Stupid personal attacks made by Grace Fu

The fight for the hearts and minds of Bukit Batok residents have kicked up a notch with nomination day over on 28 Apr. When DPM Tharman and SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah shook hands and spoke at the nomination centre, they two apparently agreed that there should be a fair fight between PAP’s Murali and SDP’s Dr Chee Soon Juan.

It seems that fair doesn’t mean clean. Because at PAP’s first rally for the by-election last night, there was quite a lot of mudslinging. In her Chinese speech, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu said:

“We need to be wary of people who write blank cheques, otherwise you may rejoice now, only to suffer later. It’s easy to confidently make promises now, but is it really that easy to manage a Town Council? This candidate (referring to Dr Chee) hasn’t worked for the last 20 years, does he have the relevant experience in management?”

What a stupid thing to say! You mean Dr Chee doesn’t need to have excellent management skills to lead SDP? Say what you will about his political views, but you cannot deny that SDP has grown into a fairly well-organised political party.

I was at its rally last night. There were volunteers taking care of various aspects – receiving speakers, setting up tents to sell merchandise, two very capable emcees, etc etc. And then there are the many policy papers that SDP has been putting out. Some of the policy papers are quite well-researched and well-argued. They’ve also been able to organise various activities, such as health screening and food distribution events.

But more than all that, Dr Chee had been able to cement his position within SDP. At a panel discussion organised by Inconvenient Questions, Dr Derek Da Cunha, a researcher at NUS, commented that Dr Chee had absolute control of SDP and total obedience from the core group in SDP. That is a sentiment that echoes what former SDP member, Jeremy Chen had been saying.

Eh… you think doing that doesn’t need leadership and management skills ah?

In her English speech, Ms Grace Fu said something equally stupid:

“He (Chee) wants to be a full-time MP. As far as I know, he has not held a full-time job for a long time. Working experience is essential and when you want to employ someone, you will look at their experience.”

What a stupid statement to make! You mean the working experience of all the political office holders before they joined politics were relevant to the portfolio they held meh? I mean… Dr Koh Poh Koon may be familiar with dealing with shit as a colorectal surgeon, I am quite sure he didn’t have much experience that are relevant to Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry, where he is now the Minister of State.

There’s only one thing about experience that possibly made some sense came from a remark that I heard when I was in Bukit Batok yesterday:

“Dr Chee certainly understands the plight of being unemployed. He’s been unemployed for so long! But not sure how good he’ll be in helping people get jobs leh. He doesn’t seem to be successful in doing that for himself and his wife…”

I’m not sure whether the person who made the remark is a resident of Bukit Batok or a supporter of either parties, but that remark does raise a pertinent question: can SDP and Dr Chee give us concrete examples of them helping residents find jobs or solve their problems? Because Mr Murali can at least say that he has experience helping someone who had been unemployed get a job as a forklift driver.

So, while Mr Murali probably has more experience in serving residents solve practical problems (e.g. finding jobs, conducting legal clinics – he set one up in Bukit Batok 15 years ago), it’s stupid to say that that Dr Chee isn’t capable to be an MP for Bukit Batok simply because he hadn’t held a “normal” office job for the last 20 odd years.

[Featured image: Minister Grace Fu at the PAP rally in Bukit Batok. Image from Yahoo.com.sg]

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38 thoughts on “Stupid personal attacks made by Grace Fu

  1. Yeah but well, I don’t see where Dr Chee is going with this “full time MP” rhetoric. I mean, whatever people judge him regarding his joblessness, it is true he is jobless right? Of course, he gets income by selling of books, but, he’s gone out of his way to make it clear to people even since the last GE how tough life is for him, having to support his family, etc.

    So whatever full time job he takes on next, whether as an MP or no, its gonna be his full time job, no? Then how does he hope to score points with saying he will be a full time MP? Like, duh, you got no job, of course you will be a full time MP? What is there for you to be part time about? What high paying job is there for you to give up in order to be an MP? I can’t understand why he’s using this as a plus point to keep harping on.

