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Aljunied PAP rally

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Some of you might have seen the image below:
If I look retarded it is 101% my parents' faults for bad genes. Not mine.

So the above picture caused a little hoo-hah, and began rather innocuously with this:
A plate of a mixture of fritters, mini cakes and a sandwich, served by PS Cafe for an event hosted by the owner of Tyan Boutique (Palais Renaissance).

I was really, really excited when Worker's Party won Aljunied GRC! (Sorry for the GE spam on Twitter if you were following me) I was tweeting how I really hoped a GRC would be won by the Opposition this year - the FIRST in history!

I feel kinda bad for the WP though, because now people expect so much of them as the first Opposition-held GRC. But what can they do really? The PAP controls all funds and authority.

It reminds me of a comment I saw on Facebook:
Person A - Well now the WP has 6 seats in Parliament and a continuous bloc in Singapore (if you take Aljunied GRC + Hougang SMC). They have a lot to prove.
Person B - The PAP has 81 seats and the rest of Singapore. What about what they have to prove?

(Ok not in exact words, but you get the gist).

It's a shame that George Yeo has to go since he does come across as a good minister to me. But essentially he's a victim of the GRC system, and many people don't seem to realise that the PAP came up with this and it is a total deviation from the original parliamentary system (Westminster) they were following.

I saw comments (I was furiously stalking #sgelections on Twitter) about how people thought the PAP might topple, or how maybe the WP can raise/lower bus fares...

The chances of the PAP toppling in this GE was about as high as me marrying Prince Harry. A.k.a theoretically not totally impossible, but 99.99% unlikely. The Opposition had NEVER won a GRC since the PAP took power, and winning one this GE means just 5 seats. Out of a total of 87.

There are currently 87 seats in Parliament. To pass a new legislation, make new policies etc... they need to take a vote. With 81 seats, the PAP can currently pass any law it wants. With 6 seats, the Worker's Party can't do anything but just be an alternative voice in Parliament.

Why can't we have more Opposition in Parliament? I'm baffled by people who are so angry just at the fact that the Opposition cracked a GRC (if you're sad about George Yeo that's another thing). The PAP still forms the massive majority. If they're proposing policies that is for the good of Singapore, why would the Opposition disagree? They are not the bad guys. Why would they try to fight the PAP every GE when it is so hard?

We should remember that you can have multiple parties in Parliament. You could have 5 parties, and the party with the most number of seats would form the government. It does not have to be a ridiculous number like 93% of the seats, especially when the PAP only won 60% of the votes.

You love the PAP; that's fine. I think they're an extremely capable party too. But that's all they are. A PARTY. The common ingrained mindset is: PAP = the government. PAP = the state. PAP = Singapore.

Elections should not be about The PAP vs The Opposition. Opposition parties should not exist or be viewed just for the sake of being a "retort" or just that, an opposition. They are to be formed of credible individuals of their own, that should be viewed on the basis of their OWN merits, not in perpetual contrast to the PAP.
The Election is not to see how much of the PAP can be kept or lost from Parliament. It should be about selecting worthy individuals for Parliament, regardless of the "brand" of their party.

Naturally the PAP can field good candidates most of the time. They pick only the best and the brightest, because they have the outreach and resources. But this is not always the case. And with the GRC system, they can bring weaker candidates into Parliament by grouping them with a strong one (e.g. Tin Pei Ling, although I think the nasty jokes targeted at her should stop).

The Opposition is currently unable to offer as many equivalent stellar candidates, since these are usually already recruited by the PAP (one of the Opposition candidates had been approached by the PAP before but for the life of me I can't remember who - someone please tell me so I can remove this embarrassing line). 
But they sometimes have, and they are worth a listen to. And when more are able to present themselves, I hope people will listen to them. And without the fear of the losing the PAP in return (or just a few of its ministers rather), because the PAP =/= to Singapore. Its people are.

If Parliament is still formed mostly of PAP ministers, picked based on their talents and not due to the GRC system/fear of non-upgrading, etc, fine. But the mindset they were picked with is crucial. We have to see beyond the PAP-Opposition dichotomy.

Okay back to lunch:
Really weird drink that Qiuting and I both got! (The only non-alcoholic one that day as it was an event)

Wendy putting on her contact lens.

Fashion show within PS Cafe:

I'm bad with brand names... I remember there was Vivienne Westwood, Sonia Rykiel... um.
Haha anyway the dress on the left was the prettiest! (and the most expensive)



The PS Cafe lunch had been agreed upon quite a long time ago, and the night before Wendy and Qiuting told me they were going to go to George Yeo's last rally after. They asked if I wanted to come, but said I didn't have to wear white.

