Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tears Of A Crocodile
He was one of the super 7, freshly minted MPs squirreled into parliament via the GRC machinings, with the distinction of being anointed Minister material. But for reasons undisclosed, he never made the million dollar club. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself said Dr Balaji distinguished himself in many fields - in medicine, the community and the public service. No dressed-up Zorro, this was superman in the flesh. According to Lee, who met him two weeks before succumbing to colon cancer, his mind was still on his responsibilities to the Cheng San-Seletar residents.
Yet for all his invaluable services enumerated, PM Lee said he saw no difficulty in the 5 other MPs taking over Dr Balaji's duties. So was he a redundant player, or the Ang Mo Kio GRC is just another bloated overhead, a waste of taxpayer money? Or perhaps they are still sore at Cheng San, who rooted for JB Jeyaratnam's team in the 1988 polls. They don't give a hoot, Cheng San can go to pot, seems to be the message.
No by-election has been considered to replace the late Dr Balaji, Lee Hsien Loong told reporters, disappointing both opposition parties and citizens clamouring for their voices to be heard in parliament. This was also the sham in Jurong GRC, when a by-election was not called after MP Ong Chit Chung died in July 2008. You would think they had lots of talent standing by in the wings, ready to render service for the nation. After all, the money is good. Very good. Yet it appears that the ruling party is afraid to face the people, as their leader takes flight to Belgium, avoiding awkward questions.