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    • So you are happy to have a part-timer with a full-time job and multiple directorships to serve you? This is the most ridiculous practice in Sg. Name one US Senator with a full-time private job. You can’t because such practice is unacceptable and full of caveats (e.g. conflict of interests).

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      • I am merely pointing out the obviousness of someone who’s currently unemployed, saying that his next job will be his only one. It would be different if he had a job now and resigns after elected. He can say he made the choice to serve full time.

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      • and of course US political system is so much better than Singapore’s… cos they never have gridlocks, they never refuse to pass their budgets, resulting in the shutting down of their federal government, because there are none of the politicians in US have any conflicts of interests… let’s not be naive.

        a full time MP may be better than a part time MP. but before we can logically conclude that, we need to look at facts and figures. and do the facts support the conclusion that full time MPs are better?

        look at Ayer Rajah. before GE2006, it was an SMC. the MP for that area is Dr Tan Cheng Bock. in GE2006, it was gobbled into West Coast GRC under the care of Mr S Iswaran. then in GE2011, Ms Foo Mee Har became the MP (as part of the West Coast GRC team). She was a full time MP from 2011 to 2015. Ask the people who have stayed in Ayer Rajah for at least 20 years, and remember Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Ask them who they think is a better MP, Dr Tan or Ms Foo. And the answer will be clear – Dr Tan is the better MP. I know this. because I live in Ayer Rajah. for 30 years.

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  2. Of course US political system is so much better than Singapore’s rubber stamping system. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were gridlocks on PWP? Privatization of public utilities including transportation aka SMRT? Million dollar minister pay and pension packages? Out of this world defense spending budget?

    So even if Trump becomes the next President, the same ‘gridlock’ political system will prevent him from implementing some of his craziest ideas and extreme policies. In contrast, in Singapore you have absolutely no say and zero safeguard against rouge policies against people’s interests. You and your offspring will have to deal with overcrowding and stress in years to come thanks to the ‘consensus’ PWP.

    The Dr Tan vs Ms Foo example proves nothing. Do you think Facebook is better off with a full-time/part-time Zuckerberg? Do you think Ayer Rajah would have been served better with a part-time Ms Foo? Do you think a full-time Dr Tan would have contributed more to his constituency during his time as a MP? The answers are obvious, at least to me 😉

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    • Foo Mee Har was a full time MP between 2011 and 2015. She got another job in mid 2015. She was not a worse MP after that. Baey Yam Keng became a full-time MP after 2012. There’s no evidence to show that he was any better of an MP after he became a full-time MP.

      Rather than just making assertions, if you want to prove a case, give concrete examples rather than mere assertions. Mr

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      • “There’s no evidence to show that he was any better of an MP after he became a full-time MP.”

        How about – “There’s no evidence to show that he was NOT any better of an MP after he became a full-time MP.”

        I am not sure what you are trying to ‘prove’?

        Most people would accomplish more in 40 hours than in 4 hours. No? A MP is not a super being. He/she also has a family to attend to as well. Of course you will argue next that he/she would be more productive in that 4 hours than in 40 hours. /s

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      • But I already HAVE given numerous evidence to suggest that there’s no difference in the performance of full-time MPs vs part-time MPs. While you haven’t given a shred of evidence based in reality to show that a full-time MP is better than a part-time one. Unless there’s evidence to prove it, it’s erroneous to assert that a full-time MP is definitely better than a part-time MP.

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      • In *any* business, a 4-hour worker will not produce more than a 40-hour worker. This is almost a universal truth everywhere… except for your MP lol.

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      • I go back to the same point. show me an actual example where a full-time MP actually performs better than a part-time one. Any thing else is mere assertion, no matter how “logical” it may sound.

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      • and you may want to read the book “4-hour” work week by Tim, which explains how a person can work just four hours a week and still do what needs to be done. it’s a concept called productivity – achieved by leveraging on technology, and having a team. maybe you have heard of it?

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      • Dr Chee has already mentioned that he will spent more time with residents compared to what current MPs are doing. Of course you may not consider such community outreach effort ‘productive’.

        As to your book, I am sure Singapore leaders can learn something from it to increase the country’s productivity. The last I heard Singapore has NEGATIVE productivity growth in the past decade.

