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Sunday, August 07, 2005

One reason to live in an opposition-controlled constituency

I was talking with a few friends after church, and one of them mentioned that he wants to buy an apartment. Although he prefers a private apartment, he also remarked that he wouldn't mind living in a part of Singapore that is not as developed as the rest the country, that seemingly lacks the hustle and bustle of the other housing estates, that gives a rustic feeling, that is like an oasis in a chaos-filled land.

And that gives its residents an almost 100% opportunity to vote.

This mystery place? Potong Pasir.

For 20 years (more or less), it has been the only constituency to be controlled by an opposition Member of Parliament, Mr. Chiam See Tong. Back when his was the sole opposition-controlled constituency in the entire country, people joked that it was called "The Republic of Potong Pasir".

The thing in Singapore is that when a constituency doesn't vote for the ruling party, it gets "punished". (Wouldn't it make more sense to coddle up with the voters to make sure they're voted in next time?) In this case, the public housing blocks aren't as developed as those in other parts, e.g. they rarely get upgraded, let alone given a fresh coat of paint, and when the MP wants to carry out some works, he has to wait eons before receiving approval.

This is not to say that the constituency is a decaying wasteland. Rather, things just don't seem as top-notch or lively as, say, Marine Parade or Toa Payoh.

Well, guess what? Rustic is the new cool! With Singapore as modern as it is, some young people have a desire to return to simpler times or even experience some inefficiency, if for nothing else, then to slow down from the ultra-competitive society.

If this is the start of a new trend, the government may find itself watching the people flock to backwards Potong Pasir like bees to honey (not flies to rubbish).


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arsena1 said...

my friend always jokingly say Mr Chiam See Tong aka "tahan for the moment" has Tong (tahan aka hold out) for a quite a long time not chiam see (short term).

lee_hsien_tau said...

I'll bet he will go out come the next election. He tahan long enough already. Probably no more truly an "opposition" if uncle lee let him stay ?

aspiringwife said...

Potong Pasir is a nice and serene town to live in.. My hometown... :)

Anonymous said...

It is definitely true that Potong Pasir, though less pretty as compared to other face-lifted old neighbourhoods, is actually a wonderful place to live in. A happy resident i've been for more than 10years and many more to come.There is some magic about this place i call home, and seeing Mr Chiam wave at residents and park his car beside mine is definitely one of them.

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