I will report is that WP high command and those who should be in the know are saying nothing in private to friendly, influential outsiders (including prominent bloggers: I’m neither a friend nor influential) or “lesser mortals” WP supporters. As they are also saying nothing in public, I conclude that the WP’s attitude is, “Your problem Yaw. You solve it”.

Problem for the WP is that the silence implies that there is a problem that Yaw has to resolve, whatever it is.

But if Yaw is the dad of a bastard (albeit a Dragon), the WP can’t escape collateral damage. He was possibly the most trusted lieutenant of Sec-Gen Low, and if he was as rampant a stag as alleged by TRE, it casts doubt on Low’s judgement. And if Low didn’t know that his Kim Jong-il look-a-like aide was as horny a stag as alleged, it shows the lack of his of intel on members.

NSP

The old guard can’t believe that the newbies are fighting among themselves and with the old guard.

Hazel Poa (Sec-Gen) and her hubbie Tony and other newbies are spitting mad at Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (VP) who has the support of the people’s celebrity, Nicole Seah. Ms Chong is refusing (and has refused for over six months) to declare her personal wealth. (Reminder: she is hot-shot corporate and shipping lawyer, or so it is claimed. Detractors say it is a two partners and no slaves, legal assistants, firm).

All central executive members have to submit this declaration to the government in order to get the licence for NSP’s newsletter renewed.

Why she refuses to give this declaration or step down, and why Nicole Seah is supporting her is a matter of speculation. One mean spirited view is that she and Nicole realise that moving to NSP was a big mistake and they want to jump ship again. If they leave when Tan Jee Say sets up his party (the two gals got crush on him, it is alleged), there is a danger that they will be perceived as serial, air head rats: first KennethJ, then Goh Meng Seng. If NSP was in disarray, they could excuse their leaving by blaming the NSP mess.

The old guard kicked out one Goh Meng Seng for failing to deliver a breakthrough. He got his revenge. The newbies he brought in are fighting each other and the Malay Bureau (his creation) and the old guard. Want to destroy an organisation, give GMS an executive role: juz kidding.

TJS

Glad to read in ST confirmation of a story I heard: he is pursuing the shared resource centre for the Opposition that he was thinking about before the last general election.

As he is turning 58 soon, why is he working so hard? “Relax. Watching over yr daughters and making sure they hook rich China men and is hard work. Do it well, and can be richer than Peter Lim”.

But seeing that that Dynamic NSP Duo (Hazel and Tony) are helping him recruit people for the centre, does it mean that he is giving Jeannette Chong and Nicole Seah, the brush off? Scholars like the company of other scholars, not pretty air heads who are serial hoppers? Will hope to find out more in the next week of feasting, dicing and Black Jack. No, dicing is not Roulette, it’s Backgammon.

SDP

Michelle Lee is expected to leave SDP soon even if TJS doesn’t set up up a new party for her to join. She didn’t join other SDP members in CNY Chinatown walkabout. She joined the SPP, NSP, RP and TJS in their Ang Moh Kio walkabout which SDP officially declared it wouldn’t join (Danny, the teh tarik bear, doesn’t like competition from Nicole, the people’s princess? Hey Danny, you are cuddily and furry but not sexy enough for boys to fantasise having sex with), clashed with its long planned Chinatown walkabout.

Others

KennethJ is rumoured to be looking for a job in financial services. No surprises there as he was a hedgie and hasn’t been working for a few years, dedicating his time and efforts to politics and keeping dad’s memory alive. What is surprising is that he is rumoured to be looking for a London-based job. Trying to make a graceful exit? Whither RP, which dad founded? RIP both RP and KennetJ’s political ambitions?

