The Online Citizen

Breaking news: TOC to contest Cheng San GRC

April 01
08:07 2011

The TOC Four (from left to right): Ravi Philemon, Siew Kum Hong, Leong Sze Hian and Joshua Chiang

Tong Se Saw/

Four men from socio-political kingmaker blog The Online Citizen (TOC) which also sells very cool looking Tshirts (here) will be contesting in defunct Group Representative Constituency (GRC) Cheng San as independent candidates.

They are: self-proclaimed Nuisance Member of Public (NMP) Leong Sze Hian, follically-challenged lawyer and ex-Nominated Member of Parliament (also NMP) Siew Kum Hong, activist and Bollywood fan Ravi Philemon and entrepreneur (he sells T-shirts for TOC here) TOC Chief Editor Joshua Chiang.

These are the same four men who had submitted their names to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in February this year when the blog was gazetted as a political organization.

The four men made the announcement to contest at a press conference held in their virtual office on Thursday night.

According to Mr Leong (who also published a book which you can purchase here), the fact Cheng San no longer exists (it was absorbed into Ang Mo Kio GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Aljunied GRC after a Workers’ party team led by opposition politician J B Jeyaretnam nearly won the GRC in the 1997 elections) should not prevent the team from contesting.

“Statistics have show that Electoral Boundaries can be easily redrawn, and we believe that we have the ability to redraw the boundaries anyway we chose,” he said, holding up a few marker pens. There were no transparencies in sight.

“With the availability of Facebook, we can always recreate Cheng San again online, create a virtual Cheng San community,” Mr Chiang chipped in. He also referred to popular blogs such as p65 as examples of vibrant online communities with diverse views: “Everyone there is so happy there that nobody is posting or discussing anything anymore.”

“No PAP candidate has contested in Cheng San since 1997,” added Mr Siew. “So it will most likely be a walkover – just the way we like it.”

When asked why they are standing as independents instead of joining or forming a political party, Mr Philemon answered that under TOC’s policy, no one in TOC is allowed to belong to a political party.

“I can’t speak for the rest,” Mr Siew added. “But I don’t think any opposition party wants me because I actually saw the inside of Parliament House without really trying.” Mr Siew was NMP from 2007 – 2009.

As a sign of diversity, the four will tackle different issues during this coming GE – the rising costs of living, things becoming more expensive, and people not being afford to buy the same things with the same salary.

With his eyes tearing, Mr Philemon described how as a child he wanted to go to Disneyland but his parents could only bring him to Haw Par Villa as they were middle-income earners, not rich folks.

“I don’t just understand how it feels like to be poor, but what the poor needs,” he said. “They need to be less poor.”

As for Mr Siew, he would be campaigning for the rights of follically challenged people to be able to use their Medisave for hair treatment.

“There are many causes to hair-loss, and they have very little to do with personal responsibility,” he said. “And putting kiwi (shoe polish, not New Zealanders) on your bald spot is unfeasible given our hot and wet climate.”

The negative results of baldness are plenty, he added. It could result in loss of self-esteem, which in turn results in low productivity in the workplace and in the bedroom.

“The hard truth is that we could become maids in our own country,” he cautioned.

Mr Leong, who is also the author of the book “Uniquely Singapore – from F1 to F9“, meanwhile, would give free lessons in statistics if he wins the elections.

“From a statistical perspective, the more people who know how to read statistics, the less likely they will believe the rosy picture painted by the ministries,” he said, also with tears in his eyes, for no apparent reason.

Mr Chiang, also tearing, said that with his strong foundations in economics – he took the subject in the first three months of Junior College – he had come up with the perfect solution to reduce poverty.

“The problem is how we define what ‘poor’ means in Singapore,” he said. “If you change the definition of a poor person down from one who can only afford three meals a day in a coffeeshop to one who can afford only ONE meal every three days, we would eliminate poverty in our country.”

As to how confident the four are of winning the GRC, Mr Leong observed expertly, “Every vote for us increases our chances of winning.”

Asked how the four will raise funds for their election deposit, Mr Chiang told reporters that TOC readers can make a donation by clicking on the ‘donate’ button at the end of each article in the TOC website.

He reveals that the four will also be appearing in a ‘Sports-Illustrated’-type calendar to be on sale to the public.

“We want our voters to know us intimately, and that we have absolutely nothing to hide,” he said.



