Below is a post from one of my readers about Dr Chee’s claim that even if he was unemployed, he built up the SDP. The regular commenter ended:
So even if we do not pass personality judgement on Dr Chee’s not finding a job, how much has his time in unemployment been useful to the SDP and opposition politics as a whole? I think not as much. It has been useful for his personal redemption and image revamp, as he can all along play the jobless martyr victim card, drive his celebrity status, sell some books, and that’s about it.
Taz a bit too kind because Dr Chee led a political party that was the leading Oppo party into the Wilderness and irrelevancy and then having realised that he and the SDP were lost in the desert of public scorn and derision, reinvented the SDP and himself.
When he defenestrated Chiam and even before defenestrating the rest of the Old Guard (no friends of Chiam) he moved the SDP into the politics of civil disobedience, and in the process allowed the PAP and its constructive, nation-building media allies to demonise him and the party. Other than Chiam, the party had two other MPs. But since he took over, the SDP had none.
Remember his antics that got him the well-deserved moniker of “Mad Dog”? And the antics of his supporters who made the very name of SDP toxic?
If you don’t, just google. Reminder: he wanted to contest Punggol East and handover the running of the place to the WP (that’s the Mad Dog in hime for you), he wanted public protests, and he wanted to be like Gandhi.
I give Dr Chee credit that in the 90s his vision of S’pore in 2016 was a lot more closer to the reality (Mad prophet?) than mine or the PAP. And for the alternative policies that the SDP has proposed. And I’ll give him credit for his actions in reinventing the SDP and himself. But there’s too much historical baggage,
But let’s not forget that he screwed up big time leading the SDP into the Wilderness, not the Promised Land.
(Yes, yes I know he and the SDP claim the credit for liberalisation measures that we’ve seen over the years. But I’m sure others too like the Americans, civil society activists and even one Lee Jnr can also claim some credit.)
Here’s the rest of the comment from the regular reader. Make sure you read the bot on those who left the SDP.
I posted the following on another blog:
“But ok, let’s just say I am wrong and lets not begrudge Dr Chee Soon Juan on his not finding a job. In fact, he gave a couple of reasons to justify it and why his time unemployed has been well spent.
Now he told us, don’t judge him as an unemployed person. Judge what he has done to grow the SDP while not working full time. Alright. In the 2011 GE, the SDP contested 11 out of 87 seats and won none. In 2015, it contested 11 out of 89 seats and won none. Wow, not much growth there. And in the 4 years in between, high profile candidates like Vincent Wijeysingha, Tan Jee Say, Ang Yong Guan, as well as promising youngsters like Jarrod Luo* have left the party, some parting ways on really bad terms. Dr Chee himself made a big screw up of the Punggol East BE with his “joint ticket” proposal to the WP. (Incidentally, I wonder why the PAP is not attacking this, rather than his other past indiscretions”.)
Dr Chee Soon Juan also told us that the SDP has been hard at work putting forth policy papers on various national issues. Even if I do not agree with their policies, this is something I give them credit for, which is at least a lot better than the likes of RP, NSP, etc. Well then, I guess the whole of SDP must be unemployed, in order for them to work on these policies full time? Not at all! Dr Paul Tambyah, the one saving grace for Dr Chee’s recent tenure, is a full Professor at NUS since 2013, and was probably instrumental in crafting the SDP’s healthcare policy. Unless Dr Chee is saying that all his SDP colleagues are working full time, and he is the only one who is working at home crafting all these policy papers?
So even if we do not pass personality judgement on Dr Chee’s not finding a job, how much has his time in unemployment been useful to the SDP and opposition politics as a whole? I think not as much. It has been useful for his personal redemption and image revamp, as he can all along play the jobless martyr victim card, drive his celebrity status, sell some books, and that’s about it.”
*Left out Jeremy Chen and Danny the SDP Bear.
Jeremy Chen was a scholar and was working in MINDEF in the division where Ho Ching was once working. He left and went to do a PhD in NUS biz School. But he can be a bit dumb. He got into a row with self and others when he accused SIA of “fixing” the results of its investment in Virgin Airlines where it lost money but wrote-back a profit. We explained to him that SIA had already progressive written off the investment and had overprovided, hence the write-back. He yelled that he “didn’t do accounting”. I asked how come can do PhD without knowledge of accounting and how come SDP can accept him as member
He claims to have single-handedly written most of SDP’s policy papers. He left SDP after a row with Had Dog.