5 things the Reform Party said at their GE2015 rally that made us go, “Whut.”
We take you into the fantasy world of the Reform Party, courtesy of their first rally.
Editor’s note: Mothership.sg called for young Singaporeans to step up and give their perspective of GE2015. The aim of such an endeavour is to provide our readers a means to view GE2015 through the lens of young Singaporeans, warts, sparkles and all.
So the two of us attended the Reform Party’s first rally in the hustings on Sept. 4, and we came away feeling a bit like we had spent three hours in another world.
The team of Hong Lim Park devotees Roy Ngerng, Gilbert Goh and human rights lawyer M Ravi went big with their bold, at times potentially defamatory declarations, with a raucous group of a few dozen that lapped it all up (and to be very honest, seemed slightly off their kilter).
What the party counted as 4,000 to 5,000 more hung back, mostly quiet, throughout, but mainly, all of it seemed more like a circus for us.
If you’ll indulge us, we’ll take you into the Reform Party’s fantasy world:
Once upon a time, across the sea, far far away, there was a sunny island called Singapore. But miserable were its people for they were under the oppression of an evil dragon called Loong, who hoarded their CPF money and sat atop it jealously. Guarded by throngs of minions called “foreigners” and “ministers”, the people could not hope to reclaim their CPF back from the evil dragon. So they cried out,
“How wretched our lives are! Now we are forced to collect cardboard for a living! Who shall be our saviours?”
And lo! Out of the sun did six “dragonslayers” emerge. Calling out to the people, they declared “Fear not fellow Singaporeans! We shall rescue you because —”
1.“Singaporeans are living in either absolute poverty or relative poverty!”
Declared ex-banker Jesse Loo. He added, “We are no better than a third world-country in living conditions!”
Loo placed this plight of the Singaporean on the “cost (of food and household items) overshadow[ing] our pay!”
Jeyaratnam sounded his agreement, preaching unto the crowd that, “There is no need to take the road to Greece, you can come down to our outreach!”
But have no fear! The rising cost of living in Singapore is an “evil” that can be magically repelled by, according to Roy Ngerng, “giving Singaporeans an additional $500 every month so that our elderly Singaporeans can retire”. Someone on his team must legit be a wizard.
2. “Six thousand of them [foreigners] are given citizenship so they can vote for PAP.”
This was the proclamation of activist Gilbert Goh in reference to foreigners. Thus did the sunlight take a xenophobic turn.
Cries of “Throw them out!” erupted in agreement.
Goh proceeded to scorch the mood further when he shared anecdotes from “many jobless professionals” of being rejected from a job where the senior person was a foreigner.
“Is it fair, that I, a Singaporean, are [sic] unable to get a job? Because a foreigner told me so?” he asked the crowd who responded, “No!”
The final burst of foreigner-burning sunshine was this: “We are bringing in too many foreigners. It clogs up the transport system.”
Somebody is clearly burning already.
3. “Why should Lee Hsien Loong sleep soundly at night?”
“In his bed, at the top of an ivory tower, protected by foreign mercenaries! With a Swiss standard of living only for himself, his relatives and his cronies!” roared Kenneth Jeyaratnam in his finest moment of primal chest-thumping.
This after he proudly boasted, “A lot of people have been making the comment that I have deliberately assembled a team to give Lee Hsien Loong nightmares!”
Jeyaratnam was not the only one to engage in such antics however; earlier on, Gilbert Goh asked in a similar manner, “Do you feel that the Prime Minister is a traitor of Singaporeans?”
The crowd was noticeably quiet on this one.
4. “A brighter day will come when you strike the sun of the Reform Party”
Preached lawyer M. Ravi.
For the Reform Party’s sun is the “spirit of hope of the cleaner at the hawker centre, the spirit of hope of the tissue seller, the hope of the uninsured taxi driver, it is the hope of our stressed out workforce.”
Behold your salvation from the Reform Party, you wretched and oppressed of Singapore.
By the way, Ravi has also “yet to get his practicing certificate.” But don’t worry! Because “that will be coming soon and I(M. Ravi) will inform you of the outcome.”
5. The Swords of Minimum Wage and CPF
Minimum Wage. Minimum Wage. Minimum Wage. CPF. CPF. CPF.
This was how they would slay the problems of Neediness and Cheap Labour.
“And that is why our Reform Party has pledged to champion and pursue a minimum wage in Parliament!” Osman Sulaiman asserted.
“The money we burn, definitely will reach our ancestors. Our CPF money, we burn, don’t know whether will reach us or not!” argued Siva Chandran. It was almost a madness mantra, given the number of times these two things got mentioned throughout the rally.
Unsurprisingly, Roy Ngerng was the one who raised the CPF sword the highest in a rambling sermon about it, that ended with the aforementioned statement, “giving Singaporeans an additional $500 every month so that our elderly Singaporeans can retire”.
You know what, Reform Party? We reckon you’d be better off staying in your fairytale.
Top photo from Reform Party Facebook page