The Education Study Team (1979) that revamped the education system was first dubbed the "Daring Dozen". Detractors said they dared to show up for work at 8 am on the dot, and knock off at 5 pm sharp. Principals remember them for the fear they struck into their hearts by announcing themselves on the telephone as "Goh's men".
It appears the 2001 cohort of anointed political stars were christened the "Super Seven". The 4 that still remain are Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Khaw Boon Wan, Ng Eng Hen, and Vivian Balakhrishnan. 3 fell out of the constellation: Raymond Lim, Cedric Foo and Balaji Sadasivan.
The 2006 round-up groomed 3 more millionaire ministers, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Ministers in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu and S. Iswaran. "Tiresome Trio" comes to mind.
The new ensemble from 2011 comprise Tan Chuan-Jin (Manpower), Lawrence Wong (Culture, Community and Youth), Heng Swee Keat (Education), Chan Chun Sing (Social and Family Development) and Sim Ann (Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information). The freshly knighted "Fabulous Five" is expected to form the core of the People's Action Party's fourth generation leadership.
The youngest of the lot, at age 39, hails from the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), which gave us the nefarious Population White Paper. Putting 6.9 million people on an island of 710 square kilometers is akin to loading the Sewol ferry with 3608 tons of cargo - over three times more than the maximum recommended weight of 987 tons. But at least she doesn't declare open war on the "lunatic fringe" and call citizens names like "bigots". What did one newly minted minister just say? "Sometimes, I think we should just call a spade a spade. These actions by those who peddle hate are not acceptable, repulsive even."