general election: a reflective moment

before the heat of the election proper gets in the way, there is time for a little reflection. lky asked what would he do if he were in the opposition. his formula, go for a single ward, get elected, established your credibility, then get a few good men and go for a grc and later a few grcs. chiam seetong had walked that road, intentional or by accident. he had the opportunity to do exactly what lky said. it did not work out for one big reason, he did not have good men with him. there was this lingering doubt as to the quality of the people he had then. hypothetically, if he did have good and decent men with him then, would it make any difference? would the ruling party be in a more generous mood to accommodate these new upstarts? would the road would be full of obstacles that making further advances treacherous? we have seen many casualities along the way. would it make any difference if these were genuine and sincere men who wanted to offer themselves as leaders of the nation? there are many good men but unwilling to step forward for good reasons. no one who is thinking would want to fight an uphill battle, no matter how fair and hard they fought, when defeat meant total destruction of life in the country. when a defeat meant a ticket of no return. in today's road map, can lky's formula work? unlikely. no independent candidate can hope to fight a decent election and win. there are too few single wards available and a one on one contest with the ruling pap is impossible. every single ward will be contested by the existing opposition parties. an independent candidate will find himself in a 3 corner fight, further weakening his chances. unless of course, there is a real change in the thinking of the ruling party, to welcome good people to stand and compete with them on equal terms. is lky's message an invitation for more good people to step forward? the number of single wards available will be a sign of whether there is a real change in perception of things to come. my formula, get a clean slate of good men and go straight for a grc. the time has come when a group of good men can take a grc from the ruling party. provided of course there is no underhand tactics being employed. and what is good and decent is very subjective and would need the approval of the 3 wise men, in a similar way.


Elfred said...

What he said is true, Reddie. Only good people rallying at the other camp could make a difference.

Mr Chiam's critical mistake is going for the numbers first without realising that a political rise to power is a long and challenging route. The quality of men under SDP/SPP will be needed for future absorption of men and women of the right political mentality and attitude... which is, flock of the same feather come together.

Any party which necessarily would defeat PAP would need time to eminate quality even if the people are unhappy with the incumbent. Without the very good leaders, unhappiness alone is nothing. As I told you before... it's the possible rise of heros and heroines in oppositions that truly matters to MM.

How can Mr Chiam expects to match long term with bunch of ambitious politician-wannabes and not politicians-have-to-be? The reason why the rich and the Doctors are good catch amplifies his issue on political human resource.

What he, and any party, needs now are young but politically competent lieutenants for the course. There are many young and hot-blooded... but both young and political gifted are scarce.

Unless he can have anough leaders whom the public can sense the political superiority to replace the government, the tide won't come easily, and more good men and women won't just come.

Political leaders, Reddie, as I have told you have certain foresight. If Mr Chiam is able and ready to lead, good elements will come. But if SPP ends up a can of worms, he'd have to know how to search.

How did Mr Sun YS started in a feudal era selling totally strange ideas? The situation then was even more hostile, more destructive... The situation would come for Mr Sun, but it had to be Mr Sun himself to draw good people willing join his course, and win.

If Mr Chiam and people as yourself keep thinking it's fear and all those things... then you can go on lamenting. i hope Mr Chiam knows every leader's fortune lies with good followers, but so are the fortunes of good followers. They will never choose to be led into casualities. There is a synergy in this of great leadership he has to understand. So what SDP had expanded... What sort of people had he?

Does he think flooding with the likes as Eunice and Edmund Chen into SPP, and getting more professionals as Chia Ti Lik and richer elements as Goh MS will work... Those are the very tailsmans that drove good men and women away. :D

Good leaders will have good leaders. Good men and women ain't stupid. They observe and will rather stay sideline till a leader comes by. The people will need the leader as the leader needs them.

Reddie, understand now?

redbean said...

right elfred,

bees will gravitate to honey, houseflies to shit. this is only a natural tendency. very animal.

abao said...

quote by elfred:
Does he think flooding with the likes as Eunice and Edmund Chen into SPP, and getting more professionals as Chia Ti Lik and richer elements as Goh MS will work... Those are the very tailsmans that drove good men and women away. :D

er...what is the meanimg of this paragraph? why they are the talisman that drive good people away?

Elfred said...


物以类聚,真假相左,若是你,难道从政就是为名为利...治国能者其实同道中人。Of course they won't just jump into any cans regardless with worms or not. That's good people.

Not-so-good people, they go anywhere also can, as long as they can succeed.

But so what they succeed... As MM mentioned, what happened to SDP?

Besides, allgood people knows politics is not just one or two elections, and not just one or two seats.

If I put Durai for election, maybe you'd understand. Now, who would join Durai's party... or a party with Durai-s? That's plain suicide.

Election is only one thing about politics.

redbean said...

what i can add is that a leader will attract the same type of people around him. a scheming leader or unethical leader will attract all the bad people around him. a good and high moral leader will attract the good and morally correct people around him.

on the other hand, people with certain values will gravitate to leaders whom they think shares the same values.

Elfred said...

Which is why one would observe what sort of elements PM invites and what leaders have Mr Chiam made.

