Channel News Asia (CNA) reported on 16 Dec that PAP activists in opposition wards are gearing up for the coming general election.
In the article, CNA said that 52-year-old Victor Lye was chosen to lead PAP activists at Bedok Reservoir-Punggol ward in WP-controlled Aljunied GRC. Mr Lye has apparently been working the ground there for the past 5 years.
Trying to defend the loss of Aljunied GRC to the opposition, Mr Lye said, “You must remember Aljunied was not just the result for Aljunied – it was a result for the entire PAP and it was a national outcome.”
“Otherwise how do you explain very good, committed politicians and ministers not getting enough votes? So we must remember what Aljunied means – communication. I was really crying out for what Aljunied was expressing,” he added.
He said that communication is key to winning back the Aljunied residents’ trust.
“The electorate is changing. We call it the ‘teenager effect’. You can’t speak to our children the same way we spoke to them when they were three or seven. When they are 12 or 14, the same message has to be delivered differently.”
However, some netizens took offence with Mr Lye equating the electorate to “teenagers”.
The Alternative View said [Link]:
Victor Lye, the Chairman of PAP’s branch at Bedok Reservoir-Punggol, thinks we, the electorate, are like children. Do you feel insulted yet?
According to CNA, Mr Lye actually took time out from his full-time job for one-and-a-half years to focus on his “grassroots work”, a euphemism for political campaigning.
He is said to have visited over 120 blocks in his ward. He wants to cover them twice over by the time the next elections come round, he said.
He also runs his own Meet-The-Residents sessions twice a month, targeting the core group of PAP supporters as well as new voters and the more challenging group of swing voters.
Mr Lye believes winning back Aljunied is not impossible.
He said, “I have faith that people will be able to look beyond the smoke and the fog, and look at why we still do what we do. If indeed we cannot win and it’s tough, why am I still here?”
Mr Lye may be there but strangely, the previous grassroots adviser and PAP branch chairman in Aljunied GRC, Ong Ye Kung, isn’t with Mr Lye anymore. He has left for Sembawang GRC, seen as a “safer” GRC, this year.
“We have had more new members since the GE and I am heartened because these are young people who say we can make a difference, and we would rather step into Aljunied than anywhere else that is currently anchored by other PAP MPs,” Mr Lye boldly said.
On leave for 1.5 years to do “grassroots work”
Mr Lye is the Chief Executive of Shenton Insurance Pte Ltd [Link].
He must be a very lucky CEO to be given 1.5 years leave by his company, so as to enable him to “focus on his grassroots work”.
According to information from ACRA, Shenton Insurance is owned by Parkway Holdings. In other words, it is a subsidiary of Parkway Holdings:
In fact, Shenton Insurance is part of the Parkway Shenton Business Group – offering corporate clients a total healthcare solution, including professional medical care, financial services and information management services [Link].
There are 6 directors on the Board of Shenton Insurance, including Mr Lye:
- Dr Tan See Leng
- Ng Seng Leong
- Dr Lim Suet Wun
- Alan John Wilson
- Goh Jin Hian
Dr Tan See Leng is actually also the Group CEO and Managing Director of Parkway Holdings (currently also known as Parkway Pantai). In other words, Dr Tan is Mr Lye’s boss.
- Member of MOH’s Steering Committee for Primary Healthcare
- Executive committee member for the National Healthcare Group Cluster’s University Cancer Program
- Member of MOH’s MediShield Life Review Committee
- Chairman on the Board of Trustees College of Family Physicians Singapore (CFPS)
- Council member of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council
- SMU Advisory Board Member
If Mr Lye were to be an opposition member, would he have been given 1.5 years leave to do “grassroots work” by Shenton Insurance too?
What do you think?
This article was first published in TREmertius.com