May 26, 2017

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Authors Posts by Yusof Najeer

Yusof Najeer

Yusof Najeer
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Two man waving inflatable yellow hammers.
PARTYING IT UP: WP had a number of enthusiastic fans who were cheering “Ole, ole, ole” and “Workers” Party” frequently during the rally.
AY SAI: This supporter was chanting "Ay Sai" while waving his foam signage. He then explained that the cut out letters, which according to him, reflected the "transparency" of the Workers' Party. The surrounding crowd cheered along with him.
A CLEAR CHOICE: This supporter was chanting “Ay Sai” while waving his foam signage. He said the cut-out letters reflected the “transparency” of the Workers’ Party.
CHEERFUL VOLUNTEERS: The Workers's Party volunteers were promoting both their party collectibles and party's manifesto, "The Hammer". Many of those who turned up bought party flags and the inflatable hammers.
PARTY MEMORABILIA: The Workers’s Party volunteers were promoting both their party collectibles and newsletter, “The Hammer”. Many of those who turned up bought party flags and the inflatable hammers.
SELFIE FEST: Several people were whipping out their mobile phones to snap quick selfies. The subjects of interest were mainly the huge crowd, the candidates and supporters who had uniquely customised a party merchandise or self-crafted a party symbol item.
SELFIE TIME: Several people were whipping out their mobile phones to snap quick selfies that showed off the huge crowds that turned up.
INFLATABLE HAMMERS: A few uncles and aunties were selling these inflatable yellow hammers and children were assisting them in handling the transactions. These vendors were inflating them with air pumps while customers crowded around them, awaiting to purchase the hammers.
INFLATABLE HAMMERS: A popular item being sold by a few uncles and aunties at Workers’ Party rallies.
VIBRANT SUPPORTERS: WP had a number of enthusiastic fans who were cheering frequently during the rally. They were chanting "Ole, ole, ole" and "Workers' party" amidst the ambient sound of whistles and air horns.
PARTYING IT UP: WP had a number of enthusiastic fans who were cheering “Ole, ole, ole” and “Workers’ Party” frequently during the rally.
MIXED FEELINGS: While most of the crowd were cheering for the candidates who spoke during the rally, a number of people remained looking dull and unmoved.
NOT SO SILENT MAJORITY : Most of the crowd were cheering for the candidates who spoke during the rally.
The crowd at Workers' Party rally.
WIDER LENS NEEDED: The crowd at Workers’ Party rally – and it wasn’t even all of it.

 

Photos by Yusof Najeer for The Middle Ground

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NSP's Ms Kevryn Lim
NSP's Ms Kevryn Lim

 

A group of teenage volunteers were seen distributing party brochures and selling party flags.
TEEN SPIRIT: A group of teenage volunteers distributing party brochures and selling party flags at the rally. Most of the rally attenders were interested in reading NSP’s manifesto as they grabbed copies of the brochure.
Crowd at the NSP rally looking dull.
SUBDUED SOLIDARITY: The crowd at the rally was rather quiet throughout most parts of the rally – even when candidates threw out questions to get a response.
Ms Kevryn Lim speaking two a malay couple after the rally.
NEXT TOP MP: Model-turned-election candidate Kervyn Lim tried to turn up the heat at the rally by asking the crowd: “Singaporeans, have you had enough? Yes or no?”
Party volunteer wearing party coloured t-shirt with Ms Kevryn's name on it and carrying a tote bag with her face printed on it.
BAGGING RIGHTS: Of the party’s candidates, only Ms Kevryn Lim had customised collectibles such as tote bags with her face printed on them.
Young girl cheering for Kevryn.
RALLY QUEEN: The new NSP candidate and single mother, 26, has attracted supporters both young and old, who cheered for her as she came onstage to address the crowd.
NSP president Mr Sebastian Teo addressing the crowd.
MAKE IT COUNT: NSP president Mr Sebastian Teo encouraging supporters to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections.

 

Featured image by TMG photographer Yusof Najeer.