The Online Citizen wishes everyone a Happy April Fool’s Day


  • Vote

    Don’t cry for me, TOC. I will vote you.

  • Dr Syed Alwi

    April Fool ! Good one guys !

    Dr Syed Alwi

  • Meng


  • Felix

    Haha this is really funny. Good job TOC!

  • PAP?

    Dear TOC:

    Don’t joke around, even though it is April Fools Day.

    You never know some grown men might be as hyper-sensitive and shy like primary school girls and get you gazetted again and again.

    Wait….can you be gazetted a second time?


    Folks, it’s not even funny. Seriously.

  • Panzer

    April’s Fool! :-)

    Entertaining article.


  • Born This Way

    Oh… I like it….pls force the “piss and piss ” members in and out” .

    1) see what is the dirty “JOBs” their did oversea!

    2)Make sure all the them can’t migrated oversea and must investmest locally , don’t let them run away !!!

  • lim

    lol. +1.

    The team got my vote.

  • Born This Way

    all ” Piss And Piss” members will get their pay-back soon !!!

  • Ah Gal

    I’m not voting for TOC. So male chauvinistic, no female candidates.

    At least give me a kawai bimbotic 27-yo girl to connect with the female voters…

  • Loser

    Face it, Chengsan will never be back…Unless the commission is an independent body and again that will NEVER happen. If they can contest in the vicinity, they will definitely get my vote.

  • Quittor

    After being informed about TOC’s team declaration in contesting the Cheng San GRC, PM Lee hastily summoned the EBRC to withdraw the boundaries and added Cheng San to the electoral map, making it 91 constituencies.

    The PAP proudly declare they will walk-all-over the slip-shod TOC team. MM Lee threatened to hatchet them off the political arena.

    The team PAP will put to contest, after a very intense scrutiny and selection process is:

    Janil Puthucheary
    Tin Pei Ling
    Foo Mee Har

  • Agents Provocateur

    If the team should find themselves exiled by ornery bureaucrats, I hear the weather in San Serriffe is very fine at this time of the year.

  • Singaporean

    Yawn! Happy April Fool day anyway…

  • Peppercrab

    Well done guys, but if ever u guys stand for GE, you get my vote…. Seriously

  • raju

    yes a very good April Fool

  • deb

    Lol, this sounds like The Noose.

  • Steve

    what a pity you are not really competing! ;) You could definitely win!!!!

  • Kirsten

    @Ah Gal: No worries! I am here! But I wasn’t chosen this time because I am still practising some of my media replies to questions about my biggest regrets.

  • Anthony

    Hi guys, while u are at it, can u redraw Holland Village to be in Toa Payoh? See I heartlanndeer, cannot afford to go there. So Holland V will have to come to me!!

  • Magi


  • Quittor follower


    You forgot to add the following statement:

    The 4th PM will come from this batch. ROLF

  • Robox


    I wish this hadn’t been a joke. Just based on your writings, and Kum Hong’s performance in Parliament – although I wish he had more bite – you could be a formidable team.

    AMK perhaps, or Sembawang?

  • sgcynic

    LOL, let the PAP send the MM, PM, DPM, SM against the four from TOC. I will vote the former out! Jia liao bee…

  • popcorn

    Is not a joke, isn’t it?
    If it’s true, then hurray. PM Lee paid so much attention on this site, shows his fears and insecurity of you people.
    So, Jia You, Jia You.

  • Dee

    I fully support Mr Philemon’s stance that poor needs to be..well, less poor. Nevermind the vagueness of that statement, you get my vote!

  • georgia tong

    This article makes my day. It is so hilarious. Thanks.

    But on serious note, it will be great if these men really contest as independent candidates. We trust them more than any of those MIW

  • mice is nice

    luckily i wasn’t sipping my cuppa coffee when reading this article, i certainly would have choked!!


  • K Das

    1st of April date and jokes aside, can the four put their foot where their mouth is and really contest, as joint independents, choosing a GRC around or bordering the original Cheng San GRC? Does the GRC contesting rules allow for this, I wonder? My assessment is that it is unlikely that they would beat the PAP team but what could be certain is that they will probably come on top as the top-most scoring of all losers (for the whole of Singapore, provided the PAP does not lose a GRC or single seat ward) for the NCMP seats eclipsing the WP, SDP and the rest.

