Thursday, 28 April 2011

The worst case scenario

Biggest news on Nomination Day, Low Thia Khiang pursues dream of a GRC victory, leaves Hougang to Yaw Shin Leong (WP) to defend. Now there is no anchor for the Opposition, no sure thing. Even Low admits as much in the article:
Apr 27, 2011

Stakes and risk very high for opposition: WP chief
By Chong Zi Liang , Kor Kian Beng

WORKERS' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang has said that the stakes and risk for the opposition in the May 7 election are 'very high' and Singapore may end up with no elected opposition MP.

Striking a stark warning, he told a packed press conference on Wednesday afternoon: 'This is a a watershed election. We may end up with no elected opposition MP.

'It was 30 years ago that JBJ became the first elected opposition in 1981. I hope we don't go back to those days without any opposition MP.'

Mr Low, 54, has moved out of Hougang single seat ward, where he was the incumbent MP for four terms since 1991, to contest the five-member Aljunied GRC, where the fiercest battle is expected to play out over the next eight days.

'I have contemplated this for a very long time. For the last 20 years since I was the MP, the opposition has not been progressing but has been regressing instead. Is this desirable for Singapore?' asked Mr Low.

The WP team will be squaring off the PAP's team led by Foreign Minister George Yeo.

Explaining why he has gone to the Aljunied GRC, he said: 'They (the voters) gave us strong support in 2006. I was more determined after the boundary report was out.

'Of course, the logical step is not to move out (of Hougang) because the stakes are high and the risk is very high.'

He said the party had been planning this move for the past three years but he became more determined to move out of Hougang for a GRC after the latest electoral boundary changes, which saw a part of the Aljunied GRC, where he said the WP enjoyed good support, being moved to the Ang Mo Kio GRC and the Pasir-Punggol GRC.

A part of the Marine Parade GRC - the Kaki Bukit area - is also now part of Aljunied GRC.

Said Mr Low: 'We could have waited for others to win a GRC but that is wishful thinking, based on how the PAP gerrymander at every election. We need to make a breakthrough in a GRC and teach them a lesson.'
With Low out of Hougang, there are no sure Opposition wins; no opposition stronghold.

The worst case scenario might come true, with no wins for the opposition!

Aljunied will be a hard fight and a hard choice. The Opposition has a chance, but they have telegraphed their punch and the PAP would not have been sleeping for the last 5 years. I am sure they have worked the ground to win the voters' hearts.

Potong Pasir is also highly at risk of returning to the PAP. For both Hougang and Potong Pasir, the voters may feel that their MP had abandoned them and that would allow them to abandon the opposition without guilt.

If Yaw can hold Hougang, it would mean that WP has established their brand. If he can't, then there is still a lot of work to do on the brand.

Bishan-Toa Payoh may be a close fight, but Chiam is the liability. Yes he has experience, but does he have the emotional engagement and history in B-TP? Mas Selamat is a non-issue for most Singaporeans.

If so, then the last two elected opposition MP may be gone by May 7.

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