Monday, May 9, 2011

Operation Save Our George

The gathered faithful hoping for a miracle
Xenophobia in Singapore has definitely gone awry. Calls for throwing out foreign talents culminated in chucking out a foreign minister. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water. But not all is lost for their boy, George.

According to a well placed mole, the generals in the cabinet (lots of them this year) hunkered down in the basement of an Oxley Rise residence, the place where all the lightning bolts originated. The initial name "Operation Thunderstorm" was rejected because it reminded them painfully of the Hammer, used by Thor the thunder god to smash his enemies. Non-uniformed types like Goh Chok Tong are strictly excluded since they tend to score in their own goals.

More was at stake here than just the fate of a fellow brigadier general. Lim Hwee Hua the first woman minister, Zainul the potential Speaker of the House and a senior minister of state, Cynthia Phua the indefatigable bouncer at Meet-the-People-Sessions, and Ong Ye Kung the newbie destined for high office. Ong was approached for the 2006 GE, but declined to honour his family's wishes. His father, former Barisan Socialis Member of Parliament was "not comfortable with it".  Unlike the cad elected into government at Pasir Ris-Punggol, Ong can hold his head high for honouring his father's contribution to the nation's turbulent birth.

The game plan is sheer genius even if it borders on the macabre.  MM Lee falls into a coma. Doctors of every expertise confer and deliver an ominous prognosis, better prepare for the worst. An unprecedented by-election is called, since this is one GRC where remaining members cannot bear the extra load. After all, who can co-pilot the founding father with his terabytes of war stories? George Yeo and his A-Team ("A" for Aljunied) comes to the rescue. The opposition senses this is a military operation, and chooses not to be flattened by 55 ton Leopard tanks.  It's a walkover, they don't even have to wait 35 seconds for the inevitable. The extra bonus is that the the rooting-tooting general is gone, whose embarrassing public appearances are outdone only by Teo Ser Luck's getai-style rabble rousing.

After all the dust is settled, and everybody comfortably sworn into parliament, MM Lee miraculously awakes from his nap. He reminds the astonished citizenry: "Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up." Mah Bow Tan chimes in with his lower HDB prices mean raiding the reserves argument. Life goes on. Oh, lest we forget, a new post is created for the reinvigorated politician - President Mentor - pays more than the Prime Minister.


  1. Can someone please list George Yeo's achievements?

    I'm having a hard time trying to understand why people are sorry that he lost at Aljunied. He seemed like just another minister in the cabinet who tried to get along with everyone. But what did he really achieve?

  2. 'JS': Here is a reasonable reply:

  3. Tot george yeo is also involved in all those FTA agreements with india and China to open up white collar professions/pmets wide open in singapore!

    Competion for the competition for the politicians (paid by the same workers to protect their rights)...

    How sick is that.

  4. "Mr Yeo has emerged in the international community as among the best-recognised and respected of this generation of Singaporean leaders", meaning the rest of his class are clowns. Please don't insult Jayakumar and Tommy Koh. George Yeo is the one who said "An IR is not a casino" and "Pork barrel is invented by the Americans".

  5. So our PAP leaders must have all heaped a sigh of relief that the rebellious Georgie is now out of the way and no longer required to fulfill his own promise to reform the party.

    Frankly, who is he to say that the party needs to be reformed internally when the father and son team has no such intention. It was his own desperate fear of losing out that he made his own promise. Do he think that the old wily fox will allow him to change his whiskers ?

  6. If there's ever any need for MIW to hear the people, this is definitely a great site!

  7. Dear Trebuchet,

    Thanks for the link. I appreciate your quick reply.

    Simon Tay's piece on George doesnt sound very objective and is overly reverential.

    Firstly, if George was all that the article said he was, why were his numbers at Aljunied the lowest amongst the winning PAP candidates in 2006. Why did he underperform to such an extent that he was the only minister with a senior portfolio to lose an entire GRC in 2011? Even unpopular MBT and WKS won in their GRCs. The swing toward the WP was massive in Aljunied and higher than the national swing against the party in power. Why didnt his well publicised popularity and greatness as spelled out in Simon Tay's article, overcome MM's comment about Hougang voters having to repent for the next 5 years?. If he was that insightful and clever why didnt he prevent the WP from winning in 2011? The man was limited and unable to lead a team and win elections. Lets not blow the man's significance way out of proportion.

    Secondly, the foreign policy record. He is supposedly the architect of ASEAN being a community by 2015. Ha? Has anyone seen the finer details of this community? Is ASEAN going to be another EU? Where is the treaty? There isnt much substance to back up Simon's assertions.

    Now about Burma. The so called condemnation of the Burmese junta against buddhist monks is not worth 2 cents. The junta got away with what they did and it was business as usual between Spore and Burma. and guess what? BURMA IS GOING TO LEAD ASEAN IN 2014!

