Khalil was covering the events unfolding at Tahrir Square for the English edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm when he had the exchange with a police officer in plain clothes:
I told him that the main problem with Egypt regarding elections is that there was no distinction between the government and the National Democratic Party. Every government function - from police work to election monitoring to the committee that permits the formation of political parties - were all under the controlI of a single political party. I quoted a Muslim Brotherhood politician who liked to refer to the Interior Ministry as "the military wing of the NDP".
So what chance did any opposition party or candidate have if all the levers of power and enforcement were controlled by a rival party with a vested in the results? Egypt would never know true democracy, I told him, until the NDP had just as much power and government control as any other party. As long as the government was the NDP, then everything was fake. (pages 95, 96)
Sounds familiar? Make the appropriate substitutions and you can see many sacred cows will continue to enjoy immunity in perpetuity. And even Mubarak did not have the despicable GRC invention.
It is too early to read into the surprise largess of Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, accepting a $30,000 composition offer that will effectively annul the bankruptcy of Chee Soon Juan declared for damages of $500,000. Perhaps the new boys in charge have no taste for the turmoil of an Arab Spring. They just want to talk the issues to death, not face up to reality and solve them.