Hong Lim Park aficionado Han Hui Hui returned to the soapbox once again yesterday (Sep 3) for her maiden rally speech at Delta Sports Complex.
The rally – where she was the keynote speaker – attracted around 1,200 at its peak, and was centred around her Return Our CPF movement.
The patron of Hong Lim Park, who organised four rounds of Return Our CPF protests in four months before being barred by the authorities due to a heckling incident involving special needs kids at a YMCA concert in September last year, returned to the podium asking residents of Radin Mas SMC - where she is running as an independent - to vote her into Parliament.
This time round, however, Han’s fellow supporters Roy Ngerng and M Ravi were not there. Ngerng and Ravi, who are running on the Reform Party ticket, cannot visit her rally as per election rules.
Here are 5 ways Han Hui Hui’s rally is just Return Our CPF, but in Radin Mas:
1. CPF was mentioned at least 25 times during the entire rally
The rally, which began behind schedule at 7.45pm, saw Leong Sze Hian (above) and Han Hui Hui – as well as ex-Reform Party member Ng Teck Siong – mention the CPF at least 25 times.
Leong and Han, who spoke twice during the rally, repeated various concerns that the Return Our CPF movement sought to raise - bread and butter issues like the cost of purchasing a HDB, Medishield Life, and of course, the CPF.
Han slammed Radin Mas SMC incumbent Sam Tan, who, she said, did not guarantee affordable housing, while Leong attacked the ruling PAP for various ‘mother of all problems’ - namely healthcare and the CPF.
2. Han was billed as the key person behind it all - just that she’s now the public face
In introducing Han, Leong told the crowd that she wasn’t just young - the 24-year-old was also, at 33kg, light. Han’s work behind Return Our CPF was emphasised by Leong, who recounted how Han was sued for defamation for asking questions in the public interest. The lawsuit - between the Council of Private Education and Han - was eventually dropped, even though Han decided to pursue it.
“Only when I volunteered with Han Hui Hui did I realised how much the odds were stacked against her,” Leong said. "God help Han Hui Hui."
Leong even tried to lead a cheer for Han but it did not catch on.
3. Angry speakers, angry speakers everywhere
Other than the pervasive mention of CPF, the speakers were all angry when they spoke about other bread and butter issues.
But they were also angry at the opposition too, though Han and Leong never mentioned them by name.
Han threw shade on members from opposition parties who had swapped parties, by saying: “We do not need people who hop here, hop there! This is not a grasshopper stage!”
Kumar Appavoo was a Central Executive Committee member for the Singapore’s People’s Party, but is standing under the Reform Party (RP) banner in this General Election.
She charged that RP's assentors were missing on Nomination Day, and that their candidate, Kumar Appavoo, narrowly missed the nomination.
Even more shade was thrown at RP, in a flyer given out at the rally’s entrance. Han explained why she wanted to be the third corner in the fight at Radin Mas: “The avoidance of multi-corner fights allow (sic) opposition parties that have lost their deposit to hog onto (sic) constituencies."
“This is as good as a walkover for the PAP and stifles the development of democracy in Singapore… Why should voters be ‘forced’ to vote for the ‘only opposition candidate’ because they do not have a choice and are being denied their right to vote for a better MP?”
4. Angry uncles, angry uncles everywhere
Several uncles - some extremely enthusiastic in volunteering their story - regaled one of our reporters with their thoughts on Han.
“This very daring girl. Like little chilli. I’ve been to a few sessions in Hong Lim Park, she can talk very well,” said a retiree, who only wanted to be known as Rick. "This topic no one dare to touch. This is the bomb for the PAP. Han Hui Hui exposes what is inside, what is cover up. CPF is my money, last time they promise 55-year-old can withdraw, but then change. I think it will change again. This is a (like) game to them (PAP) - (but) this Han Hui Hui dare to bang the table in parliament.”
Richard Tan, a 45-year-old engineer, quipped: “She’s very brave for someone of such a young age. If I were 23, I wouldn’t dare to speak out in public, especially if it isn’t something good about the government.”
Another supporter volunteered, "Han Hui Hui has more balls than many of the men… Even an O-level (holder) is better than any of the PAP!"
5. There was a call for donations
Like nearly Return Our CPF rally, there was a call for donations. An POSB account number was printed right on flyers given out at the entrances to Delta Sports Complex, and Leong went through an itemised list of things she needed to conduct the rally.
Han would need $12,000 for the rally’s stage and sound system, $1,605 to set up barricades and $5,000 to hire a lorry, Leong said.
Top photo by Pandora Wong