By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the Insight feature article “What makes for good politics?” and the article “Political satire used to be better”(Straits Times, Jul 20).
The former states that “the larger and more important battle is not that between political parties but the fight to keep politics above narrow, vested interests.
The ultimate goal must be to maintain support for the kind of politics that ensures sustainable benefits for Singaporeans across the board” (Well said, hear! hear! great remarks by the journalist Rachel Chang!).
The latter article states that “A recent dispute between the PAP and the Workers’ Party over the cleaning of two hawkers centres produced not only a 22-page dossier of the events, but also videos and cartoons parodying the ministers involved. Some in the public lapped it up, while others said it was in bad taste.”
The above kind of kindled my 60 years old curiosity. So, I googled “What makes a good political cartoon?“.
The first search result I obtained at the top was “How to Make a Political Cartoon: 10 Steps (With pictures) – wikiHow“.
So, after writing thousands of articles in the last 10 plus years, here’s my debut “write but not really write – cartoons only”! (I got 5 marks out of 100 for Art in Secondary 1 in Raffles Institution – I will never forget my Arts teacher who unknowingly perhaps taught me the best lesson of my life – It’s al”right” to fail – because nobody passes all the time and someone fails in every test!)
Actually, I am eternally grateful to the renowned cartoonist extraordinaire Leslie Chew with whom I had the honour and pleasure to have tea with recently. It was at that casual meeting that sparked the first thought in my mind – maybe I can try to make cartoons too!
Criticism and feedback are welcome and would be greatly appreciated – for my first foray into the unknown.
Finally, although they say “A picture is worth a thousand words” – I would like to end with what I feel no picture can portray – the following words (quote):
“Yes, I am a member of the PAP. As a member, I see my role as helping out in the community and attending to residents’ needs, as a volunteer. I also run an electronics shop next to the 511 market.” (He is not a hawker?)
This comes a week after it emerged online that Mr Ng Kok Khim, honorary adviser and former chairman of the Block 538 Hawkers’ Association, is a PAP member, as well as a member of the Citizens’ Consultative Committee for Kaki Bukit division.
Mr Oh is also People’s Association (PA) area sub-committee chairman for Kaki Bukit.
It is in that capacity that he got involved in the hawker dispute, he said.
“I am the Area Subcommittee chairman under PA for the area. It is a volunteer role, to help out with the needs of merchants in the area.
“That was why I became the initial point of contact. (Initial point of contact or Chairman of Hawkers’ Association which does not exist?) But the arrangement was not ideal as I am not a hawker. So a group of hawkers took over the correspondence. I believe their intention is to establish a Hawker Association to handle such matters in future.” (The 22-page dossier presented in Parliament said “(Item) 7. Emails between Block 511 Hawkers’ Association, NEA and AHPETC” – but the Blk 511 Hawkers’ Association has not been formed yet?) (“Hawker representative in cleaning dispute says he is a PAP member”, Straits Times, Jul 17).
In retrospect, Zuraldah Ibrahim, Deputy Editor of the Straits Times article “Gloves off in PAP-WP punch-ups” (Sunday Times , Jul 21) could not have said it any better – “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself stepped into the fray, urging WP chief Low Thia Khiang not to leave unresolved the “grave doubts” over the integrity of the two MPs, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Pritam Singh.
He spelt out how he would have conducted matters if they had been his own troops, they would be investigated and if they were indeed found to be dishonest, they would have to resign, he said.”