"The problem is that the human being is unable yet to assess this thing called character," Lee Kuan Yew said to Han Fook Kwang et al in "LKY: The Man And His Ideas". He should know. This is how he once extolled the virtues of Teh Cheang Wan, his National Development Minister:
"If I am thinking of retirement, I am going to be his manager." -Hansard, March 22,1985, praising his allegedly high business acumen;
"Where are you going to get another Teh Cheang Wan? It is a serious problem." - ibid, on the difficulty of recruiting such a highly capable person.
And woe betide his trusted lieutenants when they embarrass him about his astute character calls. This was before "I stand corrected" was an acceptable escape clause. Some examples:
Tan Kia Gan, Minister for Home Affairs -
"I had to destroy him. I could not find enough evidence but it was quite clear, more than suspicion, that he wanted a percentage on aircraft to be bought by Malaysian Singapore Airlines." - Hansard, March 22, 1985
Wee Toon Boon -
"It was with great sorrow that we had to prosecute Mr Wee Toon Boon. I had no choice. He was my friend." - Hansard, February 23, 1977
Devan Nair -
"Devan Nair was an alcoholic. The cabinet discussed these developments at several meetings and decided that because of his alcoholism and his behavior which demeaned his office, either he had to resign before he was discharged from hospital and could resume his activities, or he had to be removed from office by Parliament." - Hansard, June 29, 1988.
Khaw Boon Wan had better watch his words when saying things like "a party that had members being sacked" would find it difficult to run a country. Just think about it: if Wong Kan Seng, Raymond Lim or Mah Bow Tan had resigned of their own accord, would Khaw's party have suffered the bruising blow at GE 2011? Moral of the story, clean up your own act, or the people will do it for you.