I was looking at this photo on ToC (BTW well done Andrew Loh and TOC for organising the event) and something was bothering me, though I knew not what. No it was not the sight of Chiam and Chee sitting side-by-side, smiling. That made my day. Nice to see that they were willing to put aside their differences for what both saw as the greater good. (BTW, I hope mama tiger aka Mrs Chiam didn’t give Chiam a hard time when he went home. ))))
No there was sumething else.
Then I readThe Workers’ Party had nominated Gerald Giam, the only non-secretary general, as its representative (it was decided by the party’s executive committee by ‘consensus’ … .
I can understand the WP not wanting to send its Chinese-educated Sec Gen, given that his command of English is weak when compared to the other Sec-Gens': they are a pretty articulate bunch, while the WP Sec-Gen is a quieter guy. But surely the WP could send its very personable, pretty and articulate chairman? No disrepect to Gerald Giam (I’ve heard him speak before), but for the WP to send him to represent the WP is like a CEO skipping a meeting with other CEOs, and his company instead sending an ordinary and very junior (in senority) director.
It is a question of good manners and, more importantly, of respect for the other participants.
Could the WP be signalling that it sees itself as different from the other opposition parties? Could it be that it wanted not to show up (like the PAP)? But lacked the balls?
I hope that the WP has a reasonable reason for not sending someone more senior. If not I’m concerned about its willingness to work with the other opposition parties in wanting to badly hurt the PAP in the coming contest. Even Chiam and Chee are willing to put their differences aside for the sake of unity.
This is the best opportunity in years for the opposition to make a difference.
Many different people feel unhappy for different reasons, but they are all unhappy. The young, middle-age, and old are unhappy. So are the middle class, working class and poor. Like-wise the local-born Chinese, Indians and Malays. Can’t think of a time when the PAP has upset so many of us, self included. And I’m an RI boy who has benefited from government policies system except on HDB flats. I’m single and am proud of it.
Already some S’poreans (self included) see the plan to allow more NCMPs as a move to “help” the WP increase its parly representation at the expense of the other parties. The gossip prior to these changes was that the WP Sec-Gen and chairman would face pressure from WP members to change the WP’s low profile tactics, if the WP doesn’t win more seats in the coming general meeting. Voila and more seats appear. More WP NCMPs would be better for the PAP than losing a GRC or two or a more aggressive WP. Makes even a naive person suspicious, let alone a sceptic.
I sure hope my suspicions abt the WP are irrational and wrong.