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Posts Tagged ‘Singapore People’s Party’

Chiams: Please “go gentle into that good night”

In Political governance on 06/02/2012 at 5:11 am

(Or “Why the Chiams should sit down, shut up and fade away”)

Second nasty piece in a row abt opposition parties. No, I’ve not been seduced over to the Dark Side or being paid by the PAPpies to slime the Opposition, or gone wacko like QuanYifeng (I mean she seems to take pride in being violently wacko: she gave an interview in “8 Days” before the CNY hols justifying herself. Wonder when she will trash her daughter’s primary school and beat up the daughter’s teacher, given that the gal “did not do well” in the PSLE?).

But the WP’s and MP Yaw’s silence (my rant here) and now the Chiams talking nonsense have gotten my blood pressure to very dangerous levels. Even medicine doesn’t help bring it down. So to lower it, I got to to rant (my version of trashing stuff and beating up people, less violent, and safer for everyone. QuanYifeng might want to start blogging as therapy).

Before CNY, I wrote this of Chiam: Better to be alive and productive than to die and be remembered like a legend. Lions like Dr Chee and JBJ live too dangerously for “lesser mortals” like self. Be like Chiam**: Do the right thing in a low-key but determined way. The water buffalo can be just as dangerous to its enemies as the lion.  (***Taz not to say I agree with everything he does. Brickbats after the CNY hols.) I had planned to grumble that there was no renewal at the juz concluded party convention. I didn’t expect the resignations etc.

Now this got me very upset. In particular:

I am aggressively building up the next batch of potential leaders, consistent with the public statement the party made recently.

 — I believe in the merits of a consultative, collective leadership.

S’poreans may admire him, but we are not stupid. As this vv gd analysis  by Yawning Bread shows Chiam has a bad track record on these two “motherhood” statements. Juz reasserting these “motherhood” statements will not convince S’poreans. S’poreans are not “daft”. Actions are need.

Talking of “motherhood”, I tot it was extremely silly of Mrs Chiam to gush, “Alex … He is like a son to me”. I was planning to let readers read for themselves and decide whether Mrs Chiam is right to dote on him. But unfortunately, Alex Tan’s FB note is not available anymore. So readers have to read this instead.

The Chiams should realise that Mr Chiam’s “sell-by date” has expired. Pls leave the stage, so that Mr Chiam’s reputation is not damaged any further. Please.

Or if the Chiams want to hog the limelight, they should get some professional public relations and communications help on how to present Mr Chiam in a better light, or at least gild the wilting lily or rotting woodwork.

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.

SPP: Changing of the guard?

In Political governance on 13/11/2011 at 7:07 am

Sometime back, ST reported that Singapore People’s Party (SPP) chairman Sin Kek Tong is retiring. He told ST that he is stepping down and will not be running in the next central executive committee (CEC) election, due to be held at the party’s conference in late November.

Speculation is growing among SPP members and supporters that secretary-general Chiam See Tong will decide to run for the chairmanship. Under the SPP constitution, the secretary-general is the most powerful office bearer. So if Chiam becomes chairman, it means he will be giving up much of his formal power. It will also show that he is serious about “renewal”.

As usual, the Chiams are not saying anything.

If Chiam moves on, then either Benjamin Pwee or Wilfred Leung, both currently assistant secretary-generals, will run for the secretary-general post. I understand that Leung has a full-time job in Shanghai, so this may be an obstacle in him standing given that the duties and responsibilities of the post require the holder to be based here. So it is likely to be Pwee, if Chiam decides to move on to be chairman.

If Pwee gets the post, it would be a most a meteoric rise.  By his own admission, he only got to know Chiam only a few weeks before the May GE. He would therefore have outshone fellow scholars Tan Jee Say (presidential candidate), and Hazel and Tony (NSP CEC members, with the former being secretary-general), in rising so quickly to the top in Opposition politics. In the NSP, the president, not the secretary-general, is the most powerful official, while TJS has no organisation to take advantage of the votes he got in the presidential election (25%).

Someone who has had dealings with Pwee recently says as befits a scholar and ex-admin service person, he is analytical and methodical. He also has gd inter-personal skills. He is a charismatic speaker as I can testify having heard him speak at TOC’s dinner honouring Chiam.  Tan Cheng Bock, as earlier reported, is believed to be advising Pwee and other SPP members who helped him in his recent presidential campaign. He is helping them plan the transition from brand Chiam, and how to get support in Western S’pore, his territory.

Note that Chiam has a liking for brainy people. Remember his going out on a limb trying to help unproven, untested newbie Kenneth Jeyaretnam of the Reform Party takeover the Singapore Democratic Alliance? Even after KennethJ proved himself bereft of management and EQ skills, I was told, he offered KennethJ a place on his Bishan Toa Payoh team. KennethJ declined as it would mean resigning from RP (where he was in charge of a deserted, sinking ship sampan) to become an ordinary SPP member. It seems he insisted on being made a CEC member if he joined SPP.  

I don’t know much about Leung except that he has walked the Long March with the Chiams and other SPP members since 2005, so I can’t comment on his abilities.

Note that in typically S’porean fashion, there will be only one candidate each for the chairman’s and secretary-general’s post. There will be the usual back-room deals in the name of “unity”. Some things never change.

Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam is likely to remain as second vice-chairman. But “new faces” are likely to run for key positions.

Let’s wish the SPP well.

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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