PAP doctor diagnoses his election defeat

PAP doctor diagnoses his election defeat

SINGAPORE - He made several blunders in January's Punggol East by-election, most notably by declaring "everybody has a car", but the doctor is still doing the rounds.

Almost a year since he lost to the Workers' Party (WP) candidate Lee Li Lian, Dr Koh Poh Koon, the ward's PAP branch chairman admitted he misspoke during his campaign. He had said then that "everybody has a car, we have two... We are professionals, we need to travel". Some felt this reeked of elitism.

Dr Koh told MyPaper in an interview last week: "It's not logical, even an idiot wouldn't say that. So it was partly my fault." He meant to say that, as doctors, he and his wife are "medical professionals" who need their cars to attend to emergencies.

But, in hindsight, the bigger reason for his loss was that he was parachuted in at the last minute for the hastily called by-election, he said.

He will no longer be a new face by the next election, as he has been visiting the ward once a week and distributing food to the needy.

What may stand in his way is that Punggol East voters appear to be satisfied with WP, with Dr Koh himself noting residents have only "sporadically" complained to him. Asked about his opinion on this, Dr Koh said: "If you say they have done well, is it because they have taken over a good running ship, everything built up so nicely, so it will stay good for a while? And if you say they didn't do well, then on what basis are you saying that? Because everything does look pretty nice and new."

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PAP's Koh Poh Koon runs into Reform Party's Kenneth Jeyaretnam
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