NSP is No Substance Party

From ‘SM Goh: I can’t get feel of young voters’, 3 May 2011, article by Hetty Musfirah, Today online

…Speaking at a walkabout in MacPherson this morning, he (SM Goh) says he is unable to get a feel of what they think….”The thinking of the younger ones, they are not at home even during house-to-house visits, which I have done. In Marine Parade, most of them are not at home. So for them, their thinking I’m not too sure. That group they are open, they assess the candidates and their policies before they decide, and they probably will decide at the last minute.”

“Don’t talk about national issues, just talk about the estate. So, for Marine Parade, on 8 May, who is going to attend to the problem of the old folks, the livelihood issues, the jobs and so on. you see…The young think it is not their problem, it is government’s problem. That is wrong. It is their problem because it is their parents.”

…On a question about the good online support the NSP has been receiving, Mr Goh says he is not that too concerned as all the support is for one person. Some netizens have described the NSP as the “Nicole Seah Party”.  But Mr Goh said: “My sense is that it is a “No Substance Party”.

“They have just one attraction, the rest are just being carried along. So, am I worried? If the people in Marine Parade GRC vote for that team and I’m out, I think Singapore will be in deep trouble, as simple as that.”

Really, SM Goh, if you’re so buoyantly confident of winning, how about trying some gentlemanly sportsmanship without the need to run down your opponents and damning Marine Paraders for voting unwisely for a change? Whether or not the Opposition in your ward is experienced in the field, the least that they deserve, as Singaporeans with the passion to serve, is some decent respect, especially coming from someone of your stature. Respect for contesting a ward most parties would refrain from encroaching knowing that you’ve got your talons firmly gripped on this stronghold.  You could smugly laugh about the lack of ‘substance’ and credibility of your foes in the confines of your home and make corny jokes about NSP acronyms all you want, but to complain so bitterly about how the spotlight is almost entirely on the upstart star that is Nicole Seah, overshadowing your chosen champion for the young people Tin Pei Ling,  comes across as nothing short of petty jealousy. The kind of jealousy and spite an aging beauty queen would harbour against her younger, prettier counterparts who are barely starting to sashay and already gunning for her throne. And not just that, she goes on to scare the judges of the contest by telling how waist-deep in trouble they are if they don’t give her a good score. Not Smart, Princess.

There’s also a very simple reason why the ‘young ones’ are always not at home while you’re busy making your rounds,  which applies to all canvassing MPs and explains why we never meet, and that is we’re working our butts off  5 days a week, sometimes 6, to pay off our HDB loans, bills, taxes, groceries (all of which the Government has a hand in) and are just too tired to be entertaining ministers on our off days, even those upon whom the entire fate of the country clings onto.  Which goes to show how really out of touch SM is with our generation, that he needs to accessorise his team with someone who, in his questionable opinion, best represents the rebellious demographic he can’t seem to get a grasp of.  Did setting up the MParader Facebook page bring any sort of connection at all? Did you ruin any chances of swaying us to your cause by sabotaging your very own youth ambassador in some totally incongruous tongue in cheek spur of the moment? Didn’t being the Assistant Secretary General of the PAP Youth Wing (Chok Tong to young: Join youth wing, 19 May 1986, ST) in the eighties help at all? I dunno, maybe you should try B-boy rapping, or cosplay, joining Standard Chartered marathons, anything that we young people would rather do in our free time than bitch about other political parties or complain about why no young people answer doors when we knock on workdays.

As for old folks being the young ones’ problem, do we detect a sense of shirking responsibility here? Children can only do so much to keep their elderly parents alive, but surely isn’t the infrastructure supporting an aging population primarily a government problem? Hospital fees, medication costs, wheelchair-friendly ramps? Just because neglecting our elderly sends us plunging down 18 levels of Hell doesn’t mean you can rely on such fear of retribution to avoid going all out to help them tide through the golden years right? How about those elderly without children, has our SM forgotten about them in his pressing preoccupation with mocking political party acronyms? Puzzling really, this coming from a former Prime Minister, that it’s OUR problem that the elderly are not taken care of, that if we rise up the proper channels to question government policies we’re called NO SUBSTANCE, and we’re DAMNED if we vote the wrong party in.


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