Of Thugs in Suits – political entertainment for the oppressed

by Tan Wah Piow

For want of a better description, a Singaporean compared the behavior of K Shanmugam at the Parliamentary select committee hearing to “a thug in a suit”.

This remark was made by Xavier Chong in his letter to ministers urging them to consider the position of their colleague, Mr K Shanmugam, the Minister of Law and Home Affairs.

I know what a good suit should feel like. But “thug in a suit”? A few candidates came to mind: Al Capone of the Italian-American mafia; Pablo Escobar the Colombian drug baron; Baptista the US-backed gangster President of Cuba; and the Kray Brothers, the notorious East End gangsters of the 1950s. They are all known for sharp suits, but deny being thuggish.

Fashion wise, their suits were sharper and more flamboyant than Shanmugan’s. This may help the ministers pondering over the complaint to decide how they should respond.

Maybe it’s just Shanmugan’s suit that people dislike.