Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Night Of The Long Knives

Whoa! The two old guys must have been real unhappy - they even refused to stay on as chairman, a typical post for senior executives who are kicked upstairs as reward for years of loyal service. Instead, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will replace Lee Kuan Yew be the new chairman of GIC, and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the new chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), formerly occupied by seat warmer Goh Chok Tong.

There's no Senior Minister post in the new line up, a position which will be befitting Wong Kan Seng, given his seniority as contemporary of PM Lee (both were elected in 1984, and made ministers immediately thereafter) . Wong joins Mah Bow Tan and Raymond Lim as the casualties of the watershed election - not that anyone would shed a tear for either of them. With Mah goes the myth of affordable housing, and one million HDB owners must be losing sleep tonight over what will happen to their enhanced assets. Will the new National Development Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, start offering $8 flats? Will he start building HDB flats in Johore, Batam and Bintang?

Yaacob Ibrahim was somehow spared the guillotine, even though there were floods occurring during the election week. Not that soggy fields were any excuse for the poor turnout at PAP rallies. Maybe it was a move to appease the lingering hurt of the Hard Truth comments. The Environment and Water Resources job went to Vivian Balakrishnan. Better start praying he won't be organising the Water Olympics or something - the Marina Barrage is already another white elephant, as far as flood control goes.

It's still a puzzle why cheerleader "kee chiu" Chan Chun Sing is made an Acting Minister. The Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports must be the slot for ministers with training wheels, given Balakrishan's record. But what can a former army general do as Minister of State for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts? Order the unruly arty-farty types to fall in line or get shot? And wasn't Heng Swee Keat destined for the finance job, given his impeccable credentials as CEO of MAS? Maybe his role in the Lehman mini-bonds is still fresh on some investors' minds. Oh, we get it, the Ministry for Education is in for another round of experimentation again, with your kids as the fresh batch of guinea pigs.

Be grateful for small mercies, it could have been worse. Janil Puthucheary could have been made Minister for Defence. Foo Mee Har could have been appointed Minister of Finance.

Truth be told, the appointment in dire need of a fresh face is that of the Prime Minister. The present one doesn't seem to quite hack it.


  1. What a day !
    Despite some strange appointments & strange title like "emeritus Senior Minister, I must say, I was delighted. It was the 2nd Good News afer GE2011.

    There are still some side issues like the TPL's blooging on Cooling Off day & the GM of Jurong Town Council's conflict of interest....

    I am willing to give the PM, a honeynoon of a short.

  2. Father is senior advisor to GIC. Son is Chairman of GIC. Wife is Chairwoman of Temasek. The perfect trinity specially reserved to guard our reserves. Husband say "sell, wife say buy" perfect inside job! So smart our leeders.
    The rest are just chess pawns..

  3. PM Lee has yet to put his own house in order, time to replace HoChing with Foo Mee Har. He should consider JPuthucheary as perm sec for Defence, Chan Chun Sing as new speaker of parliament...Tin PL the official mascot for MP.

  4. Does anyone really thinks all these changes will bring prices of HDB flats down?

  5. The fact is, there isn't much of a change. Remember the joke about the army commander telling his men after many days out in the field. He promised the men, much to their delight, that he will arrange for a change of underwear to boost their morale.

    The cheering men were so elated and immediately energised to complete their mission.

    The day come when they are going to change their underwear. The commander then told them to exchange their the wet and soggy underwear with their buddy.

    This commander did fulfilled his promise, didn't he?

    So it is the same here, the ministers are exchanging each other's underwear. Simple as that. And the PM did fulfilled his promise of a entirely new cabinet line up.

    - by a Left-behind-NS-man

  6. To Left behind NS man,
    I nearly choked on my tau sar piah. Fantastic analogy.......

  7. Here we go again...MIW playing musical chairs.

  8. This is a rubbish blog site!
    Ultra rubbish and good for nothing.
    Jealous and mean fellow.
    Are you a Singaporean or some foreigner
    hoping to get money with this site?

    Balance Judgement Singaporean

  9. @Anon 5:03 To each his own, mate!

  10. Hey, Anonymous @ 5:03 PM, you sure sound like a disgusting litle PAP.AYA whore!

  11. to "balance judgement singaporean"

    care to elaborate and enlighten us?
    do you agree with the analogy by "left behind NS-man"? to me, it deserves to be on front page of ST and TNP for the public to ponder and it should be brought up in parliament too.

    come to think of it, i certainly hope i will get to view a video clip that illustrates how PM Lee's radical appointment of ministers is no different to those ministers swapping underwear, giving the false impression he came up with a good game plan. LOL

  12. In other countries, the President or Prime Minister either come and goes everytime they have an election.

    But over here in Singapore, our Prime Minister seems to have this guaranteed for lifetime contract and is so indispensable to the extent that he still can hardly find any suitable candidate qualified enough to take over from him in the foreseeable near future ?

    Looks like it's a job he won't even let go even if you hit him to death. "Pak see pun buay chow"

  13. Rubbish begets rubbish. We have an increasingly rubbish govt., as all can see.

  14. As far as the larger part of the Malay-Muslim community is concerned, Yaacob Ibrahim has gone from a mere nuisance to an outright liability. He is actually a persona non grata with us. He is never respected or care for. If PM Lee decided to keep him around because he thinks that would assuage the Malay-Muslim community, then he is absolutely wrong. Yaacob should get the boot for being a failure all around - he has failed as Minister of the Environment and he has failed as the supposed, alleged Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs which by the way is a complete and obvious farce. Kick the idiot out !