The Online Citizen

Face To Face: An awkward family reunion

December 17
10:13 2010

by Khairulanwar Zaini

photos by Terry Xu

‘I agree with Dr Chee,’ said Chiam See Tong, gesturing to his former protégé who was two seats away to his right. It should have been the kind of sentiment that would sent the hearts of opposition sympathizers to rapture, but after fleeting but pregnant silent pause, Chiam continued: ‘The ISA must go.’

And then, the rousing applause came.

It was not really clear whether the applause was for Chiam’s denunciation of the Internal Security Act, or a belated one celebrating the verbal rapprochement that could perhaps mark the end of close to two decades’ worth of accusations, clarifications and counter-clarifications between the two men. It was that sort of night when an air of cautious expectation and anxious hope lingered within the room, with an audience rapt in attention, mulling over every particular word that will be further dissected and scrutinized together with their friends over a late-night supper.

So, it was that sort of night, when politics became personal and spoke with a human voice. So it did not really matter what the applause was directed to: it was enough just to feel the simultaneous explosion of energy from the audience. Because, in the word of one party chairman, the night was no less than ‘invigorating’.

_____

The night was the result of the prodigious effort of Andrew Loh, the co-founder and outgoing Chief Editor of TOC. Having conveyed his intention to leave, this was his last parting hurrah. Mustering the help of an impressive array of friends, volunteers, and contacts, this swansong had to be big: ‘The Political Event of the Year.’ And he would not be disappointed.

So, for three hours on a Thursday evening, a grand ballroom in a quiet hotel tucked away in Balestier Road played host to history. The audience itself boasted among its ranks personalities of repute, from ex-detainees Michael Fernandez and Teo Soh Lung, women activists Braema Mathi and Dana Lam to human rights lawyer M Ravi and academic Cherian George. It read almost like a list of who’s who for civil society, but their accumulated cachet could not take the gloss away from the panel of speakers: five party secretary-generals, and one whose political trajectory appears as promising as his performance was that night.

It was an assembly of outliers; all hoping to make a dent into parliament, and all but one having yet to succeed. The personalities and political parties on stage could weave their own story akin to an awkward reunion dinner of family members long wrought with tensions, tiffs and guilt by association.

Dr Chee Soon Juan represented the Singapore Democratic Party, the vehicle that had catapulted Chiam See Tong into parliament in 1984. After a bitter estrangement with Chee and the party leadership, Chiam departed for the Singapore People’s Party, which he leads to this day.

Chia Ti Lik and Goh Meng Seng were meanwhile former comrades-in-arms who both contested under the Workers’ Party banner during the 2006 hustings, but their political fortunes are now being placed in separate baskets with both leading their own respective parties. Goh heads the National Solidarity Party, while Chia is the anchor of the newly-fledged Socialist Front – which he reveals is an appellative ‘tribute’ to the defunct Barisan Sosialis and its members who had been detained without trial in the dark days of Operation Coldstore.

The Workers’ Party had nominated Gerald Giam, the only non-secretary general, as its representative (it was decided by the party’s executive committee by ‘consensus’, says Giam of this opportunity), and although he is a relative newcomer, his party is a heavyweight in the political scene. The Workers’ Party was the former home of the esteemed lion of the opposition, the late JB Jeyaretnam, the man responsible for first breaking through the PAP’s post-independence electoral hegemony. His son, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, is now the secretary-general of the Reform Party, which was created by his father after being discharged from bankruptcy.

It was a night of convergence, when the fortunes of political parties and leaders intersect and their historical baggage of affinity is disquietly foregrounded. But even the most awkward of family reunions have their own moments of redemption.

_____

The task facing Choo Zheng Xi was daunting. Not only did he have to moderate against an eager room of 350, but he had to provide fair airtime to each political representative.

‘At the end of this evening, I will be the most unpopular person in the room,’ he quipped as he opened the forum. He was firm, rebuking a man for speaking out of turn, reminding him that ‘There are 350 people here, waiting to ask a question.’ (A member of the audience then helpfully added for the benefit of the disrupter: ‘This forum is not about you.’)

