"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Observations from a friend who was at Hougang Stadium on Saturday night (Workers' Party Election Assembly Point)

besides the usual "the crowd was crazy", several interesting things of note:

1. the WP candidate for Joo Chiat SMC gave a speech at the stadium after the narrow loss.
his final two sentences were "I HOPE JOO CHIAT WILL STILL BE AROUND NEXT ELECTIONS". and something about how he will come back stronger and fight harder to win it
CNA aired his speech after some delay, but those two lines were left out

2. the disgusting focus on the loser instead of the winner of aljunied, as you pointed out.
after the victory was announced, faisal (?) gave a short speech, and so did low thia khiang. and then almost immediately LTK announced that according to the rules, we have to clear the stadium within 30mins of the announcement of the final result (aljunied) so he asked us to clear out

we were quite confused/upset at this so we hung around and wanted to find out more (now i'm glad we hung around cos a few more interesting things happened)
well, there is this rule that says the stadium has to be cleared out 30mins after the release of the final GE result. but a few issues:

a) the aljunied result was known HOURS before (we spoke to some WP ppl and they admitted that) but they were not allowed to announce it until the media announces it. and the media decides the order in which they wish to announce the results. so... why did they choose to schedule the announcements this wya? why announce aljunied LAST and leave no time for victory speeches? this is a momentous and historic event and all we had was 10-15 minutes... the party chairperson didn't even get to speak and CNA in the background just kept airing george yeo and zainual abidin giving speeches!

[Addendum: @liangkaixin, a journalist, adds that "saw ur friend's observation. the media doesn't decide on the announcement of the result. returning officer announces and we broadcast"]

b) in fact, the potong pasir result was not yet announced, so technically it wasn't even the final GE result

c) but upon some reflectino, i think WP just wanted to play it safe and not run any small risk even of getting into trouble. which i think is fair. they need to be whiter than white.

3. now when we were hanging out near the barricades.. tv crew approached the small gathering (most of the crowd had dispersed) and it looked like they wnated to interview some people... and... this is what got me so riled up
the entire fucking crowd just... disappeared... as the tv crew approached, those previously rabid WP supporters just suddenly became.. no more

i was so upset. when you had the safety of numbers of anonymity, everybody was so willing to be shouting and screaming but when the camera approaches nobody dared to show their allegiance. i hate it you know, i really do
my personal motto is that the only real time you need to show allegiance is in times of trouble. so i make it a point to wear my liverpool jersey around after we lose.. after we win, i don't need to show support cos everybody else would
but anyway this is different. we had WON. and yet pppl were just.. i dunno, afraid? of being individually identified as WP supporters?
anyway i approached the camera, and they asked me several qns re whether today was signifcant for sg politics. what i think about the grc system and what i hope WP can do for us in parliament. i answered truthfully and, i hope, coherently.

after that, my friend asked where the tv ppl were from and they said they were from NHK

4. on the way back to the cars, i was alerted to the fact that a boy was being surrounded by what seemed to be policemen.. possibly ISD people.. my friends basically walked on... (i fucked them for that later) but i could not stand for it
so i went to the group of them... two of them were directly confronting the boy and some of them were idling around... they had their backs towards me. i walked up and placed my hand (reassuringly, i hope) on the boy's shoulder and said to him
"excuse me, i'm a law student. do you need help"

i figured quickly that they wanted to see the photos he had taken on his iphone. and looked him and the policemen in the eye, and said firmly, "you don't have to show them the photos if you don't wish to. are they arresting you? are they charging you with a seizable offence?" (regardless of what my prof had said in his email, i asked my police inspector friend about this before and he said that, in practice, they can't confiscate your stuff unless they are charging you with a seizable offence)

the guy looked at me and said "it's ok i have nothing to hide, i will let them see." and so he scrolled through his photos and openly let the two policemen take a look and went "if you think these photos are dangerous..."
they were just very innocent photos

i'm not bragging but i honestly felt like my intervention had put off the police people just a wee bit
but anyway in the end they agreed that there were no problems with the photos he took and they let him go

i just hate this.. FEAR thing you know. it's great the guy was not afraid at all and willing to be open about everything.. but still i think he had the right NOT to. simply if he did not wish to

5. then later we went to some place for supper, we sat down and waited 5 minutes and still nobody came to serve us
and now a group of PAP people in their white uniforms and party logos arrived.. and the moment they sat down, someone went to serve them
i could not take it anymore

and so after some deliberation, i stood up and said very loudly "we have been here for 5 minutes and nobody came to serve us, but these PAP ppl just arrived, and you serve them first. may i know why?"
but i said it with a lot of emotion... that's the problem with me. when i get passionate, i become a bit like CSJ. i wish i could always be as moderate as vincent... his style is totally different
and it's a better style than CSJ's emotional and frustrated style
i need to change that. i'm not necessarily angry or out of control but i was just... emotional, you know

one lone guy clapped at my little outburst and then we left and went to another shop
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