Hougang By-Election: PAP’s Scorched Earth

At the end of the road tomorrow, the Hougang voter is left with these choices. The PAP. The PAP ended off their campaigning with their focus on an opportunity for a fresh start in Hougang for residents there. The WP. The WP ended their rally with the message that the PAP used HDB upgrading to penalise Hougang voters for choosing opposition, and even those who voted PAP were penalised as a whole.

The choice is easy for us who are not in Hougang if you see what positive impact the lost of a GRC had on the PAP. The choice is probably easier for those in Hougang. Those in Hougang have pride, resilience and 21 years of opposition steadfastness. WP is a good opposition party and have tried to take the high road, with a balanced and reasonable direction. Naturally they have its problems, but not the supposed leadership problems or the character flaws of its candidates past and current – Yaw Shin Leong or Png Eng Huat, that the media and PAP droned about.

WP’s recent problems seeped from its recent parliament debates. Not because of the quality in the case of Gerald Giam and the salary debate, or that they dared not speak up, but because some of its MPs plagiarised content for speeches, whatever their hasty excuses afterwards that consent was given. That is a rot within WP, unimportant to many perhaps but to me coming from Pritam Singh and Chen Show Mao who are highly educated, it was theft, intellectual theft. Nevertheless, neither of these two are standing for elections in Hougang so it is moot for now.

For tomorrow, those in Hougang are not going to vote for PAP, not going to give a PAP a chance just yet. They are instead made to remember by clever WP that they have been penalised by the PAP, for excercising their democratic right to vote for a party other than the PAP. That to me, someone from outside Hougang, stings and stinks. We can be sure those in Hougang feel even more strongly about PAP. Low Thia Khiang provoked it exceptionally well, where is the “justice and equality” in that “political discrimination”? The swing voters, those who voted for PAP and then WP in the last election would be taunted to maintain their new found loyalty. Those who voted PAP ever since, are encouraged to strike back with an X next to the Hammer as their loyalties were misplaced since the PAP was retributive and not into reconciliation.

When the election commenced, Desmond Choo looked good. A surprise win was even possible in the wake of the Yaw Shing Leong incident and WP’s shaky contributions in parliament, although the chances of a win were small still. At least it was not impossible.

However, as the campaign progressed, the PAP and the media tended to focus on unwarranted character attacks and this rallied public sentiment against them. PAP did not seem to bother selling well what they can do better for Hougang than WP could. Instead, they showed that they were not really that interested in winning Hougang since knew that they would lose anyway, but perversely wanted a scorched earth policy of damaging WP’s reputation and promise of further penalties to Hougang as much as they could, in preparation for 2016. The market Hougang lost would certainly not be rebuilt and upgrading might be delayed somehow. Strategically it is a double-edged sword for the PAP. While resorting to vindictive stabs in the back and cuts in the shadows at WP, the PAP was doing damage to it’s own reputation as well.

From a small chance that PAP could win or at least get 45% of the votes at best, the PAP’s bullying ways would inspire Hougang to resist even more. I think PAP would indeed be fortunate if they can maintain their votes at 35%.


16 responses

  1. Gerald Heng Sr

    The Vindictive Politics of Democracy is the worse form and substance of political discourse from whatever Party or Person !Noble and Honourable gentlemen and ladies in public service or aspire to it must stick to the issues that matter in governance.At the very minimum there must be a give and take of Parliamentary Ethics and Common and Civil Courtesy !Without proper mutual respect how can Parliamentary Discourse be fully productive ??? We mustn’t get into the habit of saying and obeying Father knows Best !

    Gerald Heng-Tuah Sr.
    Metrowest Boston, Ma,USA a stray dog quitter from Singapore/Malaysia.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  2. Steven

    “That is a rot within WP, unimportant to many perhaps but to me coming from Pritam Singh and Chen Show Mao who are highly educated, it was theft, intellectual theft. Nevertheless, neither of these two are standing for elections in Hougang so it is moot for now.”

    If you think this is seriously so bad , now I ask you how about those PAP official having highly-paid scholars that do script-writing for them at expense of tax-money. Which is worst ? Don’t you think you are paying for their script to insult your intelligence ? YOu can say people is theft, and why not look at yourself, your relative, your children , your friend, and why not say that they are theft too if they copy material from internet without reference ? In this age of internet, people just copy thing from wiki to do their research, and more than usual do not give credit to that … just check all forums … and do we scream “theft ! theft ! theft !” you go to university and look at some of thesis where not all quotes have reference, do you scream “theft ! theft ! theft !”

    Just because people at some point feel that there is no need for reference at their own discretion does not mean he is theft. If you quote some LiBai’s poem, do you give LiBai’s reference to your children … you can go on and on.

