Dear Editor-in-chief Mr. Xu, I take issue with the subtext of your above piece. 6 days earlier, I made an outcome prediction, with some elaboration, in favor of Dr. Chee on PM’s Facebook page which was also shared on this site. 6 days later, a lot more had transpired, making me even more convinced Dr. Chee will carry the BB contest.
Your reading into ex post numbers from past elections, suggests a garnering of some additional 6K votes, a roughly 25% swing in voter sentiment would be needed for Dr. Chee to prevail; a very high bar to clear in your opinion. Just as in any election, contender’s momentum, and voters’ mood and tenor could be decisive factors. And as of the close of the BB hustings yesterday, it is my sense that both of which are in Dr. Chee’s favor.
In fact in the waning moments of Thursday’s final election rally, Tharman opined that it would be a squeaker of a contest. Apparently, he had felt the pulse of the BB voters. Small wonder then, even the PM saw the need to weigh in personally — too personal perhaps — to help his guy. His character dis on Dr. Chee may have backfired if you ask me.
Needless to say, the residents of BB understand they are not looking at picking a candidate for canonization. Indeed, with an electoral process held every 4 to 5 years, every politician’s tenure is ephemeral; in effect his/hers is put on perennial probation in a manner of speaking. If Dr. Chee did not cut it in Parliament or if his constituents’ needs were shortchanged, he’d not be returned for certain by the next season.
In the words of his colleague Prof Paul Tambyah (whom I believe someday will make it to the Parliament himself), why, electing Dr. Chee is like ‘getting 2 for the price of 1’ for the BB residents. I would even venture further to say, it’s like getting 3 for the price of 1: a full-time Constituency Member, an expected outspoken parliamentarian, and ever the presence of a PAP rival to keep them on their toes.
This Saturday offers an historic moment for the BB voters… never underestimate their savvy — I don’t.