Singapore—On Wednesday night (July 1), the first full day of the campaign for the General Election (GE), the Workers’ Party (WP) aired its first pre-recorded ‘The Hammer Show’ on Facebook, where it gave familiar candidates to present themselves anew, and for new ones to introduce themselves to the public.
The candidates touched on a whole array of topics but the underlying theme was all about why Singaporeans should vote for the WP, as the team presented the party as the “credible,” “reasonable,” “loyal,” and “effective” opposition that would provide balance to the supermajority that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) currently enjoys.
In our first episode of the Hammer Show, join moderators Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh, panelists, Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim, Chua Kheng Wee 蔡庆威 and Dennis Tan Lip Fong 陈立峰 as they share more about the role of the WP in Singapore politics and how you can make your vote count this election!Candidates Gerald Giam 严燕松, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, Nicole Seah 佘雪玲 and Jamus Lim will also speak in this episode.Let us know in the comments below how you will #MakeYourVoteCount this election.Note: This show was pre-recorded.
Posted by The Workers' Party on Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Indeed, the dangers of PAP’s supermajority was another topic much discussed in the first issue of the Hammer Show, which was co-moderated by secretary-general Pritam Singh and party chairwoman Sylvia Lim. Former NCMP Dennis Tan and new candidates Abdul Shariff Bin Aboo Kassim and Chua Kheng Wee made up the panel.
Interspersed with the panel discussion were short speeches from Ms Lim, Gerald Giam, Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap, Nicole Seah and Jamus Lim, which provided a break between discussions.
In her speech, which she delivered in Mandarin, Ms Lim spoke much about the legacy of Low Thia Khiang, WP’s former secretary-general and longtime opposition leader and Member of Parliament, perhaps addressing concerns over Mr Low’s absence on WP’s slate in Aljunied GRC.
It was announced last week that although he will remain active in politics, Mr Low, who was injured in a fall earlier this year, will not be contesting in this year’s GE.
Ms Lim said, “Mr Low is a key figure of the Workers’ Party,” whose “strong and steady hand has been a major factor that enables WP to sustain electoral success for the past few elections. Although he has stepped down, his spirit of service for country and for people will continuously be passed down.
Since I became a party member, Mr Low has always reminded me of the importance of party renewal. With the mission to serve the people well, he actively trained successors, giving young party members a chance to shine.”
Ms Lim said she herself had been asked to stand as party chair less than two years after she joined WP, and that as early as 2018, Mr Low had already passed on the leadership of WP to Mr Pritam.
During the 40-minute Hammer Show, it was noticeable that newcomer Mr Shariff was given many opportunities to speak about his experiences and offer his opinions, perhaps, due to his lower economic background, the sometime blue collar worker represents many of WP’s supporters.
Mr Shariff, who is now a researcher, once disrupted his secondary studies and did factory work, and was also employed as market shop assistant, security guard, dispatch rider and undertaker, among other jobs. His biography on WP website also says “Throughout his tertiary studies, he worked as a NightRider bus driver part-time and also a relief taxi driver to pay his expenses.”
A longtime grassroots volunteer in the Eunos ward, Mr Shariff talked about the importance of having opposition MPs and not just NCMPs, as he would never have gotten a chance to volunteer in the way he did if the WP leaders had only been NCMPs.
His volunteering, he said, paved the way for him to enter politics.
The Hammer Show was brought to a close by Mr Tan, who said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not the right time to give the PAP a strong mandate, given the uncertain leadership style displayed by the 4G leaders.
It is, however the right time to vote in more WP MPs, he added, “to scrutinize the government, to ensure that Singapore comes out of the Covid crisis in the right way.”
He said, “Remember, one more PAP MP does not make any difference. But one more WP MP will make a lot of difference.” —/TISG