Bukit Batok By Election Reflections

chee soon juan
 
The following is a conversation overheard at a coffee shop. The names have been changed to protect the conversationalists' identities but here's the gist of their conversation.
 
Johnny: Yo Lup Cheong! Song bo? Ah Chee lost the by election!
 
Lup Cheong: You dun CB la.
 
Johnny: I'm just teasing you la. But seriously. You actually thought he could win?
 
Lup Cheong: By election effect ma, I thought Chee at least had a chance to continue the opposition's by election streak...haiz sian.
 
Johnny: Why? I thought he claimed this wasn't a defeat but a win anyway...
 
Lup Cheong: Please la whatever pretty words he uses, a loss is still a loss. Haiz. I agree with Chee, this society really undemocratic, cannot recognize someone who is fighting for their rights and democracy! This was a real chance for the residents of Bukit Batok to send a real firebrand to speak for all of us in parliament and they blew it...
 
Johnny: Eh...how can both you and Chee claim we're an undemocratic society when the majority of Bukit Batok didn't choose him. Isn't that's what democracy is all about? Government for the people by the people?
 
Lup Cheong: Coz Chee tio sabo by the Chinese media...
 
Johnny: Then he could've sued them. But he didn't. The fact that Wanbao clarified that it didn't apologize for its headline says a lot. Funny that Chee never complained about how online media saboed him regarding that Lee Weiling matter. I think that was more damaging than the "bad" Wanbao headline. Frankly I feel sad for Chee.
 
Lup Cheong: Why?
 
Johnny: It's sad to see how he's spinning this loss. He basically had everything going for him for this by election. 1. It's a by election, voters are more willing to give opposition more chance since PAP already is and still will be government even if their candidate loses. 2. No SG50 or LKY dividend in play this time to swing votes to the PAP. Compared to Lee Lilian's win in Punggol East, Chee really blew it. And frankly I think it's his own fault.
 
Lup Cheong: Why?
 
Johnny: Did you go to any of Chee's rallies? Or stream them?
 
Lup Cheong: Ya I did. What's your point?
 
Johnny: His rallies really confused me.
 
Lup Cheong: What do you mean?
 
Johnny: Chee promised to hold MPS twice a week. I've observed both the PAP and WP holding their weekly MPS. I can tell you that it's really tough to do because it's very resource and man power intensive. You need a good team of volunteers to back you up. It's not a one man job. Chee seems to think holding MPS twice a week will really make him stand out...But Denise Phua and Lily Neo already do it without any fanfare whatsoever. Indranee Rajah at one point running was also two MPS a week because she was helping LKY with his. I think the WP do a respectable job serving their constituents, despite the fact that the WP is overwhelmed and are barely able to cope with their limited resources. Chee made it sound like he'd outdo the WP in everything. His promises made me wonder how he'd deliver when it's so obvious he doesn't even have a MPS team/support network in place.
 
Lup Cheong: I see.
 
Johnny: And then there's the topics he raised during his rallies. The government's preferential treatment for foreigners, Chris Balding's claim about the "missing money" from our CPF...Chee about made me wonder if he was running a national election campaign or a local by election.
 
Look at his opponent Murali. He kept his speeches focused on what he was planning to do for his constituents and how he would go about bringing his plans to fruition to benefit Bukit Batok. Murali made sure that his rallies were about the residents of Bukit Batok, not highfalutin ideals like democracy. I think that was Chee's fatal mistake. He got too engrossed in looking like some paragon for the entire country instead of winning over the residents of the district that he was contesting.
 
Lup Cheong: You mean he should've gotten himself elected then talk about all the lofty ideals huh?
 
Johnny: Exactly. Chee failed to establish a rapport with Bukit Batok residents. He never explained his plans for the district, how his plans will benefit the residents or how he'd go about fulfilling said plans. He just assume people will go read about his plans on the SDP facebook page and website. How to win the older voters' trust like that?? Unless...
 
Lup Cheong: What?
 
Johnny: Unless Chee is playing the long game and laying the ground work for the next GE?

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