I didn't see why not because I hadn't even seen pictures or videos of rallies up till then so I thought it would be interesting. And remember this - I am NOT ANTI-PAP. There is a huge difference; because I recognize everything they have done for the development of the country and I hold the older ministers in very high regard. I am not just hating on them, and I simply disagree with certain policies.

If you read my chunk of text above, I am for the best candidate, and I am for greater balance in Parliament. So yes I can fully support the Opposition in one GRC, and the PAP in another. Lame/cliche but... I am pro-Singapore? Haha.

Anyway we had time to kill so we went down to the Clicknetwork office:


They were both drawing PAP logos on themselves, and kept trying to trick me into doing it! "Sophie, the couch very comfortable right? Do you feel like sleeping?" (if I did I would wake up with my face covered by the famous lightning bolt) (no, not Harry Potter's).
"No need to draw lightning. How about... just lines? Stars? In WHITE? ^^"

Finally... I drew cat whiskers on myself hahaha I KNOW NOT A SMART MOVE LAH OK. Didn't help at all to our being branded "bimbos"...
It's just that that day we were talking about the cat whiskers on my Hello Kitty Blackberry cover. Kind of stuck in my head.

Gimme tuna? ♥ Ok you can ignore my act-cute/pitiful face already.

Those are the Hello Kitty whiskers in question! Wendy said they're too close to the nose/eyes, and we were forced to Google it to prove her right. Ok she's right.

Wahlao ever seen anyone so bohliao to draw the PAP logo on their nails as well? Hahaha.

Wendy's super awesome writing! I mean seriously the font looks printed!

Me. Very extra haha.

Down to the rally, which was insane in getting parking for! I also used the Portaloo for the first time in like, 10 years. Because all 10 years I have totally refused to use any.



PM Lee Hsien Loong came to give a little speech of moral support for George Yeo! First time seeing him in real life really. Don't think I've ever seen MM Lee in real life either. I was an usher for SM Goh once! ^^ Brief few seconds within the same breathing area hahaha.




Astounded by the enthusiasm of the supporters. They were so cute; making friends with each other and shouting fiercely at each other to put down the boards as soon as whoever is speaking starts up again.

George Yeo came on last! I talked at length about his speech on Formspring already but I'll do a rough summary here:

1st part: Talked about his grassroot experiences with the Aljunied folk, and it really seemed to get to him how the people of Singapore are honestly struggling. This part really... reignited my hope that the PAP would start to prioritise its people again, because we feel abandoned for the economy. Well now... George Yeo isn't in Parliament anymore but I hope his opinions are shared by the rest of our leaders.

2nd part: Attacked the Worker's Party. Didn't agree with the things he said, which basically was that Low Thia Kiang was just exploiting the people's unhappiness to gain power and entry into Parliament. I already stated that I don't feel that the Opposition is "the bad guy".
But ok no one would praise their competitor. Unless... reverse psychology *suspenseful music*

3rd part: Usual political talk about how surrounding countries are all developing rapidly; Singapore is in the middle of all the action so we will develop etc etc.

Essentially the main part the media captured was how George Yeo spoke of the need to change how the PAP governs.
Saw LOTS of sarcastic remarks about this on Twitter -_- I mean seriously people, there's no need for all this nastiness; it really escalated in this GE and made politics so incredibly unpleasant and childish.

Had crab for supper afterwards!

Abrupt end of post.

P.S. If you're wondering why I'm only blogging about the GE now (a.k.a when it is clearly over), well... I never actually made any concrete opinions about the GE when it began. I mean I roughly knew what I thought, which was just essentially More Balance/Voices.

I couldn't vote in this GE so I made no real effort to watch rally videos or read manifestos. I never planned to blog about my opinions on it; never planned to concretize any. Then over the one/two weeks I got a lot of questions on the GE, so I was essentially forced to think about it as I answered. I considered doing a post on it on Cooling Off Day, but I never had any intentions to sway any voting readers' opinions (if I even can) and I was... lazy haha.

