Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Move With The Flow

Tasting fresh raspberries from the vine for the first time at an Australian farm, the initial observation was that it was just like the ice cream  flavour. That's the problem of growing up in the cloistered cocoon of Singapore. Fortunately, international sales and marketing provided the opportunity to see and taste what the real world out there is like.

That's one reason why the U.S. presidential debate is so addictive. No topic is taboo, no stones unturned. When Obama and Romney faced off in town hall style for their second of three debates, the audience is not primed with die-hard grassroots supporters to favour the incumbent. The moderator Candy Crowley made it clear at the beginning that neither participant had prior knowledge of the questions asked. Our own prime minister won't even take questions from the press in his last official visit to New Zealand. Their PM John Key says it best, "It is Mr Lee's wish and is the nature of the Singapore system." Rumour has it that our local press are issued a prepared list when interviewing our ministers, maybe factually yours can clarify that tit-bit.

When 20-year-old college student Jeremy Epstein asked, “What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?” he wasn't told "What do you think?" It all goes to show that those in our cabinet have it too easy for too long.

Ex-minister George Yeo's candid remarks with China Morning Post explain it too well. For 23 years of his political tenure, all he did was move with the flow. "If you want to fight the flow, you will be very tired," sounds mighty strange from an ex-general who was supposed to lead the fight into the enemy. It is stranger still from an ex-foreign minister who was expected to defend our sovereign rights in international affairs. No wonder, at the first taste of defeat at Aljunied, he turned tail and flew out in a hurry.

About the technical knock-out that made him face the harsh reality, Yeo said: "I thought if there was not something that I could change, because it was not something about me, maybe it was time to open a new chapter of my life." Let's hope the rest of his comrades still enjoying the ride will have the same sense knocked into their thick heads.
Sorry, you have to take the questions. This is not Singapore system.


  1. "I thought if there was not something that I could change, because it was not something about me.."

    In coded terms, it is just his way of saying "..Is not about my performance.." The usual cliche your foreign MNC boss will tell you when your'e on the firing/retrenchment line. Mr Low Thia Kiang has been very nice to give him a face-saving grace by stating ..."It's not because he's not a good minister, but people wanted us in the parliament"...

  2. Unfortunately, we still have the old thinking that to command you cannot show others your weakness. So, even when system failed, policy makers cannot admit is their fault but to tell you to move on.

    With more big guns being voted out, now we are shown their true faces. Yes, you are human and there is no need to hide that fact. The people support you because we believe in your promise and ability and not because you are flawless. Its ok to make mistakes once awhile. What people cannot accept is for you to hide and blame others except yourself.

  3. (ThanksToVivianBalakrishnan)

    "SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency Er Dr Lee Bee Wah filed a motion for adjournment in Parliament, on the standard of cleanliness in Singapore.
    Citing experience from her own ward, she stressed everyone should play a role in keeping the environment clean.
    Deputise senior members of non-government organisations, maybe even for grassroots organisations to act as enforcement officers who have a warrant card and be properly trained," suggested Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources."

    (Everyone has a part in keeping environment clean Lee Bee Wah - Channel NewsAsia)

    (Lee Bee Wah’s ‘rubbish’ posting on Facebook « Editorial « TR EMERITUS

    (Lee Bee Wah disagrees publicly with CDM Tan Eng Liang – Red Sports_ Always Game)

    (Lee Bee Wah’s flip-flopping is startling Sgpolitics_net)

    ‘Engineering solutions won't help Singapore's flood problem’ - Yahoo! News Singapore)

    Joshua Chiang

  4. When civil servants can't move with the flow without first being given permission to participate in a national dialogue, you have to seriously pause on what Ayn Rand has said...

    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."

    1. I believe we arrived at the stage of ultimate inversion many moons ago.

      Who controls the MSM,ISD,CPIB,LAW,UNION...?

      Detention without trial = brute force...?

      Perhaps Ayn Rand also wanted to tell his countrymen that to regain freedom again it has to be "brains and bullets."

  5. With all due respect, I don't know how to accurately contemplate your critique on the PAP's fortunes.
    Somehow, one comes away feeling this is a PAP apologist's reassessment,
    I do not think you are one.
    Maybe that is not your intention, I can't help thinking the article is neither critical nor clear in it's aim, What type of audience do you
    aim and wish to capture, cheers.

    (Article critique - Marietta College)

    (Critiquing Arguments - How to Evaluate & Critique Logical Arguments)

    (Friends of Liberty - The Tactics of Disinformers [Know It When You See It])

    (Young Pay-And-Pay Blog: The price for being ARROGANT)

    Joshua Chiang
    (PS,sorry,couldn't post without account at,

  6. He quit politics because he lost. Simple as that. Don't keep finding excuses.

    1. He never really won his position in the first place. Practically every in the parliament since the 70's was chosen by the Party. The people voted for the Party, not the candidates.

  7. That's one reason why the U.S. presidential debate is so addictive. No topic is taboo, no stones unturned. When Obama and Romney faced off in town hall style for their second of three debates, the audience is not primed with die-hard grassroots supporters to favour the incumbent.

    I'm not commenting about your PAP bit, it's hardly true what you say about America:

    So, if even America, what more Singapore? *weeps*

    1. ... "candidates aren't permitted to ask each other questions"
      Then how did Romney get to ask Obama about his pension plans?


  8. Going with the flow means what?
    Flow of money?
    No backbone?
    No personal conviction?
    No values?

    As a Brigadier General.
    Singapore gets invaded.
    What do you tell your men?
    Go with the flow?

    Good riddance.
    Flowing out with the tide.

    1. It was just a job...

    2. It's a job on taxpayer's money.
      A very high paying job, reportedly to exceed the pay of American Presidents.
      To help a very small country to "go with the flow"??

    3. We have all paper generals. In a war, we are doomed!

    4. By paper, I assume you mean money. Yeah, money and dollar generals.

  9. In other words, all those remaining still move with the flow, whatever it means. But it cannot be too complimentary. It probably means they have to suck it up, to toe the line, and sacrice their ethics and morals. From top to bottom they have lost their moral compass, their sense to do what is right. No wonder they find it difficult to fill their ranks with good men and true, despite the fortune thrown at them.

    Mark 8:36 - For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

  10. If you believe in "going with the flow",
    Then how serious and sincere can you be when you say you want to "help transform PAP"?

    How can you "lead" when you are "going with the flow"?

  11. George Yeo became a Minister when GCT was Prime Minister.
    GCT is now Emeritus Senior Minister. Emeritus meaning retired.
    And LHL is the Prime Minister now.
    So what do you think 'going with the flow means"?

    No wonder limpeh calls us "daft".

    1. PAP big fishes moving with the flow will have to be extra careful now because Aljunied has shown it is possible to divert the flow into the sewage system.

      Perhaps Georgie did try to swim against the flow but it's really futile when Limpeh is holding on to his balls.
      (ex lifeguard)

    2. My godfather who employs me has retired.
      Time for me to look for another job/godfather.
      It's that simple.