The General Elections 2011 also saw some interesting fights elsewhere in Singapore. Among those include the SDP’s “A-Team” of Dr. Vincent Wijieysingha and Tan Jee Say, among others, contesting against Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan’s team in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. The only 3-cornered fight in the General Elections was also watched to see if opposition votes might be split in Punggol-East SMC, where PAP’s Michael Palmer debuted in a single-seat ward against WP’s Lee Li Lian and SDA’s Desmond Lim.
Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan’s PAP team won with 60.1% of the votes against SDP’s 39.9%.
Talking Point: The SDP hammered home the point of wasteful expenditure for the recent YOG, where the games’s total end cost tripled the initial estimated budget. The event for some was highly orchestrated with very little Singapore participation — save for school children who were given free tickets and forced to attend the YOG games to make up for the lack in numbers in the audience. The PAP team, led by Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, was held to be accountable for this wasteful expenditure particularly as Dr. Balakrishnan was the head of the organizing committee for the games. The SDP “A-team” was also made up of individuals with very impressive resumes, among those former Principal Private Secretary to then PM Goh Chok Tong, Tan Jee Say, and former SAF doctor and psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan.
The Holland-Bukit Timah constituency threatened to explode into a confrontational dog-fight — typical of PAP vs SDP electoral battles — when days before the nomination day a highly grainy video of an apparent gay-and-lesbian forum was uploaded by an anonymous YouTube user, JohnTan8888, who had only created his account the previous day before the video was released on the internet. Dr. Vincent Wijeysingha was allegedly one of the participants of the forum, resulting in accusations of him harboring a ‘gay-agenda’ behind his running for political office. SDP quickly moved to categorically state that no ‘gay-agenda’ is being or will be pursued by the party should they become elected. Some have pointed out that, if the allegations were true, it would mark the first time in Singapore’s election history that religious values might possibly come into play in deciding electoral votes, rather than pure political or socio-economic factors.
Result: The result came as somewhat of a mild shock for some. The SDP had aggressively used the internet medium as part of the party’s branding and to send most of its political messages across. This not only enabled them to connect with younger, tech-savvy voters but also give the party a very important tool in marketing itself, particularly as the mainstream media has been unkind at best at portraying the party. SDP became a very clean cut, well-organized, calm and rational political party as a result of utilizing the internet medium very well — some say that the party had used technology to their advantage the best this General Elections. Old stereotypes of the party as an irrational and confrontational entity gradually got wiped away as its politicians continually engaged netizens on Facebook, mailing lists and their party website backed by constant uploading of fresh new videos to add a very important personal touch.
Pages: 1 2