Speaking at the Project Reach discussion on strategic engagement of new media, Teo Ser Luck lamented that a Facebook post by someone from an opposition party gathered " a lot of likes and hero worshipping", but a similar message posted by a PAP member resulted in criticism. That was before he was alerted to the posting by a PAP youth wing member of a photo of a Huda Kindergarten school bus, labelled "Bus filled with young terrorist trainees?"
Tampines resident Firdaus emailed YP vice-chairman Zaqy Mohamad, and latter's comments are illuminating:
"The YP has throughout the years, brought in its members through the branches. They would have demonstrated a certain level of interest and commitment towards the Party before they would be referred by a trusted comrade for membership. The reference would largely be experiential; with the referrer’s knowledge based on his practical and personal encounters with the potential member."
Zaqy's initial response ("My Holdingt Reply Last Night') to the email stated this:
"However, I am informed that the photo posted was made earlier in the year some time in Feb. XXX had joined YP much later in June."
Note the lifeline extended to the racist: the offending post was made before the party membership card was issued. It would appear "a certain level of interest and commitment towards the Party" is all that is required of membership, moral inaptitude and innate prejudices are presumably secondary considerations. The Ku Klux Klan probably shared similar recruiting philosophies.
Initially YP leaders contemplated an internal investigation before taking action, a protracted process that calls for a vote by the central executive committee. Teo Ser Luck, who expressed disagreement at the Project Reach meeting with the IPS survey finding that the recent GE was not a "Internet election", knew he had to cut his losses, and arranged for the black sheep to resign, and the Facebook account deactivated.
But three police reports have already been lodged, including one from the principal of the Islamic kindergarten maligned. It remains to be seen if the final outcome will be a repeat of the "investigation" involving a certain Marine Parade GRC MP. After all, Teo did say the Government is now learning to use new media effectively, but it is still essential to "balance with the usage of traditional media like newspapers to tap into different communities".