Dr Chee Soon Juan, secretary general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), launched a new personal website yesterday. It collates all of his writings, speeches, interviews and videos of him covering his political career and his personal views on improving various aspects of Singapore life.
In his opening entry, entitled “A Politics Worthy of Our Nation,” he elaborates lucidly on his chequered political career, the challenges both he and his party, SDP, have faced and his thoughts on what lies ahead in Singapore’s political process.
Dr Chee, who hasn’t stood in general elections since 2001, said he is looking forward to the upcoming hustings after his 15 year absence.
“I’m excited about the prospect of getting into Parliament and raising issues that have long burdened Singaporeans,” he said.
He reminds readers of his past clashes with the PAP leaders, which he refers to as “tactics of character-assassination and mud-slinging”, the defamation suits he has faced by all three Prime Ministers which he has now overcome. He also observes that the “torch of verbal abuse” has been passed on to newer PAP leaders, quoting Minister Chan Chun Seng who called him “a political failure” when responding to his articles to foreign media namely CNN, The Wall Street Journal Asia and Huffington Post.
Unlike the foreign media, Dr Chee cites the way he has been treated by local mainstream media, largely as a tabloid caricature. He quotes Ms Irene Ng, which presumably is the current PAP MP in Tampines GRC (who was then a journalist), calling him “as fishy as the tuna fish sandwich” in her interview with him; and Melvin Singh (of The New Paper) who had suggested in his report that the SDP had conducted an illegal march in GE2011.
With the upcoming elections, Dr Chee says that he aims “to provide Singaporeans a clearer picture of how the state demolition machinery operates, especially when elections draw near.”
He emphasised that the PAP’s collaboration with the mainstream media is specifically intended to project “opposition candidates as dangerous elements and therefore unworthy of support”; and to “distract the electorate from focusing on PAP policies,” which Dr Chee says “voters are unhappy with.”
While that may be so, Dr Chee says that he intends to “fight back” and use social media to “focus on the problems that Singaporeans are concerned with” and feels that he will be able to give Singaporeans the opportunity to find reason to vote for the SDP. He also cautions opposition supporters to not engage in “verbal abuse” of PAP candidates or mainstream media journalists, as he feels that there are those in the ruling party who genuinely care about the country and journalists who are trying to report such events fairly.
Dr Chee concludes his piece observing Singapore as being “in a new era” of politics and he calls for Singaporeans to “leave behind the old politics ” as he has and look forward to the worthwhile pursuit of proper political practice and discourse.
Dr Chee’s new website is at http://www.cheesoonjuan.com