Sunday, May 1, 2011

(Singapore Election) Straits Times resorts to using grassroots’ letters to “attack” oppositions

Author: Your Correspondent
May 1st, 2011

The state-controlled newspaper, The Straits Times, is now resorting to selectively publishing seemingly ordinary residents’ letters on its forum to “attack” oppositions’ policies, giving readers the impression that the oppositions do not have any support from the residents.
One such letter, written by a Ms Khartini Khalid was published on 30 Apr on ST Forum (‘She prefers her First World estate’). The letter was positioned as Aljunied voters’ “reaction” to WP’s main campaign point, “Towards a First World Parliament”:
She prefers her First World estate
THE Workers’ Party has made a First World Parliament as its main campaign point. But as a voter in Aljunied GRC, I fail to see why this would compel me or other residents in my ward to vote for WP.
There is a big disconnect between the reality of living in Aljunied GRC and wanting to pursue the lofty ideal of having a First World Parliament.
What does the WP have to offer me as an Aljunied resident?
Does it know about our problems and needs? What solutions does it propose to make Aljunied GRC a better place?
Over the years, I have seen results of the hard work of the People’s Action Party (PAP) team.
When vandals struck in a carpark in my estate, my MP, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, answered my complaint immediately and visited the carpark with the police the same day.
He is well-respected by residents of all races and is highly regarded in the Malay/Muslim community.
Many other efforts have been made to improve and beautify Aljunied GRC estates. The PAP team’s efforts are tangible and have turned it into a First World estate.
As the WP has not addressed constituency-related issues, I worry that my estate will drop to a Third World one if the WP wins.
One need only take a drive around Hougang to see the difference between the areas under the PAP and those run by the WP.
It is one thing to urge Singaporeans to vote for the opposition but it is another when one has to bear with the realities of the decision in years to come.
Until the WP addresses the real concerns of Aljunied GRC, I remain unconvinced about sacrificing my estate’s future for the WP’s ideal.

Khartini Khalid (Ms)
Her points are shallow with many holes and are easily refuted. This correspondent will leave it to the smart readers here to tear her arguments apart.
However, what’s interesting is Ms Khartini appears to be a PAP grassroots leader. A search on the Net revealed that she was invited to attend the Prime Minister’s Chinese New Year reception and after the reception, she wrote to PM Lee to praise the good governance of PAP. She was quoted by DPM Wong Kan Seng in one of his speeches [MHA's Link]. DPM Wong revealed that she is a grassroots leader and polytechnic lecturer:
COS 2008 Speech Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng, 28 February 2008

A Personal Story
39     Let me share with you the views from a young Singaporean, Ms Khartini Khalid, who wrote to the Prime Minister after she attended the Prime Minister’s Chinese New Year reception 10 days ago. Ms Khartini is a grassroots leader and polytechnic lecturer. She said and I quote:
“I was in the United States last summer on a State Dept-sponsored programme on citizen participation in America. I attended an anti-war rally near Capitol Hill and saw how vibrant the spirit of the people was, due to America’s freedom of speech provision in the constitution. I came back with a tinge of envy for societies with more “freedom” of expression. However, I got a reality check soon after when the Burmese uprising happened, and a few months later, the Hindraf protests.
It hit me then that the most important thing to a citizen is good governance, because without capable leaders, all the demonstrations and protests in the world would be meaningless.
While persuasive arguments by Singapore’s critics sometimes manage to seduce me, and while I continue to harbour hopes that the authorities will be less strict over certain matters, I realise that ultimately, I do not want Singapore to be like Burma, or Malaysia, or even the US.
Sir, it was by no choice of mine that I was born in Singapore. But it is a choice of mine now to stay and contribute to my country and to make a difference in whatever small way I can. I may not always agree with the government but I am proud to be Singaporean. I am happy that as a Malay Singaporean, I claim credit for whatever I do because of my effort and not because of my race. I am happy that I am not part of a system which discriminates, even if it were to bring ‘benefit’ to my race.”
40     I think most Singaporeans share Ms Khartini’s views too. Like her, they may not always agree with the Government. But like her, they value the good governance that Singapore enjoys. I believe that Singaporeans understand and support the fundamentals that have made Singapore what it is today.
We are not sure if Ms Khartini wrote the ST Forum letter on her own accord or was told by her PAP’s bosses to write it.
By Richard