When writing about the loss of Aljunied to the WP, why is it necessary to imply that the voters who voted for WP are emotional, bear grudges and cannot see the big picture?
See below, emphasis mine.
It is around 1am and three young men are puffing away on their Viceroy Menthols. All are from Aljunied GRC and their nicotine intake had shot up in the last week.
Customer service officer W.K. Ho, 29, is one of dozens, possibly hundreds, of people at the Bedok Stadium tonight who are here for Mr George Yeo first, and the People’s Action Party second.
All three men sport neat, short hair in natural, undyed black. They wear the Aljunied PAP T-shirt, but sport ‘In George We Trust’ stickers as well. The frustration of Mr Ho and his friends is clear, and it is seen not just in the thick cloud of smoke above their heads.
They have been trying to reach out to their friends who are PAP detractors, and they sense that they have failed.
Mr Ho brings up numbers and data to show how things have improved, but their friends bring up anecdotes of people treated badly by the Government.
Data versus personal stories, head versus heart: These are the sides being drawn up in the battle, says Mr Ho. And it is driving him to cigarettes.
‘I had to buy a whole carton to see me through the week,’ he says, sounding a little disappointed in himself.
He and his friends have brought champagne. It is sitting in a car outside the stadium, the cork ready to be popped after a PAP victory in Aljunied GRC.
Almost close enough to smell the smoke is a woman who wants to be known only as Ms Koh. The 30-year-old prefers to stay anonymous because she is selling food from a cart without a licence.
The thin woman, clad in a T-shirt and shorts, is handling the sticky mua chee (rice dough dipped in crushed fried peanuts) with bare hands.
Her customers, most wearing all white and sporting PAP badges, do not seem to mind.
She has been fined many times by the authorities who want her to use gloves, among other things.
‘How can I use gloves to handle this? It’s so sticky. How come they don’t ask the prata man to use gloves?’ she argues.
She is the classic resentful, personal-grudge voter, impervious to the big picture, the long view.
She is, in other words, the kind of person who haunts Mr Ho in his nightmares. She has set up a cart at nearly every opposition rally and thinks the Workers’ Party will win big tonight.
The other opposition parties will lose. Her statistical tool? Mua chee sales. She will turn out to be more accurate than many a think-tank pundit.
Up in the stands is an interested bystander in a T-shirt and slippers who cannot even vote.
Mr H.L. Chua, 40, a freelance designer, is a permanent resident who came here from Malaysia as a child, blazed through his studies and went on to an Ivy League school in the United States.
He has been fascinated by the way tiny things become significant during the campaigning. A resident of Bedok, he has walked here to capture the thrill.
In his home country, electioneering is a contact sport, with the media a breathless observer, and often an enthusiastic participant.
‘Here, one Facebook comment can become a scandal,’ he says, grinning.
By 2.30am, it is all nearly over. Ms Koh will close up her tiny stall. Business has been so-so.
A large number of PAP supporters have been supplied with packaged food (piles of Old Chang Kee boxes and cartons of Pepsi are spied in one section).
Not many need snacks. She wakes up her sleepy nephews, lying on mats.
Mr Ho, the chain-smoking George Yeo supporter, has not heard good news tonight. The champagne will still be drunk, though.
‘It will console us,’ he says.