Grose's The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue defines it thus:
"To send one to Coventry; a punishment inflicted by officers of the army on such of their brethren as are testy, or have been guilty of improper behaviour, not worthy the cognizance of a court martial."
The list of characters that deserve to be sent to Coventry is getting long and nauseating, think Khaw Boon Wan, Teo Ho Pin, Yaacob Ibrahim, Vivian Balakrishnan, etc. Our patience has been tested once too often. Even Low Thia Khiang has had enough of the petty bickering, and we agree: "We have made our position known both inside and outside Parliament and the relevant documents are already in the public domain, so the public can make its own judgment on the matter."
Lee Hsien Loong was treading on thin ice when he boasted, “If we cannot trust a politician to tell the truth, then we cannot trust him or her to safeguard public funds, to put public interest ahead of personal gain, or to make decisions affecting the well-being and security of Singaporeans.” Is he even aware that Balakrishnan conveniently left out the 7 Feb email from NEA from his so-called dossier of truths?
"If any of my PAP colleagues is accused of lying, I will investigate and get to the bottom of the matter. If he has lied, there is only one option – he has to go." Except that he has yet to investigate Ross Worthington's narration of how Dhanabalan was slapped ("Governance in Singapore" is available at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, page 150). The stakes are high. If Dhanabalan, Richard Hu and Tony Tan are put to the polygraph test, the result could be epic. Hey, we may even get to elect another president. This is how Goh Chok Tong recalled the incident at a National Day Rally:
"You may also have heard this old story about Loong. In case you have not, I'll tell you now.
Back in 1990, Loong had a quarrel with Richard Hu. S. Dhanabalan sided with Richard. Loong lost his temper. He reached across the table and gave Dhanabalan a tight slap. The whole Cabinet was thrown into commotion. I then forced Loong to apologise. I must be suffering from amnesia. I just cannot remember this incident. Now you know how creative Singaporeans are."
Was Khaw also lying when he said HDB pricing is delinked from private sector market rates? Teo has yet to come clean about A.I.M. and, using Lee's own words, "the matter has to be resolved one way or other. It cannot be left as an “I say, you say” matter of opinion, which leaves a permanent question mark hanging over his reputation, and the reputation of my government."
The whole bunch is behaving like kids, as an Indonesian minister put it, "in a tizzy". Sending them to Coventry is the best recourse, we need to get on with our daily struggle to pay for the house, daily commute, living expenses, kids' education and healthcare.