"Burn them" man now wants to join them
In a 180 degree turn-around, the man who called for the ruling People’s Action Party to “burn” now wants to join them as a party volunteer.
On Monday, former opposition member Abdul Malik Mohammed Ghazali, 29, walked into PAP Member of Parliament Zaqy Mohamad’s meet-the-people session and asked to sign up as a volunteer.
He is even thinking of applying to join as a full-fledged card-carrying member.
Just two years ago, in August 2010, Mr Malik left a comment on a Facebook page opposing the Youth Olympic Games’ organising committee.
In it, the former Singapore Democratic Party member and Singapore Malay National Organisation (PMKS) member said it was “time to burn Vivian Balakrishnan and the PAP”, after reports surfaced of a food poisoning case involving 15 volunteers.
Mr Balakrishnan was at that time the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
The police arrested him for making comments that “incited violence”, but dropped the case the following year.
Mr Malik said he decided to defect from the opposition because the PAP MPs have helped him in over the past year, when he needed financial help.
“They have helped me a lot in the past year. Now I see other people facing the same problems as me, I want to help them too through the PAP,” he said.
Mr Malik, a former member of two opposition parties, told Singapolitics that he is also considering applying to be a PAP member.
Mr Zaqy confirmed he met with Mr Malik. “I welcomed him to help the community if he is keen. We are open-minded with regards to whoever walks through our doors at the meet-the-people session,” he said.
But while Mr Malik is willing, he may find that it is not so easy to become a PAP member.
Mr Zaqy said that anyone who applies to be a PAP member would require a branch’s acceptance and recommendation.
For his Keat Hong branch, “there is a period of service in the community that is required for us to vet individual character and commitment to the party”.
Asked if Mr Malik would be recommended given his past behaviour and history with the opposition, Mr Zaqy said: “His past would be considered. But people do change. I cannot give you a yes or no answer as he has not started serving as a volunteer yet.”
So when and why did Mr Malik change his mind about the PAP?
He said it started about a year ago, when he began receiving financial help from his MP then, Ms Halimah Yacob. He continued to receive help in finding his wife employment and subsidised childcare for his young children when he moved to Mr Zaqy’s ward this year.
Mr Malik is a chemical engineering technician. He married his 24-year-old wife last year and had a child, now aged one. He is also the stepfather to his wife’s four children aged two to seven.
He joined the SDP in 2010, before leaving it in March 2011 to join PKMS. He left PKMS shortly before the general election and has not stood for an election.