Monday, 24 August 2015

NSP's Steve Chia hounded out of politics by online trolls

NSP decides not to contest MacPherson
Party suffers another blow with Steve Chia pulling out from race and resigning
By Lim Yan Liang and Walter Sim, The Straits Times, 24 Aug 2015

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) seems to have made another U-turn, this time reversing its controversial decision to contest the MacPherson single-seat ward at the coming polls.

This about-face, a second by the NSP since Wednesday, threatens to throw the party - which had set out earlier to unite the opposition - into disarray before the next elections widely expected to be held next month.

The party is still without a secretary-general after acting chief Hazel Poa quit last Wednesday over its central executive committee's decision to renege on an opposition-wide pact to avoid three-cornered fights by steering clear of MacPherson single-member constituency (SMC). The NSP now appears to have also lost a potential candidate for the polls.

This after council member Steve Chia took to social media yesterday to declare that he will not be contesting MacPherson SMC or any other constituency in the coming general election.

His premature withdrawal appears to stem from online flak he drew after the NSP said last Wednesday that it would contest MacPherson afterall. This even though it had said a week earlier that it would bow out of the ward and leave the Workers' Party (WP) to contest against Ms Tin Pei Ling of the People's Action Party (PAP).

The SMC was recently carved out from Marine Parade GRC.

Shortly after the announcement, Mr Chia - a former Non-Constituency MP and NSP secretary-general - started dropping hints on Facebook that he would be fielded in the ward. He may have also been singled out for criticism because it was widely believed that he was a key player behind the internal powerplays that led to his party's shocking U-turn last Wednesday on MacPherson and Ms Poa's resignation in protest against the move.

In a post on his Facebook page titled "The Trolls have won", Mr Chia blamed online criticism for his decision to pull out of MacPherson even before he was officially unveiled as the party's candidate.

"With this notice I am announcing that I will not be standing for this coming #GE2015 and will not be contesting in #MacPhersonSMC anymore," he said in the post.

"It is with anguish and deep sadness that my lifelong ambition to be the people's spokesman in Parliament ends today."

Mr Chia also included a link to a website that purportedly presents a profile of him, including details about a nude photo scandal he was embroiled in when he was an NCMP in 2003. "The site was not set up by me...," he said. Some facts in it were not correctly written, he added without elaborating.

A similar website on NSP president Sebastian Teo also surfaced yesterday. It featured images of old newspaper clippings about his previous entanglements with the law dating back to the 1970s.

Mr Teo could not be reached last night and Mr Chia declined to comment further on the matter.

Analysts say this latest debacle has put a dent in the NSP's credibility for the coming polls, and voters may not take kindly to a party whose house is not in order.

Some, like political scientist Derek da Cunha, say that while it was entirely NSP's prerogative to contest MacPherson, the party must realise there would be negative consequences for such a move.

"NSP will likely take heat from opposition supporters online and perhaps even offline for this flip-flop," he said.

Political analyst Bilveer Singh added that by backpedalling, the NSP came off looking especially bad, given that it was the party that led the all-parties talks intended to eliminate three-cornered fights for votes in the first place.

"Whatever the actual impact, it gives the opposition a bad name in this country," he added.

National Solidarity Party's Steve Chia says he will not contest MacPherson SMC, citing online abuse.
Posted by The Straits Times on Saturday, August 22, 2015

WP don't even have to say anything. All it did is unleashed their WP online trolls. The WP proxies did the dirty work....
Posted by Fabrications About The PAP on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Residents 'are not for horse trading'
By Aw Cheng Wei, The Straits Times, 24 Aug 2015

Residents should not be treated as votes and horse traded between political parties during election season.

That is the view of Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who was speaking to reporters yesterday after a walkabout in Tai Keng Gardens.

"Competition (at the polls) allows residents to have choices, and it also keeps (MPs) on our toes to stay focused on what's important, which is the people, not about horse trading."

Wow. Interesting language here. "I can only wish WP will send a strong candidate and take down MacPherson SMC and take...
Posted by Tan Chuan-Jin on Saturday, August 22, 2015

His comments come after the National Solidarity Party (NSP) drew flak for its recent U-turn to contest in MacPherson SMC, and, in the process, reneging on a pact it made with other opposition parties. The agreement to avoid three-cornered fights at the coming general election was made after two rounds of "horse trading" talks between opposition parties, hosted by the NSP earlier this month.

MacPherson SMC used to be under Marine Parade GRC, but it was carved out as a single-seat ward for the next polls.

Mr Tan, who is part of the team in Marine Parade GRC, said he has always welcomed competition in his constituency. "For us... work didn't start because the elections are coming," he said. "It just never ceased, and we keep improving where we can."

The People's Action Party has yet to announce its full line-up for Marine Parade GRC, but Mr Tan added that he is "looking forward" to Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef's continued service as part of his team. "She has been working the ground here for many years, she knows the residents by name."

#攻人党表里不一的伪君子. WP IB uses fake account to smear not only PAP's candidates, but also other oppositions, like NSP Steve...
Posted by Fabrications About The PAP on Monday, August 24, 2015

NSP President Sets The Record StraightIn recent days, historical events from 4 decades ago have been used by opponents...
Posted by National Solidarity Party on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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