Cow Beh Cow Bu

Underdogs, Yes, But Dr Chee and the SDP can do a Leicester City in Bukit Batok

HAROLD CHAI: Pretty much all of you know who Dr Chee Soon Juan is (I hope!)

Maybe not all know what Leicester City is – no it’s not a “city”, it’s a football club in the English Premier League.

They’ve had a terrible reputation, dropping in and out of the top tier of the league every now and then.

This year, they were prime contenders to get relegated, and their odds of winning the trophy were 5000 to 1.

You couldn’t name half of the team players because they weren’t famous like Juan Mata or Wayne Rooney or even Michael Carrick (who really cares about Michael Carrick, eh?)

And yes, Leicester City players were paid A LOT less than their more illustrious rivals.

They’ve just been announced league winners, and their star striker James Vardy (who?) won the Player of the Year award.

Leicester City has just proven that no matter how much people laugh at you, criticise you, or jeer at you based on your past performances, you can still come out top dog if you work hard, play to your strengths and adopt the right strategies.

That’s where the similarities with Dr Chee and the SDP come in.

Mocked by so many because of his heckling of “Woody” Goh, his hunger strike, his protest marches, his jail sentence, his bankruptcy, Dr Chee has been dubbed a failure.

Brash, outspoken and adversarial, he was once the bad boy of Singapore politics – no other opposition politician can match his track record of brushes with the law.

Yet, the simple book-peddler is still kicking and contesting.

What does that tell you about the man?

Dogged? Definitely.

Only now, that doggedness is matched with a composure – he doesn’t snap, even when being attacked on all sides by his rivals’ “dirty tackles”.

That’s something even Murali fan, Singapore’s talented but hot-headed footballing son V Sundramoorthy, can’t attest to.

The other thing Dr Chee has going for him is sound tactics.

He’s got a good town council plan in place for Bukit Batok, one that in theory will serve the needs of residents better than any town council management could.

Engaging experts to run areas within their expertise, while consistently seeking feedback from those whose lives will be impacted – that’s the kind of approach which companies pay 5-figure sums to management consultants to come up with.

As for Dr Chee’s “players”, not many roll off the tongue easily except esteemed doctor Paul Tambyah, but Bukit Batok residents will probably recognise their faces better than their names.

That’s because they’ve been working hard in the constituency to regain lost ground since GE2015.

All that, while Murali took his eyes off the ball in an attempt to win Paya Lebar over to the white side.

Almost the whole of Singapore (estimate only ah) is expecting Dr Chee to lose in Bukit Batok.

But he has changed as much as he has called for change in Singapore.

If given a chance, he might just be the one to put the ball in the net for the SDP in this by-election.

I truly believe that will be a good thing for Bukit Batok residents like myself.

Not to mention, it’ll be a good wake-up call for the “Man Utd” of Singapore that things aren’t going very well and it’s time to clean up their act.

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