In this blog post I mostly just wanted to draw attention to a rough outline of how the whole government system goes, so I didn't talk about the merits/faults of either the PAP or the Opposition. It's not that I think I know particularly a lot about Singapore politics or politics in general (there's a reason why I majored in Sociology and not Political Science haha).
However it just seemed to me like a lot of people were basing their support on some kind of do-or-die PAP/Opposition scenario, where people couldn't envisage both, or even MANY parties. Like I said, the WP, SDP, SPP, NSP, etc shouldn't be there to be seen only in contrast to the PAP. They are all equal parties (including the PAP), to be evaluated on the same criteria, and the PAP should not be placed on this unreachable pedestal.

All in all, remember this: If the policy proposed is for the good of the country, the majority of ministers in Parliament should be able to agree on it. It need not, and should not, be such a huge percentage of any one party.
13 comments on "Aljunied PAP rally"
  1. i totally agree with this entry. that's what i have been trying to tell everyone too! PAP is not the government, it is just a party. i wish you had posted this before polling day though!!! but kudos to you for openly airing your views even if they are contrary to your other famous friends. this is what political maturity should be about! (:

  2. blurry3:38 PM

    I agreed with what you wrote and most people were basing their support on some kind of do-or-die PAP/Opposition scenario. Not to mention any blogger's names and all cos I don't wanna come as being offensive, I think they are kind of single minded. Since you hang out with them, I thought you were also one of them (sorry, I really don't meant to be offensive). So I was pretty impressed with your entry! (Ya, I know u've a lot a readers, but I just wanna leet you know I am impressed with you =) )

    btw, I am in the same sch as you. Saw you once. Take care Sophie :)

  3. Anonymous4:54 PM

    i agree with your opinion about the GE. thought u had the same opinion as xx. didnt quite agree to what she posted on her blog..

  4. Anonymous7:54 PM

    How come you can wear blue polka dot dress, just like that?

    Jealous. ;p

    My thighs are like 3 times bigger so cannot make it. All the extra fats will be exposed. Hee!

    I like the dress!

  5. Politics is war without bloodshed. Sociology? Sigmund Freud! My idol.

    Long live Singapore! And sophie of course. Even though I'm not from S'pore.

  6. Dallas12:22 AM

    You faced-palmed George Yeo.Boooooooo!

  7. Written like a true FASS student...and blogger. Haha i don't see why people get so furious and quick to judge u, xx and qiuting. Oh well.

  8. Pro-SG11:30 AM


    most parts of your blog make alot of sense and people should vote based on the calibre & merits of the candidates. i am like you too, in some areas, i will vote for 1 party and the other areas, another party.

    but i disagree to just vote opposition in just to have a different voice cos i don't want noise but substance.

    like WP has won over Aljunied, one main contributing factor among others is Chen Show M@0. you can google for more infor about him.

    i agree we need to have a FEW STRONG parties but not many different parties, just for the sake of it.

    if the parliament is too divided, it will be very difficult to pass policies and implement them if the policies are good cos most people tend to just support their own party.

    i totally agree and support alternative voices based on their merits & capabilities but NOT just for sake of having them. they need to have outstanding CV to convince people to put their faith with them too since they usually have have no actual experience in policy making/running a country etc

  9. stanley5:20 AM

    Hey u look fine in the straits times photo! I was totally attracted to it; u looked like a manga drawing (although I dun read mangas).. haha u have a sweet face and I was wondering if u were below 20 years old! :) so u must have guessed it's my first time visiting ur blog! Searched for it after seeing that newspaper photo and learning that u are a blogger...

    I like ur stand on the GE and the maturity of ur views.. looking at the straits times photo alone really gave the impression that u were a PAP supporter... anyway I sort of have distant family links with George Yeo and it's sad to lose a good minister because of the flaws of the system...

  10. Hi, I think Mr Chen Show Mao was approached before by PAP (or it's members). There are others, if my memory does not fail me, but there just isn't anything online to substantiate it. So it's better to get something 'verifiable' then nothing at all. =)

  11. Pro-SG: Hey dear I never said that I would vote in or condone Opposition for the sake of it. I specifically said that currently they can't offer as many equivalent stellar candidates as PAP, but when they DO, I hope people will listen.

    And personally I don't think LTK, Sylvia Lim or Chen Show Mao are any less worthy than other PAP candidates. So clearly they are not just there for the sake of it. Singaporeans are not that stupid. In fact even if the Opposition is highly worthy (in some cases which they are), many are still inclined to stick to the "safe".

  12. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Thank you sophie for writing this. I think many peoeple are really glad that you put a voice to what we feel too about GE2011 and Singapore's government. :)

  13. Hey Sophie! Where did you get the polka-dot dress you were wearing? I love it! :)