9 hot days in September

9 hot days in September
PHOTO: AFP, The Straits Times, The New Paper

The last nine days of hustings have been filled with interesting moments.

5 Instagrammable moments

1) Dr Lily Neo, the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate for Jalan Besar GRC, said she had not seen her four-month-old granddaughter since Nomination Day on Sept 1.

So her son and daughter-in-law took the little bub to meet grandma, who carried her around on the campaign trail in the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward.

2) The term "Running Man" gained new meaning when Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin was spotted running from house to house during visits. He said this was his way of getting some exercise and it also helped him make the most of his time.

He even had a customised pair of red shoes which said "maju" and "lah", which means "onward" in Malay.

3) Sociology professor Daniel Goh, who is in the Workers' Party (WP) team in East Coast GRC, said he has been greeted with little acts of kindness while on the campaign trail. On Monday, for instance, a man bought coffee for the entire campaign team.

"And so many of you, young to elderly, man and woman, have come up to me to pat me on my shoulders, take a selfie and shake my hands, giving me strength through these little human touches that mean the blue sky to me," Dr Goh wrote on his Facebook page.

4) At its rally at Jurong East Stadium on Sunday night, the Singapore Democratic Party released a giant red ball into the crowd, who had a ball of a time passing it around. On it was the party's slogan: Your voice in Parliament.

5) Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong put up several pictures of himself visiting the residents of Joo Chiat on his Facebook page. Among them was former president S R Nathan.

4 memorable analogies

6) The Rooster

The PAP's ESM Goh compared the opposition to a rooster that claimed that its crowing made the sun rise.

In response, the WP's Yee Jenn Jong, who is standing against Mr Goh and his team in Marine Parade GRC, said the rooster was, in fact, telling Singaporeans to wake up.

Mr Goh hit back on Facebook with a post recounting a visit to the Botanic Gardens where a rooster would crow at him.

He wrote: "I thought it was greeting me. Then I realised that it was trying to wake the people up. I looked around. There were other Singaporeans walking, jogging, doing taiji, qigong and other exercises. They were long awake!"

7) Cruise ships

On Sunday, ESM Goh described the choice faced by Aljunied voters: "If you go with the PAP, you're embarking on a cruise ship with a definite destination, you know the path it will take, you know the captain, the crew members, you know the quality.

"These (opposition parties) are gambling ships, casinos. Very exciting. So you can take this ship, you can gamble but you go nowhere."

In response, WP chief Low Thia Khiang said on Monday: "I'm afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit. It used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer claimed that it's not sinkable. The name is Titanic."

Mr Goh replied on his Facebook page: "Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. The PAP cruised over 50 years under three captains. All on board are safe."

At a WP rally on Tuesday, Mr Low and his fellow party members, Mr Chen Show Mao and Mr Png Eng Huat, took turns using the cruise ship analogy in their attacks on the PAP.

The cruise ship was, in fact, a luxury ship the PAP leaders have been taking, losing touch with struggling Singaporeans, Mr Low said.

"The Singaporeans, on the other hand, have been taking the sampan. The PAP is detached from reality. They can't understand the Singaporeans' struggles on the sampan," he said.

8) Rats!

On Nomination Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described opposition MPs as being "mouse in the House" when Singaporeans had voted for a "tiger in the chamber".

At a WP rally the next night, Mr Low spoke about how the rat problem in Bukit Batok was efficiently solved because it was a PAP ward.

"If this had happened in WP, we will all die very badly. All of us must help look out. Don't allow them to put the mice in," he said.

Last Friday, WP chairman Sylvia Lim, referring to the PAP's party whip that compels MPs to vote along party lines in Parliament, said: "A PAP MP might think he is a lion in Parliament but when it comes to the vote, he is the mouse. A little white mouse!"

Other opposition candidates, including the Reform Party's (RP) Andy Zhu and Roy Ngerng, also mentioned rodents in their comments.

During the RP's first rally on Sept 3, Mr Zhu said its team was neither "suicide squad" nor "mice".

Mr Ngerng, who is standing in Ang Mo Kio GRC, wrote on Facebook the day before: "I wonder who is the one who has been quiet as a mouse about our CPF."

9) Unicorns

On Nomination Day, PM Lee also said that Singapore needs to be "a unicorn".

The election is about "looking at the direction for Singapore for the next 50 years", he said, noting that the country could continue to be a unicorn, a "miraculous animal" that is unique and successful in the world, or "become ordinary... just like everybody else".


This article was first published on September 10, 2015.
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