But his methods worked. By the end of the night, the room heard the political parties explicate their views, and witnessed how they directed their fire against a shared adversary while seeking to distinguish themselves from one another. It was a hesitant ballet, trying to jostle for space to shine without stepping on too many toes.

The night began tentatively, with the panel speakers singing a unanimous chorus about lowering housing prices. This led to a concern from the floor that the proposal may be unduly punitive to present homeowners. Their rudimentary agreement gave way to distinct policy plans: the SF admitted that high property prices ‘may have to remain’, but proposed for a new category of lower-priced HDB flats with a flexible lease. Other than arguing for new flats to be sold at cost-price however, the NSP maintained that HDB apartments should be seen as a ‘home, not an investment.’ Against the rhetoric of asset ownership and appreciation, Goh intoned that ‘you do not use your home as an investment; you use property as your investment.’

‘So whether you win money or you lose money, it doesn’t matter,’ said Goh.

_____

Similarly in matters of conscription, provisional consensus evolved into nuanced prescriptions. Against the request of a youth to abolish national service, the parties affirmed the statist discourse of security and vulnerability that would have made the PAP blush.

Chiam compensated for his frail voice by allowing his conviction to lead the charge. ‘You must have protection for yourself. … So if you have got property, you have got riches, but you must guard them,’ he said. To drive home his point, he invoked Stalin of Soviet Russia: without Stalin’s prioritization of defence, Russia would have fallen under Hitler’s westward march.

Against the solid concurrence of Chia and Giam, the NSP and RP issued qualifications to their support of national service. Goh denounced the practice of wasting precious military manpower for the National Day Parades, and suggested decreasing the term of service to 1 or 1.5 years. Not to be outdone, Jeyaretnam revealed that his party was looking into lessening the NS term to one year, with a possibility of a further reduction.

(The RP secretary-general may have been too keen with his words, since his official party manifesto states that they were only seeking ‘a reduction in NS to 18 months initially with aim to reduce it to one year as soon as feasible.’)

_____

Even consensus over the abolishment of the ISA frayed over when alternative counter-terrorism measures were broached. When Jeyaretnam suggested the use of limited detention periods, Goh took up his proposal, only to extend it to a maximum period of one year for investigations to be properly conducted and charges filed.

Again, over the course of the night, the answers revealed minutiae of policy differences, but partisan pride was a petty game for a small turf. The bigger field and even larger prize was entry into Parliament.

The general palliative offered was simple: vote the opposition in. HDB prices too high? Vote the opposition in, and we will communicate your concerns for you. The government is detached from or ignoring ground sentiments? Vote the opposition in, and we will articulate your interests for you.

As Jeyaretnam warned, ‘Don’t … grumble until the day before polling day, then go into the booth, and vote for the incumbent, and then come out for the next four years.’

But to his credit, Giam astutely recognized that reaching out to the audience was unnecessary: the opposition sympathiser would constitute the average profile of the attendees. He called upon them instead to talk to family and friends, and to leverage upon the trust that these bonds engender.

_____

There is much beyond the conversations that we could marvel at, such as the tableside manners of this awkward family reunion. The unified show of force is necessary and prudential, not unlike those posed family photographs that intimate a sense of normalcy.

Perhaps Chiam was the most remarkable of all, the de facto patriarch. The parliamentary veteran of 26 years may appear frail, and his voice is languid and almost dangerously soporific, but that belies the crispness of his mind and his lexical prowess – he was a master at the sardonic brief and sharp, to the constant amusement of the audience.

‘He says a lot of things,’ he said dismissively of the Prime Minister, whose promise of an inclusive society has yet to materialize for one husband who has been struggling to find support for his schizophrenic wife.

Of the media, he said that ‘the press is an important institution in Singapore, but it has to serve its purpose, not its masters.’

