Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tears Of A Crocodile

Accolades came in fast and furious during the last few days, paying homage to Dr Balaji for his contributions as politician and caring citizen. Even the gay community forgave him for providing causal link between HIV infection and Sentosa beach parties.

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.


  1. The Chinese has a saying that one should not blame the dead nor matter how bad the deceased was when alive(yuen sheng bu yuen si).
    In the recent deaths of some Government Linked People, Singaporeans are not ready or willing to forgive. One can really senses the intense unhappiness by reading the vitriolics and vituperations in the writings as well as in the market place.
    The Citizenry are quite unison this time round. How then, are they to expect the Parliamentarians to find the self esteem and dignity to face foreign dignitaries when their very own citizens are so unrespectful of their leaders? Where is Sin heading?

  2. With the exception of two non-white MPs, ask what the rest of the parliamentarians in white have done to earn the respect of their constituents?

  3. I share the sentiments of Anon 10:40am. I am surprised by some of the negative comments from netizens concerning LKY's wife's death.

    It is a sad commentary on our politics that LKY is reaping recrimination from folk in this hour of his wife's death. Not offering condolences to a dead lady's family is unpleasant. But this is the result of reducing political debate to that of a violent no holds barred street fight: "cul de sac", "knuckle dusters", "I am my own hatchet man" etc.

    I hope the future leaders of the ruling party will be gentlemanly in their language and actions. One can be tough without being thuggish and vindictive.

    I remember John Major as he eulogised John Smith, the labor party leader, in parliament. He was kind and generous. Smith was described by Major as an opponent and never the enemy. I hope that this kind of decency will characterise our poltics in the post LKY era.

  4. "The Chinese has a saying that one should not blame the dead nor matter how bad the deceased was when alive"
    Well, someone did blame Goh Keng Swee for acting on his own initiative to negotiate the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, even though many others know that Goh was just a messenger of an unpleasant truth.