Monday, November 8, 2010

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost....

It's not unexpected that Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan came to the defence of Thomson Medical so quickly. After all founder Dr Cheng Wei Chen did parlay his $10 million investment into $513 millions. It was also Khaw who read out the letter from TT Durai's daughter in parliament, an appeal to PM Lee to help restore her father's honour. And it was Khaw to whom TT Durai and his chairman Richard Yong turned to in person as a life buoy of last resort. The man definitely has a kindly ear for the rich, and teetering on the verge of notoriety.

Khaw is asking that a "systemic approach" be used to look into the IVF bungling at Thomson Medical. He knows that a witch-hunt will ultimately finger the man in charge, where the buck should really stop. And that's awkward with the imminence of coming elections. Laying blame on the system implies no individual is accountable or responsible. Like cussing at God for the Orchard Road floods.

Unfortunately the "systemic approach" will not be utilised for the 4 youths, age 18 to 20, involved in the fatal rumble at Downtown East. Did the education system fail them? Were they and/or their family victims of the unemployment situation? Was the lax security system at a public shopping mall at fault? None of these issues will be explored, they will simply hang. For them, rehabilitation is not an option.

In 2005 Dinesh Bhatia was sentenced one year of jail for consuming cocaine. Then MP K. Shanmugam appealed and had it reduced to 8 months, by arguing that Bhatia "did not know that it was cocaine, and had a 'fleeting suspicion' the substance could be illegal". We get it. This one deserved rehabilitation because he might just grow up to be a High Court Judge like his father Amarjeet Singh, or a Nominated Member of Parliament like his mother Kanwaljit Soin.

Khaw should really heed Amarjeet Singh's own words, "It doesn't pay to mess around with the system". By letting off one rotten apple, the whole bushel may end up being rejected by an outraged public.


  1. excellent piece of writing! thank you!

  2. one law for the oligarchy and their friends
    another set of law for the rest

  3. In the face of a national problem, the approach has always been to find a "nameless" system which the perpetrators can hide behind and whom the general public can point their blame to.

    What happens if the gardener spent his entire life cultivating an orchard of rotten apples? There's really no single rotten apple to protect, is there?

  4. Maybe we can expect another "i looked silly" remark in near future?

  5. It is a system failure and not a partial or minor one BUT one whole system. Lax supervision at the top and negligence all the way from there.

  6. Any hope of getting the letter TT Duraí's daughter sent to Khaw?