Bye, Dr Chee, Bye!

The dust has settled, the people of Bukit Batok have spoken. With 61.2% of the votes, Mr Murali has been elected as the MP for Bukit Batok. There have been many analyses of what the results mean. But above all of them, I think what’s topmost on people’s mind is what this means for the political future of Dr Chee Soon Juan.

Mr Murali celebrating his win with his mother. Image from Straits Times

Mr Murali celebrating his win with his mother. Image from Straits Times

Dr Chee has now lost in all five elections that he has contested in. At 38.8%, this is his best result. Some people say that it bodes well. It shows that he is gaining traction, more people are willing to support him, and he is inching ever closer to finally becoming an MP. I think those people are wrong.

Chee Soon Juan after losing the Bukit Batok by-election. Image from CNA

Chee Soon Juan after losing the Bukit Batok by-election. Image from CNA

SDP had a swing of close to 13% compared to their performance in Bukit Batok GE2015. That is comparable to the swing of 12% that Ms Lee Li Lian got in the Punggol East by-election. But we need to also note that SDP’s candidate in GE2015 was Sadasivam Veriyah. Who? Who’s Sadasivam Veriyah? So it’s not surprising that Dr Chee did better than Mr Sadasivam, who’s virtually unknown politically.

In GE2015, Dr Chee was in the team that contested in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. The team won about 33%. So one can argue that Dr Chee’s swing this time round is only about 6%. Considering that this was a by-election, this is actually quite a terrible performance.

Why? Two reasons. First, this by-election was needed because David Ong, who was elected as MP for Bukit Batok in GE2015, screwed up (or rather he screwed someone he shouldn’t have). Secondly,  Singaporeans are assured that PAP will remain the government even if Dr Chee is elected.

Of course, supporters of SDP and Dr Chee are quick to jump to his defence. It’s all the gutter politics! It’s all the character assassination! That’s why SDP didn’t do better!

Then there’s the explanation that Dr Chee gave for his poor showing. Singapore isn’t a true democracy. Singaporean media is shit. The journalists are all out to get him. He said this (translated from Chinese):

“If the media didn’t use such methods to attack us, I think we would have a very good chance…If it is a fair and democratic society, we would have a very good chance in entering parliament… If the media had standards, you (referring to the journalist who were interviewing him after the results were announced) would have been fired. Really… I really cannot understand your headlines…How can you take words that I didn’t say and claim I’ve said them? Lee Hsien Loong has made such a big issue out of it. You need to go and seriously reflect on what you have done.”

There is some truth in what Dr Chee said. Singaporean media is largely shit. Especially Wanbao and Shin Min. They would twist people’s words and sensationalise things. That is their modus operandi.

If we are to accept that these reasons given for Dr Chee’s loss are correct, then what does this mean for Dr Chee and the SDP? If the reality is that character assassinations of Dr Chee, either by PAP or by mainstream media, hurts SDP’s chances of winning elections, then what should Dr Chee do, if he really wants SDP to have MPs?

SDP can do one of two things.

First, SDP could try to “inoculate” Singaporeans against character assassinations of Dr Chee. They can do that by really going the extra mile to show Singaporeans that they are a credible party. They need to do this not only by putting out policy papers, but also walk the ground early and show that they can somehow do some things that benefit Singaporeans in concrete ways.

Secondly, SDP can accept that Dr Chee’s past is too much of a liability. Politics is dirty. Singaporeans are conditioned in a certain way. Even if things are changing, it will still take a long time before things change enough. So for the best interest of SDP, Dr Chee should consider giving up his delusions  aspirations of being an MP. He should then focus on grooming a new core group to lead SDP, then step aside and play a supporting, advisory and mentoring role.

Or SDP could do both. Which I think will greatly improve its chances of having MPs. So… perhaps it is really time to say “Bye, Dr Chee, Bye!”


13 thoughts on “Bye, Dr Chee, Bye!

  1. I generally agree with you that Opposition has no chance in Singapore. Just look at the last GE when WP nearly lost all their seats, even to a virtually unknown PAP suicide team. Your argument applies to the Russian opposition too.

    The title of this post should read “Bye, Singapore, Bye!”

    I am outta here!


  2. Agreed that its not such a great result for a by election, by local standards. A WP candidate would have broken the 40% barrier, I feel.

    However, I would not say that Dr Chee has to step down from politics altogether. So what if he has gotten only 38.8% in a by election, and so what if it is actually his best showing after 5 tries? Can you imagine, if it had been Kenneth J, Goh Meng Seng, or that ex-model from NSP? Yeah, they’d struggle to secure 33.3% or one third of the vote. Dr Chee pales in comparison to the WP, but I’d say that with this result, he shows that he has more viable a party and profile that many of the kachang putih parties out there. Even more viable than pardon me, the Chiams. Put Lina Chiam in Bukit Batok and I’d say she will not better Dr Chee’s 38.8%. This is in spite of the respect people have for Chiam See Tong, and what Dr Chee might have done to him.

    So come GE 2021, Chee Soon Juan will probably find it hard to win in Bukit Batok, unless the PAP’s stock falls to 2011 levels, and he ups his ground game seriously. I also feel that he needs to confront his past head on, really put it to discussion and let the people know why he needed to do what he did, as opposed to saying he’s being “assassinated” and leaving it at that all the time.

    So yes, in my book, he remains unelectable and for good reasons. But I don’t see why he should be stepping down. There are far worse opposition candidates who will unashamedly put themselves up for the running, and who cling on to their pathetic secretary generalships in their rag tag parties. Why should he not?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that there can be worse. My view is that with his reputation, he’ll be better off trying to attract a stock of new and better candidates (eg Prof Tambyah, but younger and slightly more fiery and ambitious) to field for elections rather than contest elections himself


      • Actually that would be almost like in 2011 when Chee was still barred from contesting. It had varying degrees of success.

        I think looking at some of the characters we have in opposition politics, the way they party hop, the way they break out to form their own party at the slightest. It would take a heck of a leader to willingly not run for election himself, but also be able to attract talented candidates more electable than he to run.


      • That’s why I think WP is the most credible opposition party. It has been able to grow from strength to strength, attracting candidates of better calibre with each GE. If SDP wants to be successful, it should learn from WP. Or just get out of the way.

        Liked by 1 person

    • From where I stand, I feel that CSJ should stand down from ever contesting personally for any MP seat.

      He remains a confirmed and undischarged bankrupt where credibility is concerned. His well documented actions and antics in his political past are so questionable and so disgusting that no amount of whitewashing or reinvention will be able to camouflage his unsuitability to serve as an elected MP in the government of our nation. Of course, in keeping with his opportunistic nature, he and his kind will certainly continue to try … and that is why rational, responsible citizens must remain vigilant.

      I reiterate:
      Leopards will NEVER EVER lose the spots on their coat; these spots are ONLY capable of morphing and shifting. All attempts at reinventing a kinder, gentler, more responsible CSJ will not produce a different species of cat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You can attack him about his actions, his words, his speech, but to drag his name given by his parents (with your vulgar title) or his family, you have given the PAP supporters a bad name, shame on you!


    • Whatever made you think I’m a PAP supporter?? Clearly you haven’t read much of my blog… And how’s my title vulgar? I think it’s normal to say “Thanks, Mr Tan.
      Bye!” Replace “Mr Tan” with “Dr Chee” and suddenly it’s vulgar? Maybe it seems vulgar to you cos you are predisposed to think in a vulgar way!


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