Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Conversation: The Chee "Buy" Election

"So, the Chee By-election is on! Ho sei lah!"

"You just like to say, 'Chee By-Election', right?"

"Abuden! How many times do we get a chance to say this?"

"But don't think he can win, leh."

"You are wrong. He win already."

"Because it's a 'Chee By-election'?"

"Yes. But, spelt, B-U-Y."

"What do you mean?"

"In the last GE, based on his speeches, so many people buy his books to help him feed his family, and buy his children ice cream. So this is another chance for him to sell more books, for people to buy his books, so it's the 'Chee BUY election'!"

"How much can he make? Surely, this is just a side business for him?"

"How many people bought his books? 1000? 2000? 5000? Say each book sells for $20. agar-agar. If only 1000 people bought just 1 book each, that would be $20,000. You and I can make $20,000 in one night or not?"

"That is quite a bit of money... *IF* there were 1000 buyers of his books.

"That one, only he knows and he's not telling. Even if there were not 1000 people buying his book at Fullerton after his speech at the last GE, there were a few hundred. Say 500. That's still $10,000. And who's to say they only bought one book? And over several nights of campaigning, after Rallies, he can easily hit 1000 sales. Maybe even more."

"But he also spent years writing those books, so it's not like he just wrote the books in one night and sold 1000 to make $20,000 in one night, right? Have to be fair to him, lah!"

"I know that, lah! The point is that this is an opportunity for him to sell the books, and cash in. That he is in the buy-election means he has a chance to sell his books again. That's why I say he win already lor! If no election, no rallies, when can he sell his books? Where can he sell his books? Who will buy?"

"Because... this is his only source of income?"

"No one knows what job he do. He say he writes and gets some free lunch work."

"Free lance".

"Lance can eat, meh?"

"That just means he works on contract or project basis, not a permanent staff."

"Actually, he is a... a... merchant?. A 'free lancer' is a soldier for hire. His 'lance' does not belong to any country or army. So "free" to be hired. A 'freelancer' is a like a soldier for hire, a... merchant."

"You mean, 'mercenary'?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes! A Machinery! So the question is who hired this Machinery, this "freelancer"? There was a Zaobao interview some years back, before GE2011, where he says he got money from foreigners. This freelancer is the Machinery of foreigners!"

"That is quite... are you sure or not?"

"Suuuure! I read the interview myself. It was definitely before GE2011. So maybe early 2011, or maybe 2010."

"I mean, are you sure he is working for foreigners?"

"That, of course I dunno for sure lah! What I know is what I read in the papers many years ago. I think he siam the question the journalist asked. But it was clear he got money from foreign organisations. All these years, have you heard of him having a job? What is he working as? If I remember correctly, in the interview, he say he's a professor or something and he did research. But he siam the question as to what research he did."

"But you can't blame him what. He has to feed his family, raise his children. A job is a job."

"Ya. If you desperate, you will do anything, even maybe shameful things. And if he wins he will have a job lor!"

"Yes, he did say that he will be a full-time MP."

"Abuden? Like he got another job, meh? Some more I heard on the TV some time back he say if he elected, he will let residents elect their own town council leaders!"

"That's very smart!"

"I also say. Basically, he is saying, 'If I win this election, you will have MORE elections!' Siao. Like people so free meh?"

"It is also very smart. By letting the people elect the town council leaders, he passes the responsibility onto them. If the town council screw up, he can say, the people elected the wrong persons for the job."

"Exactly. All his talk about being transparent is just show only. When things go wrong and you want to find him, I am sure he will be 'transparent'."

"As in you can see right through him and not see him. Like he is invisible. Perfectly transparent."

"So you think he got chance?

"There is always a chance."

"I dunno. I think should have no chance, but this is Chee by-election, so could have a Chee by-election effect."

"I think it's just called the 'By-election effect'."

"I know. I just like to say 'Chee By-election'."

"But the PAP did get 70% overall in the last GE, and in Bukit Batok, they had a higher percentage."

"Sure will be lesser this time. But not likely for the voters to flip from 75% to less then 50% right? Although the MP is important, people vote for the party more than the person."

"Except that in the case of Chee, if people vote for him, they are voting for the person, for what they think he represents, rather than the party."

"So you think he can win, ah?"

"I think you are right. He already won. He has a chance to sell his books."

"No lah! The election. Do you think he will win."

"I think it would be good for Singapore if he wins."


"Yes. The people who are definitely against him tend to be the older ones who remembered what a bastard he was. But he has a new show, and there is the new media, social media, and he knows how to use it, and he knows how to play the game. He knows just what to say and how to say it, and he uses his children to great effect. And he has won over young supporters."

"So Bukit Batok has a lot of young people meh?"

"I think it's about 50-50. About half of the voters are below 40, and the other half over 40. Maybe slightly more than half over 40. In any case, a 75% vote in the last GE is not likely to flip by over 25 percentage points for the PAP to lose. But I kinda hope that PAP loses, and Chee gets elected."

"Dun tell me you are a young voter and believe in Chee?"

"No I don't. But there is no point having the old people tell the young people about Chee in the past. Firstly, if you didn't witness it, you somehow wonder if people might have twisted the facts to suit their narrative. So you will always have doubt as to whether it happened the way the old people tell it. Secondly, even if it is true, Chee is claiming that he has changed, and people, especially young people want to believe that because he tells a good story. So the only way for people to see him for who he really is, is to let him get elected, and walk the talk. The only way to know if he has really changed is to let him show his true self. Let the young voter know the Chee the older voters know."

"So Bukit Batok must be sacrificed for young people to learn? You very orh sim, ah!"

"The debate will keep going on. He will always be the 'what if', and that is always very seductive."

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