20 May 2012, 11.43AM
Political pundits, laymen, netizens, almost everyone, all spell doom for the PAP candidate. I support no particular Party. What bothers me is the lack of diversity of views. This does not augur well for a free-thinking society. I decide not to follow the crowd but free my thoughts, look at things from different perspectives, make my own analysis and arrive at my own conclusion. To my own surprise, I find good reasons to believe the the PAP candidate Desmond Choo actually stands a good chance of winning.
The political landscape has changed for the better. There are now five MPs from the WP. You can scream “Five is not enough!”. True. But must that one more come from Hougang? It had provided one for the last 20+ years. The most recent one, YSL, was elected with much fanfare but it turned out to be a much ado about nothing.
For the saga of YSL, disappointment is an understatement. The voters of Hougang bore a deep sense of betrayal by the WP. Over the 20+ years, they believed in the WP and had sacrificed so much for the sake of democracy in Singapore. As result, their constituency is one of the least developed. In the last election, they were made to believe that YSL would be a capable candidate who would be their voice, and one more voice of the WP, in Parliament. It turned out that before he could utter a word on their behalf, he was booted out by none other than his own Party. I doubt many people in Hougang believed that the WP did not know about his flings before the election. The people of Hougang are not daft.
Desmond Choo has been walking the grounds of Hougang and warming to the residents there for the past 5+ years. Png Eng Huat just walk in from the cold. Desmond Choo has connected well with the people of Hougang, attending to their problems and needs. They can see that he soldiers on even after the defeat in the last election. What has Mr. Png done for Hougang? Will he still be around if he loses the by-election? The contrast in past records between the two candidates is big. This can make a big difference to the vote count. Potong Pasir is a good example. Seetoh continued to walk the ground and connect with the people despite two defeats in past elections. When the SPP chose a housewife who could hardly hold a conversation on public TV to compete with him, the contrast was just too great. The choice became clearer to the voters and Seetoh won.
Besides the contrast in past records, its the difference in personality between the two candidates. I do not want to repeat what others have said. Personally, I find that Desmond Choo exudes warmth and is a good communicator. Mr. Png, to me, seems like someone more destined for the backroom, doing the thinking work, dealing with planning and strategy.
Based on the above analysis, a swing of 15% or more votes to the PAP is not a miracle. Desmond Choo stands a good chance of winning. I predict a victory for him within a margin of not more than 5%.