And finally, how can I forget Goh Meng Seng? He after all has many, many enemies saying nasty things about him. The least nasty is that he is desperately waiting for a phone call from Lina Chiam who has said SPP “will continue to seek new passionate and talented individuals with the right aptitude and who will pursue the opposition cause cohesively.” His enemies say he has told Lina that he is willing to be co-opted into SPP mgt committee. Err wonder if Lina thinks he has the X factors she is seeking? Somehow looking at his CV, I doubt she would. Anyway, SPP’s loss is TOC’s gain, or is it bane? If he joins SPP, he would have to resign from Team TOC. The Chinese section of TOC that he founded to large self-publicity seems kinda quiet.

Taz all folks. An update next week. One more week of feasting and gambling. Take care, drink or drive, not both.

Supporters in the limelight, boon or bane for the NSP?

In Political governance on 01/12/2011 at 6:54 pm

Until the 16th of November, the NSP (Nicole Seah excepted, and she has been keeping a low profile for sometime) had a very low Internet profile. Things have changed because three persons openly associated with the NSP have played leading roles in two of the three “sedition” complaints (three in the space of five days) made to the police asking the police to investigate whether “sedition” had been committed. All three complaints have been well publicised and commented on on the Internet (including Facebook) with most “voices” “hammering” Neo, the Young PAP and the PAP, and Donaldson.

That the three leading complainants in the drama were NSP supporters, and that NSP released a statement* on one of the three incidents were also well publicised. But there was very little comment on their association with the NSP, none of which was negative of the NSP.

This posting is about whether the public’s views of the NSP could change even though it is clear that no-one reasonably thinks that these actions were sanctioned, approved or pre-planned by the leadership of the NSP or its Malay Section.

Noor Firdaus (the exposer of Jason Neo) is, according to a Yahoo! report, “a volunteer with opposition National Solidarity Party (NSP)”. Note that on Facebook there is a “Firdaus Venezio (Noor Firdaus Abdul Samad)” who says his political views are aligned with those of those of the NSP.

But the circumstances surrounding the exposing of Neo were strange.Neo’s Facebook’s “friends” had pointed out in March 2011 that he was wrong . He had then explained that it was not meant to be taken seriously, and had apologised. That he should have removed the picture is beyond doubt. But as none of his “friends” had thought it necessary to advise, suggest or demand that he remove the post, I suspect, he thought he had done enough to “purge” himself of his mistake.

When Firdaus saw the image sometime in November, and complained to Neo, Neo apologised again and took down the image. It could have ended there.

But Firdaus made copies of the image and spread it on the Internet: after the original had disappeared. He sent it to various PAP MPS (Neo was a member of the Young PAP), TOC and NSP member Abdul Salim. Abdul Salim was quoted by TOC as saying: “I have just make a Police report against Jason Neo Tiong Yap. Was updated by the officers on duty that the Principal of HUDA Kindergarten has also lodge a report early in the afternoon.”

Then one Amran Junid was unhappy with a Facebook post of one Donaldson Tan. He made a police report, and told TOC about it. TOC, in turn, wrote a story on the matter. According to the New Asia Republic (which Donaldson Tan founded and where he is an editor), “Checks on Amran’s background have shown that he is closely linked with an opposition party, the National Solidarity Party …”.

I never did think these actions were sanctioned, approved or pre-planned by the leadership of the NSP or its Malay Section, but were the individuals’ initiative.

A cynic could reasonably conclude that, given their association with the NSP, Firdaus and Abdul Salim could be trying to score political points by damaging the reputations of the Young PAP, PAP and the government. And raising their party’s profile to boot. Politics is a dirty game. Other more personal motivations could have be dreamt up by a cynic too.

But netizens know that NSP supporters were prime actors in these actions.

Whether the publicity is beneficial, or not, for the NSP has yet to be seen. For a party often perceived to be Chinese-based, the high Internet profile of three non-Chinese NSP activists could change perceptions of the party, and attract more non-Chinese supporters. The party has Malay and Indian Bureaus to focus on the specific needs and concerns of S’porean Malays and Indians.

