Mainstream media reports suggest an election may be around the corner. link The Straitjacket Times was granted an exclusive interview with an influential politician on condition of anonymity. SjT has also interviewed Singaporeans of all ages and sizes to gain an insight into Singapore’s unique brand of politics. Below is a transcript of the interview.
SjT: Minister, could you tell us why your party is deploying its candidates more than 2 years ahead of the election?
Min: We have learnt a costly lesson from the Punggol by election. We have also scrapped the ‘parachutist’ system which had worked well in the past before the intelligent electorate benefitted from our educational system. Since we have all the statutory boards and GROs at our disposal, advantages clearly lacking in opposition parties, we are investing these 2 years to ensure nothing goes wrong this time round.
Sjt: Why do your candidates need to be told to “listen and understand the demands of the people; build relationships with the residents; win..”? Aren’t they supposed to have known these things already?
Min: Let me be a bit blunt. The last parachutist MP wannabe was left to his own devices. He told the electorate he owned 2 cars when most of them had to hold 2 jobs and owned only 2 bicycles! The disastrous election result upset leadership and this led to a review and a new set of guidelines drafted by our Disaster Prevention Committee. The chairman of this committee is none other than a minister who experienced disaster when booted out of cabinet.
SjT: Many feel the MP aspirant was just being frank, unlike many cunning politicians whose words are calculated for maximum political mileage.
Min: He was also an idiot which he has admitted. link In the Hokkein dialect there is a saying “kiang choo ho, mai kay kiang”. He has high IQ but what he said….
SjT: If he was the ‘Son of Punggol’, why didn’t Punggolians vote for him? mrbrown Are you impressed with the opposition who fielded an enormously appealing ‘auntie’ figure and won? Word on the ground is your party may be fielding perhaps a ‘daughter of Sengkang’?
Min: At this early stage, we cannot reveal much but what I can tell you is we have credible and incredible candidates. We plan to surprise voters and they will soon witness our drastic party transformation.
SjT: During the last election, voters were not surprised but shocked that deeply unpopular candidates were fielded. link Honestly, Singaporeans do feel your party has been scraping the barrel.
Min: We can agree to disagree. Perhaps you are referring to the SMRT with its numerous ex military talents.
SjT: Your party members’ undying loyalty, usually for life, is amazing. Why?
Min: We are a caring party and create jobs for them eg mayor, new ministries, etc. A mayor’s previous remuneration was $725,300, reduced to $660,000 link after an unappreciative electorate KPKP. Pardon my language. Including their MP allowance of $192,000, that is close to a million! Everyone knows Singapore is a little red dot and there is really no need for mayors. But we do what is right, never mind what the people think.
As you know, we have also created new ministries. If we don’t create more leadership positions, our talents will leave.
SjT: Would you be referring to a PM potential?
Min: You see, even you know he has the potential! I am very impressed with his connection with the masses as shown by his fluent use of a word in dialect. The masses are even more impressed with his use of analogy such as XO chye tow kway Molly Meek which only he has tasted. He has also set the people thinking about another kway ie kuih lapis. link He helped save the government millions by transforming 18 layers of hurdles for the needy into 18 layers of assistance. Citizens are still arguing about this analogy and have little time to engage the government on important issues. Some have even forgotten there’s money in their CPF retirement accounts. Our party is indebted to members like him.
SjT: Do you think your party’s chances of winning are high because of total control of all state resources?
Min: Our control of resources allows us a huge margin for error. Although, admittedly, most of our candidates were out of touch with the ground, we still managed to win. A few wild cards which may be used:
1 Rules on CPF retirement funds could be tweaked to appease 1 million CPF members and reverted post election.
2 HDB could have a weekly lucky draw where there will be one winner of a 5 room HDB flat, home furnishing and appliances compliments of Courts and IKEA.
3 We can also tinker with the COE system to drastically improve the affordability of cars. Post election, we will be able to recoup all the losses.
You should know our reserves are at our disposal. We decide what is the right thing to do.
SjT: This is indeed a brilliant strategy. It seems your party has high chances of winning the next election. One final question – are there other strategies?
Min: From intelligence gathered by our Internet Brigade, we have identified a number of bloggers who have nothing good to say about our party. We now have too many Demoncratic copy cats and our courts will be overwhelmed if we take legal action against all of them.
Some prominent bloggers have become too ‘garang’ for our comfort and we intend to fix this. But not in the way you are thinking but a more cost effective way. After the successful implementation of our Cooling-Off Day in 2011, we are now considering a Cooling-Off Week for bloggers. Brilliant is really an understatement in our case.
SjT: Thank you for your time.
From our extensive interviews with Singaporeans, many believe an election is on the cards. Many informed us they have ceased paying for propaganda and turning to alternative news sites and social media which they find are more credible. We believe this will be the mother of all watershed elections.