Trailing not far behind in wit was Kenneth Jeyaretnam, whose other notable quip was about libel legislation: ‘In fact, it is probably true to say that the Reform Party wouldn’t exist today without Singapore’s defamation laws. … So we perhaps we should thank Singapore’s defamation laws and our government for the gift of the Reform Party.’ For a recent entrant in politics, Jeyaretnam was relatively at ease during the forum, mostly relaxed with an occasional smile on his face and resting backward against his chair. Occasionally placing one leg on his knee, he would however engage the audience when he speaks by leaning forward, and articulating his words in a slow and steady fashion.

In stark contrast, Chee Soon Juan tends to appear awkward in his seat, with either his fist placed on his cheeks or a sombre introspective expression, looking down deep in thought. Chee however springs to life when he addresses questions, his words articulate and well chosen, with the steely conviction that rings behind every enunciation. His ability to deftly negotiate questions (and he was the only panellist who did not have to write anything down on paper) is a salient reminder that Chee is a dark horse, having had almost two decades of political experience to smoothen his skills.

_____

A latecomer to the forum would be struck by the fact of an empty seat beside Gerald Giam. The eighth seat remained unoccupied for the entire session, waiting for the hefty weight of incumbency that would not grace it that night.

Zheng Xi called it the ‘elephant in the room’. But sometimes, progress can’t wait for the elephant. Sometimes, the nation can’t wait for the elephant.

So what sort of night was it? It was the sort of night when you realize, to borrow Chee’s rousing last words, ‘the country is worth fighting for.’

Watch slideshow below for photos of the event

Read also-
 
  • Hades

    Kudos to TOC for organising this. However as this was the first time, there were a few problems with the format which could be addressed the next time TOC organises this.

    For a start, instead of jumping straight into questions, each candidate should be allowed to introduce him/herself and make a few opening remarks explaining his party manifesto or stand for about 3 minutes. The floor could then be opened to questions on the topics the moderator has selected.

    The current format of party-specific questions does not work. If a person wants to ask a question to a specific party member he/she can say so but otherwise yesterday even the party specific questions were not really party-specific.
    The moderator can then go through more broad topics and maybe fine tune it to ensure that there are more ‘broad categories’ of questions. Asking the audience straight of the bat to ask ‘socio-economic questions’ was too much of a leap for most of them, leading to some frustration.

    Hope to see more such events in the future.

  • Vote out the PAP

    To fight for Singapore is to fight the PAP. The PAP clowns have taken Singapore away from us.

    Win it back, vote out the PAP.

  • reservist_cpl

    Mr Chiam forgot that the Russians won because of the brutal Russian winter and not because of the superiority of their forces.

    So much for an argument in favour of NS.

  • Juliana

    Khairul, I feel that your caption for the article does not really capture the spirit of that nite. It should read more like “Face to face : a an awkward union brought about by a unified purpose.”

  • sgcynic

    Hmm, the ‘elephant in the room’ is white…

  • Jojo the parakeet

    The only thing awkward here is this article’s headline. I just wasted 15 minutes of my life reading this article without knowing what the speakers had to say at the forum. Bad, bad reporting.

  • Denial Tan

    3 big cheers for the oppos.

    Is there a complete report or video about the forum?

  • Denial Tan

    Happy to see Mr. Chiam and Chee to be back on a same forum again, even though they might still have some differences. Oppos need to have united front in order to trash the PAP. Gerald Giam seems to be the rising star in WP.

    I have a lot of respect for Mr. Chiam and his fighting spirit even in those days that I have voted for PAP 15 to 20 years ago. I might have voted for him back then if I had stayed in Potong Pasir.

  • Terry

    If the Germans only have to march through the bitter winter, they still would have conquered with no viable Russian defense. And the point wasn’t on superiority of the forces but the establishment of a national defense.

  • Ant

    I was reading the comments on Yahoo on this forum and i only hear songs of praises of the incumbent. Not many dissenters there. Is it by design or is Yahoo SEA is removing anti establishment comments?

  • cy

    glad to see wp exposing younger generation like Gerald giam to limelight and he did not disappoint.

    it was very cheeky of TOC to leave one seat empty a la liu xiaobo.

