Mah Bow Tan's views on voting, losing...

Mah Bow Tan's views on voting, losing...

Critics savaged former National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan during the last General Election (GE).

But author Vicky Han, 52, said of the MP from Tampines GRC: "He's very personable. People usually think that it's difficult to interact with prominent personalities but Mr Mah had no airs."

Ms Han spent two months interviewing Mr Mah for the book "The World is More Difficult Because of You".

Here are some excerpts from Mr Mah's interview:

1 VOTING AT THE GE

"Voting's not like going to the pasar (Malay for wet market), where you can exchange or throw away an item of little practical use.

"Once you've voted, you can't change things for the next four or five years. You'll know immediately if (your choice) was good or bad."

2 ON LOSING TO

Mr Chiam see tong in the 1984 ge by 3,000 Votes "I didn't really think much (about the result). I just felt angry that after putting in so much effort, the voters didn't choose us.

"At that time, I wasn't particularly disheartened.

Voting took place on Saturday and a week later, I stopped thinking about it."

3 ON PUBLIC HOUSING

"Public housing has a big impact on people's lives - and expectations are constantly evolving as living standards improve.

"Someone once asked me why we're not building basic housing like before.

"The answer is simple: Singaporeans now are different from previous generations and their aspirations go beyond having a basic place to live in."

4 HIS REGRET

Mr Mah met his wife Sheryn, a doctor, while studying in Australia.

To support his career, she quit her job to focus on the family - they have two sons and two daughters - after he entered politics.

"I'm starting to make amends now. I'll make time to be with my wife and go on holidays with the family."


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