    May 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    • chemgen

      Well if you think parents should bring up their children to think that quotes from LiBai or Shakespeare are their parents’ original words, go ahead and to each his own, start them young to think that it is ok to take someone’s product as their own, sure. So that once they reach university and write papers, they can learn by then how to take ideas word-for-word and pretend that it is their own. Oh are you implying that the WP MPs treat and think us as children that they can quote other writers and we are none the wiser?

      May 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

  3. Orwell

    There is no law against the duplication of ideas , it’s only the form of expression that would be protected by copyright laws.

    in the academic world the same principles applies, it only becomes plagiarism when the form of expression is copied but one cannot say that a paraphrase of an idea is plagiarism.

    May 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    • Gerald Heng Sr

      Quite so Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws are pretty much settled law like Generic Drugs for Medications are settled,the Drugs Manufacturers can make generic drugs like that of Competitors but cannot copy or duplicate the “enhancements ” of Competitors who owned that Patent Trade Mark ! Tiu Keir Mah there are varied ways of making “Keow Teow Noodle Soup ” its still Keow Teow Soup , some enhancements put in Beef or Dog Meat during the post WWII times !

      Gerald Heng-Tuah Sr. Metrowest Boston,MA.USA a Quitter Stray Dog of Majullah Singapura after Break-up of Merger !!!!!

      May 26, 2012 at 1:33 am

    • chemgen

      Sure, not unlawful. But if it is copied word for word, and no citation when it is a parliament speech intended to sway public support and parliament view?


      May 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

  4. chemgen

    MPs should be allowed to borrow ideas. However MPs being MPs and not a blogger or a normal fellow citizen, are elevated on a pedestal and should set standards and be role models. As a tangent, we close one eye if a fellow blogger or citizen says “shit” or “fuck” but we don’t expect to hear MPs say that publicly in parliament or in walkabouts.

    Hence, we are intolerant of racist (dark Serangoon MP), sexist (Hairdo MP) corrupt (the suicide minister). Plagiarism is also a blight on a MP’s character especially there was intent to create policy, profile the MP’s image and win public support, so there is ethical need to attribute the source of a good idea (and if it was a bad idea for the sake of argument in a speech, I bet they would attribute the source lest it is misunderstood that it was from the MP)

    The WP supporters or members reading this or even posting comments here should take this is in the right attitude. We can’t sweep every fault by WP MPs or personalities under the rug once it is out in the open.



    May 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    • Gerald Heng Sr

      Plagiarism is a violation known in common parlance as Theft or Stolen intellectual property or writings or speeches without attribution. Its quite unlikely that the WP speakers plagiarized ! William Shakespeare [ or is it dramatically Shake The Spear !] through the mouth of Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar said ” Friends, Romans,Countrymen I have come to bury Caesar not to praise him, The Evil that Men Do Lives after them, the Good is often interred with their bones ” Clearly its statement of common usage and understanding of civilised society as old as Master Kung Fu Tze/Confucius, that Evil Deeds continue to haunt the dead Evil Doer, whereas the Good can be quickly forgotten as the dead man of good deeds is buried with a good following at the Funeral. If this idea or set of words are spoken it doesn’t follow that the speaker has plagiarise from Shakespeare, if it can be so attested to why can’t we say actually Master Kung Fu Tze said this some century before the Life and Times of William Shakespeare so William was the Pliuagiariser without proper reference and attribution. With a common usage of such a proverbial adage the question of plagiarism is not material or salient to the evidence ! Or if I quote the common Malay proverb ” Hutang Emas Boleh Lah Di-Bawa, Hutang Budi Di-Bawa Sampai Mati ! ” Have I plargiarised ??? I don’t even know who I can attribute this proverb to as it remains a literary mystery !

      Gerald Heng-Tuah Sr. A Stray Dog Quitter since Merger Breakup of Majullah Singapura
      tak Berkuasa Di-Malaysia Raya
      Metrowest Boston,MA. USA.

      May 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    • Steven

      i don’t understand why is the point of this post ? Is some commentators and author here telling us in timely term of by-election, we should vote PAP because of pritam and show mao are caught with plagiarism that judged their characters, hello, let me tell you that the whole singapore should be condemned because most people do copied without reference in their work, even some of my acquaintances who are from best prestigious universities, but still it does not prove anything of their characters. Don’t we think some posters really treat people as damn real stupid ? You mean hougang people cannot tell the characters of mao and singh with their service so far ? Please stop fooling us with nonsense.

      If you really want to talk about real impact by characters, let me do this.
      When tharman talk that most people don’t affect by inflation, is he been honest and credible in this aspect ? Judge by his and his party talkingcock do you know that we been shortchanged because the their policies will affect us ? When the PAP resort to scrumbag tactics with abuse of power and authority to prevent upgrading estate because hougang people refuse to vote PAP, do they have credibiltity and integrity ?

