Not once but twice in one day Chan Chun Sing took the mickey out of Singaporeans.

No conflict of interest, declared the Minister-in-Charge of the Civil Service last Thursday, on the appointment of the spouse of a political office holder as Auditor-General.

Goh Soon Poh, wife of Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, took over as Auditor-General last month. She was appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Is there anyone fool enough to buy into the Minister’s self-declaration of no conflict of interest for such an appointment?

Chan Chun Sing then struck a second time that day in playing Singaporeans for fools.

He gave the assurance that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee operates independently.

The committee, appointed and guided by the Prime Minister, usually before each general election, is made up of “senior civil servants who are knowledgeable in demographic shifts and population statistics,” said Chan.

He insisted that the committee “independently considers and determines how the constituencies are delineated.”

There is a word for such review and redrawing of electoral boundaries – gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is commonly acknowledged as a process intentionally used to benefit a particular political party.

Let’s face it – governments around the world resort to gerrymandering. But Singapore’s ruling government stands out for insisting it is done independently and that the review and redrawing of electoral boundaries is not aimed at benefiting any political party.

Is there anyone fool enough to take the Minister’s word for it?

Since Chan Chun Sing is slated with Heng Swee Keat to helm the country’s 4G leadership, it looks like Singaporeans have many more years to endure of being played for fools.

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