From ‘Tan Jee Say announces Singaporeans First party’, 25 May 2014, article in Today
Mr Tan Jee Say, former presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new political party, Singaporeans First, which pledges to put “Singaporeans at the heart of the nation“. At a press conference today (May 25), Mr Tan announced the formation of the party and unveiled his founding man team, which include ex-grassroot leaders, architects and former members of the Young PAP.
Of his team, eight have formerly worked in government agencies, seven are scholarship holders, and three are former PAP activists, Mr Tan said.
…Mr Tan said that Singaporeans First aims to be different from other political parties by focusing on specifics, such as the economy. “We also have the advantage of someone like me who knows a lot more about the economy,” he said.
The Singaporeans First logo looks familiar. Tan Jee Say himself used a heart logo during his 2011 presidential election campaign. He also wanted to be the ‘heart of the nation’. It’s obvious who in the party is the brainchild behind the logo.
Some have called it a ripoff of the Walls Ice cream logo. Maybe because like ice cream, the universal symbol of the heart is soft and mushy, and the party wants to swaddle you with hugs and kisses, unlike the ruling party’s harsh lightning bolt of Zeus. I think it’s more likely that it was inspired by the Care Bears. So much love. Incidentally, ‘Heart’ is also a key word of a blog that specialises in debunking the CPF, which should go right up Jee Say’s alley. That website is Heart Truths by none other than Roy Ngerng. Potential candidate, maybe?
Or perhaps it’s a smart choice designed with ingenuity and foresight. If this party ever runs for the next elections, you could even pull this off in your promotional material. Hey Jee Say, how about hiring me as campaign manager?
Here are some interesting facts about some of the more prolific members of Jee Say’s starting 11.
1. Retired colonel Tan Peng Ann wrote a book called ‘Create Your Rainbow’, and runs cafes with names like ‘WILD POT’.
2. Dr Ang Yong Guan is also a founding member of the ABC Runners, an interest group about, erm, running.
4. Architect and former URA scholar Winston Lim used to be from the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party).
5. Tan Jee Say was once trained by former DJ and now Public Speaking Coach Petrina Kow.
But what caught my attention was the party’s unusual name. A history of Singaporean party names will reveal that most convey a sense of commitment to action, unity or a political ideology, with words like ‘Labour’, ‘Solidarity’, ‘Democratic’, ‘Socialist’, ‘People’ and ‘Front’ making up the brand. ‘Singaporeans First’ sounds more a cute campaign tagline than a party . PM Lee himself launched a series of ‘Singaporeans First’ policies in 2011. The SDA (Singapore Democratic Alliance) used ‘Singaporeans First’ as a title for their 2011 Manifesto, while rival presidential elect Tan Cheng Bock used ‘Think Singaporeans First’ for his slogan.
There’s also an unrelated ‘Singaporeans First’ Facebook page that already exists, which means there will be some complications with setting up a party page. Unless you call it the ‘Singaporeans-First Party’ on FB, or SFP (Not to be confused with the Singapore Police Force). You also can’t abbreviate it as ‘SF’ and expect to be among the first search results in Google (because of ‘San Francisco”, or ‘Sci-Fi’). ‘Singaporeans First’ is like the ‘Happy’ song of political branding. Twee and overused, and something suspiciously ‘Gilbert Goh’ about it (who had a stint with NSP, by the way).
Anyway, here’s a rundown of the strangest party logos to ever grace our political landscape. Rather a Walls Ice Cream copycat than any of these, I suppose.
1)Singapore Congress’s LADDER. Not much is known about this party other than it was established in 1960 and dissolved 2 years later. It probably focused on career advancements, or building homes.
2) People’s Liberal Democratic Party’s SPACE SHUTTLE. If you view this clip of founder Ooi Boon Ewe singing a song about voting, you’ll realise that the far reaches of outer space is exactly where this party belongs.
3) Citizens’ Party. A goddamn STICKMAN. With them in charge, that is exactly what you’ll look like. Hungry and emaciated, with your head detached from what’s left of your body. Even the traffic light green man has a better life than this skeleton.
4) United Democratic Party’s brainteaser. How many triangles do you see in this figure? Also a bit too esoteric for its own good, like the symbol before a portal into a parallel ancient Egyptian universe, where you have to chant in an alien language in order to pass.