  • theonlinecitizen

    Jojo the parakeet

    You can read yesterday’s live update of the event here.
    http://theonlinecitizen.com/2010/12/toc-face-to-face-forum-live-update/#comments

    Khairul’s article was more of an observation of what happened, a companion piece to the live update report, and I think he did a great job.

    -joshc

  • market2garden

    ….reservist_cpl 17 December 2010
    Mr Chiam forgot that the Russians won because of the brutal Russian winter and not because of the superiority of their forces…..
    The main reason for Germany was unable to capture the Moscow – Hitler ordered Central Army Group to split into two, one attacks Caucasus, because of stretching the front line, the other half has to hold on the position for 7 days. And around the one-week-delay time, Hitler ordered the group as a whole to thrust the Moscow. And then it came the Winter Season.
    So reservist_cpl you must check your information before showing how clever you are.
    My nickname market2garden is not created for fun – Operation Market Garden in World War II

  • Pleomax

    I have to agree with Jojo. The headline really smacks of negativity.

  • http://Website(optional) Jackson Tan

    This is truly a remarkable event. Certainly a huge leap from last year’s 2009 event, which, in itself, was already impressive.

    The mere fact that the event can command a full house demonstrates the capability of TOC audience to transcend from the online world to the offline world, thereby indicating a level of maturity and prowess of the Internet media.

    A wholesome thanks from me, TOC, for creating such a kick-ass event.

  • disney on ice

    If they can smile after the election I will drop my pants on the Padang.

  • David

    I can see that the image of opposition is rising, in contrast the PAP is seen struggling to see how they could reverse damages in the shortest period of time prior to election. Fortunately, has learned a costly lesson for voting PAP in 2006, they will not fall into the same trap again.

  • saiber

    What I found rather interesting reading all this is that most opposition members agree on most things.

    And if that is the case, why do we have six different opposition parties? (not including USD, PKMS and SJP) Why don’t they pool their resources, campaign together and fight under a single banner just like the opposition parties in malaysia?

    Someone like Mr Chia Ti Lik has dipped his toes in YP, WP and SDP. Why the need for Socialist Front? Is it so that he can be the boss?

    I really hope they get their act together and not let egos get in the way.

  • popcorn

    Hm, those in white did not turn up.
    Maybe they look down on this gathering.

  • Felix Lim

    “without Stalin’s prioritization of defence, Russia would have fallen under Hitler’s westward march.”

    uh, russia is in the east of germany, not the west.

  • doctorwho

    Thank you TOC for getting people together to fight for a common good.

    May the oppositions stay united and when you are in power, please put in legalisation so that we don’t have another father and son combo. Citizen comes first, thats the 1st rule.

  • George Wong Chua Luck

    I am glad they din turn up.
    Those leaders present are simply very good speakers and debaters. Its kind of intimiating really.

  • TBS

    Kudos to TOC for organising this. However as this was the first time, there were a few problems with the format which could be addressed the next time TOC organises this.

    For a start, instead of jumping straight into questions, each candidate should be allowed to introduce him/herself and make a few opening remarks explaining his party manifesto or stand for about 3 minutes. The floor could then be opened to questions on the topics the moderator has selected.

    The current format of party-specific questions does not work. If a person wants to ask a question to a specific party member he/she can say so but otherwise yesterday even the party specific questions were not really party-specific.
    The moderator can then go through more broad topics and maybe fine tune it to ensure that there are more ‘broad categories’ of questions. Asking the audience straight of the bat to ask ’socio-economic questions’ was too much of a leap for most of them, leading to some frustration.

    Hope to see more such events in the future.

  • senior citizen

    It’s a good showing. It also shows that people are searching for a creditable alternative, and are willing to listen. It’s an awakening of sort.

  • charles2010

    Low so low and not turn up. That his style all these years.Have not given an interview to westen forein press. Why ask him ? PAP have made him rich so to pls PAP he stay away – excuses excuses sorry hougang you are taken for a ride.

    Ganga: Unapproved as unsubstantiated.

