Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NSP’s Goh Meng Seng pledges to sell flat to fund election bid

NSP’s Goh Meng Seng pledges to sell flat to fund election bid
By Ng E-Jay(The Online Citizen)

The Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party (NSP), Mr Goh Meng Seng, has revealed to close associates and supporters that he intends to sell his HDB flat in Serangoon North in order to fund his upcoming election campaign.

This was announced on Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog as well as on the Sammyboy Alfresco Coffeeshop forum. Mr Goh had helped the ex-NTUC chief deliver the mandarin versions of his speeches at Hong Lim Park in late 2008 during the Lehman minibond saga.

TOC’s Political Desk caught up with Mr Goh Meng Seng yesterday to enquire about his decision to go “all in” against the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP).

According to Mr Goh, NSP President Sebestian Teo has himself committed personal funds to finance NSP’s election bid. As Secretary-General of the party, Mr Goh feels that he should throw in his lot as well. Thus, Mr Goh, in consultation with his wife, made the decision to sell his flat last week in order to contribute to NSP’s election war chest. He says his wife has been very supportive and understanding.

Mr Goh emphasized that he need not sell his flat if he merely intended to fund his own election battle. However, he feels that as a leader of the party, the onus is on him to personally tend to what he terms “the bigger strategic campaign” of NSP.

The amount of money that each election candidate must spend can be daunting. The election deposit alone is around $14,000 per candidate. In addition, every candidate must be prepared to spend an additional $10,000 if he is a member of a GRC team, and more if he stands in a single member ward. Mr Goh feels that leaders of NSP should be willing to assist with the finances of their candidates.

A “make or break” strategy?

Every since Mr Goh started dabbling in opposition politics, he had made it clear to all what his political stand is. In his view, he should either stay in Singapore and try to initiate change to the political system, which includes fighting against the PAP’s unfair election tactics, such as gerrymandering and pork-barrel politics via the HDB upgrading carrot, or he should leave Singapore altogether for the sake of his children.

He says that after over a decade in opposition politics, he has to be answerable to his family, having sacrificed so much time that could have been spent with his family. If his next election bid yields no results for him, he says he might have to leave politics altogether. By selling his flat, he is not only putting his money where his mouth is, but also committing himself to a final confrontation with the PAP.

He says he will leave it to voters to decide if his party and his political stand is worth voting for, and that he would have no regrets either way it turns out. He says that even if he loses, at least he can answer to his children with a clear conscience that he has done his best.

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