by Joseph Nathan
The collective political consciousness of Singaporeans was awakened by the latest revelations from Dr Tan Cheng Bock when he shared the Hard Truths that political governance has eroded and that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is no longer the same. He spoke with authority as he was part of the first generation of the PAP, way before the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong enters politics. In fact, under our Asian’s Confucius-based society, PM Lee has to respectfully refer to Dr Tan as an uncle when it comes to politics.
As truths hurt, the 4G politicians were quick in rebutting Dr Tan with some motherhood statements. As they did not sustain their rebuttals with any solid facts, netizens rightly slammed them for making such baseless rebuttals and expose their denials. Unknowingly, both DPM Heng Swee Kiat and Trade Minister Chan Chun Seng show their disrespect when they make those rebuttals. Confucius values were trampled upon without respect.
As Dr Tan statement serves as a wakeup call to PM Lee that all is not well in Singapore and pointed out several cases where accountabilities are lacking. It is the obligation of PM Lee, as the head of PAP, to rebut him civilly should he disagree. By allowing his subordinates to do his bidding, and in the process shows disrespect towards his Uncle Tan, PM Lee self-validated his uncle’s concerns that all is indeed not well in SG.
When Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of PM wrote in his Facebook in support for his Uncle Tan, his grounded respect for his elders shut up the whole propaganda machinery of the PAP. Truth is no one can defend the indefensible. Their various actions demonstrated who is wise and who isn’t. Respect to Uncle Tan for drawing the real characters out of the brothers.
All is not looking well within the PAP:
When one looks deeper into the discourse that all is not well in SG, one can also see that all is not well within the PAP too. Internal rivalries are at play to the detriment of our country.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had survived a brain haemorrhage in 2016 and ought to be taking his life more seriously since the probability of a relapse is not an option. Those who truly care for him will not gamble with his life. Miraculously, he was promoted to become the DPM, to take over from PM Lee when he retires.
As PM Lee is statistically the worst-performing PM of Singapore, and the 4G politicians are struggling to stay afloat, much less resolve the many pertaining issues that they had created, DPM Heng may just be inheriting a very hot and stressful seat. If he survives and became the next PM, probability dictates that he may have the dubious honour of becoming the worst-performing PM, after PM Lee. That scenario will also kill him in no time. I guess only time can tell if he is being promoted or being fixed.
Looking at his rebuttal against Dr Tan, DPM Heng was thrust upfront to make some motherhood statements by his 4G team yet again. This is eroding his popularity and by now, he has probably become one of the most disliked politicians of the PAP. Such exposure is also very stressful on his health but it is looking like his 4G peers do not care much about it. I hope that they are not thinking that it is better for DPM Heng to die than for them to be exposed for their incompetence.
Not many are aware that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing is the chief-strategist of the 4G politicians and that partly explain why he has become quite arrogant and egoistic lately. In the whole rebuttal, he just stands beside DPM Heng and nods his head to score visual-points. If he is a real leader or someone who truly care for DPM Heng, he would have stepped up and do all the talking and let DPM Heng take a break. Why didn’t he shield DPM Heng from the arrows from making those poorly crafted motherhood statements?
I begin to wonder further as to how any level-headed strategists can “overlook” this consideration. Given this situational factor and the understanding of our Confucius society, any real strategist or general would have prepared the ground for their king instead, and in this case, for PM Lee to rebut or acknowledge his uncle’s sincere feedbacks and opinions without trampling on our Confucius values.
By doing neither and placing DPM Heng in a highly stressful situation, what exactly do Chan and his other 4G peers hope to achieve or gain? Are they gambling with DPM Heng’s life or have they medicated him heavily to do their dirty work on their behalf?
Well, should DPM Heng suffer a relapse and die along the way or finally inherit the legacy of being the worst-performing PM of Singapore, which will most likely kill him too, then he, his family and his inner circle of grassroots supporters have themselves to blame for not taking any affirmative action before all is lost.
If so, then the politics of the 4G politicians could well be seen as one where party politics and self-interests have triumphed over the well being of the country – where everyone and anyone can be expended for their own self-centred prosperity. Is Singapore lacking in talents that we have to accept such a horrible proposition from the PAP at every election?
In this sense, Dr Tan is right in stating the Hard Truth that the PAP has degenerated for the worst and Singaporeans ought to be concern about our future. It is crystal clear that the PAP is no longer able to govern Singapore as effectively as the First Cabinet and they need the help of more competent Singaporeans like Dr Tan and those from the “Alternative” to help them formulate better policies and turn Singapore around economically and socially.
It may be time for patriotic Singaporeans to sit up and think critically about the sad state of our political affairs and activate our “Alternative Option”. Dr Tan is clearly sincere about serving the country and deserves our support since PM Lee and his chief strategist cannot get the job done right after so many attempts. If he has been elected into the highest office, he would have been busy checking and questioning those officeholders on our reserve like our late President Ong Teng Cheong.
Within our Alternative Option, we have some good calibre of candidates such as Dr Paul Tambyah and a grounded economist in Kenneth Jeyaretnam. If we were to remove the political-biases that the PAP propaganda machinery had so effectively created to destroy their public personas, then we can see how much true-blue talents we still have within us.
They too must wise up, act with greater restraint and not fall for the propaganda-traps of the PAP. Sometimes, silence can be golden during the stage of balloon-testing phase just prior to the election when MSMs help dig out information on behalf of their pay-master. In this sense, Dr Tan deliberate restraint in releasing information in small bit-size is a smarter approach as it is rattling up the PAP machinery and keeping the MSMs in check. Can he goes one-up with a smarter coalition and engage the PAP in a more decisive manner?
As it takes a whole village to save our country, we do not need everyone to be a top-gun professional or have an impeccable CV, which in reality, can only be manufactured. As such, we should be open to all viable alternative options and consider hawkers, taxi-drivers, small business owners, ex-journalists, housewives etc, as long as they are sincere about serving the country rather than themselves or their party-agenda. Only then can our parliament can be returned to being representative of our population and our struggles. Logic dictates that only those who had suffered before know how to help others in their sufferings.
It is time to set aside the curated parliament of the PAP as it is non-performing and a costly option that can bankrupt us. Those billions saved can be used to create more holistic socio-economic policies and help the less fortunate among us. With big paychecks, it is wishful thinking to be expecting the current PAP politicians to be stepping down on their own accord. Patriotism, accountability and grounded Confucius values are no longer in their dictionary.
Singaporeans, new and old, have a vested interest in thinking about our collective future. Throughout history, we have witnessed how many rich families and nations have been ruined by a single prodigal child or a rogue leader. Singapore cannot survive such a scenario and everyone must play their part in helping to bring the best of our talents into parliament. These talents must see taking up public office as a privilege and not as a get-rich scheme.
To do nothing is not an option. As like DPM Heng, it is better if we take affirmative action early and avoid the risks of being played by unscrupulous politicians. As such, let this upcoming GE be our collective first step in electing only those who deserve a seat in parliament. Let us help them secure the one-third “decisive” swing so that they can affect some positive changes on our behalf and get some of the pressing questions answered.
More of the same will only generate the same old outcome. With more taxes coming up and the heat of the recent hike in utility bills burning away our precious cash in hand, we have to act fast and decisively because Singapore truly deserves better.
This was first published on Joseph Nathan-Hard Truths of SG’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission.