Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calling It Quits

When Dhanabalan bade farewell to his staff at Ministry of National Development, he was asked what he would be doing after stepping down as minister. His reply was as fake as could be, "I'll be helping out at my church". He ends up helping Ho Ching at Temasek Holdings, wife of the guy who originated the slap that was used frequently in the election rally analogies. The same dose of scepticism can also apply to George Yeo's "need a break to spend more time with the family."

His last hurrah before polling day was all about "the importance of transforming the PAP". He claimed to have committed 23 years of service to the residents, and yet got to understand their aspirations only in the 9 days of campaigning. He quoted Low Thia Kiang saying they won Aljunied not because the Aljunied team did not do a good job, but because the voters wanted WP to be their voice in Parliament. Well, if Yeo and his team did a good job speaking up for the Aljunied residents all those years, why would they want someone else to represent their voice in parliament? For 23 years he watched his MIW comrades speak down on the citizenry, treating them as compliant fodder for their economic plans. Like them, all he cared for was his GDP linked bonus.

Yeo said he would help in" whatever way I can" to bring about this transformation of the PAP. But his offer was conditional upon the Aljunied people returning him his $2 million a year salary. No money, no honey. The term pro bono does not figure much in his vocabulary. All his fancy speeches, all his superior intellectual ideas, he was merely hawking them like the way the denizens of the night at Geylang ply their wares.

Where in Yeo's public statement did the reporters find the words to conclude "Foreign Minister George Yeo calls it quits in politics"? All he said was that, despite the wishes of his supporters, he would not stay on to win back Aljunied in five years time. Maybe another GRC, one that requires less work. He has been on auto-pilot for so long, he has forgotten how to use manual controls. Pressed by a reporter, he actually said, "So I don't think I'll ever retire from politics." Low thought he would be meeting a tiger in Aljunied, it turned out to be a pussy cat.

When Singaporeans lose their jobs, whether because of retrenchment or displacement by a foreign talent, they simply brush up their resume and plunge straight back into the employment market. They don't have the luxury of waiting around for a juicy appointment from their political master. Yeo is about to find out that private sector salaries are hard to come by for damaged goods, soiled reputations and used douche bags. The real world is quirky like that.


  1. PAP knew from the beginning that Aljunied would pose a challenge when they drew up the new electoral map. They probably didn't mind to lose George as he was getting more popular than his master(s). Even George's mentor got a scare with TPL. The only politician that got more votes in this election was none other than the PM himself. With election over, the PM can now consolidate his power with his "strong" mandate, while sending a warning shot against potential reformists in the party.

    PAP all along has a good understanding of the electorate through gerrymandering and polling. Even the MM knew that Aljunied was a gone case long before the polling was closed.


  2. He wants to help in the transformation of the party in power?

    Do his former colleagues in the cabinet share his enthusiasm for transforming the party? I have not heard anyone from the PAP talk of transformation.

    George, knowing that he may have been done in by his own people, showed some of his disappointment at the press conference.

  3. although it is convenient to throw bricks at George Yeo at this point in time, i think we have to recognise that of ALL the ministers in cabinet, he is the only one who speaks words which are a little bit closer to his true feelings. The reason why he can afford to do this is that his IQ is higher than all the other ministers in the cabinet, so he had the feeling that the bosses will always keep him. Other ministers because they are comparatively lacking in brains, survive by being yes-men or yes-women.

    But it turned out that the bosses betrayed George(as popularly believed) and put him to the slaughter house in aljunied, mixed him up with unpopular figures in the GRC.

    The GRC system is really doing very very great harm to this country. For the sake of singapore's future, the GRC system must be changed, it is extremely crucial.


  4. Who are we trying to kid here? The transformation" appeal is a last ditch attempt to ask voters to deliver him for the 3rd time, after they have given him 2nd chance in 2006. Like CSM said "how many 5 years does one have?" That's a freaking 1800+ days of cries of sorrow" from people! Thank god the aljunians finally woke up, after two wasted terms. If the "35s late" saga at TPagar is so unforgiving, why should anyone forgive them for another 5 yrs of our time! Bloody wake up PAP, but don't expect a miracle. He 'll be stuffed with million post somewhere in a GLC job along with his rich pension.

