Reading between the lines

Posted: February 1, 2010 by fievel in Labels: , ,

When Mah Bow Tan contested against Mr. Chiam See Tong for the Potong Pasir GRC back in 1984, Lee Kuan Yew brought up each of their academic records for comparison; obviously, Mah had better grades and that was played as a card to his advantage in that election, albeit still not a good enough reason for the electorate of Potong Pasir GRC to choose him.

More than 20 years later, Chiam See Tong fended off PAP's new contestants who along with stellar academic track records, even had the added wings of $2 shark fins soup and abalone porridge and not to mention, PAP's dangled carrots of upgrading funds for the constituency if they voted for PAP.

Yesterday, Straits Times featured an interesting post headlined "Mah blasts opposition", [see link], in which his apparent key message to the Tampines electorate was more or less to the effect of " vote for who you think can do more for you ". The deft little play here, however, was that there was this big photo of him giving out free money to a needy woman grinning away in a crowded event with many onlookers.

That photo should be available in the link I posted above, but should it have been taken off, here is the screen print.

"Pork barrel politics" is a term many critics of PAP had used before to describe the style of many of our incumbent politicians. If you don't know the term and are simply too frigging lazy to wiki it, fret not, here's the wiki link to "pork barrel".

I don't know how you, the Tampines resident, feel about this, but personally, I find the message I read between the lines here to be rather distasteful, though familiar. It didn't work in Potong Pasir but hey, who knows, it might just work in Tampines!

P.S. I think "who can do more for you" is a silly benchmark in choosing your future MPs because currently, it is more of a case of "who truly wants to do more for you" that matters.


  1. I have to agree with you to a certain extent.

    As much as the PAP remain entrenched in it's position of power, it does not in anyway go to show that they should not remain in power.

    I do not see anyone who is academically qualified or showing the experience to helm the government. So unless we are ready for a shock therapy, it would be pretty detrimental.

    (hould you wish to let yr voice be heard, visit


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