Responding to questions on the by-election outcome of Saturday January 26, Ng Eng Hen haughtily dismissed the notion that the result is a report card of the ruling party's performance. Ng said, "this is a by-election in just one constituency". Both Teo Chee Hean and Lee Hsien Loong also attributed the dribbling to the "by-election effect", the acclaimed Archilles heel which has brought down the juggernaut a second time.
Which is why Teo Ho Pin (MP, Bukit Panjang SMC) is also grinning from ear to ear. The Prime Minister may have called for a review of the Action Information Management (AIM) sweetheart deal, where a $140,000 transaction could be confabulated into a $30 million boondoggle - if the Deputy Director (Enterprise Software Group, NCS Pte Ltd) could be supponaed to testify about his key achievement with the Singapore Town Council.. Whatever the findings of the Ministry of National Development (MND) team charged with the investigative task, you can safely bet Teo will not be allowed to fall. And trigger another dreaded by-election.
The wayang must continue. Yesterday, PM Lee gave a clue how the system is perpetuated when he told delegates at the Singapore Perspectives Conference organised by the Institute of Public Studies his view on Freedom of Information, "If you know that everything you write down is going to be made public, a lot of things are not going to be written down." Which is a really curious remark, considering that his father has written volumes about his version of Singapore history. Teo, himself, has written enough about AIM to be guillotined several times over.
The people taking over Punggol East, given Sylvia Lim's discoveries at Aljunied Hougang Town Council, should bring in forensic experts to go over the books. We are not talking about mangoes in the filing cabinets here, but airing of more nasty stuff that has not been written down for posterity.