As the general election draws near, failed PAP candidate Desmond Choo at the Hougang constituency has suddenly been seen making the rounds at the Tampines GRC.
In his Facebook posting last week, Mr Choo made mention of Tampines several times.
“Visited our residents from Blk 260 last night. Very glad to know that many of them were in good festive spirits. Most of them were residents of Tampines for more than 20yrs and their children continued to stay in Tampines after their marriage,” he said.
“When asked why, it was simply, “We love Tampines”.
One wonders though why he did not continue to stay in Hougang after the last general election, or why the PAP decided to move him out.
In fact, Desmond Choo had ran his campaign in the by-election in Hougang on being ‘Always Here for You’.
But it looks like Mr Choo has decided to stop being there for the Hougang residents and have decided to turn heart towards Tampines.
Will ‘We love Tampines’ be his new slogan?
More importantly, will the Tampines residents buy into his sudden entrance?
On his Facebook, he also said, “We have gotten a lot of good feedback to improve the neighborhood. We need to continue to work hard to ensure that this will be the case for many years to come.”
Just yesterday, Mr Choo also visited the markets to try to win more votes.
Once again, he spoke about how long the residents have been in Tampines.
“Many of the shopkeepers had been around since 1985.
“Their continued vibrance had continued to attract patrons from even outside Tampines. Was reminded by them frequently that the Merchant Association and Town Council relationship is the foundation of their livelihood.
“Seems like we have a strong bedrock in place,” he said.
Looks like Mr Choo’s strategy is to emphasise on the residents’ stay at Tampines in the hope that by latching onto their presence that this can help him get voted into parliament.
Will the Tampines residents let it happen?
Mr Choo had failed in make inroads in Worker’s Party-stronghold at the Hougang constituency and has been shifted to Tampines.
Tampines GRC is currently headed by ex-minister Mah Bow Tan who is widely unpopular, after his harshly-criticised housing policies. Mr Khaw Boon Wan, who took over him as National Development Minister, has also been criticised, especially for his remarks on how Singaporean households who earn only $1,000 are able to buy HDB flats.
Mr Choo, who was given the moniker, “auntie’s killer”, is not the only candidate who is parachuted into the Tampines GRC. At the last general election, Mr Baey Yam Keng who was previously at the Tanjong Pagar GRC, was also sent in, in a bid to help win the Tampines GRC.
But Tampines GRC only won 57.2 percent of the votes at the last general election and Mr Choo’s move looks to be an attempt to stave off the possibility of the PAP losing the GRC at the next general election.
At the Hougang by-election in 2012, Mr Choo had asked Hougang residents not to vote for the Worker’s Party as it will be four more years of “the same thing”.
Thankfully, the Hougang residents did not listen to PAP’s Choo.
Looks like his leaving is an acknowledgment of the Hougang’s residents wanting more of “the same thing” with the Worker’s Party.
“And if I may say, four years of the same thing is four years too long,” Mr Choo had also said.
It does look like his patience and commitment to his Hougang residents was worn quite thin.
And four years is indeed “too long” for him. He has decided to jump ship to the Tampines GRC. Only time will tell if Mr Choo finds four years “too long” with the Tampines GRC.
Mr Choo’s wife, Pamela, was known to be working at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). They got married after two months after the 2011 General Election.
Desmond Choo was the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) deputy director of industrial relations and the National Transport Workers’ Union’s (NTWU) deputy executive secretary.
MOM and NTUC has refused to implement a minimum wage to protect workers in Singapore and have instead worked in cahoots with the government and businesses to cause the wages of Singaporeans to depress instead.