Come together, right now
I echo the words of many by saying “Well done!” to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Dr Chee Soon Juan.
I have great hopes for SDP in future elections, but as clear to all, the Punggol East by-election is simply not their time. Frankly, I was really worried that they will lose it (not the election, but their mind) again, which was why I urged Workers’ Party (WP) to quickly announce their candidate in my previous post to show SDP that WP won’t entertain any nonsense from them.
It doesn’t matter if this was SDP’s intention all along and if the past week was just one big show, this is a move that will win back a lot of credit with the people after the ridicule they had attracted. Neither does it matter if they are only pulling out because they knew they couldn’t win. Dr Chee is at least keeping to his word about the importance of opposition unity.
Pressure is now on the other parties to follow suit. It is mind-boggling why Desmond Lim of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) wants to run again, having lost his deposit in GE 2011. Even in a 3-corner fight if the remaining parties such as Reform Party decide to withdraw as well, SDA could risk winning even lesser votes than previously if those who had voted for them in 2011 switch allegiance because they perceive WP as having a really good chance this time of toppling PAP. Surely, it will be ‘win-win’ for SDA to pull out—by not losing $16,000 again and winning appreciation from those who called for a straight fight between PAP and WP.
As a side note, I have not written much on this by-election because there is already a flood of commentary on it and I don’t have much new to add. Elections have the power to arouse not just opposition parties but many a dormant political pundit as well, it seems. I have been amused by various theories floated around on why this party is doing this and that party is doing that, and prefer not to indulge in over-analysis myself. Besides, my imagination and acumen are never as good as some of those I’ve read.