By Yoong Siew Wah
The election campaign of the PAP and the Singapore Democratic Party in the Bukit Batok by-election has thrown up some interesting highlights which will captivate the mind of Bukit Batok voters in particular and the discerning Singaporeans in general. Quite naturally the PAP is taking this by-election seriously and the big guns who have come out to campaign for the PAP candidate Murali Pillai included PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shamugaratnam.
But what should appear abominable to the voters and the public is the disgraceful performance of the heinous Grace Fu who behaves like a real witch in carrying out a character assassination of Dr Chee Soon Juan. However, she is not alone as other PAP speakers are also of the same ilk. Arrogance and hubris seem to be the order of the day for PAP leaders in dealing with Dr Chee.
Dr Chee Soon Juan on the other hand is a picture of composure in answering deftly all the accusations levelled at him by the PAP speakers. He is an underdog and does not expect any kid-glove treatment from his PAP opponents. He is aware that he is pitted against a party with enormous financial and manpower resources and above all a ruling party. From observations and reports, Dr Chee is making reasonable headway in his campaign and this is what irks the PAP leaders.
Even PM Lee Hsien Loong finds it imperative to come forward to campaign for the PAP candidate and it is not surprising that he goes straight into a character assassination of Dr Chee branding him as an unchanged unruly politician of his early days.
This is a serious indictment by a prime minister who does not seem to be on solid ground as it is a well-known fact that Dr Chee has now matured into a consummate politician with sound principles. Moreover, Dr Chee now has a sizeable following and there is a appropriate Chinese saying: To view other people lowly with canine eyes. (狗眼看人低）。
That Dr Chee’s ethnicity is an advantage is not without reason. This is now being skewed by PM Lee to be a campaign against the PAP candidate by some unknown persons to vote along racial line. It is now known where PM Lee obtained this rumour but it sounds more like a pre-emptive attempt to warn voters against voting for Dr Chee raising the race spectre.
Dr Chee is not known to be exploiting the racial element in his campaign. PM Lee should know that ethnic propensity is a characteristic of any race, especially among the elderly Chinese and should not be alarming if this is visible in Bukit Batok.
It is obvious that Dr Chee Soon Juan is causing considerable anxiety in the PAP camp and it will be interesting to watch how the campaign evolves in the remaining days of the campaign.
Republished with permission from Mr Yoong’s blog ‘Singapore Recalcitrant’.
The erudite Mr Yoong was the Director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) from 1971 to 1974. He was Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in the 1960s, and had a distinguished career in the Singapore Special Branch in the 1950s.
Ex-ISD Director: Dr Chee making headway and irking PAP leaders
By Yoong Siew Wah