Saturday, March 19, 2011

We Don't Know Why He Did That Either

"I don't know why he did that. He kicked an own goal." Dr Seet Ai Mee was using a football metaphor, much favoured by Goh Chok Tong, to summarise how a klutz robbed her of Ministerhood, and the financial riches associated thereof.

In this latest retelling, her political opponent in the 1988 elections, Singapore Democrat Party leader Ling How Doong, highlighted how she had washed her hands fastidiously after establishing tactile contact with a fishmonger at a wet market in Bukit Gombak. That did not stop her from triumphing at the polls, albeit by a 7 percent margin. 

Years later at the next hustings in 1991, then Prime Minister Goh inexplicably resurrected the irksome episode, a harbinger of how he would rehash the Dhanabalan turn-the-other-cheek affair at the 2005 national day rally.  Just two days before the balloting, Goh told the Bukit Gombak crowd that Dr Seet had a habit of washing her hands frequently as she was a pharmacist. "After shaking hands with a fishmonger, she washed her hands. But she has not done this since." The way he phrased it, nobody can tell whether Dr Seet had stopped shaking hands with fishmongers, or ceased washing hands altogether. Whatever. Although her supporters blamed the importunate story-telling for her electoral defeat, Dr Seet says her loss stemmed from a general national unhappiness at the rising cost of living, specifically the removal of 3 bus routes from Bukit Gombak and fares were being hiked. Looks like not much has changed since 1991, except maybe income disparity has widened, foreigners have displaced local born, and housing is now barely affordable.

Speaking from the benefit of hindsight, Dr Seet believes she was the wrong candidate for the Mandarin and dialect speaking blue collar ward. She does not speak a word of Mandarin, her second language is Malay.  But hey, those handicaps never stop the guys from riding the GRC gravy train to a higher income tax bracket.


  1. SM Goh has the habit of kicking own goals.. Hahaha.. Let's review what he has said so far..

    1) “If the majority feels they don’t belong here, then we have a fundamental problem. Then I would ask myself: What am I doing here? Why should I be working for people who don’t feel they belong over here?’” - NTU Ministerial Forum, in response to a question from student about the diminishing sense of belonging to the nation.

    2) "I am not saying we shouldn’t do anything about the flood. But the amount of noise you made with just sporadic flood compared to the Japanese. I saw them on TV. Very stoic looking. You don’t see them crying. This has happened, just get on, that’s the kind of spirit you want to have and you call it nation building.” - Speaking to REACH contributors at a forum held at the Marine Parade Community Club

    3) “To keep up our strong performance, we needed more (foreign) workers. This caused some disquiet. So we are slowing down the numbers of new permanent residents (PRs). We must accept slower growth as a result." - during the celebration held for residents at Tiong Bahru Community Centre

  2. This pharmacist is sore loser lah ... I chop off my dick if she had been made a minister, and she got morals & principles to refuse the obscene PAP salary.

    She's just another high & mighty elite, another economic refugee from M'sia who benefited from scholarships, and have zero empathy with ordinary people. She was dropped becoz she is unable to put on a pretense and acting show to con some electorates into thinking that she can relate to them. Even MSM unable to cover up her snobbish distaste for the unwashed masses.

    Frankly if she had remained she quite likely be given either minister of health or education post. Will she have refused the $3M salary?

    Btw, pharmacist wears sanitised surgical gloves if need to handle sensitive drugs or medications --- no need to keep washing hands to handle drugs --- which is also a no-no as trace elements of soap/detergent may contaminate the drugs.

  3. SM Goh's take on total happiness:

    "Unhappiness plus those who are happier, in total there's net happiness. There's no such thing called total happiness."

  4. Come on. If SGP leaders are serious about taking their talents and job seriously, then adopt the appropriate KPIs for measuring GNH, not PAP's simplification of -NegH + HappierH = Net Happiness!! Which world economist will agree with that formula? Have the spine and do the right thing, that's what true leaders are. This is as important as a company measuring "Customer or Employee Satisfaction" Not through the PAP/employer words, and words alone.

  5. I hope all the opposition make huge banners and mailers showing how much our Ministers compared to other world leaders. Especially their 32month package