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赢得民心,像泡潮州功夫茶 – Winning Hearts, like making Teochew Kungfu Tea

May 22nd, 2012

 

 

我报》22-5-2012

炎下之意(专栏)

文/马炎庆

赢得民心,像泡潮州功夫茶

 By MP Baey Yam Keng

人民行动党于1959年为新加坡组成独立政府,开始执政。1981年,工人党的惹耶勒南在安顺区补选赢得议席,打破22年一党国会的纪录。

后港单选区于1988年形成,1991年的大选中,工人党候选人打败人民行动党的候选人,刘程强步入国会。

连同去年的大选结果,后港区21年来一直是工人党的堡垒。

即将举行的后港区补选,由人民行动党的朱倍庆对垒工人党的方荣发。

我和朱倍庆同样在华社自助理事会服务,从平时的交流和媒体的报道,倍庆给我诚恳、积极的印象。我们也是公教中学的校友。

我1986年毕业,他应该是1994年的毕业生。

公 教中学的校训是“亲爱忠诚,敬业乐群”。我们求学那四年,学习一个人必须能爱他的至亲,再推己及人,兼及爱物,才能达成完美的人格。一个人要达成完美品 格,必须具备忠厚、忠信、忠直以及诚心诚意的品格,并以服务为本的精神,尽全力把工作做好,帮助别人,使他们的生活变得更好。

1年多的努力,有些成绩

前天,星期天,我和几位国会同僚帮倍庆分发竞选传单给后港选民。发现大多数居民都见过他,对他印象不错。可见,他这短短一年多来的努力,有些成绩。希望居民除了见过他之外,也喜欢他为后港所推出的各项计划。

去年,我于大选提名日前一天,临时从丹戎巴葛集选区调到淡滨尼集选区。原候选人因为前女友在紧要关头作出负面指责,担心影响选情而决定退出。

我因此有了竞选拉票的宝贵经验。

大选后9个月,后港原议员涉嫌婚外情,但始终选择不应对桃色事件,遭工人党开除,引发目前的补选,也让朱倍庆多了一个备战的机会。

为民请命,漫漫长路

竞选过程中,紧锣密鼓的拉票活动、各大媒体的步步追踪,选民的焦点和注意力,都给候选人增添压力,同时也让候选人先学习。毕竟当选后,为民服务、为民请命的日子,漫漫长路,5年任期要比9天的竞选日多出两百倍。

后港的潮州人多,过去的候选人都是潮州人,不是潮州人的方荣发在提名日也用了潮州话拉票。

潮州饮食文化中,工夫茶更是中国古老的茶文化之一。之所以叫工夫茶,是因为这种泡茶的方式极为讲究,沏泡和品饮需要一定的工夫。接近公众、了解选民、为民服务、赢得居民的心,都需要一定的功夫,更需要下足工夫,不可怠慢轻率。

我和倍庆都是潮州人,自己人。选民不会单单只投自己人,他们投的是对党的信任、对国家议题的立场、对居住环境的要求,以及为自己和家人选个有效的代议士。

无论考量因素有哪些、补选结果如何、大家属于什么政党、支持什么政党,不要忘记,我们都是自己人,我们都是新加坡人。

Winning hearts, like making Teochew Kungfu Tea

The PAP formed Singapore’s first independent government, which came into power in 1959.  In 1981, Jeyaretnam of the Worker’s Party won a seat in the parliament during the Anson by-election, breaking the 22-year record of a one-party parliament.

Hougang SMC was formed in 1988. During the 1991 GE, Mr Low Thia Khiang represented Worker’s Party and won a seat in parliament.   With last year’s GE results, Worker’s Party has established a stronghold in the Hougang constituency for 21 years.

During this upcoming Hougang by-election, Desmond Choo from PAP will be standing against Png Eng Huat from the Worker’s Party.

Desmond and I serve at the CDAC.  Through our interaction and media reports, Desmond comes across as a sincere and enthusiastic person.

We are also alumni of Catholic High School.  The motto of Catholic High School reads “Care, Honesty, Service”. During those four years in school, we learnt character development through loving your own family and extending your love to fellowmen and all living things. In order to thrive with a whole personality, one should be honest, sincere, faithful and imbued with other virtues.  The ability to serve springs from one’s recognition of being part of a community and one’s responsibility to his fellow human beings.

Last Sunday, a few of my parliamentary colleagues and I helped Desmond distribute campaign flyers to Hougang residents. I realised that most of these residents have already met Desmond and they have a good impression of him.  His efforts over the short span of over a year have yielded results.  Besides having met him, I hope that Hougang residents also like what Desmond is doing for the community.

I was transferred from Tanjong Pagar GRC to Tampines GRC on the eve of nomination day last year. The original candidate decided to withdraw from the campaign following a negative allegation by his ex-girlfriend. As a result, I had the opportunity to go through baptism of election fire.

Nine months after GE, former Hougang MP was implicated in an extra-marital tussle, but chose to remain tight-lipped about the scandal.  As a result, he was dismissed by the Worker’s Party. This led to the upcoming by-election, granting Desmond Choo a second chance to stand up for his residents.

During the political campaign, the election canvassing and incessant attention from both media and voters impose a tremendous amount of stress on the candidates, but these also serve as a useful learning experience, especially since the elected will be taking on the long road ahead.  Nine days of the campaign period is almost insignificant compared to the five years in parliament, representing the voices of the people.

Teochew Kung fu tea is one of China’s most ancient tea cultures.  The art of making, brewing and appreciating Kungfu tea demands exacting standards.  Breaking the ice with the residents, hearing their voices, attending to their needs and winning their hearts not only require relentless and undying efforts,  it is also an art that we cannot afford to take lightly.

Both Desmond and I are Teochews, “ga gi nang”. However, voters will not simply cast their votes to “ga gi nang”.  Some will look to the party that they could  trust, some will vote on national issues, others will vote for a better living environment.  Some will choose the best representative for themselves and their families.

Regardless of the factors taken into consideration and the outcome of the by-election, regardless of the party you belong to or support, let us not forget that we are all “ga gi nang”, we are all Singaporeans.

 

Make a diffeence to the lives of others!

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