GE 2015 Recap: Impressions of the “Political Gangster” ? – Chee Soon Juan

A good friend of ours, Mr Ji Pa Ban has been following Dr Chee Soon Juan’s GE2015 activities and his thoughts are appended below.

RTSN is not a fan of CSJ simply because he has loyalty issues. Ousting Mr Chiam See Tong out of SDP earned you the death penalty.

We are sharing Mr Ji Pa Ban’s article because it contains many good points on how people view CSJ(regardless you know the history of this man) and how marketing oneself is important.

Here goes:

GEs come and GEs go. Ten days ago, the 70% cheered, roared and made “Couldn’t have done it without you” speeches while the 30% though desponded, made “We will do better next time” speeches. Now, I have to admit that I am someone who isn’t really political savvy but do know just enough to get by. Naturally, we were bombarded with mainstream and alternative media during the 9 days of election hustings but what really stood out was the meteoric rise of SDP and Dr Chee Soon Juan (CSJ) and then his fall.
Initially, I never had a great impression of him as somehow, I always knew him as the guy who betrayed his mentor Chiam See Tong whom I have great respect for.

Plus he was not contesting in my area and I was more interested in the happening Workers’ Party. However, my FB news feed was filled with friends commenting that he was the best speaker they have heard so I started paying attention.

So I apprehensively checked out the viral so called documentary “Behind the Man”on CSJ’s family so I can say “18 minutes of my life that I cannot get back.” Unfortunately, the video had me tearing up. Must be his kids playing chopsticks on the piano or that tune from Prison on Fire.

But I unconvincing told myself not to be fooled by the propaganda. Then, a colleague shared the youtube clip “Dr Chee sings my favourite Hokkien song Ji Ba Ban!” which really made me laugh by the use of cheesy graphics although the message was received loud and clear. Put it this way, I don’t speak or understand dialects but any politicians who can, score points in my books.

After a couple of rally speeches, he begin to win fans especially his messages which really resonated with me because I also go to Giant but can only afford Walls ice cream.

Strawberry generation
Then the clip of Sim “Chu pattern” Ann became viral. Don’t think I need to say more about it. But just for fun.

Then, another clip of To Chee Soon Juan, from family made its round. Wah lau, made me tear up again and I really wanted to say it is propaganda that tugs at your heartstrings but what was said in the clip cannot be faked.

It is then when I realise I had to make it to his final rally at Clementi. No need to rehash what was said as it was well documented in the media but noticed the following.

• His volunteers within the crowds were top notch and showed they really want to be there. They were enthusiastic, handing out flags to adults and kids, and chatting with the attendees. They cheered and booed with the crowd, which came across as quality folks.

• The emcee had a great intro for him, building the crowd up and final introducing him as “Rocky” Chee Soon Juan.

• His followers are almost cult-like as they lap up and cheered everything he said, even though the message was already repeated by his fellow team mates earlier.

• The story of the cleaning lady in her 60s who gave him $5 when he was selling his book at Raffles Place a few years ago really resonated. He tried to return her money but she said “The Country is Mine too and I have a share in it.” He kept the $5 as a reminder why he got into politics 25 years ago. It is about speaking up for people.

Is CSJ worthy of being a part of parliament? Like I said earlier, politics is a dirty game and it can all be a big smokescreen but today…CSJ doesn’t seem like a gangster, a liar and a cheat. He is a family man, a “rich man”, a Bruce Lee fan, a Rocky Balboa who gets up despite constantly get beaten down. He is a fighter for truth and justice and like most true blue Singaporeans, born Singaporean, raised Singaporean and will die a Singaporean. Even though this guy lost, but he is a rich man.

“I am not a rich man. Don’t drive a big car, have a big house, or even a credit card. But when I walk into my house and hear my children call me papa, I feel like the richest man in the world.”

Mr Ji Pa Ban

Rise of The Strawberry Generation (RTSN): Firstly, kids should not be used in videos and social media. Our view is that children should be kept away from politics. We don’t wish to see his children get flame online.

Next, Terrific use of anecdotes. Fantastic speaker. Speaker of GE2015.

The ability to influence IS an important skill.

We hope this post triggered your thought process. : )

Visit for more of our idiosyncrasies.


8 replies »

  1. “Firstly, kids should not be used in videos and social media. Our view is that children should be kept away from politics.”

    I don’t see your point. It depends on the context surely.
    BTW, You would notice that none of the PAP candidates’ immediately family members, perhaps with the exception of their wives (during certain functions) ever appeared with them. But my theory is that it is more out of concern for their security, since very few of the PAP MPs are really likable. They can be easily targeted for whatever reasons.