      Please read this again

      Please, please , please, please, Please have a sense of proportion, EQ and IQ.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      • chemgen

        The point of the article was to underline that the PAP’s smear tactic would backfire to an extent and that the WP should rightly win in Hougang.

        The point about some flaws in some WP MPs was a minor one, a side topic in comparison. You were the first to make a big deal of it. Your one-sided defence makes it seem that you are from WP and even know the MPs in question personally to be so vested downplaying that plagiarism is nothing. Students can fail papers in university for plagiarism if you do not know that, because of dishonesty involved. Just because everyone is doing it does not make a wrong right. Unless you want to go into sociological arguments about changing norms and appropriate behaviour.

        The WP is not perfect, no party is, and we should not pretend it to be perfect notwithstanding it is a good competitor now and soon replacement to the PAP.

        May 28, 2012 at 9:44 am

  5. Gerald Heng Sr

    There is absolutely no question that in the Public Square of Discourse and now via the medium of the Social Media the open exchange and criticisms is highly useful and critical to an informed Electorate ! The Bollgers herein are superb examples who don’t always agree with each other ! As the French Revolutionary Philosopher declared ” Sir/Madam I vehemently disagree to what you have said but I will defend to the death your Right to say it ! ” Its a Chief Core Value of Morality in any Democracy. That’s why Legislation like the ISA of Singapore and the National Security of China should be fully contested and questioned in this day and age ! I have no doubt whatsoever that the Free Market Place of Ideas in the Democracies of our day and age will for sure advance Civil Society,as in times past, now and de future !

    May 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

    • chemgen

      The informed Electorate is unfortunately an aspiration we must have but never achieve fully. It is virtually impossible as not everyone is equally informed or objective, or have the ability or intention to be informed or objective. We all have our own biasness – just ask a PAP or WP supporter, each have their own agenda to push.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

  6. Gerald Heng Sr

    To the Bloggers here who still get obsessed by Plagiarism remember in life common usages of languages show a terrible case of just very circumstantial evidence of their occurances !As long as there is Free market Place of Ideas,the interchanges often miss the attributions in as much as a William Shakespeare ‘s quote of the sevengaes of man can be traced to master Kung Fu Tze/Confucius of China ! DO we accuse William therefore of Plagiarism ,of course not !It remains a literary mystery to me the wise Malay Proverb ” Hutang Emas Boleh Lah Di-Bawa, Hutang Budi Di-Bawa Sampai Mati ” [ or polite language Di-Lulus Dunia Ini ! ] As I have said of Voltaire the French Revolutionary Tyme Philosopher his clever and morally salient point ” I will defend to the death your right to say it ” even though I disagree most vehemently to what you alleged about my or other Plagiarisms !!!!!

    Gerald Heng-Tuah Sr.
    Metrowest Boston,MA.USA.
    A Quitter Stray Dog from Singapore/Malaysia after Merger Break-up in 1965.Talak Tiga Kali !

    May 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

  7. Dear Chemgen,
    In addition to your post I was wondering, With the increase in the economic growth of the country, a lot of products and services are available to consumers across various social and economic backgrounds. Many people are applying for loans provided by different banks and financial institutions. One of the easiest loans to apply for and receive is a car title loan. Car title loans are much like payday loans in that they are small emergency loans. Applicants should be aware that they have a substantial interest rate and are required to pay the loan back in a month’s time.
    All the Best

    June 1, 2012 at 3:47 am

  8. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures
    on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

    September 15, 2012 at 6:25 am

  9. Gerald Heng Sr

    Its rather depressing and sad that the Dominant PAP has often used the HDB up-grading as a Carrot for Constituents to vote out the Opposition. You vote them out we ungrade !Here the PAP failed to realise that once the Government is constituted with a Parlimentary Majority its National Government beholden to all Singapore Citizens regardless of how they voted in a Parliamentary Democracy, Equal Protection of the Laws require that Up-Grades be done based on needs and the circumstances the HDB’s find themselves . The Labour Party since WWII via Nye Bevan their Leader in Health Care promulgated a National Health Care Trust System,was it to heard to say that the People who voted Tories or Tory Constituency Seats Patients shouldn’t be given the Equal Protection of Health Care ? IndTrust applied on a level playing field to all patients regardless of how they voted ! This is known as Justice in a More Equal and Fair Society !And the NHS of Britain has remained quite efficient today in Health Care Delivery to all ! Why is the upgrade of HDB ‘s any different in rationale ?Why are those in power so miserly with the under-class ?

    Gerald Heng Sr.
    Metrowest Boston,MA.USA

    September 15, 2012 at 7:19 am

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