GE 2015

ESM Goh's advice to Aljunied voters

ESM Goh Chok Tong (center), with the PAP Aljunied GRC candidates, Yeo Guat Kwang, Victor Lye, Shamsul Kamar, K. Muralidharan Pillai, and Chua Eng Leong, visiting residents of Aljunied GRC at Bedok 538 Market and Food Centre on Sept 06 2015.
ESM Goh Chok Tong (center), with the PAP Aljunied GRC candidates, Yeo Guat Kwang, Victor Lye, Shamsul Kamar, K. Muralidharan Pillai, and Chua Eng Leong, visiting residents of Aljunied GRC at Bedok 538 Market and Food Centre on Sept 06 2015. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Aljunied GRC voters struggling over which party to vote for in the General Election received this advice from Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday: Pick the team that will serve you best.

After two hours in the Workers' Party-held area yesterday, he said many residents told him they wanted to vote for the People's Action Party, but they did not want to see WP leaders Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim and their opposition team-mates lose their seats.

Rather than say vote for the PAP, he preferred to urge voters to "look at their own interests".

"When you vote for somebody, you must vote for a candidate whose values you appreciate - values like humility, sincerity, hard work, integrity, honesty," he said. "They are very important, so try and align your values with the values of the candidates."

People should also vote for their future and their children's future and, here, the question is: "Who can help you better in future?"

If voters think about these issues, they will come to a decision. "It's your choice," he said. "If you ask me, I'll say vote PAP, but it's a biased opinion. So just make up your own mind."

He likened choosing a party to choosing a cruise ship to travel on.

"If you go with the PAP, you're embarking on a cruise ship with a definite destination, you know the path it will take, you know the captain, the crew members, you know the quality," he said.

"The other choice is, take my ship to nowhere. There are cruise ships that go on a journey to nowhere. Gambling ships, casinos. Very exciting. You take these ships, you can gamble, but you go nowhere.

"If you're a gambler, then of course you take the casino ship. But if you're not a gambler and you worry about your children's future, you'll take the other ship."

He said the General Election was not about the future of the PAP or any opposition party, but about the future of Singaporeans.

To voters who worry about the WP team being ousted, he said Mr Low and his team-mates could lose the elections, yet still go to Parliament under the Non-Constituency MP scheme for best-performing losers at the polls. "They can write long speeches with great rhetoric if they want," he said.

Asked if his and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's visits to Aljunied GRC would sway voters to the PAP's side, Mr Goh said yes, for those they had met. "But it's always the people who are not here, the silent majority (who also vote), so we can't take things for granted."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'ESM Goh's advice to Aljunied voters'. Print Edition | Subscribe