Many people see Hougang as a great opportunity to get into Parliament. Tan Jee Say was quoted in the media as a potential candidate. There were also suggestions that Ong Ye Kung could be given a chance to find his place in Parliament. George Yeo was also mentioned as a come back kid.
The speculation is getting wilder. Most see it as a chance to sneak into Parliament. Can’t blame them, everyone who aspires to be an MP would not want to miss a by election or any election. It is like the line of hopefuls queuing up for the Toto tickets. What is there to lose as long as there is a wink of hope.
So, would Hougang be turned into a free for all show for opportunists, the die hards, the gamblers, the desperadoes, the party’s gambits or would sanity and strategic interests still the nerves of all the aspirants?
The most sensible statement to emerge so far is from the SDP. They are opting out to prevent a multi corner fight that will weaken the position of the opposition. Their stand is to keep Hougang away from the PAP. It is a very selfless and admirable decision that is good for the opposition parties. Would others bite and do the same? Would there be some cranks that will step forward to throw a spanner into the works?
Hougang is a carefully nurtured constituency of Low Thia Khiang and the WP. Would the opposition parties show some deference to him and the WP to avoid a fracas, a riot? Anyway, the people of Hougang are strongly behind the WP and Low and any attempt to mess it up will not only reflect very badly on the adventurer and worst, would even fall flat and shuffle out in the most ungraceful manner. Any opportunists attempting to enter the fray could do more damage to their own standing and reflected badly on themselves.
What about Desmond Choo? Does anyone care about the feelings of Desmond Choo for fighting so hard in the last election? Would he be dumped to make way for another bigger chip? Or would the PAP think the ground is sweet to put in a bigger chip into the contest?
There will be a by election in Hougang soon. With only a few months into a new term, not having a by election is deprivation of the Hougang people of an MP for almost a full term is intolerable and unacceptable. If Hsien Loong would to decide not to have a by election, it will only show that he has a weak hand of cards. It will show that the PAP is afraid to take on the WP. The PAP cannot afford to display weaknesses and would want to prove how confident it is to win back Hougang, and now the door is opened again.
When will be the by election?