  • fed up citizen

    This time round the more Alternative Parties candidates
    will stand a very good chance of getting into parliament, coz many issues like the rising costs of public housing,large influx of foreigners creating ptoblem for us everywhere,escalating inflations remaind unresolve by the ruling party
    My guest is at leaast 10 more candidates will be elected to join CST and LTK CHEERS

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  • iamTHENEWreformasi

    Soo continued to serve in his official capacity as Young PAP Chairman of Punggol South and Chairman of Punggol Park Community Center Management Committee from 2009 to 2010.

    He was even awarded the “Public Service Medal” in August 2010 which made a mockery out of his conviction

    District Judge Lee Poh Choo noted that even if Soo was active in community service which was used in his mitigation, he must still face the consequences of his criminal acts.

    “He knew full well what he was doing and he was a serial offender,” she said.

    Even then, the PAP found fit to allow him to continue “serving” Punggol South constituency for two entire years.
    …………..
    aboved kopied N pasted from The Temasek Review

    December 15th, 2010
    ………….
    so mr all opposition parties…what are YOU all waitin for?
    this is the WEAKEST link/point to hit the PAP party who boosted NO wron doin/corruptions/cleanliness (wah dared to use the phrase actively doin the communty a service as though this dirty ole man got no rewards for bein active)

  • The Patriot

    1. I attended the Face-To-Face Political Forum. I came in late and therefore had to sit at the front row.
    2. No doubt, Online Citizen’s effort in organizing and hosting such a forum is definitely commendable. But I still think the Forum was mediocre at best and did not achieve the real objective of presenting the opposition parties as strong and credible opponents to the incumbent PAP in the eyes of the audience.
    3. I find the forum is just another typical PAP’s forum. It lacked of interactive debates between the floors and the opposition political leaders. Although the floors were allowed to ask questions but they had no opportunity to retaliate after hearing the opposition political leaders’ answers. So typical of PAP. We can ask question but they have the last say.
    4. Most of the audience also asked mundane questions like – especially what do you think about ISD and our PAP controlled media. The opposition leaders’ answers were just as mundane. All they could said was that the govt should abolish ISD and allow more freedom of speech without offering any strategy on how to engage the govt to do it.
    5. If that was what the opposition leaders can only offer, then I don’t need to listen to them. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can say that at the coffee shop. No wonder after half a century, ISD is not only very much alive but getting stronger and the prostituting media is getting more customers.
    6. As I was getting impatience of listening to the same tune, I purposely abruptly stood up to the audience to offer some more constructive ways of how to engage our govt to listen to us by saying that we should boycott reading or buying our state-controlled media if we think the media are just state’s propaganda organ. We shd also have civilized and non-violent protests against the govt on policies which we think are adversive to the country such as the ISD, mass import of FTs, expensive public housing, etc.
    7. One of the audience asked the stage about their view of the national service. Mr Chaim convictedly answered that national service is a must. He cited that if Stalin did not build a strong army, Hitler would have walked over Russia then.
    8. I stood up again to say that as a true patriot of Singapore I certainly believe in serving the army to protect the country. But Mr Chaim does not understand that Singapore Army may just be there to serve Hitler which in the end would serve to destroy its own country. If you know what I mean.
    9. Both time when I stood up, the moderator immediately tried to cut me off and therefore I did not have the time to elaborate myself.
    10. Online Citizen being the organizer may want to be seen as radical and generation X news media but from the way they host the forum, I think they are still very much the product of PAP. They can’t handle the truth.
    11. After the forum, the moderator told me that because of time constraint, he could not allow my way of interaction. Of course again, I really appreciate Online Citizen’s effort in organizing this event and I dare to say I had also donated quite generously to the cost of the event on the night.
    12. I did not tell Online Citizen directly that night. But what I want to say is that if you know that you do not have the time to stage an event to achieve you real objective then don’t do it. Or else, the event may turn out to do more harms, let alone achieving its objective.
    13. A Q&A political session forum would not help opposition parties’ leaders in presenting their real leadership, calibre and thoughts. It only portray them as dull, weak and lip-service political opponents. And is also not effective in expressing dissenting views against the incumbent ruling party. A true effective political forum shd allow the floors to engage the panelists in every which way as long as it is not abusive and violent.
    14. If there is time constraint, perhaps we can organize another one at the Speaker Corner.

