Home > PAP candidates > First Salvo from the PAP: A non-credible threat

First Salvo from the PAP: A non-credible threat

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Writer’s query on Chen reasonable, says PAP

MR BENJAMIN Chow (‘About Chen: Time will tell’; last Thursday) asked Mr Chen Show Mao why he wanted to participate in local politics now, after being abroad for so long.

This is a reasonable question from any voter. But Mr Low Thia Khiang’s reply brushed aside the question (‘About Chen: WP rebuts Forum writer’; last Friday).

In our search for candidates, the People’s Action Party (PAP) has also considered people with good academic and work credentials who have been working overseas for many years.

We advise them to come back and re-establish their roots first – get a job, set up a home, bring back their children, volunteer on the ground, get to know the issues first, and only then talk about candidacy.

Even then, they should expect questions from the public about their commitment to Singapore and their motivations to stand as a candidate.

Two of our PAP candidates, Dr Janil Puthucheary and Ms Foo Mee Har, were asked the same question posed to Mr Chen. They answered directly to allow voters to judge their motives and sincerity.

They and their families have made Singapore their home for the last 10 and 21 years respectively, working and living here. In that period, Ms Foo added that she was posted overseas for 41/2 years. Their spouses and children are Singaporeans and they have sons who will do national service.

From available information, Mr Chen has spent 40 of his 50 years out of Singapore. His entire career has been as a corporate lawyer in the United States and China. His wife and children do not live in Singapore.

He now turns up and asks Singaporeans to elect him as a Member of Parliament. Surely, voters have a right to know from the Workers’ Party if such a candidate can identify with the aspirations of Singaporeans and has a stake in our future?

These questions should not be brushed aside and deserve a direct answer.

Dr Ng Eng Hen
Organising Secretary (Special Duties)
People’s Action Party


Dr Ng Eng Hen (‘Writer’s query on Chen reasonable, says PAP; yesterday) said that voters have a right to know from the Workers’ Party if such a candidate can identify with the aspirations of Singapore and has a stake in our future.

Maybe Dr Ng can enlighten us on what Mr Chen stands to gain from standing in election in the opposition party that he is likely to lose since he does not have the backing of the ruling party? Hypothetically, how will the PAP present Mr Chen if Mr Chen is to join the ruling party instead? If Mr Chen did not venture overseas, can Singapore support the kind of career his talent brought him today? Compared to our new citizen candidates who are likely to win due to the support from the ruling party gaining power and monetary returns, I say we should scrutinize the new citizen candidates further.

The question I would then like to pose to Dr Ng is: can the PAP Party identify with the aspirations of Singapore, or are those the PAP’s own aspiration? Why are there increasing voices asking whether the PAP has lost the connection on the ground?

Singaporeans aspire an honest, hardworking, fair and responsible government that cares for the social well being. We do not mind paying millions if the leader displays the mentioned attributes. However, the report card for the last 5 years only shows worsening income gap, worsening strain on public infrastructure and transportation, little increase in real wage rate, increasing housing prices, increasing inflation and unfair political gimmicks. I don’t think my life have improved over the last 5 years despite the stellar economic growth, contrary to what the Prime Minister seems to think in his ivory tower. I have much higher expectation on the revered ruling party.

If the PAP identify with Singapore’s aspirations, please be a role model and take responsibility for past mistakes such as Mas Selamat’s escape, food poisoning of the Youth Olympics, justification for the obscene increase in organizing the Youth Olympics, clear conveyance of data such as housing cost to show transparency, and how much our reserves are.

These important questions should not be brushed aside and deserve a direct answer.

Conclusion: Such poor tactics will only backfire on the 2 new citizens candidates. Should the voters start to scrutinize even deeper into the 2 new candidates, such as Mr Janil’s convenient time of converting into citizen right after 35 years old (the age whereby you are safe from fulfilling NS liability). What I see from Mr Janil is someone who is scheming, selfish and does not want to take part in the defense of Singapore and yet talk empty bubbles on standing by the country. 

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