Friday, March 25, 2011

Old Soldiers Never Die

When you gotta go, you gotta go!
The headline hit like another 9.0 magnitude tsunami, veteran Jayakumar quitting his Senior Minister paying job at age 71? He could easily collect another $30 million by shaking legs for one more decade, just like the char tau Goh Chok Tong. Can there be honour in this same man who once directed then AG Chan Sek Keong to draft the legal opinion that Goh could be in a prohibited balloting area without walking across the off limits zone?

Perhaps we have been too harsh on the man, he could have been merely taking orders like the rest of the sycophants. Maybe he is not as thick skinned as the remaining others. "You will not find anyone in Bedok who is pleased that he is stepping down," looks like a nice epithet. Better to go off with a pleasant memory than be haunted by regurgitated abuses of the past.

The press didn't highlight the election incident of 1997, when the Workers' Party had complained to the police that Goh Chok Tong, Tony Tan and Brigadier-General (NS) Lee Hsien Loong had been sighted inside a Cheng San GRC balloting station on Polling Day. Instead, they flagged him with the Contemplacion case. "He was very determined not to let this case become a cause for the rupture of Singapore-Philippines relations," wrote the press. Although "he managed the whole case in a very clinical and effective way", there were ugly protests in front of the Singapore Embassy in Manila and diplomatic relations with the Philippines were strained for quite a few years.

"Life has an unfair, unpredictable quality about it and you must take it as it comes. But then, that's not what I would have thought if you had asked me when I was 30 years old. Now it's a different perspective. How many of my generation as alive, never mind being fit and mobile and still compos mentis?"

That was Lee Kuan Yew circa 1998, speaking to Han Fok Kwang, Warren Fernandez and Sumiko Tan for the book, "LKY, The Man And His Ideas." He adds, "At 70-plus, what do I need? Time to reflect." Perhaps the same thoughts went through Jayakumar. On the other hand, if he teams up with similarly outgoing Abdullah Tarmugi and the bunch of Chinese-educated MPs arm twisted into early retirement, now that should make one hell of a GRC team. We can dream, can't we?


  1. option is there for Jaya to take over from Nathan as the next walk-over president. the timing is immaculate...890K extra, not includng his pension for life.

    did'nt LKY and son reward Jaya with the SM post ?

    ps: as president, Jaya of course can continue to serve the famiLee...loyally.

  2. Wow, the First Anon Commenter was fast!

    How about an election for the Next Sin President between Jayakumar and Abdullah Tarmugi?

    Please do not say there is no 'elected president' after that hor!


  3. it's the turn of a malay to be president. isn't it?

  4. The sequel to SR Nathan's memoir "Why Am I Here?" will be titled "How Come I Not There Anymore?"

  5. an election between Jaya and Tarmugi for the position of president should be cheaper, better and faster, i.e let the entire bunch of PAP stooges vote who should be president after some words of wisdom from their master LKY.

    "it's the turn of a malay to be president"

    sounds fair to me since the last one was Yusof Ishak, 1965 to 1970. but applying Yaacob's logic of once in 50 years, then the malays have to wait till 2020.

  6. For political expediency, Tarmugi will have get the job, to make up for the Old Man's insult to his race. Another Indian president would be an obvious bias to one minority group. Unless there's one FT waiting in the who hasn't done NS....gasp!!!

  7. "Mani" & "Paul" tell me that they'll "select" a Malay Prez next...what to bet?

  8. We might get a MENTOR President soon....after post in progress - SENIOR President..President without Portfolio