  • *Light

    Unlike some other socio-political blog or the MSM, TOC has indeed distinguished itself as being unbiased and objective. Definitely TOC is serious about nation-building and putting singapore’s and singaporeans’ interest at heart. Something which other media lacks. Unfortunate that PAP didn’t approve of Zaqy’s participation. PAP leaders should learn from Zaqy’s willingness to engage in open debates.

    Once again well done TOC!

  • theforgottongeneration

    On Chiam’s remark about Stalin’s prioritization of defence; firstly, I think politicans are not good at history. So, we should cut them some leeway.

    Actual there was nothing “defensive” about the Red Army buildup. In fact, they had the largest tank force in the world at that time, outnumbering even the Germans by about 6 to 1. Bear in mind tank tactics weren’t matured then so having them were like expensive toys. The Russians were poised to march westward if the war had not come to them instead.

    But on NS, I think it is a good melting pot for the older Singaporeans. I fear the talk about reducing the NS duration will thus play into the hands of those eagerly flooding us with foreigners – the foreigners won’t do NS and to lessen the noise from Singaporeans, the garhem just float talks about reducing NS. I say to all Singaporeans – don’t be suckered, DEMAND instead that the foreigners do NS/reservist per Singaporeans, or pay a lumpsum, etc.

    To sideline into the Moscow case again. General Guderian in Panzer Leader stated:

    “..For the first time I heard him use the phrase: ‘My generals know nothing about the economic aspects of war.’ Hitler’s words all led up to this: he had given strict orders that the attack on Kiev was to be the immediate strategic object and all actions were to be carried out with that in mind. I here saw for the first time a spectacle with which I was later to become familiar: all those present nodded in agreement with every sentence that Hitler uttered, while I was left alone with my point of view.”….

    I quoted this cos’ it kinda reminds me of OTC – voicing out a professional concern only to be sacked like Guderian. Also, like the early successes of Germany during WW2, they were achieved by real professionals like Manstein, Guderian, etc. These are like the Old Guards of Singapore – success in our early history. As the baton passed to the newer leaders (or like cronies of Hitler), fortune turns to misfortune and ultimately the ruins of a country. Aren’t we seeing that in Singapore now?? When was the ‘fatal’ decision in Singapore short history – the stop-at-2 policy, the influx of 1.8m foreigners, the appointment of a golden boy, etc…?

  • theforgottongeneration

    @market2garden, 17 December 2010

    Sorry to dig you, but which part of Market-Garden are you referring to? Market was a success but the followup Garden flopped. Like S’pore, the old guard/PAP was good, the followup leaders were…. eh….well….

    (Ha, ha, ha)

  • They call him sia suay

    Last 2 elections the turnouts for opposition rallies all outshine . When votes were counted the result painted a different story.

    Point is, only a few hundred turned up. Never underestimate the disease called apathy. Many are still plagued by it. Admittedly this disease has been deep-seated and it takes extreme patience to cure them. So, it’s possible.

  • GAI CHAO HUAN DAI

    The Patriot 18 December 2010

    I was at the forum and did witness your very antagonized presentation of your views. It was loud and clear. However, it was not an appropriate occasion for your intention.

    The rules and format were spelt out right at the beginning and was also stated clearly on TOC’s site. Therefore, it was only fair that everyone adhere to it.

    I’m sure improvements can and will be made in future forums. I would suggest a specific topic for each forum in order to have an indepth Q&A interaction between the audience and the parties.

    The time constraint and the need to balance speech time for each party made this first forum most challenging for TOC. Lets be fair and encourage TOC to organise more of these forums along with our best support.

  • Talk rot

    To: The Patriot,

    So, when can we expect you to organise the Speakers Corner one and bring all the political parties together?

    TOC has done a tremendous job. And showed that anyone can do it.

    Can we look forward to the one you should organise?

  • Lynn

    @The Patriot
    I too was at the forum. Frankly, your behavior was beyond obnoxious. The organizers had made clear it was a Q&A session, not a soapbox for the disgruntled to just take the stand mouth off. I’m surprised they didn’t throw you out.

