The “Ah Gong, Ah Seng” story told by Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah perfectly illustrates how the People’s Action Party treats the citizens of Singapore.
After decades of unfettered one-party rule, the PAP sees itself as “Ah Gong” and the rest of the country as “Ah Seng.”
The PAP as “Ah Gong” decides its own set of rules while dictating that “Ah Seng” abides by another set.
This is manifested in so many ways.
When the PAP dishes out goodies like the Merdeka Generation Package, it is being caring and responsible but when the Opposition promises sweeteners (like returning CPF at 55), it is being reckless and irresponsible.
The PAP deems itself capable of being its own checks and balances, but everyone else are deemed incapable (especially the Opposition) and have to be subject to third-party scrutiny and accountability.
When the PAP as ruling party hands key appointments to ex-colleagues and friends, it is based on merit but when others do it (especially the Opposition) there is conflict of interest.
For the PAP, there’s always an excuse and a reason for lapse after lapse but for the Opposition, the price for wrongdoing is shame, loss of honour and harakiri.
PAP Ministers and Members of Parliament can doze off in the hallowed chambers of Parliament (guilt-free, no apologies needed) but security guards caught sleeping can be sacked, fined and/or jailed.
The PAP has no qualms about changing the rules of the game (such as CPF withdrawal and Elected Presidency), yet it keeps harping on respect for the sanctity of agreements.
If all this sounds familiar, it’s because we are used by now to the PAP being “Ah Gong” and the rest of us being “Ah Seng”, to one rule for the PAP and another one for everyone else.