Saturday, September 05, 2015

Workers' Party Rally (Nee Soon GRC) @ Yishun Stadium for General Election 2015 #GE2015

It's been four years and election fever has once again hit the tiny red dot! Maybe because of my age, maybe because of the country's coming of age (hey, Singapore is now half a century old); discussions on the election this time have been rather heated and many a time, combative. 

Whatever the case, do treasure the vote in your hand. Without further, let me bring to you photographs of the workers' party rally at Yishun Stadium yesterday!

As i was attending the rally right after work and knowing that car parks surrounding the stadium were likely to be closed, i parked the car at ORTO (the old Yishun bottletree park) instead. 

Crossing the bridge - i am definitely not the only Singaporean who did the same thing (parking at ORTO and walking over)! I am just thankful i managed to secure a space as i couldn't leave my office on time.

A dad bringing his son to the rally? Not really with the badminton rackets on his back although i thought it is important to let the young experience election rallies and know that their future actually depends on the outcome of the election.

The iconic stadium in Yishun which held a lot of memories for me as we often used the stadium for sports meets, training sessions during the primary and secondary school days. 

For those who came without having their dinner (like me), there were ice cream vendors, drinks vendors and even muah chee vendors! The problem i faced was that i had less than S$2 with me! 

Eye catching placards! Compared to four years ago, the quantity was very much reduced. I find that to be a real pity as designing placards are truly a test on your creativity! 

With the amount i had in my pants, i would be better off buying two newspapers and getting a bottle of ice cold 7-Up for free! 

Sheltered section was already filled with people; many belonging to my parents or even grandparents' generation. 

The seemingly empty grass field that housed the main stage. Maybe due to the rally being held on a weekday, the field had yet to fill up and from past experiences, the mid to later part of the rallies are usually more targeted towards the residents. 

Given my short stature, there's only so much i can see! Nevertheless, i am aware of a good spot where i can have a bird's eye view of the entire stadium and get a better grasp of the size of the crowd.

Hammers - the symbol of the workers' party; biggest opposition party in Singapore that managed to secure seven out of 87 parliamentary seats in the last election. The number was small yet meaningful in Singapore's context.

No idea who this guy is but he spoke passionately about the wrongs of the current government in the Hokkien dialect. As someone who belongs to the same dialect, it was heart-warming even though i might not agree to some of his points. 

Some of the workers' party candidates for this election; two of whom would be competing in Nee Soon GRC! A hard fight with people's action party for sure as the candidates include a seasoned cabinet minister, an enthusiastic lady and an animal activist. 

The emcee; Ms He Ting Ru - young and pretty, it's no doubt that a lot of attention has been given to her like many of the younger, prettier candidates in other parties. Don't play play okay, she has a Master of Arts from Cambridge! 

Associate Professor Daniel Goh - with his entry into the political arena, the presence of an accomplished academic has definitely added a certain level of credibility to the opposition! Needless to say, it would be exciting fight for East Coast GRC! 

Attentive audience although some might not even know what he was talking about since many from the older generations do not understand English. A few of my mom's friends don't even know how to speak Mandarin. 

A few were more eager in taking photographs rather than listening to the speeches. I tried to do both and caught snippets here and there. 


Going off - to the housing block in the above photograph!


Taken from the 11th floor - the participation didn't appear to be high with the field about a third or even a quartered filled. 

False illusion of a photograph using the basic cropping function. For the rest of the field, just rely on the viewer's imagination. Having said that, comparing the attendance of rallies between the political parties has never been a good determinant for the outcome. 

Cordoned carpark; heng i never try my luck!! 

Supporters of the worker's party - basic displays include the flags, the inflatable hammers, the umbrellas (which were not as common this time).

This obviously took the cake for its excessive display (frankly, from far, i thought it was related to Thaipusam) and the earnest supporter even had an air horn! 

Speaking of air horns, they should be banned!! Besides being an irritant and a noise pollutant, it drowned out the speeches! Rude right!? 

Returning back to the field; have a hate-love relationship with the floodlights. Needed them for illumination as my night shots cannot make it but they often result in light orbs in the photos!

