Bukit Batok by-election: 5 reasons why the odds will forever be in PAP’s favour
If their final rally is anything to go by.
The final two rallies of the Bukit Batok by-election have come to an end, and the
district 12 Bukit Batok people will once again choose someone to represent them for the next four to five years.
So, based solely on this round of this last rally, here are five reasons why the odds will forever be in PAP’s favour.
1. Track record
“Track record” was clearly one of the buzzwords of the PAP camp coming into the final rally, with the phrase being used lavishly across the duration of the rally.
Murali’s track record was constantly kept in focus, with many of the speakers bringing up his extensive experience, 16 years, volunteering in Bukit Batok.
Rahayu Mazam, MP for Jurong GRC, put it as such.
“He is capable, has a clear version for Bukit Batok and yes, he has plans for a substantiative programs for the residents, which will complement national initiatives, he knows the residents needs well, and it’s no surprise, he has been here for 16 years.”
The track record of Chee Soon Juan was roundly called into question as well. The PAP rally established a clear juxtaposition between the two candidates.
While, as mentioned above, Murali was lauded for staying and interacting with Aljunied residents even after their loss, Chee Soon Juan was accused of having a track record of disappearing after losses.
Furthermore Ang Wei Neng, another Jurong GRC member, brought up SDP’s track record of failing to properly manage a town council when they won the Bukit Gombak SMC in 1991.
“SDP run the Bukit Gombak/ Yishun town council, both ran deficit, deficit and ended up with reduced funds by the time SDP left. Mr Chee and his wife was employees of the town council.”
The subtext is strong in this one.
2. The promise of a Jurong Family
The idea of one Jurong was also another recurring point during the PAP rally.
All five Jurong GRC members were present at the final rally, and for those who spoke during the night, it was clear that a victory for Murali would result in a better working relationship with the Jurong GRC.
DPM Tharman laid out his wish for Bukit Batok and Jurong.
“Vote for Bukit Batok to be part of Jurong, we want you in Jurong.”
Murali too, espoused the virtues of the Jurong family.
“Jurong Town council makes a huge difference, they have the capabilities, the wherewithal, they have the track record,they also have the economies of the scale… We have an entire system of support for you, not just within Bukit Batok but within the Jurong family, which we offer to you with all humility.”
We didn’t think Jurong was a packaged deal in the Bukit Batok by-election, but hey, apparently it is, and that might prove to sway the odds in PAP’s favour.
3. Murali’s dope bowing skills
No, not the Katniss Everdeen type of bowing, but the act of kowtowing.
Humility is always seen as a positive by voters, and if bowing were to be directly correlated with the amount of humility in a candidate, there wasn’t anyone more humble than Murali during the final PAP rally.
We counted a mind bending 37 full-on bows Murali executed during the course of the rally. Now that’s
excessive humility dedication.
Is there anything to say about Tharman that hasn’t been said yet?
The DPM showed exactly why he is regarded in such high esteem, with a classic Tharman showing.
First, he gave a ringing endorsement of Murali with a poignant anecdote.
DPM Tharman recalled in 2011, wanting to award a medal of service to Murali for his good work as an activist in Bukit Batok.
“Murali said no, no award for me, that’s the man, no credit for himself, give the credit to his team.”
Oh, and he also found time to layeth the smackdown on SDP, which you can read about here.
5. Chan Chun Sing, Destroyer of Worlds
Chan Chun Sing might not have the calm, wit, smarts, poise or (insert adjective here) of the Deputy Prime Minister, but he more than made up for it today with a fiery half hour speech targeting every single aspect of Chee Soon Juan’s campaign so far.
In the Chinese half of his speech, he agreed to discount Chee Soon Juan’s past, and proceeded to pick apart Chee Soon Juan’s behaviour post-2015 election, claiming that Dr Chee had basically abandoned the Holland-Bukit Timah residents he had vowed to represent.
Even claiming that the residents who voted for Chee were now wondering where he had gone.
Next, Chan Chun Sing went after what he perceived as a lack of heart shown by Chee Soon Juan, asserting that no matter how long or how many chances you give someone (hint, hint), if he had a lack of heart, he would achieve nothing.
The minister broached the subject of the eight Bangladeshis that were recently arrested on grounds of terrorism under the ISA.
He questioned Chee’s earlier proposal of closing the ISA in the face of this recent arrest, insinuating that more than rhetoric or taking the moral high ground, the safety of the country should come first.
And in perhaps the line of the night, Chan commented on how poorly Chee had handled the problems he found in Bukit Batok.
“He didn’t come back here after six months, take a few photographs, put on Facebook page and tell people, see, look how many problems I have found.”
May the best man win come Saturday.
Top photo by Ng Kai Yuan.