That’s what I thought of the way the Workers’ Party handled its suprisingly (to me anyway) good victory. At least in the manner Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, Lee Li Lian and Ah Huat handled their press conference earlier this morning
They were clearly delighted that their party won quite handsomely: it’s by 3,000+ votes leh and not the the 300 votes that were being twittered around be4 pole faced n squeaky voiced Yam Ah Mee made his pronouncement.
There was no trace of triumphalism among the WP leaders; no excessive and unrealistic ambitions, with Chairman Lim pointing out in answer to a reporter’s leading question. The Opposition with only 10 seats out of 90 in Parliament is a long way from being able to form a government.
So, no, unlike Chua Mui Hoong of the Straits Times, I think what happened in Punggol East last night is no tipping point for the PAP or politics in Singapore — yet.
But the PAP could make it the tipping point all the same if it doesn’t accept defeat with the same graciousness with which WP embraced victory.
Take the PAP’s press conference to concede defeat and congratulate the WP.
The slight smiles on the faces of Teo Chee Hean and Koh Poh Koon were painful to see. They were more like grimaces plastered there out of PR necessity than a genuine acceptance that the majority of citizens in Punggol East had gone with the WP!
Also, i couldn’t help noticing how Mr Teo kept clenching his fists or his impatience in asking if there were “any more questions” –that wasn’t a real invitation for more but a signal to close for the night.
Hopefully what I saw last night was just the natural human reaction to an unexpected and unwanted event and that the simmering disappointment and/or anger at being rejected wouldn’t be carried over to the handing over of Punggol East’s Town Council infrastructure to the WP.
Otherwise Punggol East could go down in the PAP’s history as the truly tipping point