“Always here for you” – this slogan has been uttered ad nauseum in the Hougang by-election campaigns of both the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Workers’ Party (WP), although for different purposes, as well as in the mainstream media and online media. This is actually the campaign slogan of PAP’s candidate, Desmond Choo.
Ironically, PAP has not always been there for Hougang SMC or any of the opposition wards in the past. In April 2011, Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong openly mentioned that constituencies under PAP are favoured for estate upgrading programmes in his reply to a fourth year NUS student’s query on why residents in Hougang SMC are penalised for supporting the opposition. Mr Lee said “The answer is that there has to be a distinction. Because the PAP wards supported the Government and the policies which delivered these good things.”
Residents in Hougang SMC and other opposition wards are Singaporeans who, like any others living in PAP wards, pay taxes. By not supporting the PAP, residents in opposition wards like Hougang SMC have been punished through such favouritism which in my view, is terribly wrong and narrow-minded of a political party that claims to take care of the needs of Singaporeans. As a result, Low Thia Khiang and his team has to dig into their own funds to make estate upgrading and other improvements within the constituency happen. Did any of the grassroots advisers appointed by PAP to work the ground in opposition wards ever voice out such an unfair party policy? Not that I know of, not including Desmond Choo, who has been the grassroots adviser of Hougang SMC since the last GE.
So does this effectively reflect PAP candidate Desmond Choo’s campaign slogan “Always here for you”?
Perhaps it should read “Always here for you, as long as you vote for me” instead.
(By the way, I feel sorry for Desmond Choo. The goody-two-shoes-and-a-wee-bit-naïve candidate surrounded by critical veteran politicians who have been too loud for him to control image has contradicted his repeated utterance of “I am my own man”. It is so not working.)
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