Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Phoenix will rise again

Well, I got half my wish. Mr Mah Bow Tan is out of the Cabinet, though he remains a government backbencher. I am ambivalent with his replacement, the former Health Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan. One hopes that he doesn't do a rabbit trick in the National Development Ministry by acquiring a BTO (Build-to-Order) apartment for $8 for himself. But then again, he has breached the income ceiling, so no chance.

Somehow, now that Mr Mah is out, I feel a tinge of regret. The blame for the skyrocketing prices of public apartments was not his alone. The Permanent Secretary probably bears as much responsibility, if not more, for not alerting his political masters about an impending problem. But then, they are civil servants, so they just do what they are told. But Mr Mah has taken responsibility and lost his job. And that's that. Of course, his generous government pension will not leave him begging on the roadside. He will be well taken care of. Some chairmanship position will come along, and he'll be a hero (hao han) once again.

I wish him the best.

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