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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Pwee’

Dissidents (to the Chiams) People’s Party/ People’s Parachutist Party

In Political governance on 04/08/2015 at 5:02 am

The Democratic Progressive Party and the People’s Power Party are misleading voters about themselves.

The Democratic Progressive Party should rename itself the “Dissidents (to the Chiams) People’s Party” or the “Take Revenge Party” or the “Ng Kum Guan Party”, while Meng Seng should rename his party “People’s Parachutist Party”.

Let me explain

Dissidents (to the Chiams) People’s Party, “Take Revenge Party” or the “Ng Kum Guan Party”

In addition to Fengshan SMC, DPP Secretary-General Benjamin Pwee told reporters at a press conference yesterday (25 Jul) that they want:

Potong Pasir SMC
Hong Kah North SMC
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Tanjong Pagar GRC

Except for Tanjong Pagar GRC, the other 3 wards were contested by the Chiams’ party, the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), in the last GE*.

When the possibility of 3-cornered fights with SPP was pointed out to DPP, Pwee (he was the chairman of the PAP Youth Wing in the Thomson area, according to Wikipedia) didn’t disagree saying“We will put a candidate in Potong Pasir because we believe we can put somebody who is a lot stronger than Mrs Chiam.”

More on FengShan below but the plan to contest Potong Pasir is definely an attepmt to fix the Chiams.

Three very senior members of the DPP were members of the SPP and fought along side Chiam in Bishan (5 MP GRC). They are:

  • Chairman – Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas
  • Secretary-General – Pwee Yek Kwan Benjamin
  • Assistant Secretary-General – Leung Wei Lit Wilfred

They had left the SPP in a huff in 2012 when Chiam refused to relinquish power in the SPP, retaining power in the Chiam family**

As far as competing in Bishan, the DPP has as much right as the Chiams’ Party to compete in the area. Pwee and Leung are in the DPP team for the area: the others are expected to be named soon.

But not in Potong Pasir. Mrs Chiam has been walking the ground in Potong Pasir since before Chiam’s victory in thev8os and she deserves to be the only Oppo candidate. Having said that isn’t it strange that the Chiams (and many S’poreans, especially cybernuts) regard Potong Pasir as the Chiams, personal fiefdom, even though the voters narrowly favoured a PAP man over Mrs Chiam. The cybernuts are comfortable with the Chiams way of keeping  things in the Chiam family, while cursing the Lee dynasty, as they see it. Double standards?

Background on DPP

DPP was a zombie party until 2013. The last time it contested a GE was in 2001, 14 years ago.

According to Wikipedia, the party was founded in 1973 by some unhappy WP members  led by Seow Khee Leng. It was then called the United Front (UF).

UF contested in the 1976, 1979 and 1980 GEs garnering 12.3%, 25.3% and 19% of the valid votes respectively. After being renamed Singapore United Front (SUF) in 1982, it contested in the 1984 GE, garnering 34.2%.

In January 1988, its members joined the WP to contest the 1988 GE. But it was still registered as a political party.

In 1992, after the 1991 GE, Seow Khee Leng again led some members out of the WP and revived SUF, and renamed it once again to DPP. He really has a thing against the WP.

The DPP contested in the 1997 and 2001 GEs,winning 12.3% and 14.3% of the valid votes respectively. DPP contested 2 constituencies each in 1997 and 2001: DPP candidates lost their election deposits. One of the DPP candidates who contested both times was Tan Lead Shake, who wore slippers into the nomination centre to hand in his nomination form. Whatever happened to him. Maybe he joined Meng Seng’s party?

After more than a decade of inactivity, the DPP has been revived by a few former SPP members. In December 2012, Seow Khee Leng invited them to join the DPP. Benjamin Pwee was immediately appointed the party’s Acting Secretary-General in January 2013. Two months later, he was elected Secretary-General. In 2011, he joined SPP to contest in the 2011 GE. In January 2012, he left SPP. He became Secretary-General of DPP in 2013.

Fengshan

It was also pointed out to DPP that it might clash with WP there. DPP announced that it would be fielding its party founder, 75-year-old Seow Khee Leng, in Fengshan.

Mr Pwee explained to the media that going to Fengshan was to “fulfill Mr Seow’s desire to run there”. Mr Seow chipped in, “I have been walking there for more than 4 to 5 years and I live around there too.”

And going by the history of the DPP narraated above, he’s got a grudge against the WP.

People’s Parachutist Party

Ain’t only the PAP that parachutes candidates in at the last minute. Even Goh Meng Seng does it, jetting in (in his private jet?) from his base in HK, and parachuting into the wilds of Choa Chu Kang***. His only connection with the area was that he was sec-gen of the No Substance Party which contested in that area in 2011.

