Here are quick summaries from the by-election rallies on May 20, 2012 (Sunday), May 22, 2012 (Tuesday) and May 24, 2012 (Thursday). I felt that the rallies were largely inconsequential, because most Hougang residents would have had their minds set already; nonetheless, it is interesting to briefly review what has been said by the representatives and politicians. Please note that these perspectives were penned spontaneously after the rallies, and I am in no way affiliated to either party.
May 20, 2012 (Sunday) – People’s Action Party (here)
- Mr. Peh Chin Hua and Miss Denise Phua were terrible orators. I felt the former made unfair accusations against Mr. Low Thia Khiang, which were unfounded and unnecessary.
- Mr. Desmond Choo was corny and trying too hard. What he says now might come back to haunt him in the future (remember Mr. Eric Low).
- Mr. Teo Chee Hean was tremendous (4 languages / dialects, no less). Hit all the right notes, attacked the WP constructively, and was easily the best speaker of the night (no real surprise though).
May 22, 2012 (Tuesday) – Workers’ Party (here)
- Rain and wipeout. The speakers did a good job of refuting the PAP criticisms. The PAP should realise that it cannot get away with lambasting the WP for not providing upgrades and infrastructural renovation. Miss Denise Phua and Mr. Peh Chin Hua (seriously…) deserved every minute of those speeches.
- Miss Sylvia Lim and Mr. Pritam Singh were great. The former was on point, on target. Made the Hougang CCC members (I hope they’re not Mr. Desmond Choo’s supporters at the moment) look like a bunch of selfish stooges.
- With the Town Council settled and things in general order, the WP must start making policy recommendations to up their game in Parliament. Doing well in rallies per se will not be good enough for the next four to five years.
May 24, 2012 (Thursday) – People’s Action Party and Workers’ Party (here)
- WP clearly sticking to its populist strategy of criticising government policies. With no recommendations or solutions, unfortunately.
- Mr. Desmond Choo’s speech in a nutshell: “I have served you. I am serving you. I will serve you”. His key phrases: “family”, “service”, “humble”, “stayed on”, “ah-mah”. And his tears after his speech??? Damn corny la.
- At least the PAP made little to no reference to YSL or NCMPgate (unless I missed them). WP and Mr. Low Thia Khiang had to spend a lot of time defending their contributions to Hougang despite limitations. Miss Sylvia Lim spent a lot of time defending Mr. Png Eng Huat too.
- Mr. Png Eng Huat has improved rhetorically, but I am not really convinced. Not confident he will be a good parliamentarian should he be elected. But, we’ll see.