Sunday, November 28, 2010
Brains Without Balls
In the well-documented 1413 heresy trial of Jan Hus, this statement of his was not challenged: "Many times have the Popes fallen into sin and error, for instance when Joan was elected Pope, who was a woman." And there is circumstantial evidence difficult to explain if there was never a female Pope, the so-called chaise percée or Porphyry Chair owned by the Vatican Museum, which has been part of the medieval papal consecration ceremony for almost 600 years. Each newly elected Pope after Joan had to sit on the sella stercoraria (literally, "dung seat"), a special marble chair with a hole in the middle to facilitate examination by physicians to ensure that he was truly a man. Afterward the examiner would solemnly inform the gathered people, "Mas nobis nominus est" -- "Our nominee is a man." Only then was the Pope handed the keys of St. Peter.
Today the ruling party will be huddling together to elect a new Central Executive Committee, using a secretive process styled after the way the Vatican selects a new pope. In 1988, Wong Kan Seng revealed that there were more than 1,000 PAP cadres (the register of cadres is kept confidential). To become a cadre, a party member has to be first nominated by the MP in his or her branch. Cadre members have the right to attend party conferences and to vote for and to be elected to the CEC, the fount of political power and privilege.
Since the whole shebang is so top secret, nobody really knows what goes on behind the closed doors. George Yeo likes to repeat what his brother Jim once told him, that to succeed in life, one needs the 3 B’s. What are the 3 B’s? They are Brains, Balls and Breaks. "Brains without balls doesn’t get you very far," says the Foreign Minister. Makes you wonder if they have their own version of the "sella stercoraria." After all, what self respecting Singaporean wants to be led by an Ah Kua?