Aljunied Reject Runs Again: Once Beaten, Twice Still Not Shy?

RONALD LEE: This is one former civil servant whose current political bosses just don’t know when to call it quits.

After getting hammered by the Workers’ Party in Aljunied in General Election 2011, it appears that Ong has now been put in the “safe haven” of the Khaw Boon Wan-led PAP team in Sembawang GRC (as safe as Tang Shan Bo can be).

You’d have thought that with reportedly so many capable men in the PAP stable, the party could muster someone who  voters might actually want in office, and not some reject who couldn’t even beat the WP with former Foreign Minister George Yeo handholding him.

Once bitten, twice shy? Apparently not.

But let’s take a closer look at Mr Ong, besides his unceremonious loss when it came to popping his political cherry (yes, 2011 was his virgin election battle).

He’s the son of former Barisan Socialis leftist Ong Lian Teng. He was also the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and one-time NTUC deputy secretary-general.

Now, the 45-year-old is the Director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation.

When it comes to his virgin election defeat, a contemplative Ong says, “We need to serve with our heart and soul. We can’t let one loss become a defeat, one setback become a failure.”

Sounds like he took a leaf out of SDA chief Desmond Lim’s book.

Let’s see how Mr Ong fares against the NSP when this General Election comes around.

Hopefully his team won’t lose its deposit (like a certain Mr Lim did in 2013).

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