Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam held a rally in Singapore on a wet and soggy day last Saturday afternoon.
In pouring rain, only 300 Singaporeans turned up at the event.
Invoking the name of his father and party founder Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, son Kenneth Jeyaretnam told the crowd ambitiously, “He defined the mission of Reform Party as being nothing less than the total transformation of Singapore’s political system.”
Kenneth Jeyaretnam the went on to say nothing new, but only to repeat what Singapore’s unsuccessful opposition parties have been repeating for years – and years.
He pledged that the first thing Reform Party would do should they form the government is to lower ministers’ salary to “levels in line with those paid leaders in other advanced countries.”
Then it was on to cutting Singapore’s taxes (which are already low), hiking spending to improve education and healthcare systems, ensuring greater job opportunities and reviewing the use of state-sovereign wealth funds. Kenneth Jeyaretnam had no new ideas, but simply went on to repeat what had been said many times before.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam questioned Singapore’s open door policy, calling it an “easy” way to boost economic growth. Was he implying that Singapore’s soaring economic growth was a bad thing? Oh yes, then there was the plea for “more affordable housing.” Ho hum!
Fellow Reform Party member Alec Tok complained that between 1990 and 2010, property prices in Singapore had risen by 342 percent. Is that such a bad thing?
Other stale Reform Party issues covered living costs, building a “sustainable knowledge-based economy,” phasing out inefficient factories, invest in better technology, and carrying out more R&D. Yawn!
If attendees were expecting to see some of his father’s fiery brand of rhetoric, they were sorely disappointed. Daddy’s boy, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, is more measured, lacking in any sense of excitement, or of new ideas. The guy should go back to being a hedge fund manager.
In attendance, with nothing better to do, as he is out on bail, was Alan Shadrake, convicted author of Once a Jolly Hangman.
The elephant in the crowd was Balraj (aka Baldev) co-founder with Kenneth Jeyaretnam of Singapore’s Reform Party.
Niadu is in prison in the U.S. having been convicted on charges of terrorism.