Since the field was built for soccer, there were plenty of space for residents to chill out. I would not be surprised if someone had organised a picnic session.

Workers' party booth outside the stadium where you can buy the memorabilia to support the party in their signature blue colour. Hope some of you can identify the colours associated with the political parties.

Those with insufficient lung capacity can engage the service of the man to blow up the inflatable hammers! Long comfortable with the blue colour associated with workers' party, why was the hammer yellow?!

View from the spectators seating at the sheltered section.

With a seating capacity for 3,400 persons, some were standing for a better view while others were sitting on the staircase, limiting the already narrow walkway to a one-person width. 

From another angle - the crowd had also started building up by this time.

Speech by Mr Gerald Giam - as a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) over the past four years, he had stood up numerous times in Parliament. Versus this with other legitimate (so called voted in) MPs who missed parliament countless times and appeared to be too shy to be on national tv.

Random pictures as i took too many, as expected. The total file size was over 10 gigabytes when i transferred the pictures over; eventually scaled them down to 3.8 GB.

The block of public housing well-liked by photographers for its vantage location! Do be polite and considerate to the residents; some households have plants outside so in your haste to take pictures, do take care of their plants too!

The other side of the field.

Further to the fact that the stage was on the opposite end of the field, this side had a certain charm for a specific group of residents even though i am not sure if the activity is still allowed within the stadium.

An unofficial smoking corner! 

Near the stage! Does anyone remember the workers' party tagline for the last election? The last one was "towards a first world parliament" and the one this election is "empower your future"! 

Bursting spectators seating at the unsheltered section. One of my friends was there and even managed to send me a picture of me walking past him! Damn do i look fat in that photo. 

Candidate for Nee Soon GRC - Mr Luke Koh who reminded me as someone very bookish. Sounded a bit nervous although this would be inevitable for anyone who was facing such a large audience for the first time.

Random photos for the second time! 

Proceeding to the block again! I bet the residents don't usually have so many people taking the escalators but c'mon, it's only once every few years! One resident on the 12th floor must have been quite irritated as he/she put up a pail with a broom sitting vertical on it to prevent people from crossing to the public corridor outside his/her flat.

Notice the difference after an hour?

Residents continued to stream in from the two entrances / exits. 

Another candidate for Nee Soon GRC - Mr Foo Seck Guan! He was vocal, engaging and had a confident tone in his voice! Sounds like someone who would represent the residents well if he were to be elected. 

Introducing the line up for Nee Soon GRC! 

As it was only about 9pm, the rally had yet to end. Following the speeches by the candidates of Nee Soon GRC, it's the turn of Mr Png Eng Huat to deliver his speech! 

The final two speeches were of course reserved for the veterans Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Sylvia Lim, secretary general and chairman of workers' party, respectively. 

Third round of random photographs!

End of rally! I am glad i stayed throughout even though i wasn't concentrating most of the times. With current technology, video streaming is so easy and if you are keen to listen to the speeches by workers' party in this election, you may check out http://www.wp.sg/rallies-3/.

Thousands of people slowly making their way out; i must be fast too in order to avoid the bottleneck even though some residents have already started streaming out by the end of speeches by candidates of Nee Soon GRC.

Many thanks to the police personnel who have to work extremely hard during this period! 

Ironically, i chanced upon an abandoned copy of the PAP magazine at the stairwell as i walked down the block. At the very least, i didn't find the same defacement as in the case of Ang Mo Kio GRC which is really uncalled for.

Crowded bus stop for buses going to Ang Mo Kio; why?!!?!? Isn't this Nee Soon GRC? Thanks to the election department, the boundary for the GRC covers some parts of Yio Chu Kang too (which we all thought would fall under Ang Mo Kio).

My fellow Singaporeans, polling day is in a few days time and i believe you would be bombarded with speeches peppered with name smearing, issues that remain unresolved till this date and issues that will affect our future. 

Every vote counts; treasure yours. 

p.s. Those who are still undecided can consider taking the interesting survey at http://www.electionaire.info/survey.

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