Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some Spring Cleaning Required

At a Hougang by-election rally, MP for Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh reminded the audience that the PAP have had its share of bad hats, namely Wee Toon Boon (corruption involving about $800,000 ), Phey Yew Kok (embezzlement of trade union funds), Teh Cheang Wan (bribes totalling $1 million), and Choo Wee Khiang (issuing false invoices). All clear examples of bad judgment in assessing human character.

"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.


  1. Right again. The PAP would probably had fared better in GE2011 if the three named had resigned .

  2. The electorate will do the spring cleaning for the PAP in GE2016 by at least a third so that they cannot fool around with the Constitution with impunity. The people can tell who are the dead-wood MPs and Ministers, and the people will fulfill Khaw's own words for him.

  3. Which is why countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan set such bad examples for Asia, when their ministers screw up they have to apologize and God forbid, eat humble pie while resigning.

    See, that is where our ministers differ, as they are such precious talents that we cannot afford to let them go. These other East Asia countries are daft in this regard. They should have better sense and learn from our ministers who deem it responsible to stay and fix their mistakes.

    1. Disagree.

      Actually such countries like SK & Taiwan which also belongs to Asian four tigers, have achieved significant or even par/better results like what SG did, DESPITE have multiple parties, civic protest, less or little foreign talents, no sky high ministerial salaries - a real democracy. Goes to show, you don't need these "forced conditions" created by PAP in order to succeed. A country can grow despite corruption and all the above I've listed, just have to look at Indonesia.

      In short - democracy can be vibrant or noisy depends on your views.
      Given Singaporeans' have been so used to being sold "stability & safe" that's why a bit more diversity or vibrancy is often mistakenly treated or shot down as "noisy & destructive" - thus giving them a wrong sense of instability and insecurity. Time they move from adolescent to a grown up, and just roll it with the punch.

    2. Aiyah, Snark is only being facetious and sarcastic lah.

  4. Re Snark @ 9:29am,
    So we can ill afford to lose such precious ministers? Well, just out-source. We do invite Foreign Talents, do not we?

  5. At the end, no matter how stringent is the control process, a human being can always find a way out to bypass the sieve. It is a facts of life. This happens in PAP and so to other lesser parties. To use this as a major failure to discredit WP shows clearly that PAP is running out of ideas.

    Voters want real issues discussed like salary, transport, FT influx, cost of living, COE etc. Engage and give people accountability and don't just run down on others when your own house is not in order in the first place.

    1. You are right, so far nothing substantive has been discussed by the PAP. But then these are "national issues" which they want to avoid, and in doing so is an admission that they have done a lousy job since the last general election. Otherwise they will be blowing their own trumpets to tout their achievements.

      They are left with discrediting their opponents as a ploy. But this has backfired because they have their own skeletons in the cupboard. It shows their naivete or stupidity?

      What is left? Pork-barrel politics? Motherhood and self-serving statements? Accountability is not in their genes. Like you said they have run out of ideas.

  6. This is the pot calling the kettle black. PAP committed a worst offense than WP.

    PAP doesn't deserve the seat in Hougang!

  7. What moral authority do they have to talk about honesty when they themselves are already dishonest to begin with ?

    Jailing someone for over 3 decades based on one lone man's word ?

    S$1k salary can afford to own a HDB flat ?

    A HDB subsidy to make it affordable when there is none really ?

    If HDB flat is not adequately priced it is a raid on our reserves but abolishing estate duty is not ?

    Claiming some petty cash for some extra stamps or taxi claims is downright dishonest but paying themselves millions by helping themselves to the coffers is not ?

    What kind of honesty standards are these ?

    1. Agree fully.

      And don't forget the $8 heart by-pass. KBW is honest?

    2. I doubt very much a fake buddhist can be honest, not when he is serving the "god of no mercy" who has bestowed him millions that he can only dream of if he had remained in malaysia.

  8. "I had to destroy him. I could not find enough evidence but it was quite clear, more than suspicion,.."

    Could not find enough evidence...but can destroy someone based on suspicion. Goes to show, the regime under LKY are all too dangerous a strong check and balance. I didn't have to read the rest of ISA to know how they ended up where they were.