We want to thank Mrs Fong for engaging our readers on TOC and clarifying that she was not the Joan Hon who posted the earlier comments. TOC’s moderation policy is clearly spelt out HERE.
We present here in full, the three comments Joan Hon posted on our article, “Tan Cheng Bock vs George Yeo for president?”
I know both Tan Cheng Bock and George Yeo. It is a hard choice. For me, choosing one is an insult to the other.
I would like to highlight the fact that an email making its rounds carry three letters supposedly from this thread.
One is from Jenny Hu, whose name I checked didn’t appear on June 4 on this thread. The other from Jane Ho differs in content from what Jane Ho wrote.
The third letter carries my name. I did not write it at all. It is insulting to George if I said all those things. I was his GP and Physics teacher. He was one of the students that would cause me to beam with pride.
I once met him at his mother’s wake and told him I was campaigning against X-rated films. I had actually forgotten he was the Minister in charge of it. This was the honest truth. He probably thought I was insensitive enough to go to his mother’s wake to petition him.
After that I dropped the idea of getting a lot of signatures to support my intention. A year or so passed and one of my sisters reported that George said to her, “You sister is causing me a lot of trouble.” I had to tell him, this time at his father’s wake, that I had nothing to do with the flood of letters he received on the matter. Other people were campaigning too.
He and Jennifer, his wife, came to my Uncle Louis Hon’s wake. Jennifer shared a lot of her life and views with us. I’ve been to their house for two meetings regarding an event we were planning for the Museum.
As for Tan Cheng Bock, he was part of a large bunch of us sharing our teen years together. Full of stories. He is not an intellectual like George. But he is a medical doctor.
A stickler for everything good and true. As a scoutmaster, he had once snatched the axe from a boy scout who was about to chop down a coconut tree. When a police car swung onto the scene, and there, in the spotlight of the car’s headlights, was Tan Cheng Bock caught with an axe in his hand in a stance like he was the one about to chop down the tree.
[Bock if you are reading this, I think you were a scream on that occasion. Bet you can’t remember this. That was so long ago. Nowadays, if you try to right a wrong, people will come and condemn you wrongly. That’s life.]
Here are the three letters making its rounds. This should teach all of us that you cannot believe all you read and there are people filled with hatred making mischief.
From Jane Ho 4 June 2011 on TOC
George Yeo’s ostensible caring for his supporters by ‘listening’ to them and thereby wanting to run for President is all sham. To say he is connected to the people is not to know the man. GY is a brilliant intellectual, a philosopher and an eloquent speaker. But unfortunately, like many intellectuals of his ilk, he is too aloof, too brainy and polished to really resonate with the ground or grass roots. The PAP will tell you as much about GY’s intellectual prowess and the lofty pinnacle he dominates. As such, his connectivity with the people are with the smart, polished crowd. That’s why he is such a good foreign minister. He is in his element, in the same class with these foreign elites.
GY is also not effectively bilingual, despite years of learning Mandarin; his dialect skills are also passable at best.
Sure, GY is connected to the people. If by people, you mean the high brow, sophisticated English speaking crowd. But with the Ah Kows, Ah Tus, Ah Bengs, not a chance.
As for his being independent of the PAP, that is more hogwash. He was an SAF scholar, rode the government gravy train to a meteoric ascent within the PAP hierarchy. This type of conditioning simply cannot produce a courageous and fiercely independent spirit.
D’ont be duped by GY’s sly sophistry. My choice would be Catherine Lim.
I STRESS AGAIN. I DIDN’T WRITE THIS!
See how I appear as a Christian? How devilishly cunning.
Whoever wrote this, God will get you for this.
George, I am praying for you, sincerely. And it had stayed in my mind that if you are out of politics, God has better plans for you elsewhere.
It might be the presidency and it might not be too. But it has to be where the family will be the happiest. They are what should matter most in your life.
And I am sure you know that the president’s life is not everyone’s cup of tea. Devan Nair suffered isolation. For a man who is a “people person” to be shut away is not what he wants.
“You must find it like a cage,” I told him, when he described to me how wonderful it was at his visit to Spain. The security officer wasn’t hanging around him like a ball and chain.
“That’s it!” he said, “You’ve got it right. It is a cage.”
He tried to invite Jeyaretnam and Chiam See Tong for a meal at the Istana. The powers that be disapproved.
When he had committed his indiscretion and was removed from office, I sent him a letter saying enthusiastically, “Welcome back to the human race!” I also added that while this moment was ignominous, people forget easily. He will always have his friends. [Albert Winsemius was one of them. One of the things we used to ask each other was, "I wonder where’s Devan Nair.”]
Devan Nair wrote a note back to me saying that my letter made his day. He was so drugged at the hospital, he wrote, that he couldn’t write a better reply.
They asked around who would be president. My father was asked and replied no thanks. At least four other people were approached privately.
When Wee Kim Wee consented, he was clever to lay down one condition. That was he could entertain anyone he liked at the Istana. Which was what he did. My mother was part of a gaggle of old ladies who went there for afternoon tea, hosted by Mrs Wee. Puan Noor Aishah, widow of President Yusof Ishak, was one of them.
I’m trying to warn you, George, if you are a free spirit, don’t take on the presidency. It might cramp your style.
On the other hand, you don’t have to stay there for ever. There are terms of office that might tie you down only for some years.
I don’t know why I am writing this here. It should go into your Facebook Notes.
Mrs Joan Fong
Further to this, in her Facebook entry titled “I vote for George Yeo as President. He was my student“, Mrs Fong says:
“Joan is hopping mad that there is a critical statement about George Yeo running for president that is supposedly written by me !!! Such rubbish! I never wrote a single word of this thing. Accompanying it were two other critical letters from a Jenny Hu and Jane Ho. All dated “4 June 11 at TOC” whatever that means.
I tell you all, behold! The lengths people go to, to do personal bashing of anyone and anything they don’t like. Someone invented ALL THREE LETTERS!
From now on, don’t believe anything you read. The elections are over. You want to complain, hit out at a policy, not at a person. Just think of all the bull— going around. This person admires Catherine Lim. I presume since she fires verbal flaming arrows at people, her admirers are also in the same mould.”