    GYeo : Remember your place in society before you engage in political debate… Debate cannot generate into a free-for-all where no distinction is made between the senior and junior party… You must make distinctions – What is high, what is low, what is above, what is below, and then within this, we can have a debate, we can have a discussion… people should not take on those in authority as ‘equals’

  5. So apparently when a PAP MP quits, the whole town council services for essential things also quit VERY suddenly. Now tell me, how is that PAP has access to the glorified state funds when Opp ward don't? This is a gross abuse of what democracy is..truly a LEEGIME! We need to stop these barbaric acts by PAP. What's next? Are they going to tear down the RC, CC & TC office and expect LTK & team to have a tinsheet office like CST has over the last 20+yrs? Only daft Singaporeans will vote in a heartless govt like them over and over again

  6. In politics, sometimes a no is actually a yes or vice versa.

    By the way, did he actually say anything about not going to accept anything the PAP is going to offer him especially now that he has spoken in plain English that what PAP really needs is to start reform NOW and not only during the election campaign period ?

    The problem is that he seems to be the Lone Ranger crying out for reform while none of his PAP colleagues share his enthusiasm ? Is it for real, George Yeo ?

  7. As long as the old man is alive, nothing will change from within.

    Only when he is gone can we expect things to crawl out of the woodwork.

  8. Well said. GY is paid very well to represent his constituents, results of the GE shows he did not do a good job. As to "transform" the ruling party, it will probably throw up more skeletons (minsters pay etc) in the closet, so, it is very likey there will be no spring cleaning. The old fart is still ard, the prince will feel threatened by any possible infighting etc. I do not think the MIWs are that out of tune, it is just that the do not want to bite the hand that feeds them but now the tide has turned a little. So we can expect some wayang, if not it's back to square one.

  9. I hope that the blogger in this post will always remember this post you made, and keep an open mind as much as you have wanted to ruling party to be open, and be open to the possibility that there might be that transformation as promised, or that the pathway to transformation might be underway by the time the next GE is here again.
    Nothing will please cynical minds - if GY had said he will continue to fight, cynics will say he still hankers after power and money. Now he says he will retire, and spend time, cynics wont let him. What is it that will please? Isnt it time for healing and growing up? Isnt it time to hope and be positive? Or do we want a revolution, just to satisfy the pent up resentment but suffer a whole generation, and throw away the good that has been built? Isn't it time also to consider that NOT ALL has been bad, and that some good has been done in the last 4 decades?
    If you are merely fixated on $2m salary and only have no idea...

    Time to grow up

  10. Just as Dhanabalan said he was going to help out at his church, people then did not know that the church was to be Temasek. So we will just have to wait and see what George Yeo meant by 'family' when he said he was going to spend more time with his family.

    Retirement?...and forgo tens of millions...No way!


  11. I voted for WP. I didn't like some of PAP's policies and how it did not consider the overall well-being of the ordinary Singaporean. However, I think we should direct our unhappiness at the "matters" that are not to our satisfaction and perhaps even at the party, but not at a particular person, and "crucify" him. That's just too personal. George Yeo is a nice minister, but like what some have said, he's a lone ranger and that's only so much he could do behind closed doors. Perhaps he stayed on because he thought he could "make things happen" given time. A good thing he's out anyway now that he need not be part of the team that makes policies which he may not exactly agree with. Let's have a heart. Let's not say all those associated with PAP are bad or greedy.

  12. During the conference, it was obvious GY was speaking with his heart, he truly wanted to change the PAP system and he truly took care of the aljunied people. Also u cant say that all PAP members are bad and greedy. Im from pasirris-punggol GRC and TCH is a great minister and thats why the PAP won in that region. GY is probably the same and the people of aljunied probably were in a very difficult position to vote against him.