Friday, December 9, 2011

Black And White Proof

If anyone wants proof that paying civil servants high salaries is no guarantee of warding off corruption, he need look no further than the morality tale of of ex-PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang. The astonishing revelation is that he allegedly took a bribe of US$200 for approving the use of two training venues in China by the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA). Is there no limit to stooping down for greed?

Choo was head of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) for nearly 20 years, an appointment which probably came about by way of his political affiliation. Credited with Singapore's silver medal success at the 2008 Olympics, he also held other appointments like general manager of the Marina Bay Golf Club. The official endorsements enabled him to con a secondary school principal into engaging STTA for training services which were never delivered.

The question on everyone's lips is how such a shady character was admitted into parliament. Well, he was the MP for Marine Parade and Jalan Besar GRCs from 1988 to 1999, another shining proof of the failings of the GRC system.

Choo made headlines for other dubious reasons while holding political office. In an odious speech made in Mandarin during a parliament session in 1992, he actually mouthed this, "One evening, I drove to Little India and it was pitch dark but not because there was no light, but because there were too many Indians around." The Singapore Government then, for reasons undisclosed, chose not to act against him for breach of parliamentary privilege, even though the utterance was hideously racist.

Choo lost his MP position in 1999 only after pleading guilty to a charge of abetting his brother-in-law to cheat a finance company by issuing false invoices worth $1,000,000 in 1990. Which means from 1990 to 1999, while he was wearing white and white, his heart was as dark as the night he drove into Little India. Under false colours, he was re-elected to office in 1991 and 1997, bearing the imprimatur of the PAP. In spite of being jailed and fined in 1999, this ex-convict and unrepentant racist was publicly honoured with the International Olympic Committee President's Trophy in 2009.

Malaysia's Public Service director-general Tan Sri Abu Bakar Abdullah just announced a performance-based remuneration scheme which gives government employees a pay rise of 7% to 13%. If he thinks that will help fight corruption in the civil service ranks, he should pay attention to the Singapore example.

11 comments:

  1. PAP assured us that stringent screening has been done to its candidates and that they are the best in Singapore. Looking at the new lot of MPs and Ministers, many are not convenced.

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  2. In PRC, this is death by firing squad. And the guilty has to pay for the bullets.

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  3. I'll pay for a machine gun belt of bullets

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  4. All these for a tiny sum of $200 or total $10k..you have to wonder how desperate he is. This is only 1 example that has made it to the light..how many more hidden and undiscovered? Issuing fake invoices for services not rendered is so common cons it's no wonder every MP is so easily linked to such and such a company. So what if you have tender process..so easily fixed. You think this is bad..wait till 2016.

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  5. Just because of his PAP badge, he didn't even need to be member of the yellow ribbon to be given a 2nd chance -- so easily. Some people are given a new lease of rope and they learnt to do something else with it instead.

    I'll pay for the price of the hanging rope - the SG way.

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  6. birds of the same feather flock together

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  7. How did Choo get to join and get elected to parliament? Well,good question! But seems that those MIW never learn their lesson, when they got Ting Pei Ling to run for the May 2011 Elections. This incidence just reflects something is wrong with their Quality Control System in recruiting people to enjoy them or they can't get capable people,or they just no longer have faith in others and is only comfortable in their 'own people'! If any of you bother to dig into their backgrounds, all of them are connected to one another by blood, friends' friends or loyal civil servants. You can clearly see that they don't practice meritocracy any more, they only believe in their own people.

    About this high pay they get. I have no problem if this is followed by superb performance. Their pay is world record, but is their performance in government world record? I observe this emphasis on high pay came at a time when their performance was and is slipping.

    They have real attitude problem! If you want good things,pay more and pay me 1st ! What kind of logic is this? In our work, usually we have to justify our performance 1st before asking for more. Why can't this logic be applied to them? Before they show any results they are already rewarded heavily 1st, how is this going to motivate them to perform?

    Just look at the latest decision to raise taxi fare, well,let me ask you, what do you think of our taxi service? Are you satisfied with our taxi service? Don't you know our taxi fare structure is the most complicated with all kinds of surcharges - very confusing which can often cause disputes. Coming to the taxi service, it is horrible to me! When you most need a taxi, it is usually very hard to get one. Take for example, there is high peak demand for taxi at around 5-6pm,but this is usually the most difficult time to get a taxi, because all the taxis are changing shifts. When you need to rush home at 11pm, you can find no taxis when you really need them. This has always been a real problem! Why those people at the top never look into it? This is just another example of asking for more and not doing a good job to serve us or just can't be bother attitude!

    Money Can't Buy Love! Money Can't Buy A Person's Character & Conscience

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  8. If I remember correctly, a minor correction is in order: Choo didn't make that comment. Another MP did and it was during the Deepavali light up. I believe the comment was along the lines of 'Little India being dark on account of so many Indians being there' which was really a very poor attempt at wittily linking the Hindu (he obviously did not realise the difference) festival with the lighting up ceremony. Deepavali, after all is the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness.
    When this comment was later greeted with an uproar, Choo then stood up in Parliament to defend his colleague but instead added fuel to the fire by saying his colleague was referring to the foreign Indians who are darker, not the local Indians who are apparently fairer.
    Wrong again, Mr Choo for the local Indian diaspora mainly trace their roots to southern India and are mostly Tamils. Darker in other words.
    Notable also was the complete absence of any comment from the Indian MPs at the time.

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  9. @Anonymous December 9, 2011 11:10 PM

    Choo was the one who made that speech. And he was asked to apologise by the leader of the House.

    Roy

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  10. Choo is a close relative of our formal first army general Winston Choo. Winston was given a top post in Junction8 shopping centre. All these are history and facts. If you believe Singapore really practices meritocracy, then you are either too daft or too naive.

    Yes, if you dig deeper or you have an accountable and transparent government (fat hope), there you will see more cases. Recent high HDB price with a developer was linked to someone from a local higher education institute sitting on both HDB and the developer's board. This housewife style associate professor was getting a handsome up to $150k monthly fee as director of the developer. Guess what, this old girl was related to MIWs as well. Only insiders will know the truth. Today, she is still getting her fat pay in the institute but doing nothing at an age well beyond retirement. yet, many other able professors have been asked to leave or resigned. She is a real talent that the institute needs. LOL.

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  11. How a PAP MP can accept a S$200 bribe in the first instance must really put LKY's logic of "high-pay-not-corrupt" logic to shame, isn't it ? It's either he must be plain stupid or damn desperate, which isn't exactly something that any PAP MP should be remembered for.

    At least that SLA Officer was smart enough to be able to enjoy his flashy car & illgotten wealth for as long as he was not caught up by the law.

    Something must be definitely quite wrong with the PAP's values system especially when a greenhorn like TPL is suddenly at par with an old expired but tested warrior at the switch of a election button.

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