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SingFirst's Mr Tan Jee Say
SingFirst's Mr Tan Jee Say
THE WHIP: Mr Tan Jee Say came out swinging at PAP for providing better opportunities for the foreigners and not the locals. He also explained that "these foreign workers have broken our families". Moreover, he seemed perplexed by ESM Goh Chok Tong's comment, which according to him he, implied that: "We are dogs trying to take meat" and responded by saying that there was a need to "take back our country from the Government that has given the country away to foreigners". This was the reason for his party slogan.
PARTY WHIP: Mr Tan Jee Say came out swinging at PAP for providing better opportunities to foreigners and not the locals.
THE PEOPLE'S PERSON: Mr Melvyn Chiu Weng Hoe was also introduced as a new candidate of SingFirst today. He felt the need to serve the people after returning from studying overseas and believed in Sing First's manifesto: "I want to serve the people and ensure that the people are properly taken care of."
THE PEOPLE’S PERSON: Mr Chiu Weng Hoe Melvyn was also introduced as a new candidate of SingFirst today. He felt the need to serve the people after returning from studying overseas and believed in SingFirst’s manifesto. He said: “I want to serve the people and ensure that the people are properly taken care of.”
ON THE GROUND MAN: Mr Fahmi Rais was another one of the new candidates of SingFirst. He has had 26 years of experience doing volunteer work and he feels that: "Some of the problems can't be solved on the ground. they require a change of policies."
ON THE GROUND MAN: Mr Fahmi Rais is also a new candidate of SingFirst. He has had 26 years of experience doing volunteer work. What he’s learnt: “Some of the problems can’t be solved on the ground… they require a change of policies.”
THE FINANCIAL EXPERT: Mr Chirag Desai was aintroduced as SingFirst's new candidate today. He mentioned that he would use his financial expertise "to create a more robust framework for town councils as well as more efficient accounting methods."
THE FINANCIAL EXPERT: Mr Chirag Desai was introduced as SingFirst’s new candidate today. He mentioned that he would use his financial expertise “to create a more robust framework for town councils as well as more efficient accounting methods”.
2015_008_28_TMG_Najeer_SingFirst_PressconIMG_2768
ANSWERING THE CALL: Mr Wong Chee Wai was about to embark on his PhD but he was called upon by Mr Tan Jee Say to join the party. He decided that it was his duty to serve the nation. The PhD can wait, he said. “The country is in a pretty bad shape. I suspended my PhD and here I am speaking on behalf of my citizens”.

 

 

Photos by Yusof Najeer. 

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Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef and Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong having a conversation.
THE CONFIDENT MENTOR: Mr Goh Chok Tong described his role as guide for his team. When asked about the Opposition he commented: “Opposition parties come and go, like nomads. Nomads do not have interest in the people’s welfare – they are looking for plunder" and "WP is stronger than NSP, but there is a certain arrogance about them. They came, and out went the NSP. Would that same arrogance be able to replace me and my team in Marine Parade? Let them try.”
PAP's team to contest at Marine Parade GRC: Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Mr Goh Chok Tong, Mr Seah Kian Peng, Mr Edwin Tong.
THE FIRM HAND: Mr Goh Chok Tong was beaming with vigour and appeared to be firmer than the rest. When he was asked about the Opposition’s boast that its presence in Parliament had prompted the Government to implement changes: “You know the fable of the rooster which crows when the sun rises? Well, the rooster goes around boasting that its crowing causes the sun to rise. So, that’s what they are doing. They are like the rooster.”
Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef and Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong having a conversation.
THE CONFIDENT MENTOR: Mr Goh Chok Tong described his role as guide for his team. When asked about the Opposition he commented: “Opposition parties come and go, like nomads. Nomads do not have interest in the people’s welfare – they are looking for plunder” and “WP is stronger than NSP, but there is a certain arrogance about them. They came, and out went the NSP. Would that same arrogance be able to replace me and my team in Marine Parade? Let them try.”
Both Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong using their mobile phones to take photos of the press conference.
BEING TRENDY: Both Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong took photos of the press conference using their mobile phones and subsequently took selfies.
Assoc Proff Fatimah Lateef speaking at the press conference.
MULTILINGUAL: Assoc Professor Fatimah Lateef spoke in both English and Malay during the conference. Healthcare is one of the few issues that she will champion. As she mentioned: “In Parliament, I have spoken on a variety of issues – healthcare is one that is close to my heart. Healthcare literacy is something that needs a lot of enhancement. I also champion issues related to women, low-income families and the elderly.” Prior to the press conference, she even spoke in Chinese with a couple of elderly residents, informing them of the press conference.
Resident watching Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef.
CURIOUS CATS: Some residents peered out of their windows to watch the PAP candidates pose for photos and be interviewed by the press. Assoc Professor Fatimah Lateef spotted them and acknowledged by waving.

 

Photos by Yusof Najeer. 

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Reform Party on a walkabout at Telok Blangah.

by Yusof Najeer

SO Mr Roy Ngerng is going from political blogger to political activist to…election candidate?

After he submitted an official application to join the Reform Party (RP), Mr Ngerng donned the party’s yellow polo tee for the first time to join its members on a walkabout in Telok Blangah last night.

He is not yet a party member as the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has not approved his application. But it seems like a mere formality. Its secretary-general, Mr Kenneth Andrew Jeyaretnam, expects the application to go through.

Asked why he decided to join the opposition, Mr Ngerng said: “I have always supported all the opposition parties and I believe that the opposition has to be united so that they can win more seats in parliament. I have volunteered for the People’s Action Party and attended party events of the Singapore Democratic Party.”