Nobody in the right mind would vote out a good entity. No good entity in the right mind will just get politically clueless in. No good men and women will join a can of worms.

Simple enough.

Just because some said they'd even vote for Donkeys would the people really want donkeys to represent them???

And democracy isn't something to get ignorant people to vote in politically ignorant to the parliament.

Elfred said...


Many academic fools thought alliance would be the striking key... but alliance of opposition only serves to enhance numbers in the better scenario.

But the danger of huge numbers of people who clot around without good people to assert the right political culture is just as if getting a lot of cholesterol to clot the heart...

Now you see the importance. It's always paramount not to just clot.

redbean said...


have you heard of the 30% who die die will vote agaist pap? these voters will go in, close their eyes and cross anything else.

political alliance, as a loose alliance to avoid a 3 corner fight is a basic step that opposition parties must adopt. with so many constituencies uncontested, why should they ended up in 3 corner fights.

they can allow help each other in logistics. other than that each party has its own objectives and values to work for. it is just expedient to do it during a ge.

Elfred said...

Actually I have posted a very similar post of this in YPforum years back. But it's not 30%, it's about 20~30%.

Use Chinese easier to explain...

Or you go to this site:


You should be able to understand certain things. Wanna win?

A strong party will certainly win, with or without alliance. A strong party which is strong in the core which will win allies only to lessen conflict and concentrate on winning.

Let's be honest... An alliance without enough strong elements is just a liveless clot of blood. When you are not ready to win, alliance can backfire in ways only political thinkers understand, instead of helping.

Politics is a very deep suject of wisdom, especially constructive politics, Reddie. I seriously doubt Mr Chiam has enough good lieutenants. As for WP...

But by merits of common sense, of cos weak oppositions should work toegther and cooperate. That's different from an alliance. There is no loose alliance in politics...

It's either alliance or no alliance.

redbean said...

i am not talking about the opposition winning. but at least there must be a coordinated strategy. you can't fight a ge at random or suka suka do this and that.

they have to find whatever little advantage they have and reduce the elements of chance as much as possible.

fight to win. what stands in their way now is a slate of good men. and an alliance or some agreement on the ground rules among themselves is useful. it helps, elfred.

Elfred said...

I don't call that an alliance. But if you insist, I can't demand such choice of intepretation. That's more of arrangement instead of an alliance.

Actually in WP's case, what they need now are really only 4 good men and/or women discounting Low for the discussion. Low is no good man but he owns/leads the party.

You see if every GRC is a team, every team must have a lead. 4 is more than enough for 4 GRCs. But here is one matter we have to note... it might sound racist, but people as Gomez should not 'officially' be leading a team for reality of local politics.

But here... you are quite right, as long as they lack the goodies, people will never see them as trustable replacement prospect to be. The issue is escalated as such that both Mr Chiam and Mr Low ain't perceived to be really political thinking enough to effect at least a MM's type government structure that even when the entire parliament sleeps, for instance, as long as MM still stays, anyone or anything can happen in the parliament.

This is the precise point why it is ever more important that both parties must eat the humble pie and search hard for political elements. As I said before, the game now is to put in effort searching, and no laziness is pardonable. Because the future ministerial calibre is snatched to SPP, SDP will lack one force and end up with one addition challenge and vice versa.

of cos, this all depend on the eye-sight of various hunters. If you hunt for the (eg) beauty queen, you weaken. That's the whole point of this game. A political party hunts for political element. There is simply no second way to it.

BTW... any party must fight to win. Which is why from the start till the end, it's just has to be the start till the end, and that's why political thinkers are often the most crucial. They are the backbone and the soul and the brains for a political party.

Only winners-to-be have the luxury to ally. Losers are absorbed.

At this time, WP and SPP are both really directionless (Which is the same as PAP, while SDP's direction is a gone case Democracy). A proper alliance could well backfire.

Just my view. :)

redbean said...


you are behind time. unless there is a change, all grcs are either 5 or 6 members.

contesting in one grc is a very lame effort for a political party. i could easily round up a team of 20 decent professionals.

it is very important that political parties should be able to bring in people into their fold to run. if they cannot get them, then there is no contest. you will not be taken seriously.

and that is the state of the opposition parties. they could not attract the people.

Elfred said...

Aiyo, read carefully. No matter it's 5~6 or 10~11 in one GRC, you only need one leader. The current scenario is WP mostly would aim for about 4 GRCs.

Reddie, BTW, has it not occur to you that if good people are simply about professionals, how many times more professionals have PAP got even in a decline as such? :D

Even if it's just Mdm Ho's Temesek, from the top ten floors alone, any professionals can be more and considered better.

You still don't understand good people... MM's only concern that the next sort of himself would come by a dozen into the other side of the camp and mature into great powers. And I'm not saying he is a lawyer or lawyers would be good elements... What MM is more bothered with are political elements.

He knew that only a political party can match PAP in a fight, not another power-monger Inc. Which is what Thaksin the Inc-man is showing you, Reddie. If the King suddenly suka suka open his mouth, Thaksin's finished.

The King can politically split Thaksin's supporter more efficiently than any entity. It's all by heaven's will.

