Dr. Chee Soon Juan - Spin Doctor? You Decide.

Chee Soon Juan
Photo Credit: SMRT Ltd (Feedback)
 
He has been called the comeback kid, and is rapidly winning the support of the crowd judging by the reactions to his rally speeches and by the glowing praises he is receiving online.
 
Intrigued, I clicked on his rally speech and understood why some have called it the best rally speech of GE2015.
 
Certainly this is a man with a checkered past, and searching google would throw up numerous articles and references to it. But this is where the brilliance of Dr. Chee is - he has turned all these into his advantage by painting the narrative of a man of character who perservers despite all the adversity and that believes in the good of all Singaporeans. 
 
His speech is peppered with emotive issues and paired with his charismatic delivery worked to dramatic effect to sway the audience to his side. This is an admirable strength for any politician and when it boils down to it, elections are a fight for heart and minds of the people. And I'd daresay Dr. Chee is nailing it. Just look at the ice cream money lol.
 
 

Voter wrote an emotional note with monetary donation to the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) after hearing Dr Chee Soon Juan's speech

Posted by Temasek Review on Friday, September 4, 2015
 
But admist all the poise and polished speeches I had a nagging thought, why did the man have such a colourful past? Could it be as he said that the past experiences made him a stronger person? That the pain and sufferings he has gone through helped him to be a more emphatic person that can champion our needs? Or could it be a masterful use of his training as a neuropsychologist? A clever use of his circumstances and family to portray what he wants us to believe, like the proverbial cunning wolf in sheep's skin? 
 
Turning to good trusty Google, I attempted to divine the truth and stumbled upon an amazing article, which I believe Dr. Chee wouldn't want us to read - an insider from his core team who has recently resigned from the party and his reasons why. The Straits Times first reported this on the 28th Jan 2015 (link) saying that "SDP member quits party over irreconciliable differences".
 
So who is Jeremy Chen? You can read his thoughts on his personal blog on why he left the SDP (here). What struck me is his strongly worded resignation letter and direct attack on its party leader Dr. Chee Soon Juan (CSJ).  In it, Jeremy accused Dr. Chee of duplicity, double standards and lying, things that sounded strangely familar from his spotted past.
 
In Jeremy's blog post, he went on to say that CSJ is stubborn, jealous and egotistical
 
"When I joined the party, I had known about but had set aside the information about CSJ's spotty past, assuming those integrity issues had been worked out. I refer to his taxi fare inflation (which are acts of wilful dishonesty not at all comparable with actions like using the office printer to print examination scripts for one's kids) and big breakfast + "doctor's orders" glucose fuelled hunger strikes (which seem to me to be a dishonest way of running a hunger strike). Note that I view his heckling of then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong as merely ill advised politicking, but not an integrity issue. CSJ's recent actions now connect the past to the present in the sense that they provide strong evidence that CSJ's integrity issues have not yet been worked out."
 
Wow. This certainly got me thinking as the allegations were from a person that had worked closely on the inside as part of CSJ's Party Organizing Division (POD), a core group member. And Jeremy is now even actively saying not to vote for SDP (see screenshot below of his comments on the official SDP website's three good reasons to vote for the SDP page).
 
Chee Soon Juan
 
And what about what Mr. Chiam See Tong SDP's former boss had to say about his protege Dr. Chee Soon Juan? Food for thought perhaps?
 

Listen to the respectable Mr Chiam See Tong speak on what it means to be an opposition member in reference to his protege, Chee Soon Juan.What he said is also applicable to all opposition.

Posted by Singapore Matters on Monday, September 7, 2015
 
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