Newsflash: Gopalan Nair, who yesterday claimed that he had received information that MM Lee Kuan Yew had suffered a heart attack, has now admitted on his blog that “the hoax was deliberately written by me” and “(i)n fact I don’t know anything” and that “I made up everything I said about Dear Leader about his heart attack, and none of it is true”. TOC has since secured independent clarification on MM Lee’s health which confirms that he is fine and well at the Istana today. Readers are advised to treat the source of this rumour as deliberate misinformation.


By Callan Tham

Only in Singapore do we elect Members of Parliament who seem more occupied with addressing the needs of foreigners rather than our own.

Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng said more needs to be done to help new immigrants ‘work with the old team and feel a part of us’. “First, we need to make sure that they are called new Singaporeans rather than new migrants. They are not even new migrants – they are an old hand at migrating, and want a new life. They want to settle down and to make Singapore a new home,” said Mr Seah in his speech during the debate on the 2010 Budget Statement on Wednesday.

Mr Seah also suggested that ‘men who become new citizens should be called up for NSmen duties‘:

This could be in the form of a short 30-day induction to Basic Military Training in the Singapore Armed Forces, he said. “We teach them to use rifles, fire weapons, basic physical fitness, or we put them into civil defence training where they could learn rescue techniques. Civil defence, too, is part of total defence and provides a vital part of Singapore’s interior strength.”

Let me be clear: I am not disputing the policies he suggested, merely the fact that he is showing less concern for the constituents who elected him. I have actually been thinking about the policy for integrating foreigners, but that will be discussed in another post. This perhaps is one of the bigger issues surrounding the elections of GRCs; allowing a weak candidate to be elected on the strength of a popular former Prime Minister in this case.

But Mr Seah can’t hold a candle to Mr Ong Ah Heng, who is the MP for Nee Soon Central, a single-seat constituency.

“I know of one family who complain the cleaners in their precinct are lazy and too old. They don’t want local workers who are old, they want young foreign workers. To satisfy the demand, I changed the local workers to foreign workers. Foreign workers are not a burden to us. Their presence here is not negative. Without foreign workers, things will be worse,” he said.

Is Mr Ong implying that local older workers are the burden instead? This goes far beyond inarticulate speech or political incorrectness. This is an insult to the elderly who have built this nation on the back of their hard work. This reflects the hubris that Mr Ong, a 66-year old himself, has uncoyingly betrayed. In one broad stroke, he painted the elderly as lazy and unproductive and patted himself on the back for his display of ruthlessness. He is proud of it.

Neither Mr Ong nor Mr Seah deserve a seat in Parliament, and yet we put them there either because we don’t have a choice or because we did not care. A case could be made for Mr Seah, as the policies he suggested merit further discussion, although in their current forms they are half-hearted measures that appear to be aimed at populist sentiments. And until he is reassigned to another ward, I expect Mr Goh Chok Tong’s popularity will keep him in his seat.

There is no case to be made for Mr Ong. If we go by his logic, he should be the first one to be replaced. All 14,211 of you who voted for this clown should be ashamed, and you should be forewarned: he’ll fire you without batting an eyelid. That is how much he cares.


This article was first published on Tapper’s Swamp blog

Headline image courtesy of Is That Humor Or Sarcasm blog


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