by Augustine Low

Like good teammates, one created the opening for the other to deliver the blow.

On 2 March 2023, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean suddenly announced that Lee Hsien Yang and his wife Lee Suet Fern were under police investigation for potential offences in judicial proceedings over founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s will.

On 20 March, Minister K Shanmugam delivered the bombshell in Parliament that the couple had “essentially absconded” from Singapore after the police contacted them to assist in investigations.

A one-two punch by two ministers showing their teamwork. Both are, after all, longtime colleagues, partners and teammates.

They have worked hand-in-hand for years, overseeing related portfolios – one as Minister for Home Affairs and Law, the other as Coordinating Minister for National Security.

And now, one-half of this team in the same cabinet, the same party is supposed to investigate the other half.

SM Teo is tasked to do an independent review of Minister Shanmugam – and Minister Vivian Balakrishnan – over their controversial occupation of colonial bungalows on Ridout Road.

The Oxford Dictionary defines independent as “not connected with or influenced by something; not connected with each other.”

Still, they would have us believe that the SM Teo review is an independent review.

Where the independence comes from, can anyone tell?

How ironic that two of the sharpest debaters in the cabinet, straight talking, never shying away from speaking without a script, adept at framing straightforward questions that elicit simple “yes” and “no” answers, are NOT facing the public and answering straightforward questions themselves.

They must hold their tongue at a time when they could easily speak up to clear the air and clear themselves. Instead, they prefer to defer to a colleague and teammate to investigate and present his findings.

We’ve seen this movie before. The results are a forgone conclusion.

Are we wrong to think that ownself investigate ownself will only result in ownself exonerate ownself?

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