This week, Singaporeans learn that former Minister Lim Swee Say has been appointed an independent director of Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel).

Meanwhile, Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and daughter of the late Chief Justice Yong Pung How, has been appointed Chairman of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board.

None of this is out of the ordinary. We hear of such appointments all the time.

For example, a string of retired former ministers or civil servants have successively been appointed to chair the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) — including Lim Kim San, S. R Nathan, Tony Tan, and Lee Boon Yang.

We could go on and on.

It’s always the same modus operandi for the People’s Action Party (PAP).

Every General Election, candidates are inducted from the armed forces and administrative service. Some are parachuted straightaway into ministerial positions.

And what happens to generals who do not go into politics?

Easy — they are sent to organisations like SPH, CPF Board, SMRT, NTUC, and People’s Association (PA).

So there’s nothing new to any of this. This is the way it has been for decades.

Yet they still go through the motion of bringing up the topic of reinvention from time to time.

The last time Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about this was in 2019, when he said “we ourselves (PAP), not just the population, need to know and to remind ourselves every morning that we have to keep on being prepared to reinvent ourselves, and sometimes to cannibalise ourselves, because otherwise somebody else will do it”.

Really? How have they been reinventing themselves?

Or have they mistaken reinventing for reusing and recycling?

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