GE2015 Soundbites: Going into elections is like sitting an exam

Tanjong Pagar GRC's anchor minister Chan Chun Sing at the PAP rally in Tiong Bahru on Sept 2.
Tanjong Pagar GRC's anchor minister Chan Chun Sing at the PAP rally in Tiong Bahru on Sept 2.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
PAP's Aljunied candidate Chua Eng Leong (first from left) and team mate Victor Lye (fourth from left) weigh in on the "heavyweight" talk.
PAP's Aljunied candidate Chua Eng Leong (first from left) and team mate Victor Lye (fourth from left) weigh in on the "heavyweight" talk.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore goes to the polls on Sept 11. As in past elections, juicy soundbites from politicians spice things up. Here's our compilation of quotable quotes so far. Keep checking this story as we add more each day:

“I think if our standard for politics is that people who are in politics should not be in jail, then I think Singapore is in very serious trouble.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong at the PAP’s first rally in Tiong Bahru on Sept 2. His remark was seen as a veiled attack on Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang, who said if WP had committed wrongdoings in managing its town council, he and other WP MPs would have been put in jail.

“That’s funny. You want to go to Parliament and speak, and you ask our residents to entrust their votes to you. But do you think about taking care of our residents?”

- PAP’s Chan Chun Sing at the party’s rally on Sept 2.

“I believe that Singaporeans are talented. We are more talented than the PAP thinks we are.”

- Workers’ Party’s Yee Jenn Jong at the party’s first rally in Hougang on Sept 2.

“The PAP government is not a government of the future but a ghost from the past.”

- WP’s Hougang incumbent Png Eng Huat in Hokkien at the party’s rally on Sept 2.

“We also have a new candiate from PAP - Darryl David - who was from MediaCorp and we were all from the entertainment industry.”

- National Solidarity Party’s Kevryn Lim on criticism about her former career as a model

“It was a bolt out of the blue when he cited a matter that happened 20 years ago to continue the PAP's tactic of character-assassination.”

- Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan on comments by PAP’s Lawrence Wong at a TV forum on Sept 1. Mr Wong brought up an incident in 1996 when Dr Chee was charged with misleading the public after he made an oral representation to a parliamentary select committee, and the data was found to be false

“Going into elections is like sitting an exam. But I’m the student and all the voters are my teachers and I hope the teachers will give me a good score." 

- PAP Potong Pasir candidate Sitoh Yih Pin on Sept 2 during his morning walkabout in Toa Payoh

“You voted for a tiger in a chamber and you got a mouse in the house.”

- PM Lee Hsien Loong on the opposition performance in Parliament. He spoke at a press conference after the close of nominations on Sept 1.

“Even if you jeer us we will take care of you. The harder you jeer the more we will work for you.”

- Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told WP supporters among the crowd at the nomination centre at Raffles Institution on Sept 1.

“The ball is round, just like Man U v Liverpool, you don’t know who will win.”

- PAP’s Hougang candidate Lee Hong Chuang on Sept 1.

“Some of the candidates fielded inspired me to run, because with their background, my potted plant can be an MP.”

- Architect Fatimah Akhtar who plans to team up with her friends and contest a GRC as independents if candidates fielded by existing parties are no better than a "potted plant".

“Why do we follow convention and need a heavyweight? We have a heavyweigt in Chua Eng Leong!”

- PAP’s Aljunied GRC candidate Victor Lye, who was introduced as a candidate on Friday (Aug 28), on the perception among some that the PAP slate for the ward is a “suicide squad”. Mr Chua Eng Leong is also on PAP’s Aljunied team.

“110kg! And losing a bit, 50 grams a day for SG50.”

- The prompt response from Mr Chua, poking fun at his stocky frame

“My life is the heartland, the heartland is not my symbolic gesture."

Workers’ Party candidate Daniel Goh in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Aug 26).

A reporter had asked WP candidates what they thought about the People’s Action Party introducing their candidates in coffee shops and other heartland venues. He didn’t get a chance to answer so he penned his views in the post.

"Orh luak is not my favourite local food, but laksa. And at the Blk 85 food centre, bak chor mee is the best dish, not orh luak."

- Grassroots leader Cheryl Chan, who was unveiled on Thursday (Aug 27) as the People's Action Party candidate for the closely-watched SMC of Fengshan. Ms Chan, who is taking over from retiring MP Raymond Lim, said this in Mandarin.

No, she wasn’t just giving food tips but the latest to weigh in on the "orh luak" (oyster omelette) analogy making the rounds.

On Aug 12, Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim posted a photo of herself on Instagram tucking into a plate of orh luak at Fengshan Market and Food Centre. It came with the caption "the taste of Fengshan - heavenly", feeding speculation that she might be leaving Aljunied GRC for Fengshan.

The taste of Fengshan - heavenly! #reasonstowin

The taste of Fengshan - heavenly! #reasonstowin

A photo posted by Sylvia Lim (@sylvialim65) on

She later said she was staying put in Aljunied, but not before the "orh luak" comment took on a life of its own.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean asked if Workers' Party was going to "swallow up Fengshan" and help with its town council's deficit, leading Ms Lim to respond that "it is a pity that DPM Teo doesn't appear to have a sense of humour".

Then, PAP's Charles Chong weighed in on Facebook, posting a photo of himself eating oyster omelette (which was really orh neng - the version without starch) at a Hougang coffeeshop in Aljunied GRC: "The Oyster Omelette tastes better in Aljunied."

"I understand he has been trying orh luak in a number of places, and he hasn't decided which one is the best tasting."

- Former Cabinet Minister and PAP chairman Lim Boon Heng on Tuesday (Aug 25).

Mr Lim (above), who leads a PAP task force to win Aljunied GRC back, was asked to comment on speculation that labour MP Yeo Guat Kwang might be fielded there.

Now, that's a creative way of saying "no comment".

"The way I describe our East Coast GRC is basically five words: No change but big change."

- Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Thursday (Aug 27) when describing his experienced team for East Coast GRC.

This from the man who invented words like "betterer" and "betterest".

More vintage Mr Lim: "...You must make sure that the people on the ground understand that we know what they care about and we do care about what they care about."

"The rooster goes around boasting that its crowing causes the sun to rise."

- Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at a press conference on Wednesday (Aug 26) to introduce the PAP team for Marine Parade GRC.

He was asked about the opposition's argument that more alternative voices in Parliament after GE2011 led to the Government adopting more redistributive and inclusive policies.

"Opposition parties come and go like nomads. Nomads will not have interest in the people's welfare. They are looking for plunder."

- ESM Goh at the same press conference. He was responding to a question on a WP challenge in Marine Parade.

"I think some even described themselves as nomads, moving constituencies without moving their actual house."

- WP's Yee Jenn Jong, replying to ESM Goh's "nomads" remark. Read his comments here.

"I can catch pythons, monkeys, you name them I can catch them - including humans."

- Animal welfare activist Louis Ng who was formally introduced on Wednesday (Aug 26) as a PAP candidate for Nee Soon GRC.

After the press conference, he leapt at another chance to demonstrate his passion for animals. Spotting a stray cat, he pointed out to reporters: "I can tell you this cat is sterilised."

"Because I hope to be elected."

- Uber private car driver Shirwin Eu, 32.

The possible independent candidate was spotted at the Elections Department on Wednesday (Aug 26) morning.

Here's an exchange with him:

Reporter: Why do you hope to join the elections this year?

Mr Eu: Because I hope to be elected.

Reporter: What do you think you can offer to Singaporeans?

Mr Eu: Erm, policies. That's my strength I believe.