        Peace.

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      • Spending more time doesn’t necessarily translate to being a better MP. Just as working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you are more productive. As I have said, show me an example where someone who is a “full-time” MP and spends more time with their residents is actually a better MP than the other “part-time” MPs. Till now, you haven’t been able to. Until you are able to, everything you have said are mere assertions, not grounded in reality.

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      • Again, your ‘proofs’ and ‘evidence’ are your opinion. There is no objective (or scientific) metric. At least my 40 hour example is measurable and objective. I can assure you that Zuckerberg, Gates, and Jobs work significantly longer than 40 hour work week.

        I don’t think I change any mind here. But thanks for the exchange anyway.

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      • You haven’t given a single example. The “40-hour” thing isn’t a real example with specific names and situations. It’s a conjecture

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      • I hate to keep this going but I did find one part-time PAP MP Yeo Guat Kwang with “64 appointments.” Of course you are free to argue that these appointments do not affect Mr Yeo’s MP duty. I will leave it to your readers to judge for themselves.

        MP Yeo’s appointments included the following –

        1) Member, Government Parliamentary Committee on Manpower 2) Member, Government Parliamentary Committee on Community Development, Youth & Sports 3) Member, GPC for Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts 4) Vice Chairman, Aljunied Town Council 5) Alignment Director, NTUC Quality Worklife & All Nationalities 6) Acting Advisor to Taxi Operators’ Association 7) President of Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) Vice-Chairman, North East Community Development Council 9) Member, Board of Directors of PUB Board 10) Advisor to the Singapore Table Tennis Association 11) Advisor to the Singapore WeiQi Association 12) Advisor to the Ren Ci Hospital 13) Advisor to the Bright Vision Hospital 14) Advisor to Artistes & Performers’ Association 15) Advisor to Restaurants Association of Singapore 16) Executive Secretary, Singapore Chinese Teachers’ Unions 17) Director, Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) 1 Advisor, Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore 19) Executive Secretary, Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees 20) Member, Workplace Health and Safety Council 21) Co-Chairman, National Tripartite Committee on Workplace Health 22) Co-Chairman, Customer Centric Initiatives 23) Co-Chairman, NTUC-SNEF Migrant Workers’ Forum 24) Member, Aids Business Alliance 25) Member, Mental Health Alliance 26) Member, Centre for Service Excellence and Leadership Governing Council 27) Member, SPRING Standards Council 2 Patron to Pets Enterprises & Traders Association (PETAS) 29) PAP Community Foundation HQ Executive Committee 30) Member, Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) 31) Member, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) 32) Member, AVA Human Resource Committee 33) Member, WSH Council Finance Committee 34) Member, Tripartite Committee on Employability of Older Workers 35) Member, Tripartite Committee on Portable Medical Benefits 36) Member, Tripartite Committee on Flexible Work Arrangement 37) Member, Quality Service Advisory Council 3 Member, Institute for Service Excellence @ SMU (ISES) Governing Council 39) Member, Motor Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Pte Ltd Board of Governors 40) Member, Retail Price Watch Group 41) Member,Tobacco Licensing Consultative Panel 42) Member, Ngee Ann Kongsi Council 43) Advisor, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore Staff Union (IRASSU) 44) Advisor & Trustee, NatSteel Employees Union (NEU) 45) Business Advisor, NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd 46) Advisor, Yeo Clan General Association 47) Advisor, Singapore Taoist Federation 4 Advisor, Fo Guang Shan (Singapore) 49) Advisor, Mun San Fook Tuck Chee 50) Advisor, Society of Sheng Hong Welfare Services 51) Advisor, Sian Chay Medical Institution 52) Advisor, Society of Tourist Guides (Singapore) 53) Advisor, Singapore Furniture Association 54) Advisor, Eggs’ Import/Export Trading Association (Singapore) 55) Advisor, Federation of Merchants’ Singapore 56) Advisor, JCI Senators Club of Singapore 57) Advisory Board Member, Singapore-China Association for Advancement of Science & Technology 5 Patron. Buddist Fellowship 59) Independent Director, Grandwork Interior Pte Ltd 60) Independent Director, Japan Foods Holding Ltd 61) Independent Director, Koyo International Ltd 62) Independent Director, United Envirotech Ltd 63) Independent Director, Asia Water Technology Ltd 64) Independent Director, HLH Group Ltd

        Source: https://www.facebook.com/theonlinecitizen/posts/175470299177392
        Source: Thoughts of a Singapore Statistician

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      • Are the residents unhappy with his performance? Was he still able to take care of his residents well? Do you have evidence that he didn’t take care of his residents well? If not, again it’s just conjecture.