Two days ago, Mr Ngerng mused aloud on his blog Heart Truths about contemplating entry into the political fray. He said he saw through the People’s Action Party’s “true colours” after facing what he called political persecution. There seems to be some confusion about whether he wants a place in Parliament or is aiming to get into Government.

screenshot-roy-ngerng
Screenshot from Roy Ngerng’s blog, Heart Truth. (Image by Wan Ting)

In a poll conducted on his blog, he asked readers to help him decide if he should contest for elections. The poll closed with 1,516 votes, of which 65.57 per cent supported the decision.

This is not the first time Mr Ngerng tried to get into Parliament. In May 2014, he applied to become a Nominated Member of Parliament, amid the background of the Prime Minister’s defamation case against him over his comments on the CPF. Last month, Mr Ngerng cross-examined PM Lee Hsien Loong on the stand when the case turned to the amount of damages he should pay the PM for libel.

Asked why he chose RP over the other opposition parties, Mr Ngerng said: “I have quite a close relationship with RP and Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam because he took part in some of my protests. We have also had discussions on the topic of Central Provident Funds.”

Clearly they share the same views on the CPF, going by a brochure handed out to residents.

image
Reform Party’s brochure handed out to residents. (Image by Yusof Najeer)
Roy Ngerng speaking to one of the first time volunteers for Reform Party.
Roy Ngerng speaking to one of the first time volunteers for Reform Party. (Image by Yusof Najeer)

He might just be going head to head with PM Lee again. If he was given the opportunity to contest, he would pick Ang Mo Kio GRC, PM Lee’s ward. The reason he gave for choice of ward: “I have grown up in Ang Mo Kio and it is a familiar place to me, so I am keen to stand there.”  

In the last GE, the Reform Party party took 30.67 per cent of the votes in Ang Mo Kio GRC.

RP Walkabout 8
Reporters interviewing Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam (Image by Yusof Najeer)
Reform Party volunteers engaging a resident in Telok Blangah during Reform Party's walkabout.
Reform Party volunteers engaging a resident in Telok Blangah during Reform Party’s walkabout. (Image by Yusof Najeer)

Mr Jeyaretnam was going over old ground when he and his team paid house calls at Block 77 and 66 in Telok Blangah, which is part of West Coast GRC. He and four other RP members lost to the PAP team led by Trade and Industry minister Lim Hng Kiang, taking 33.43 per cent of votes in the 2011 GE.

 

 

Featured image is by Yusof Najeer.

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By Yusof Najeer

DO YOU know who Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss is?

No? What about Chiam See Tong? Ring a bell?

The pulling power of Mr Chiam See Tong, Singapore’s longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament, was not lost on Ms Chong during a Singapore People’s Party (SPP) walkabout on Tuesday evening in Mountbatten.

The Middle Ground tagged along during her visit to residents of Blk 8, Jalan Batu, and it became quite obvious that not many people knew who she was – even though she had contested the SMC as a National Solidarity Party (NSP) candidate in the 2011 General Election. In that election, she lost, with 41.4 per cent of the vote against PAP candidate Mr Lim Biow Chuan’s 58.2 per cent.

Ms Chong left NSP last year and will contest in Mountbatten this year for SPP. With Mr Chiam as arguably the party’s most prominent member, his was a name she used liberally to introduce herself.

It mostly went like this:

“Do you know Mr Chiam See Tong? I am running for his party now and I hope you do show me your support in the coming elections.”

“Hi, my name is Jeannette Chong. I am going to stand for Mountbatten in the upcoming elections and I am from Mr Chiam See Tong’s party, Singapore People’s Party. I hope you will show me your support.”

Image by Najeer Yusof
Ms Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss goes knocking on the doors of some of the residents in Blk 8, Jalan Batu (Image by Najeer Yusof).

Even though Mr Chiam was not present during the two-hour walkabout, it was clear – at least from the residents’ reaction – that the name meant something. A number of residents, after hearing Mr Chiam’s name, agreed to give her their support and said they would vote for her. With her were three campaign volunteers from SPP, Mr Ariffin Sha, Mr Remy Choo Zeng Xi and Mr Ellery Aruldoss.

Mr Chiam represented Potong Pasir constituency from 1984 to 2011. Previously a member of Singapore Democratic Party and Singapore Democratic Alliance, Mr Chiam moved over to SPP in the 2011 elections.

Said Ms Chong: “I have to say that being a member of SPP has a lot of advantages. Especially because Mr Chiam has been running the Potong Pasir Town Council successfully for 27 years without a hitch. I can benefit a lot from his experience.”

Ms Chong-Aruldoss conversing in Mandrin with a resident from Block 8, Jalan Batu.
Ms Chong-Aruldoss conversing in Mandarin with a resident from Block 8, Jalan Batu (Image by Najeer Yusof).

A lawyer and former NSP secretary-general, Ms Chong left NSP last year reportedly over differences in management – a move that prompted three other members to follow suit.

Asked how her switch to SPP would affect her chances in the upcoming GE, Ms Chong said: “I have introduced myself and built a relationship with the residents so I think that changing parties is not going to be an issue.”

In fact, it may even help with Mr Chiam’s celebrity. But of course, she already knows that.

 

 

Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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