    Next time, have the courtesy to show up on time. And for heaven’s sake, observe the rules set by those who cared enough to put together the event.

    Oh, and if you can do better, go organize something yourself. That way, no one will tell you off for wasting other people’s time.

  • The Patriot

    To: Talk rot,

    Don’t be so sensitive.

    Does not mean that if I commented negatively on thing of somebody, I have to do the thing better than the person I have commented.

    Just like not all professors in politics can be a politician but they still have the rights to teach people about politics. Not all professors in business administration can be a businessman but they still teach people about business management.

  • The Patriot

    To: Talk rot,

    As far as it is for national interest, I always invite myself as VIP. What is the point of you people officially reserving the seats for your so-called VIPs and they obviously did not even bother to turn out or else the seats were have taken.

    I would not consider myself uncouth for such a behaviour in such a political event where I was asked to donate and I have donated generously. I would be uncouth if I demonstrate such a behaviour in private event.

  • Raj

    In my obeservation opposition should stand by their motto with their own banner no point all merge under one party as we have seen the damage a single party can do to singapore shall i say any further

  • The Patriot

    To: GAI CHAO HUAN DA

    I did commend Online Citizen for their effort. I am just offering my suggestions by demonstrating them physically.

  • eaglefly

    what did the event achieve ???
    that all can sit and talk, anyway low is a gone case and i don’t expect him to win hougang again, 8 blks of 2 -3 room flats enbloc, dissident votes are gone, voom in one broom.

    we all need to see further ACTIONS, less photo sessions…..what is the oppostion plans for coming erection, any convincing strategy, actions, motions, missions, to overthrow this present gov, going to the people on the streets, 51 seats is not good enough,,,,

    please sir….

  • theonlinecitizen

    Guys, please take note of our moderation policies

    http://theonlinecitizen.com/moderation/

    any comments that is unrelated to the article will be removed.

  • Lynn

    @The Patriot
    Let me then call a spade a spade – you were an incoherent windbag.

    And that is my constructive criticism. If you can’t take the heat, don’t mouth off at public forums.

    Ganga: Unapproved so as to avoid bickering, sorry.

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  • C K Tan

    The Patriot, a.k.a Chua, I was at the forum, and was irritated and disgusted by your behaviour. I felt sorry for people who wanted to ask questions but didn’t have time because you wasted precious minutes talking about your family heritage. Completely self absorbed lack of self awareness about how you looked to the other 349 people in the room.

    As for the panellists who said you had an interesting comment: please, they were humouring you. People in the room were shouting for you to shut up, did you hear someone shout “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU”? Maybe when TOC uploads the video footage you’ll see how disgusted people in the room were with you.

    Take that to heart: it’s really not about you, chua. Who do you think you are that people have to quietly sit there and hear you rant: that sure as hell wasn’t why I went to the forum.

    The substantive questions and discussions on HDB policy which were extensively reported on by mainstream and online media were very much more enlightening than the pain we were put through listening to you.

    No sense of common courtesy to wait your turn: would you like it if someone barged into your house and urinated on the carpet? Why restrict their right to freedom of expression, you would ask.

    From what you have freely elaborated of the extra you would have spouted, I’m pretty glad you were shut up.

    “But Mr Chaim does not understand that Singapore Army may just be there to serve Hitler which in the end would serve to destroy its own country. If you know what I mean.”

    No, I don’t understand what you mean.

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  • market2garden

    theforgottongeneration 18 December 2010
    …….
    Market was a success but the followup Garden flopped. Like S’pore, the old guard/PAP was good, the followup leaders were…. eh….well……..
    Your opinion sounds vaguely right but in actual fact precisely wrong.
    Logical fallacy.
    *****War
    War is the science of destruction (John Abbot) …. In actual fact, no winners.
    *****Politics
    “To be a chemist one needs to study chemistry; to be a lawyer or physician one must study law or medicine; to be a politician one need only to study one’s own interests.”- Max O’Rell ….. There’s at least a winner

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