WP is flushing with professionals now. Ain't Dr Chee a professional too? Ain't Mr JBJ a professional? Even Mr Chiam ST is a professional. Many of the grassroots don't understand politics, and they commonly thought the same as you do.

There would be a time, when all the factors will radiate together, good people will find their beacon together and shine together. It's really, as I said many times, situational. If this PM is good, he can also be a beacon. Even I myself can only deduce on such things to a certain extent, but the rest is up the heaven's will.

redbean said...

hey elfred,

dr chee is not with the wp lah.

there are some professionals in the opposition. but only a handful are equal to the second liners in the pap. and that is not good.

my rough ballpark figure of 20 that are equal or better than the second liners of the pap candidates will make a difference in an election. and it is not that difficult to find them. but somehow the opposition are not able to attract them. sylvia is so far the best catch.

Elfred said...

Never said Dr Chee is in WP.

Lemme ask you this, Reddie. ASSUMING Dr Chee is the first time appearing now in politics with Slyvia... Which one is the better catch in such definition of yours?

Say, you got a lecturer not in the poly but in a prestigeous University teaching a much sophisticated subject which is psychology. Now on the other hand, you got one teaching in some second rated poly on a dead subject: law. Now answer this question, which is the bigger catch.

Actually none of them are good catch if you observe carefully. Because none of them have the political ability in them. Only Mr Chiam would perceive such as good catch... which is partly why I keep a distance from SPP.

不知人必不善用人,非善者其伍非善,投之无益。Simple wisdom, ie. But detering enough.

You only need the first good leader. Then you have the 4 leaders of GRC teams. Then you'd have more... There is no need to be exactly having so many leaders. Which is why I'd suggest take a GRC on focus if there's a choice other than a single ward. You still need a leader. A good leader who can take a ward can lead against a GRC.

Which is why when I shall have my own lieutenants, by fate perhaps, I'd lead them against a GRC, perhaps without me in the fight for the first round depending on situation.

MM carried the past, I carry the future, which is the essence of politics.

As I have told you. In term of professionals, Reddie, PAP has many many many more. :D 100 you may have, PAP easily comes up with 1000. Understand...?

Elfred said...

Which essentially points how the difficulty to source for political leaders/elements.

There are many rich kids out there, and you got even 20s having many shops and such, coming out 1st in beauty contest cooking contest sales contest bla bla bla, and you have many of those yupping about politics in the YPforum even now but... there's an essence specifically so for political leaders/elements. Once I met it you can sense it.

And I am talking about such elements who'd be able to form government and be ministers of a nation. I don't know whether you understand. Just take it I mentioned.

redbean said...

between chee and sylvia, on first impression, say without knowing their past, i agree chee is a better catch. but since his first appearance, he had done all the wrong things. that shows his depth. within a few months in the scene chee had lost the battle and the war.

for a strong leader to emerge, it is not that common a thing. lky is an exception. he is different from the very word go. and many of us are looking for someone like him to appear. anyone lesser is not a leader.

you be surprised. leadership comes in various forms and style. hu jintao looks like a school teacher or a nice businessman. but he is the leader of 1.3 billion people. and he does not need to shout or raise his voice. he does not need to tell people that he is a leader.

Elfred said...

Yes yes, Reddie. Which is what I am trying to make you, and if I could, the entire politically apathetic Singapore, to know.

All I need from you is '...between chee and sylvia, on first impression, say without knowing their past, i agree chee is a better catch...'.

Which proves certain point and makes it obvious why I rather stick to Ong Teng Cheong instead of joining Mr Chiam ST already or even bother to knock on MM's door.

Reddie, this is a very important issue.

I am never surprised, Reddie. if there is a Liu Bei right now in my era, I'd be a minister already! No kidding, no matter how you'd thought lesser of me for your training and your 20years interest in politics. :D I am not mocking you, but it is plainly obvious.

There is nothing so special about MM, it's just that most are just too... layman to understand. Great minds think alike. You do what you have to do, even if it is to ally with Goh MS or the communists... and all those funny things.

Don't forget 时势出英雄, 英雄莫问出处。Anything more or less is not for others to determine.

Elfred said...

Why would I see Mr Khaw for such short time and I'd know he'd say something the way he said during NKF?

知人善用,不知则不知。If everyone can see the future and have the past of Dr Chee now, anyone would politically apt. See, Reddie? Everyone would be able to tell a Poly teacher is better than a Uni lecturer, now. You don't even need to study 4 years of politics. But I can tell you right now Sylvia is not an apt political element. Would you believe it?

So... what is good people?

redbean said...


i totally disagree with you. a librarian is a good politician and good strategist. a lawyer is also a good politician and a good strategist. and so is a farmer. liu pang was a farmer. lky was a lawyer. mao was a librarian.

you think a polytechnic graduate is less well off than a university graduate? ask sim wong hoo. and ask all the ceo's of electronic and computer peripheral mncs. most of them are poly grads.

Elfred said...

Wait... We were talking about Professionals and Good People.

You disagree on wrong topic liao.

So, by the way, of so many farmers, how would you know is the 'Good People'? :D