Let’s see if he can do better than the two scholars (husband and wife) that helmed the NSP team. Or will he, like presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian, to whom he was an adviser, lose his deposit?

—————–

*Potong Pasir SMC – SPP got 49.6% of valid votes
Hong Kah North SMC – SPP got 29.4% of valid votes
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC – SPP got 43.1% of valid votes

**The six former Singapore People’s Party (SPP) Central Executive Committee members who resigned from the party last week have acknowledged the response given by its former secretary-general Chiam See Tong on Wednesday night.

Following Chiam’s clarification that the SPP had received legal advice to confirm the constitutional legitimacy of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) election at the party’s Ordinary Party Conference (OPC) last Sunday, the group said on Thursday morning that his clarification and accountability “bodes well for the SPP’s credibility”.

The six, which consist of the party’s former first and second assistant secretary-generals Wilfred Leung and Benjamin Pwee, organising secretary Ting Sze Jiang, Malay/Muslim affairs head Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas, his wife and businessmen affairs head David Tan, made clear in their statement that their differences held with the party over leadership styles had never been with Mr Chiam.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/spp-dismisses-tan-jee-say-rumours–maintains-continuity.html

Related post: The planned handover that went wrong: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/spp-changing-of-the-guard/

***Heard he landed in a manure heap in some hobby farm.

 

Jos Teo’s double standards/ Walk the talk, Chiams

In Political governance on 04/03/2015 at 4:40 am

One for people like herself* and another for the “little” people?

More than 100 Singaporeans gave their feedback on Budget 2015 at a forum on Thursday (Feb 26), organised by feedback unit REACH … Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo was also present …

While she noted the importance of giving NSmen recognition, Mrs Teo said service for the country cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Right so why you, Hen and Grace have bitched about the sacrifices you made to serve S’poreans: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/hen-jost-gracef-money-money-money/

I’ll leave the final word on her words to a tua kee blogger who posted on Facebook:

Our National Servicemen who are compulsorily enlisted have it far worse. While the Budget for Defence spending keeps going up year-after-year, most NSmen are paid far less than cleaners.

While our Ministers command top-dollars for their service to the country, they suppress a more appropriate allowance for our citizen-soldiers for the very same reason – that service for the country cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

And I hope the Chiams make him the communications director of their SPP. Not only will it be good for the Chiams**, it will show that they are walking the walk in their talk of renewing the party. Mr Chiam has been talking of new blood since the 1990s, but all that happens is that blood is sucked out from younger talents who join him: ask Wilfred and Desmond. Pwee was too smart to allow his blood to be sucked for free: he forced the renewal pretty soon after he joined up and left when it was clear that the Chiams were not changing: smart guy. But then he is a scholar.

As the person in question has good new media credentials and was denounced by a minister in parly, the Chiams have no excuse in not giving him a chance to show what he do for the SPP and themselves. They can’t say that he is not proven talent, or is not “Political” or not brave. They can’t even say that he has yet to prove his loyalty:. he has been a friend of the Chiams for several yrs, even defending them against my sniping about them refusing to walk the talk. He’s also my friend.

——

*To be fair to her, this blogger says she is a gd MP http://anyhowhantam.blogspot.sg/2015/03/josephine-teo-will-be-extremely-hard-to.html

She may be one, but a gd junior minister?

**They have plenty of goodwill online despite not having a presence online. Imagine their influence if they had a new media decent presence

SPP: Changing of the guard?

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

(Update: Didn’t go to plan. On 2 February 2012:

The six former Singapore People’s Party (SPP) Central Executive Committee members who resigned from the party last week have acknowledged the response given by its former secretary-general Chiam See Tong on Wednesday night.

Following Chiam’s clarification that the SPP had received legal advice to confirm the constitutional legitimacy of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) election at the party’s Ordinary Party Conference (OPC) last Sunday, the group said on Thursday morning that his clarification and accountability “bodes well for the SPP’s credibility”.

The six, which consist of the party’s former first and second assistant secretary-generals Wilfred Leung and Benjamin Pwee, organising secretary Ting Sze Jiang, Malay/Muslim affairs head Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas, his wife and businessmen affairs head David Tan, made clear in their statement that their differences held with the party over leadership styles had never been with Mr Chiam.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/spp-dismisses-tan-jee-say-rumours–maintains-continuity.html

It seems that Mrs Chiam managed to persuade her husband not to go allow new blood to reinvigorate the party. Not that he needed much persuading going by his track record. Wilfred Leung’s decision to leave after long years of service shows how bad things have become.)

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.

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