    To me this is ABNORMAL because an MP, a politician, is a public servant of a very special kind. Whether you like it or not, exposing your immediate family members can only be GOOD for the voters – for it helps to keep the MPs on their toes and fully conscious of their responsibility towards the people. My belief is that it is precisely because the immediate family members are kept away from general public knowledge and view that PAP MPs tend to exercise little care and responsibility towards their important roles as representative of the people who voted for them.

    Now, compare them to other first world politicians, like the US and UK. One has to ask this question: What are they afraid of???


    • Another point surely of public interest: This may sound cynical but believe me is quite well grounded in facts, it is regarding the special preferences given to children of PAP members in areas like scholarships and awards. If you bother to trace the parentage of some of them, you will find the obvious relationship. Likely that you will find the offsprings of PAP members being disproportionately represented among scholarship and award winners.


      • A good example is that of Patrick Tan, Tony Tan’s son who was not only given unprecedented long long deferment from NS, but also obtain a bond free scholarship on top of the president’s scholarship. You may also be aware that the present PM was both a president scholar as well as an SAF scholar. He wasn’t the only one of course. But consider the fact that why should one person be considered for and awarded TWO scholarship. It simply means depriving someone else of a scholarship. On its own, each one of these scholarships already provides very generous financial support to a recipient.


  2. Talking about propaganda. You may perhaps be aware that Singaporeans have been treated to an intensive PAP propaganda campaign for the longest of time by courtesy of the SPH group, esp. during the past few months immediately following LKY’s demise and before, during and even after GE 2015. So please do not begrudge the opposition’s ‘poor man’ attempt at it!


  3. While I empathise with Dr Chee for his losing a good job and being made a bankrupt, I am ambiguous about him.

    Doing a video of family (wife and kids) and screening it just days before the election, to me, is PR propaganda in attempt to humanise the candidate This is emotional manipulation and I disagree with it.

    I support opposition members in the Parliament but I will not succumb to PR tactics.


  4. Chee comes across as a man of conviction. Strong conviction. As someone pointed out to me, he and his wife are both PhD holders and presumably could get a job elsewhere, make a life elsewhere, give their children a better life elsewhere.

    That he chose to stay, to suffer privations, to struggle politically, speaks to his conviction and his firm belief in democracy? Let’s give him that.

    It would be churlish of me to wonder if he felt justified in sharing his privation with his children, if his own political agenda superseded his paternal responsibility. That his need to vindicate himself exceeded his need to provide as best he could for his children.

    So we will attribute all that he has done to conviction and commitment to Democracy in Singapore. Great strength of conviction and commitment.

    The only thing is, strength of conviction does not correlate to truth, to competency, to capability, or even to compassion.

    (Terrorists are people of intense conviction.)

    His story is a human interest story. It humanises him and makes him a sympathetic character one can identify with.

    But it does not make him right. It does not make his solutions applicable or appropriate to Singapore. That he has suffered for his convictions make him admirable for his strength of convictions, it does not give him the right to govern or lead Singapore.

    So while we may sympathise with him, while we may even admire him, when we vote we are not ((or should not be) asking, is this a nice fellow? Should I vote for him because he is such a poor thing?

    But that is democracy. We don’t always vote for the correct reasons, the right considerations, the material and relevant factors.

    That is democracy, And that is also an indictment of democracy.


    • Recall the sympathy vote factor for LKY?
      Recall reports and comments made about how likable LHL was during the hustings? The PAP also plastered LHL’s mug on top of PAP candidates’ in many if not all the wards.
      It is a moot and premature point to talk about whether CSJ has the RIGHT to lead or govern Singapore. We don’t know one way or another until he and his party has the opportunity. However, compare this to the leadership and governing skills of the incumbent PM. He is there by virtue of his father. That cannot be denied. Suffice to say, LHL’s tenure to date has been a decade long of ‘downs’ with little ‘ups’ for Singaporeans. No need to repeat the well known reasons.

      But one thing is for sure, during these past 50 years, in particular the last decade, of one party rule, the lives of the average Singaporeans have deteriorated in practically every aspects simply because the PAP has ruled with impunity doing whatever it wanted without any checks and balances. In particular, laws and practices that are purely designed to perpetuate PAP’s rule and suppress/deny very basic freedom of citizens and hamper/tilt the political playing field against the opposition/alternative political parties.


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