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The story of the lorry and the topless bus

I wanted to write more during the Punggol East by-elections but dengue slowed me down to being extremely unproductive. 

Congratulations to the Workers' Party for winning the by-elections by a 10% margin, an opposition win which many thought would either be a close fight or one that Workers' Party was to lose because of the multi-cornered fight. 

Yet, this story is on the post elections.


Photo from

Never mind that the Singapore mainstream media has made PAP candidate's Dr Koh Poh Koon a folder of gif animated jokes for waving to an almost empty audience

No, this story is about the approach that the two political parties have taken to symbolise their status. 

The topless bus symbolise the future that is Singapore. Yet, this future put an unimaginable distance between the leaders and its people. How close can you be with the people, if you high up there waving your hands?

The Workers' Party chose a good old fashion lorry. The lorry symbolise that old is gold, a vehicle that allows the winner to be within arm's reach of her supporters, young and old. 

With the lorry, the winner is within control of the vehicle. With a slight bang to the hood, the winner can tell the driver to stop so as they can alight and reach out to more audience. 

The topless bus driver would not stop as it is not part of its route and destination. 

Even in victory and lost, there are lessons. With the medium now called the Internet making the obvious stand out more, it is important to ensure the image you create is what the audience wants to see, and not the other way round. 


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