Thursday, May 5, 2011

The PAP and its awful speeches....and the reason.

by Karen Teoh on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 14:03 (source)
Talking to members of the alternative media, and people across a spectrum of society with an interest in speech making, including civil servants, PR people and ex-government scholars, we wondered why the [PAP] speeches this time were so spectacularly awful with the following characteristics, including, but not limited to:
  • limited vocabulary, repeated (Tin Pei Ling) 
  • general fear mongering about how Singapore will fall down - but not how or why (Sim Ann)
  • wooden delivery (Tin Pei Ling again, Desmond Choo, Sim Ann) 
  • spectacularly ineffective appeals to emotion (Teo Ser Luck auctioning off his PAP colleagues)
  • Amazingly male chauvinist pigs (Desmond Choo)
  • flawed analogies (Mushrooms on trees, Lui Tuck Yew, fixing Tsunami's together, Khaw Boon Wan)
  • inaccurate facts  (Lim Hwee Hwa, Hougang HUDC upgrading)
  • lack of concrete policies other than facilities upgrading (all of them) - well apart from MM who said that he was going to give us 900,000 more foreign workers
Did no one with a head on their shoulders and a brain between two ears,  read over their speeches for tone and emotive appeal? Is there no media, PR consultant or Jon-Favreau like spin doctor, or failing that, someone with half a brain who can tell them that they sound worse than an elephants fart - and as in touch with the ground as that very same fart?

Telling Aljunied GRC residents to "repent" for voting workers party a week after Good Friday will turn Christian voters off. As well as just about everyone who dislikes being told what to do.

Telling them that choosing a party is like choosing a wife that 'If your wife is unable to cook, there's no point. You must choose a wife who is able to do things for you.' I have friends who love their wives dearly. These wives are unable to cook. This turns off female voters and male voters who think more broadly about female roles.

Telling us that "healthcare costs are affordable"  turns off everyone who's ever had to pay large sums out of pocket for treatment to stay alive.  This turns off sick voters and their families.

Telling us that "housing costs are affordable"  people that empty their CPF retirement savings, week after week, just for a place to stay, turns off every voter who lives in HDB who has bought a house in the last 15 years.

Telling us that education is subsidized, turns off every voter who's ever had to scrape together fees to pay for polytechnic and uni fees, every voter who's ever had to work part time to take care of the high cost of living while attending university and polytechnic.

Are they on a mission to alienate just about every class and segment of Singaporean voter they know? And why are they like this?

There is a simple explanation, consisting of 2 words, first word starting with C, Second word starting with S, sounds like dervish.

It's the "Civil Service".

The PAP, without the support and assistance of the civil service, is well nigh incompetent - making missteps and saying things that alienate voters. Unable speak with vim and vigour, much less interest - or even extemporaneously, the fall on well worn bogeyman platitudes, threatening us. And without a single policy in sight.

When the civil service is not by the PAP's side during elections, there is no one to save the PAP from themselves - correct their worst gaffes before speech time, provide an army of good counsel and wise well considered advice. And nowhere is this more evident than in the 4th generation of PAP leaders - and some of the 3rd, who cannot hold the interest of crowds - nor narrate meaningfully things that are of clear interest to everyday voters. Why would the PAP care about the price of necessities when they are concerned about buying Kate Spade bags. Why would the PAP care about HDB housing prices, when most of them now live in private, if not landed housing. Why would the PAP care about public transport issues when all of them drive - and can pay for the ERP out of their MP pay of $1 million per person , if not more, over the next five years?

The PAP are nothing without our civil servants. Their poor performance in speech making and policies during this election campaign prove it. They cannot see the problems that ordinary Singaporeans face as they have been pampered by their fat salaries that we, Singaporean, taxpayers, pay for. Out of our GST, ERP, COE.

As to the opposition, while I may not agree with all their policies - at least they have come up with many that aim to address the issues that face Singaporeans. What have the PAP come up with after 7 days of campaigning, other than the usual upgrading?

Nothing. Except threats and more ominous threats that "things will go down"

Please think about how good the civil service makes the straw men of the PAP look, a "before and after" of sorts, similar to all the makeover, or complexion or hair beautifying compare and contrasts. Think of them as a Beijing 101, or Slimming centre of political candidates, where they make the mentally flabby, the politically disfigured and the morally scant of hair, and  flush with high pay,  look like decent, competent human beings.

Now, imagine what the Civil Service could do for the opposition.

Now, what would happen if we gave all those impressive, "politically good looking" candidates the full resources of a makeover by the Singapore Civil service - Sylvia Lim, Chiam See Tong, Low Thia Kiang, Vincent Wijeysingha, Chen Show Mao, Tan Jee Say, Pritam Singh, Ang Yong Guan, Goh Meng Seng, Michelle Lim,  Nicole Seah?

Now, these candidates have all done very well in opposition with no resources - can you imagine how much better they would be in government, with the civil service backing?

Let's give the opposition candidates the civil service makeover. If even the PAP can be made to look good - I think these candidates will look even better - and do better by Singaporeans like you and me.

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