Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Balancing the People

Senior Counsel and the honorary MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (etc. etc.) Mr Hri Kumar Nair has been crossing swords with Asst Prof Eugene Tan of SMU over the issue of the need to hold a by-election at the Hougang single member constituency (SMC). Prof Tan argued that the government is obliged to hold one. Mr Hri Kumar said no. That's what Mr Kumar's legalese amounted to anyway. You know what? I may be able to follow the argument, but I am no more enlightened by it all, especially Mr Kumar's arguments, which seem to fit chambers, but are lost with us common folks.

But one thing I can discern, and that is the PAP, which Mr Hri Kumar so likes to point out that he is beholden to for his present position in Parliament, has still not learned from last year's elections. Well, let's set aside all the intellectual crossing of swords and ask ourselves: if I were a resident, if Mr Kumar is a resident, of Hougang, would he much prefer to have an MP represent him? Honestly? A 'yes' or a 'no' will do. I would say 'yes'. If nothing, having an MP working for you is an entitlement as a citizen. I don't pay more nor less for an MP's allowance, so why deprive me? But above all considerations of money, can I trust the PAP government to look after me? Not if it pussyfoots on holding a by-election, as it appears to be doing now.

So my question is, does the PAP government even have a heart for the people? Right now, the answer, going by Mr Hri Kumar's eloquence on the national stage and in the newspapers, is NO. Its the law, you see. Its about "may" and "should" or "could" or whatever, that is important. He admires and trusts the law, whether it is British Law or Singapore Law, to cover the PAP's collective behind. And all said in learned sentences that probably three-quarters of Singaporeans don't understand. I daresay that if Mr Kumar comes out to contest in an SMC tomorrow (why not Hougang"), he will have his figurative tail between his legs when the votes are tallied. Maybe that's the REAL reason for prevaricating? (see I also know some cheem words, don't play play).

So we have another PAP man who rides a high horse and seems to be having a good time talking it up. The people, nahhh...neigh..., they are not important. Where are the people in Mr Kumar's learned opinions? Sadly, they don't exist. The PAP might as well drop the first 'P' in its name.

If the PAP is listening, the problem with you is your arrogance. Period.

P.S. I fear that I will be accused of putting words into someone's mouth. I apologise if I have offended anyone, or deigned (there's another cheem word) to criticize duly elected and learned members of national institutions.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moral Glass Houses

What's that they say? Those that live in glass houses should learn not to throw stones. National Development Minister, Mr Khaw "$8" Boon Wan reportedly "reminded voters to consider a person's character when they go to the polls, adding that there is no difference between a person's personal and professional life once he or she enters politics..."

Well, nobody is perfect, and nobody can know a person perfectly. Often not even the person whom he/she shares a bed with every night knows each other perfectly, no matter what Valentiners would have you believe. Dare Mr Khaw claim that he and/or the PAP knows all its elected MPs all that well? Mr Khaw's remarks called to mind the tragic case of Mr Teh Cheang Wan, coincidentally also the National Development Minister in MM Lee's cabinet in the early 1980s. Teh had been highly rated by MM then, and he was fast-tracked into the Cabinet. Unfortunately, he managed to fool MM and his government. He was on the take, and when confronted with this, he committed suicide. Perhaps Mr Khaw was too young to remember this (nah...can't be, he's easily older than me), or, more likely, he has a case of selective amnesia.

The Yaw affair is a sad one. But I think the WP did right to claim the moral high ground even though it knew that the people in the PAP, and maybe others, will ridicule them and say all manner of ill about them as if these same stone-throwers are angels sent from God.

Mr Khaw also reportedly said that it (the sacking of Mr Yaw) "was a sad development to learn that an MP’s character was deemed insufficient by his own party". Yes, it is indeed tragic, but the PAP would have done no less to its own, and did no less in the past. So Mr Khaw should get off his high horse. It can happen to you or me. People whom we may have trusted for a long time may turn out very different and disappoint us thoroughly.

Get this right: There is nothing wrong about being the "cheatee". It is the cheater who is wrong.