    You can contribute immensely in Parliament and for advancing the common interests of Singaporeans. A word of caution: See how undeservingly and unfairly the PAP’s young candidate, Ms Tin Pei Ling, is vilified on the internet. If you have jinks in your armour, please don’t try. The PAP will sink you. What is good for the goose is good for the gander too.

  • April Fool

    April Fool Joke.

  • so nyuh shi dae


  • Devagi

    The foursome are the formidable candidates for any GRC and better than the present GRC candidates. I have no doubt they can win hand down as they have many supporters who are voters. Give it your best shot, albeit written for April Fool day.

  • Peter Sellers

    You have my vote.

    Don’t forget AMK, Pasir Ris-Punggol and Marine Parade!

  • Peter Sellers

    P S How about teaming up with Maruah, Singaporeans for Democracy and all the others that have been declared “political parties” and taking up K Das’s suggestion above? You could produce some “dream teams” :)

  • Richard Wong

    I had an enjoyable time reading this article. So when can I attend the rally @ Cheng Shan …. be it virtual.

  • Ah seng

    Hahaha…great writing. I love the double entendres..!! See how many we can spot!

  • postthetruth

    this is just sooooo dammmnnnnn good!


    “With his eyes tearing, Mr Philemon described how as a child he wanted to go to Disneyland but his parents could only bring him to Haw Par Villa as they were middle-income earners, not rich folks.

    “I don’t just understand how it feels like to be poor, but what the poor needs,” he said. “They need to be less poor.”

  • David

    It truly cast sarcastic tone on PAP new faces. Initially I was so thrilled that Singapore finally see some hope with the fantastic 4 to our rescue. Anyway, the voters decided eventually and I hope they will be so much smarter than 2006.

  • yahooyahoo

    u guys should stand for election

  • April’s Fool


  • too bad

    too bad- it’s a joke.. would have vote for you

  • Born This Way

    Some might argue that the Green Party’s success in Sunday state elections was the direct result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

  • Born This Way

    …Give the rulling party a ” GREEN ” Card as how green party won in the germany state election…….

  • jonlatio

    “With his eyes tearing, Mr Philemon described how as a child he wanted to go to Disneyland but his parents could only bring him to Haw Par Villa as they were middle-income earners, not rich folks.”

    But Mr Ravi, you are already in the Disneyland with the death penalty..

  • Tom

    I just saw this

    “SINGAPORE (CBSBN) – The Singaporean authorities have announced a ban on April fool’s jokes in the media.

    In a memorandum circulated to television broadcasting stations, radio stations, and newspaper publications by the Media Development Authority (MDA), the authorities warned media outlets against running fake stories for the purposes of entertainment.”

  • Zander

    Tsk! From the way that this new party is expressing itself, I can tell that it is doomed to ultimately form a failed and talentless government. I bet if this party wins elections, their reign will be plagued by failures such as sky-rocketing housing prices,badly formed policies on immigration and population management and ultimately the development of an ignorant and hypoctical class of elites that are uable to identify with daft lesser mortals (aka the general populace). Surely, such a horrid, third-rate government cannot/ should not exist in this day and age.

    Oh wait…


  • AJ

    If this F4 (Fantastic Four) contest, they’ll hv to raise $44K ($11K each right?) & risk the loss. I think its not fair on them as its big amnt for each.

    Here’s a proposal:
    Each supporter or voter who says s/he will vote for F4, pledges $x (worked out from $44k divided by 51% voters in constituency) . So, when sufficient money is pledged or raised, F4 is also guaranteed to win & supporters can also take back $x.

    Pls tear me down if this idea is stupid.

  • JJ

    Love the cool pics – no stupid Colgate grins for once! Mr Leong is drop dead cool, minus the glasses & he can be our Special Agent Leong.

  • AJ

    What I like about them & the pics is, they all hv their own individuality. With the “Whites”, the’re all more of the same.

  • shanti

    Dear Fab4, many poor residents in Tanjong Pagar GRC still awaiting for decent honest alternative parties to contest. Please help us to get out of poverty.

  • happyaprilfools

    “There were no transparencies in sight.”

    nicely done. can i buy the calendar for $6m?

  • ahkong

    What a waste of talents. There are two GRC waiting for you 4 to contest. They are Tg Pagar and Marine Parade.

  • sg lee


  • Robox

    @AJ, I don’t think that your idea is a stupid one. However, to reduce the amount of administrative work that be involved, I would propose a modification to your idea – it’s actually something that I had previously proposed in line with changing at least some aspects of Singapore’s political culture.