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      • Okay, you have made it very clear that a part-time MP with “64 appointments” is perfectly acceptable to you. I beg to differ.

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      • Not whether acceptable to me, but acceptable to the residents in the area that he’s an MP for.

        Let me give you another example. Lee Li Lian was a full time MP. Was she a good MP? Well… Apparently not good enough to be re-elected.

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      • “Lee Li Lian was a full time MP. Was she a good MP? Well… Apparently not good enough to be re-elected.”

        We can revisit this topic when Singapore becomes a true democracy.

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      • What I’ve been trying to say is that a full-time MP may well be better or a part-time MP may really be unable to perform an MP’s role well. But given the evidence and facts we have now, there is no way to conclude that. So when asked the question: “Is a full-time MP better than a part-time MP?” the answer must be “We don’t know. We don’t have sufficient data to make that conclusion.”

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    • Oh and yes. US senators and representatives truly represent the people of USA and not corporate interests and super PACs who help the senators buy their way into congress…

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      • Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? In Singapore, you can’t even have corporate interests and super PACs! This is a one-party state with SUPER MAJORITY POWER for 50 years.

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  3. In all seriousness though, there’s this obsession with jobless martyrs among some sections of the opposition.

    I mean, look at Dr Chee and someone like Roy. Now, we know Dr Chee was expelled from NUS and Roy sacked from TTSH. We know that any government linked agency or big company is unlikely to hire them. No doubts, there are many avenues of work which are closed to them.

    But it also seems like they have never tried to explore fully any possible means of supporting themselves and their family. Many pro-opposition members are business owners. Surely some part time jobs can be offered by them. For Roy, it seems like its beneath him to fry carrot cake like his Dad, or to become a waiter, delivery guy, or stuff like that. For Dr Chee, if he can claim to own a cheap car, it means he can drive. Has he thought of being an Uber driver or something like that?

    As it appears, no. I mean, these guys claim to fight for the low income, but cannot seem to lower themselves to take time at least on a part time basis, low income jobs to help make ends meet. Instead, they keep on relying on avenues like crowdfunding and who knows what sources. You tell us not to look down on people who do not have high positions. But it appears that you will not lower yourself to earn money via the same means as they?

    At least for Dr Chee, he writes books, which earn him some, if not limited royalties. It is something he earns with his own two hands. Can’t say the same about Roy.

    I believe they see their joblessness not as something which is forced onto them, and which they are actively trying to change. They see it as a political plus point with which they can continually use to advertise their so called dedication and commitment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is just so super hypocritical. Government and related entities employ (more than) half of the working population in Singapore. And if you include businesses who want to maintain good relations with the ruling family, their options are limited. Both of them are precluded from working in their fields in Singapore.

      How about you quitting whatever job you have and becoming a Uber driver yourself?

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      • Why should I quit my job to become a Uber driver just to prove a point to you? But say my need is dire, and my family needs food on the table, I would do so. I would explore all possible opportunities, and if I am so politically blacklisted that I am barred from even driving a taxi for a living or even to fry carrot cake at a hawker centre, then I would finally appeal to the general public, or whoever and say, look, I have tried all these means, but I am at my wits end, so please, help me out.

        Did you see Dr Chee’s press conference or rally? Do you know who he has assembled in his transitional team to run the town council, should he win? He’s got lawyers, businessmen, I think even Tan Kin Lian made an appearance. So before you try and claim that he’s being left out in the cold and has ZERO employment or business opportunities, take a look at the kind of contacts that he has, and tell me if he truly is bereft of opportunities. For that matter, tell me Roy is as well.