But it does seem strange that people associated with a party that Firdaus calls “Libertarians” resort to “flaming” or making police reports because their feelings were hurt. These supporters do not seem to be aligned with libertarian principles, as I understand them to be. Worse for the NSP, their actions could be seen by many voters as irresponsible, disproportionate, reckless and possibly causing more harm than the original misdeeds they were trying to highlight.

All of which goes to show the wisdom of the WP in being very careful and cautious in accepting new members and “volunteers’.

As Nicile Seah is in PR and is the people’s poster gal of what a young activist is all about, she could lead NSP’s efforts to make sure that its members and supporters are “on message” and that other S’poreans get the “right” impression of the NSP?

Let me be clear, I

  • don’t condone what Neo and Donaldson did;
  • say they were wrong and irresponsible to do what they did;
  • think the actions of Abdul Salim and Amran Junid were not an appropriate response to the original misdeeds;
  • say Firdaus was irresponsible and reckless, and his actions were not an appropriate response to Neo’s misdeed; and
  • have no issues with TOC covering the stories, or the way TOC handled them. News is news.

And, for the record, I know and like the core team members of TOC; and I help out occasionally in subbing, and non-editorial matters.

 Finally, I have more reflections on this issue, which I plan to blog next week. Still reflecting.

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*I, and others, were wondering why NSP issued the statement until it became clear that Firdaus was an NSP supporter. 

What are the SPP, NSP and RP up to post GE?

In Political governance on 16/10/2011 at 9:56 am

As I’ve remarked before, the SPP punches above its weight of because of Chiam. But given Chiam’s frality and age, the party had better move fast to renew itself.

One way this is happening (as I’ve earlier reported)  is that Benjamin Pwee and other SPP members who helped Dr Cheng Bock (not a SPP member) in his recent presidential campaign are getting advice from him. He is advising them plan the transition from brand Chiam, and how to get support in Western S’pore, his territory. Tony Tan came second in the West. Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian were nowhere to be seen.

Another way the SPP is renewing itself  is the invitation, to Eric Tan (ex WP MP candidate), Tan Jee Say (ex SDP MP candidate, and presidential candidate) and Leong Sze Hian (TOC contributor) to attend meetings of the SPP’s Policy Working Group, even though they are not SPP members. They accepted and there is a group photo on TOC’s FB. Benjamin Pwee heads this committee.

Finally, SPP are continuing working the ground in Bishan Toa Payoh and Potong Pasir.

NSP

It is old news that Hazel Poa is now the secretary-general of the NSP and her hubbie Tony Tan, Jeannette Chong Aruldoss (who is also vice-president of NSP), and super star celebrity Nicole Seah are on the party’s Central Executive Council. But note that unlike the PAP, WP and SPP, the most powerful post in the NSP is that of president, not that of secretary-general.

Note also the presence of the president Sebastian Teo and Tan Chee Kien on the CEC. They have been around since 1987, the founding of the party.

Whenever new people join any organisation,  there is always some  tension between the “old guard” and the newbies. And the NSP is no exception.

The failure of many in the CEC to attend the “birthday” party of the NSP’s Malay Bureau was put down to these tensions. Rumour has it that the Malay Bureau members had wanted to join the RP when the gang of four were in RP.  There were some problems, and Goh Meng Seng recruited them for the NSP instead.

The party is starting to work the ground, picking up a tip from the WP where Sylvia Lim and friends started working the ground in Aljunied almost immediately after the 2006 GE. The NSP, I am told, traditionally went into hibernation between elections.

RP

Kenneth J has formed a policy working committee, recruiting non-party members onto it. He is also busy organising the JBJ memorial dinner. And he is blogging some very gd stuff.

He seems dedicated to fighting the gd fight. remember, he has the option of packing his bags and returning to the UK, his home for many a year. Whatever he does, let’s wish him well.

Too bad the NSP deprived him of the opportunity of fighting in Radin Mas. The NSP candidate there did not do well. As this was once JBJ’ territory, Goh Meng Seng and the rest of the NSP mgt should have been had the graciousness to allow KennethJ to fight there.

 

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