Friday, May 20, 2011

White Lies

They say a white lie is a minor or unimportant lie, especially one uttered in the interests of tact or politeness. In the Prime Minister's press conference announcing his new cabinet line-up there was no shortage of examples. Some of them border on prevarication - a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.

He said the departures of MM Lee Kuan Yew and SM Goh Chok Tong were not due to election results, and particularly not due the comments made by MM Lee. Despite all the rhetoric about communicating with the people, he chose not to hear about the many PAP supporters who openly declared that they were voting for the opposition on account of the "5 years to repent" remark. Even opposition supporters were (pleasantly) startled by the vehemence of the reaction on the ground.

He said Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan and Raymond Lim "expressed their desire to step down earlier." Except for Lim, both Wong and Mah featured heavily in the mainstream media during the hustings, pitching vigorously for the party and more good years. Mah even penned a whole series of weekly articles in the TODAY broadsheet to defend his HDB pricing policy, which was subsequently published into a glossy booklet. Does that look like a guy who planned to quit any time soon?

He said Yaacob Ibrahim is moved to MICA "because we think they've done well". We don't know about Halimah Yacob, but Ibrahim was definitely an EPIC FAIL! Apparently MICA has already announced plans to treat Malay as a foreign language. Somehow that is not going to make the guy any more popular among his fellow Malays. Haven't we just gotten over the bad patch about the integration over sharing meals ugliness?

Asked by a reporter what he was looking for in the newly minted ministers, he said "Proven performance and potential as well as political touch." That's how he picked Chan Chun Seng for the MCYS slot? Barking orders on a parade square is proven performance for political office? Even the aunties he bribed with free packet meals to make up the numbers at the election rallies would balk at that. PM Lee contradicted himself by admitting that "He's not (even) been in a ministry as a civil servant".

On why there's no woman minister in his line up, he said "when have a suitable person, we will promote her." So what's wrong with Lily Neo? She has the track record (proven performance), she's well accepted by her constituents (political touch), they even pulled her into Tanjong Pagar to improve their chances over there (potential). Is she blackballed because she took down flavor-of-the-month Balakrishnan in parliament over the welfare handouts?

He claims to aim to deliver better results and a better life for Singapore - whether it's housing, health care, a better transport system, or better social safety net - and then talks about trade-offs and judgments which ministers have to make. And the people to accept at face value, he might as well add, whether they like it or not. Another repeat of the last 5 years of "my way or the highway" style of arrogance and hypocrisy.

Abraham Lincoln said this in the 1860s, "You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time." You don't have to be very old to recognise the truism here.


  1. I thought WKS was only re-assigned to be incharge of manufacturing more babies for the country not too long ago and even before we see any of his results, our PM now says WKS wants to resign from his responsiblities already ?

    Who is our PM trying to fool or is he once again up to his usual tricks, lying for the sake of losing face ?

  2. Without a doubt, the PM fooled 69% in AMK and 60% island wide. The high literacy in spore means little if it does not translate to having some ability to be discerning, to be able to see for themselves that the MIW speak with fork tongue.

  3. Politicians mostly lie in the case of making as many promises as they can, but whether they will live by these promises and fulfill them is another matter altogether. "White" lies is a way to describe their false promises over the last 10 years, since they were wearing white and constantly claimed to fly on that high and mighty track of "I talk and insist on this, you listen, obey and accept whether you like it or not". I am in fact more surprised than anything else that 60% of Singaporeans can actually put up with that kind of nonsense, especially considering that we are one of the most educated nation in the world, but then again, it's hard to say. My whole family, except me and my siblings, were not university educated, and even then, they had a really hard time trying to believe in any of the promises made by the MIW, and that upbringing in a way trickled down to my generation when we saw that there were a lot of promises reneged on more than fulfilled, such as the Swiss standard of living, I really think education in school does not exactly help to enlighten a person about a politician's lies. And wasn't it stated once in one comment inside this blog or another, that Social Studies is part of the state machinery for indoctrinating and forcing students to believe that Singapore's history is uniquely and only the PAP history and that no other parties are given the correct slate of representation and are merely painted as "Evil" by teachers?

  4. I think we have to accept the fact that not everyone thinks of the macro picture. Some of my friends and family voted for PAP because they wanted the upgrading, afraid that our country will become unstable if oppositions were to run it & dont want to change things because they benefit from current policies. Bluntly put, they thought of themselves first.

  5. Yes, largely, it is "I, me, myself" when it comes to voting for the PAP, while for those who even bother to vote for the opposition or support them in one way or another, such as volunteering, we are regarded as "crazy loonies". Honestly that was what one rather uninformed friend of mine thinks, even despite her grouses against the FT policy, the rising costs, and so on. She was living in her bubble though, thinking that Singapore was the best place to retire and have entertainment, and so not the best representative of someone who votes based on wise choices.

  6. There should be no niceties in politics. If you can't perform and are shipped out, then you should be told you're fired and the public to be informed exactly as it is.
    Notice how the Father deal with oppositions by deriding the people with qualm - congenial liar,
    Marxist comspirators or communist elements out to destabilise the country... even though it might not even be the truth.
    Or perhaps diplomatic speak is privilege solely reserved for members of the Party?

  7. History has had many example of duds who have become "leaders" because their dad's prescribe to "meritocracy". i.e my son has the merit because he was born of my semen and thus as brilliant or evil as me. The same logic goes when the wife becomes brilliant overnight because she has been filled with the son's brilliant semen. We have a dud for goodness sake.

  8. Fooled those with his "apology" speech, disguised to salvage the damaged done.

  9. I would never vote Lily Neo in..she visited my parents place and the entourage was more like she was King of Scotland! She holds more Directorships than you can count toes and fingers, an Indo born migrant elite who will rule over S'porens who have served Emperor Lee..