        So they are “precluded from working in their fields.” So? Whats your point here? Say you am a trained doctor, and you am barred from medical practice. Or you am a skilled technician and my industry becomes obsolete. So? We need to crowdfund you? Because for you to do anything else to earn money is a an affront to your rights, even if it is by perfectly legal means? Is that it?

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      • “Why should I quit my job to become a Uber driver just to prove a point to you?” That was my point – you have no idea what you are talking about. Have you read stories about some people trying to experience poverty by living on a welfare check? It is easy for you to make such condescending statements without being a politically targeted individual yourself. To you, these people should have shut up in the first place and they won’t be in such a situation. My advise to you and many Singaporeans is to have more compassion and empathy for others.

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  4. But ok, let’s just say I am wrong and lets not begrudge Dr Chee Soon Juan on his not finding a job. In fact, he gave a couple of reasons to justify it and why his time unemployed has been well spent.

    Now he told us, don’t judge him as an unemployed person. Judge what he has done to grow the SDP while not working full time. Alright. In the 2011 GE, the SDP contested 11 out of 87 seats and won none. In 2015, it contested 11 out of 89 seats and won none. Wow, not much growth there. And in the 4 years in between, high profile candidates like Vincent Wijeysingha, Tan Jee Say, Ang Yong Guan, as well as promising youngsters like Jarrod Luo have left the party, some parting ways on really bad terms. Dr Chee himself made a big screw up of the Punggol East BE with his “joint ticket” proposal to the WP. (Incidentally, I wonder why the PAP is not attacking this, rather than his other past indiscretions”.)

    Dr Chee Soon Juan also told us that the SDP has been hard at work putting forth policy papers on various national issues. Even if I do not agree with their policies, this is something I give them credit for, which is at least a lot better than the likes of RP, NSP, etc. Well then, I guess the whole of SDP must be unemployed, in order for them to work on these policies full time? Not at all! Dr Paul Tambyah, the one saving grace for Dr Chee’s recent tenure, is a full Professor at NUS since 2013, and was probably instrumental in crafting the SDP’s healthcare policy. Unless Dr Chee is saying that all his SDP colleagues are working full time, and he is the only one who is working at home crafting all these policy papers?

    So even if we do not pass personality judgement on Dr Chee’s not finding a job, how much has his time in unemployment been useful to the SDP and opposition politics as a whole? I think not as much. It has been useful for his personal redemption and image revamp, as he can all along play the jobless martyr victim card, drive his celebrity status, sell some books, and that’s about it.

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    • I know you may consider this example dubious but Aung San Suu Kyi was also unemployed and accomplished little during her incarceration years. Singapore is not exactly a democracy where elections are free. (I feel that I have to remind people that Singapore has a SUPER MAJORITY PARTY in 50 years.) So your arguments on SDP’s election performance is weak. Why don’t you challenge the ‘authorities’ instead of the ‘victims’? It is like blaming a poor kid for doing badly in schools when he is given no opportunity/environment to study at home compared to your silver-spoon kids.

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      • Right. I suppose when you can’t convince someone point by point, there’s always taking to labelling them an out of touch silver spoon kid, even if you know nothing about them.

        This will not end. You’ll neither convince me, nor will I convince you. Let’s just say that my political preferences lead me to respect, some opposition members, but not all. This is not atypical of many Singaporeans, and many of us see no need to embrace what you in particular think should be embraced here. We want a more open democracy but not necessarily the one you exhort.

        I welcome you to rebut my points next time you see me comment. If you’d like to throw in personal barbs like how I must be some elite lacking in compassion or empathy, then so be it. The internet is free. But my comments, even if failing to convince you, are also for the broader audience out there. In fact yours are as well, which is why I suggest you need not make this too personal.

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      • Just as a parting shot on Aung San Suu Kyi, she was the de facto leader of the Burmese opposition and now the government. I think to have achieve that you can hardly say she did nothing in her years of house arrest.

        And yeah, she was under house arrest. I’d think she’d be unemployed at the time. What does that prove with Dr Chee?

        Liked by 1 person

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