It’s confirmed. Dr Chee Soon Juan will represent SDP to contest in Bukit Batok’s by-election. Given that there isn’t the spectre of a freak result that sees PAP lose power, this could well be Dr Chee’s best chance at being an MP. So this could very well be Dr Chee’s by-election #cheebyelection.
And Dr Chee knows this is as good a chance of him being an MP as he’s ever going to get. He doesn’t want to blow this. So he’s already hard at work, walking around Bukit Batok, talking to residents and all that
It’s not just walking around in Bukit Batok shaking hands and talking to residents. It seems that Dr Chee has given much thought to what he intends to do as an MP. He assures Bukit Batok residents that he will be “an effective voice in Parliament.” He added, “I will bring their hopes and aspirations as well as their hardship and concerns with me into the House. I will endeavour to raise the quality of Parliamentary debate and elevate the level of politics and governance in Singapore, and, by so doing, take our nation to a future full of hope and confidence.” In short, Dr Chee “will be a competent, constructive and compassionate MP, one that BB voters will be proud of.”
He intends to pioneer “a new model of town council management where residents are involved in the planning and running of their community.” Some of the things proposed in this new model include initiating social projects such as Help-a-neighbour and other charity events, tuition centres for students from low income families, and education and training workshops. Dr Chee also intends to encourage residents to help run these projects.
Isn’t that exactly what PA’s grassroots organisations doing? It seems that Dr Chee, if elected, is going to cunningly use the Town Council as a platform to
compete against complement PA’s grassroots organisations. Why? Because PA’s grassroots organisations are in fact run advised by PAP (in all constituencies, including those where the MPs are from WP, the advisor to the grassroots organisations are PAP members). I wonder whether that will work. Is there something in the Town Council Act that prevents Town Councils from doing what Dr Chee is proposing?
In any case, Dr Chee will surely try to push the boundaries if he gets elected. And that’s a pretty big IF. It’ll be an arduous process, full of blood, sweat and tears. Yes. Literally. Blood.
Looks like Dr Chee, well known for being a cunning linguist, is not just going to rely on words, but determined to move people by his actions.
So PAP had better not be dicking around. Not that we are anal about it, but the last time they parachuted a colorectal surgeon in to contest a by-election, it didn’t really go well. So this time, it seems that PAP would send someone the residents are already familiar with.
The most likely candidate would be Murali Pillai. He was part of the “suicide squad” sent to contest in Aljunied GRC in GE2015. But before that, he had been serving for a very long time in Bukit Batok as a branch secretary to the late Dr Ong Chit Chung, who was MP until before his death. Murali had also been active in various grassroots organisations in Bukit Batok, helming the Indian Activities Executive Committee and the Inter-Religious Confidence Circle.
So. It looks like this is shaping up to be a very interesting competition. Will it be “Hello, Dr Chee, welcome to Parliament”? Or once again, “Bye, Dr Chee, bye!”?