May 15, 2011

Those Aljunied Voters!

It’s been a week since Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee (YAM) announced that Workers’ Party had outpolled the PAP in Aljunied GRC.

When YAM made that announcement in the wee hours of Sunday May 8, I instinctively turned to hug my team-mate Faisal. Faisal reacted calmly then, but told me at lunch yesterday that he was puzzled as to why I did that… I explained that it was just the flood of thoughts - about the many years we had spent together knocking on doors, facing all sorts of reactions, and our individual circumstances at different points in time. My word, the Aljunied voters had come through!

The WP Aljunied team went through two Thank-You parades, one on May 8, the other yesterday May 14.

May 8 turned out to be the hottest day in 19 years, according to Pritam. We were too tired to think of using any sun block, which made all 5 of us literally change colour on the lorry. Weaving in and out of car parks and roads in Bedok North (Kaki Bukit), Bedok Reservoir and Serangoon was invigorating, as there was a palpable sense of pride in the voters for the outcome in Aljunied.

There were also hints of what was on the minds of certain voters when they cast their vote, from what some of them called out from their flats as we drove past. “Keep your promise!” yelled one man, referring to our promise to serve them as best we could. Yet another bellowed out: “I want to REPE-N-N-T-T-T”, which needs no further elaboration. One lady came running after our lorry, saying: “林小姐,你的手好了吗?” meaning “Ms Lim, has your hand recovered?” Yes, she was the one whose dog sank its teeth into my hand when I visited them at home on March 13….

Yesterday we were fully prepared for Part 2 of the Thank You parade, with several choices of sun block. As if to play a cruel joke, the heavens poured torrents. We were then weaving around Paya Lebar - Kovan and Lorong Ah Soo. My team-mates decided to be men and stand in the rain totally drenched, while I was permitted to be a “gu-niang” and take cover under a WP umbrella. Residents ran up to us offering more umbrellas, drying cloths and other aids. We were very touched.

A new phase has begun.

We are indeed grateful to the voters for their support, and look forward to serving them.

May 14, 2011

Leaving Temasek Polytechnic

I have resigned from Temasek Polytechnic. The text of the media release is here.

Media Release


This is to confirm that I have, on 13 May 2011, tendered my resignation from my position at Temasek Polytechnic, after more than twelve years of service.

The move is prompted by what I anticipate to be an increased workload after being elected as part of the Workers' Party team for Aljunied GRC in General Elections 2011.

My role at the Polytechnic included teaching full-time and part-time students, as well as co-ordinating continuing education initiatives for adult learners undertaken by the Polytechnic's School of Business. To fulfill these responsibilities well would require sufficient time, focus and dedication.

Already in the last 5 years as Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, working hours have been spent on Parliamentary activities such as sittings and the occasional overseas trip. While the Polytechnic management has supported these national platforms, I foresee that the years ahead as an elected Member will be even more demanding.

After due consideration, I have concluded that it would not be fair to the Polytechnic management, colleagues and students for me to continue in my post at Temasek Polytechnic as an elected MP. I will henceforth explore other career options.

This decision to leave Temasek Polytechnic was arrived at with decidedly mixed feelings, as I have enjoyed my work and colleagues there tremendously. I would like to record my sincere thanks to the Polytechnic management and colleagues for their kind understanding and friendship all these years.