Monday, November 14, 2011

The Right Answers

Students sitting for the A levels must be having sleepness nights, tossing and turning in bed, wondering if their answers submitted will satisfy the examiners' expectations.

Compared with the transcript of a CNBC interview with Lee Hsien Loong in 2009, it was obvious the answers fell short of the latest queries directed to him. Maybe it's the new normal in action, maybe things haven't changed a wee bit.

Asked whether cancer had "humbled" him, Lee said, "I think I try to be myself and that's the best way and people will accept us as we are." Notice the use of the royal "we" and not "me", since the life threatening event had affected him personally and not, touch wood, the nation at large. And he can tell segue on to tell the questioner, "It's not our role to be lords and masters and I think that's quite fundamental, which every elected politician must remember in a democracy." The corollary of that statement must be, since full democracy is not yet in place, lords and masters will continue to reign.

And the world knows too well what goes on in our city state, best illustrated by the mainstream media blackout about the prestigious LI Freedom Award 2011. Surely the old man will rather be accorded with that prize instead of the Ford Theater thingy. Sharing honours with the likes of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma's democracy leader) and Vaclav Havel (former president of the Czech Republic) is just not the same as standing on the same stage as Julie Andrews.

Asked if there was an unfair image of Singapore portrayed in the West, Lee's response was puzzling, "It's like looking at the tail of the elephant and thinking 'that's the animal'." Now, what does that mean, coming from a guy who also said, "You have to depend on people who will be productive, be skilled, be imaginative"? Just focus on the tail and ignore the elephant in the room? Theres' a Chinese saying to the effect that if one draws a cartoon, it's not necessary to sketch in the intestines. One doesn't need a wild imagination to see through the fog of deception.


  1. I don't get his analogy here. What kind of dinosaur is he describing here?
    If you're touching tail of elephant of course it still don't change the fact that it's an elephant! Unless he's saying the blind-sided man think it's a rope to hang himself with, and in that case, Bedok reservoir would not have been so crowded these days.


    Maybe that's why Singaporeans don't need to see more elephants here, when there're so many big white elephants around them in real life.
    And to pass autocracy as democracy, one must have a really thick skin like an elephant.

  3. I suppose in the eyes of our leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi is equally a pain the ass to them as CSJ. Hence no official recognition for that Freedom Award.

    Otherwise how to explain why our leaders want to be closely associated with those military regime leaders which has robbed Aung San Suu Kyi of the democratic right to govern Myammar, unless their share the same kind of political tyranny over their suppressed people.

    Remember our own expired leader once acknowledged that China's past leaders were right on the use of excessive force on those young students in the Tianaman Square incident.
    I imagine those people must be blind to give him an award for having such cruel thoughts in his mind.

  4. SG govt exploits Cambodia when it comes to Sand import and other military transactions. And this writer certainly agrees too.

  5. [[Asked if there was an unfair image of Singapore portrayed in the West, Lee's response was puzzling, "It's like looking at the tail of the elephant and thinking 'that's the animal'."]]
    I think the analogy is really apt. From the outside, people see only the tail of the elephant. On the inside, we see that the elephant is nothing more than an elaborate illusion based on an ass.