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Response to Tharman’s speech on 5 May

By Robin Chee - This comment was first published on facebook thead but unable to be published earlier due to cooling day regulation.

Watched the PAP election rally on 5 May and found Deputy Prime Minister Tharman’s speech very interesting. I had to re-watch it a few times and convince myself that this is indeed a man holding the position of DPM in Singapore.

Murali rejected an award for community service before and didn’t post how many blocks he had covered during the campaign

Well, isn’t this pretty similar to the accusation of saying you won’t do something but asking your party members to do it for you? It’s ok I will showcase myself as a person who doesn’t like credit but the public will still know what I have done as my party members would do the praising and marketing for me. Therefore, I am better than another party who is perpetually boasting about their achievements on social media.

What does Mr. Tharman have to say about MPs from People's Action Party (PAP) or members who have accepted awards and showcased how many blocks they have covered or how they are so dedicated that they posted numerous photos of them in track shoes and sprinting from one block to another on Facebook? Are they less humble and thus less deserving of your vote than Murali?

Vote for Murali so that you can be a part of the “Jurong Family”

Isn’t this tying votes to financial carrots again? Is this the approach that the party wants to continue to take? Is this the kind of politics you enjoy?

If the Jurong carrot will always be tied to any contest in Bukit Batok and if the Toa Payoh carrot will always be tied to Potong Pasir, then why give the impression that you are trying to make the elections more competitive and more fair to the opposition by carving out Single Seat Wards when, ultimately, you are still using the PROXIMITY-TO-GRC carrot to contest an SMC? Speaking of which, if Murali were to win, wouldn’t the whole point of GRCs be redundant then as the main purpose of having them would be effectively debunked?

Policies are not about research papers but about politics

So what is Mr. Tharman trying to say? That policy papers with proper research and stats to uncover what residents like or dislike would not be considered when they are formulating policies?

Dr Chee Soon Juan is sprouting rubbish when he says that 800 million dollars from CPF have gone missing

Yes, good to squash his claims but wouldn’t it be better to finish him and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) off once and for all by explaining why the interest in Ordinary Account is so low? That’s the reason why many people are unhappy about, with some comparing it to Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) where the interest is close to 4%. Now is the perfect chance to capitalize on SDP’s supposed mistake, why didn’t you address this basic question?

Not true that we never create jobs or only created 100 jobs

Yes but once again, show us the statistics for underemployment and not unemployment! The SDP will surely counter by saying oh these jobs are only paying very little and only in certain industries and many highly educated workers are still underpaid. So why not release the underemployment statistics during the rally?

Oh and when you are doing so, kindly explain why the Law Ministry increased the number of places in universities for law undergraduates to counter the shortage of lawyers in 2009 and then announced just 5 years later that, oops, there was a glut of lawyers and they need to reduce the number of law students who can sit for the Bar Exams. What’s the point of saying you can create jobs when you can’t even get the basic supply/demand right for a period of just 5 years??

France's healthcare system is good but you must pay for it by using 20% of your monthly salary

Where on earth did you get the info from? You admonished Dr Chee for not reading stats properly but you didn’t even provide the stats yourself!! The 2001 Social Security Funding Act (SSFA) in France sets the rates for health insurance to be 5.25% on earned income and 3.95% on benefits. So how did you get 20%?

Social trust is so low now and we should develop consensus and not advocate divisive politics

Any Sociological reasons why social trust is low? Perhaps due to government policies which caused the lack of trust in modern cosmopolitan cities? How to work with you and develop consensus when you didn’t even bother to reply an email I wrote to you about the poor attitude of one of your ministers? How to build consensus and discuss actively with PAP when they don’t even care about how their own members are behaving?

Murali will serve you well because you are not part of his political journey

Indirect attack on Chee Soon Juan. But excuse me, are you saying that you can’t pave your own political journey and serve the residents well too? Is it mutually exclusive? Maybe for your party since you guys can’t multi-task.

Look at the track record

Yes, 2 affairs in a couple of years. Great track record in selecting candidates I agree.

Implied SDP disappeared from Holland-Bukit Timah after last General Election (Chan Chun Sing’s point)

Any evidence? What did Murali do in Aljunied after 11 September elections? Did the SDP do the same in Holland? If not, find evidence and debunk. Don’t just rant.