By: B Goode
I am not shy neither am I cool to say that I want Murali to win the by election. It’s not because I have a soft spot for the minorities or that my favourite colour is white, but because I’ve got a $20 bet with a friend.
But I think I can already kiss my money goodbye. There goes my one-month supply of Maggie noodles.
I didn’t get this feeling of losing from looking at the number of people attending the rallies. Those at SDP’s rallies were mostly `tourists’ from other parts of the island looking for some entertainment. After all, we do love our getais.
Wherelse those at the PAP rally were mostly PAP diehards and people who were not ashamed to be branded as not cool for being seen in a PAP event. I mean, would you come all the way from East Coast, taking the unreliable MRT just to watch Grace Fu talk?
It all started well for Team PAP actually. Except for a few hiccups such as the offering of other people’s carrots, Murali managed to concentrate on issues that mattered to the heartlanders; efficient estate management, schemes for the less fortunate etc. For a while Team SDP was on the back-foot having to propose either similar plans or plans already instituted by the PAP.
And then out of the blue KABOOM! the by-election suddenly was about Chee Soon Juan. Like a garoupa, not the brightest fish in the ocean, Team PAP swallowed SDP’s bait hook, line and sinker.
They could blame their secretary-general for that. You’d think that PM Lee would have the experience and wherewithal to know but nope. Instead, he rode his white horse, stood on moral high ground and threw stones on the glass houses below. And he wasn’t alone. The spare to the Prime Ministership, Heng Swee Kiat decided to join in. What’s needed now is for the chief of the cavalry to charge in and compel hara-kiri on the opponents.
Let’s face it. Character is a very subjective issue. What’s wrong for some might not be for others. What’s wrong before, might not be now. Admittedly, Chee has a penchant for not telling the whole truths, for engaging in dramatic politics and a loud-mouth.
But the thing is; who doesn’t know about his character flaws? Everybody does. So for the PAP to harp on the obvious is to bring back the holier-than-thou attitude which has been roundly despised, and to draw attention to their own failings.
In the first place, the reason why we are having this by-election is because the former PAP MP was caught with his pants down.
So now it is all about Chee Soon Juan. No longer about Murali. Not about his policies. Not about his plans. Should the voters show any sympathy towards Chee as the bullied instead of hating him for being the bully, PAP will lose.
Murali and the PAP need to seize the initiative again. They need to re-focus their campaign to what they are good at; managing a town council.
If they don’t I will have to quit smoking for a few days so as to afford my Maggie mee.