Singapore — A People’s Action Party candidate in the team that lost in Aljunied GRC in this year’s General Election, Mr Shamsul Kamar, wrote on Facebook on Oct 17 that he had received his appointment letter to serve as the Vice-Chairman of the North East Community Development Council from Minister Masagos Zulkifli for a new three-year term.
He thanked Mr Desmond Choo, an MP for Tampines GRC and Mayor of North East District, in his “re-appointment to serve the council”.
Mr Shamsul added that he was “looking forward to working with fellow Vice-Chairman MP Yeo Wan Ling (Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC) together as well as the other Advisers and District Councillors and make Northeast the caring community we strive to build for our residents”.
The North East district covers Aljunied GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Sengkang GRC, Tampines GRC, Hougang SMC and Punggol West SMC.
Mr Shamsul, together with Mr Victor Lye, Mr Alex Yeo, Ms Chan Hui Yuh and Mr Chua Eng Leong, faced off with heavyweights from the Workers’ Party (WP) in Aljunied GRC in the polls, namely, Secretary-General Pritam Singh, Chairman Sylvia Lim, Vice-chairman Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap, all three of whom were incumbent Aljunied MPs; as well as two former NCMPs, Mr Leon Perera (2015-2020) and Mr Gerald Giam (2011-2015).
Aljunied has been a WP stronghold since 2011, which is perhaps why many considered the PAP team that contested in the GRC to be a “suicide squad”. Many Singaporeans wondered at the time the line-up was announced that if the PAP was serious about winning back Aljunied, why it did not field a political office-holder or a minister to anchor its Aljunied team.
Mr Singh and his WP team won handily, getting 59.95 per cent of the vote to the PAP’s 40.05 per cent, a nearly 9 per cent gain from the 2015 polls and the best result the WP has ever had.
However, there may not be any real losers from the election in Aljunied after all.
Shortly after the elections, the Kaki Bukit ward in Aljunied announced that it was holding a National Day Observance Ceremony scheduled for Aug 8, hosted by none other than Mr Shamsul.
Mr Shamsul is the current adviser of the Kaki Bukit Grassroots Organisation, which is under the People’s Association (PA). One of the co-organisers of the event was the Kaki Bukit Community Centre, which is also under the PA.
Three days after he received his letter of re-appointment, a meme appeared on the Facebook page All Singapore Stuff on Oct 19, asking: “What’s the point of elections har? Losing candidate also can be free rider.”
Commenting on the meme, a netizen named Sunny Leung wrote: “What a great party … if he wins, he wins … and when he lose he still wins … rewarded all the way … virtually risk free … unlike real opp parties … if they win they still face a challenge from the majority in Parliament when they take every chance to trip u and if they lose they lose … no safety net … sure is great to belong to a winning team isn’t it???” /TISG