    This was my suggestion: If the candidates – real, and not virtual ones – can afford the deposit, they could go ahead and fund their own candidatures. If they earn 12.5% of the vote, which I am confident they can, their deposits will be refunded to them personally. (We save on admin work in this case.) If, in the unexpected event that they lose their deposits, then opposition supporters could contribute to a fund to help them defray the deposit that they lost. (Applies to opposition party members as well.)

    The objective is to not discourage candidates from contesting elections because of the fear that one might lose his or her deposit, a hefty amount by design.

    But back to the article, I think that a virtual campaign for Cheng San GRC might be fun thing to do, and it could be an opportunity to make a serious political point as well. It just shouldn’t distract too much from the real campaigns – a balancing act would be recommended.

  • iamBIGCHEFeatinbull

    K Das 1 April 2011
    1st of April date and jokes aside, can the four put their foot where their mouth is and really contest, as joint independents, choosing a GRC around or bordering the original Cheng San GRC? Does the GRC contesting rules allow for this, I wonder? My assessment is that it is unlikely that they would beat the PAP team
    ere you go again a bloomin idiot injun..
    if you were to led an attack on the yankee calvary…the whole injun nation would be WIPED out within 2 hours…
    go backtrack to the previous grand finale of cheng san when the present prime minister were than only a deputy..
    the peanut minister had to guranteed his head in chengsan (when cheng san is not even part of marine parade)
    you bloomin stupid injun…still takin your kids on a 10pm ride in the new york subway? buyin a subway hotdogs perhaps?

  • Collin

    A very funny & interesting post lah! May i suggest a party name – For the names, Ravi + Siew Kum Hong + Leong Sze Hian + Joshua Chiang, take out the 4 1st alphabets = RSLJ = Revitalized Singaporeans Lighting Jungle!;) Have fun guys……!

  • AJ replying to Robox


    Thanks, glad to hear yr view.

    1. Admin – Tot its easy with online payment.

    2. Deposit – Gd to know it will be returned with 12.5% votes. Still, the risk is there.

    3. Yr idea – Can see similarity but mine is based on ‘pre-booking’concept. So, if people put money on the table, they mean business, they’re committed. Very gd to use it now bcos u hear people saying they’ll vote for their dogs.

    4. Deposit refund – Instead of returning to voters (admin), one alternative is to invest the money or simply have a dinner party!

    The virtual campaign is definitely brilliant idea, am quite impressed by such creativity.

  • Francis

    Thanks for a great laugh. You guys should be script writing for a comedy show.

  • Ben10

    Can you guys do Singapore a favour and go stand as INDEPENDENTs in AMK GRC?
    Just pay election deposits and do nothing and see whats the result?

    I totally believe you will garner enough votes to get back your money and send an alarm to government. A shock win is possible, these guys have outstanding profiles!!!

    Go test water lah, dont do this meaningless thing. Singapore is in need of people to fight for citizens’ rights.

  • Kaomangai

    Thanks for a great article.

    Those tears that you saw in the Fantastic Four must have been virtual ones since the interview was virtual.

    Good One!

  • Political Poet

    This is actually quite funny and a light hearted look at what most Sporeans are quite concerned about, particularly now. Well done boys.
    I had a chance to recently see MM Lee’s interview with the ST panel for his “Hard Truths” book. One thing that struck me was his belief that it was up to a govt to determine who are “dud” candidates or “clever” candidates. He failed to see that that is the whole point of democracy. The people vote for who they think is good and will not vote for someone who is perceived to be a dud – why does it fall to the ruling party to clean out duds from parliament or even before they enter parliament by non democratic methods? ST panel failed to ask the MM the “hard questions”. Should have got you guys to ask the questions but then again MM Lee is to afraid to talk to anyone that he cannot intimidate.

  • eaglefly

    hey, its not fair, you have forgotten me, the public enemy number one,,,,

    how can ???

  • TanjongPagarSlavesGrade4

    How about launching a heart attack in Tanjong Pagar GRC?

  • BA

    Don’t forget the WKS “toilet-break” guy (Seriously, what good has he done in these decades of service?!) and the V.Bala for gross incompetence. Please Please Please!

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    Here is a health care search engine… , if you want you can submit your content to include in the search engine.


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