Elected MPs and their private indiscretions

By Rachel Zeng

To be honest, the former MP of Bukit Batok indicated that his resignation has to do with “personal indiscretion”, and I am happy to have him leave it as that.

First of all, I do not believe that politicians (regardless of gender) should resign due to their involvement in extra-marital affairs.

I also do not believe that it is necessary for identities of the other parties involved to be revealed to the public, especially when they are women.

This is because societies built based on patriarchal values place harsher judgments on women who are involved as the “third parties” and while men have been able to recover from public scrutiny after awhile, women will be remembered as “the sluts who were out to destroy the bright careers of the capable men they were involved with”, or “the ones who should know better than to break up a family”.

This may have a detrimental impact on their public and private lives for a very long time. Having the details out in public also does not benefit the family members, and it is indeed true that privacy should be granted so that time and space can be given for everyone involved to resolve the issue, and to heal from the hurt.

There is of course nothing wrong with using them as examples to call out their previous attacks on their political opponents’ decisions to decline public office due to personal reasons. However, we do not need to agree with anyone’s behaviour and political ideologies or actions to be able to let them have their space and privacy when it is appropriate.

Come on, I believe that we are all better than that and the attempt to obtain “blood for blood” runs seriously in contradiction to what we are hoping to achieve with our work in the sociopolitical sphere.