    ASEAN will be led by a junta with one of the worst human rights records in the world. How come his leadership did not forsee this and stop it?

    I'm trying to put things into perspective and do not wish to disparage George but the MSM show no objectivity in their pieces and are "godding" up George unnecessarily.

    He is articulate and seems like a decent enough fellow. I am sure he deserves some of the accolades given to him. But he is not a great politician nor is he a dynamic leader.Thats why his GRC team performed badly in not stopping the WP tide both in 2006 and 2011.

    Yes, lets give him credit when it is due but there is not need to lionize the man and make him into something he's not.

  8. I find it so ironic that people are clamoring to "save GY", while CST goes unnoticed simply on the basis of his age. Isn't this ageism at its best and finest in our culture? Brrrr......

  9. In 2003 the Straits Times had a front page hailing George Yeo as the savior of the agricultural subsidy debate at the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The next day the paper reported the talks broke down amid a deep divide between rich and poor nations. George Yeo was not even mentioned in the article. What does he know about agriculture anyway?

  10. So why are they trying to make him out to be the next best thing in Spore politics?

  11. George not great as FM5/09/2011 12:00 PM

    George Yeo opposed Timor Leste joining ASEAN, when Indonesia and practically all the other ASEAN countries supported Timor Leste becoming an ASEAN member. Timor Leste is the poorest country in ASEAN and needs help badly, which it would get if it became an ASEAN member. George Yeo said no because he did not want ASEAN's resources to be used for Timor Leste.

    Sounds familiar, right?

  12. "Simon Tay's piece on George doesnt sound very objective and is overly reverential."

    I agree, check Simon Tay's background.

  13. all this adulation and wringing of hands for george is way out of whack. what will happen when kuan yew dies, for heaven's sake.

    i agree with much of JS' comments. i differ in that i believe the aljunied guys were not only very unhappy, they were also brave enough to try something new. plus they recognised a very promising alternative team when they saw it! in short, they voted for singapore!!

    if george was so precious to the PAP, then he could have been moved to a safer constituency. someone who intends to retire after this next bloc of 5 years - there must be at least a couple of ministers - could have stood in his place instead at aljunied. and why was no one standing up for him besides goh chok tong? certainly no one argued for lim hwee hua or zainal other than in passing.

    do we really need another minister in the PM's office? for sure there are several people in the House who say nothing, who could also be speaker.

    there have been foreign affairs ministers before george and there will be more after him. life will not end. no one is indispensable. his departure will not affect spore's standing.

    what many don't seem to realise is that george has been SET FREE. he has a good past to launch him in any new direction he wishes to take, including on more international platforms. perhaps even on the world lecture circuit...

    it has been asserted tt spore's ministers would earn Far More outside rather than inside the govt. why do people begrudge george this after all he's supposed to have done? do they think he doesn't deserve to earn more? to have a better and more exciting future?

    and even if things don't work out, hey, george has a pension of around $2 MILLION a year!

    considering all this, why on earth should one bind george down again? how on earth does one feel sorry for him? let's be real and pragmatic and unselfish. let him go realise a brighter future and his dreams.

  14. Honestly, when LKY dies, goodness knows what the media will do to apotheosize his achievements. I thought the usual comments on how we have "lost" George Yeo were kind of way too over the top laudatory, as if we lost a messiah, but wait till MM is no longer in cabinet, even if he has retired, we will see how the media lauds all these.

  15. I guess George will do some soul searching and come to the same conclusion that politics is an ungrateful job, minus the millions and the life long pension which Mr Lim forgot to mention. I guess people need not worry too much about George, for he is in a win-win situation. He will be appointed to newly created big cussy job which pays millions, plus his pension plus no accountability and plus no PAP crap to worry about. He can go spend time with his family and help his fellow christians and others. It's not as bad as the PAP make it sound, at least for George.

  16. where was he when ..

    HDB prices skyrocketted..

    FT were imported in .. displacing many Singaporean workers..

    healthcare cost keeps rising.. beyond what can be afforded by the average person..

    our transport system failed to keep pace with the unrelenting increase in the population..

    help for the poor and disadvantaged was simply cast aside..

    mas salamat escaped..

    jobs created were given to newly imported cheap foreigners to displace already cheap locals..

    Axxx the man... sad day for singapore if there is no other who can replace him..

  17. "sad day for singapore if there is no other who can replace him.."

    no worries, PAP has one to replace George.
    courtesy of LKY's system of selection, spore gets MG(ret)Chan C S.
    2** General replaces 1* General, an upgrade you might say.

    like what Goh CT proclaimed about Tin PL, that she will get better with time, the same could also be said of Chan C S, with MM Lee mentoring him.

    ps: George can leave in peace, help his pal Jack Neo redeem himself, to stop producing crap movies. LOL

  18. I thought he was ok till he made comments like "...Christains are less likely to riot". People in foreign ministries should be the paragon of sensitivity.