Ng Chee Meng’s out of this world praise of Tharman sums up the brand of politics in this country

Ng Chee Meng’s out of this world praise of Tharman sums up the brand of politics in this country

by Augustine Low

You would think that Ng Chee Meng was heaping praise on just about the most extraordinary person on the face of the earth.

The moment Tharman Shanmugaratnam threw his hat into into the ring for the elected presidency, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) put aside what he was supposed to be doing for workers and unionists.

Instead, he found time to throw stupendous support behind Tharman, mustering every superlative he could think of in a Facebook post.

Tharman came across as truly out of this world:

– “distinguished statesman with a caring heart”
– “long-time friend of NTUC”
– “incredible vision and wisdom”
– “unassuming sense of warmth and humility”
– “benefitted union leaders and workers far and wide”
– “beacon of strength and hope”
– “clarity of vision”
– “skilful manner”
– “ever caring for the vulnerable”

Ng Chee Meng was so effusive he was cringeworthy.

And when the NTUC Secretary-General said that “fellow sisters and brothers” would “welcome his decision and stand alongside him (Tharman) with all our hearts,” it was very much in keeping with how they go full throttle on such matters.

We remember Ng Chee Meng for being booted out of Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the 2020 general election.

He lost his ministerial post but got to stay on as NTUC Secretary-General.

The message being that elites in this country can do no wrong. No one really loses. Any setback is temporary.

Ng is only biding his time of course. He will, in all likelihood, be fielded as a People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate in the next general election. Not necessarily in Sengkang GRC since new candidates have been announced for the GRC but in a sure-win GRC.

The same thing happened with Minister Ong Ye Kung.

In 2011, Ong lost as a candidate for Aljunied GRC. He was “parked” at NTUC and Keppel Corporation and returned to contest in 2015 – not in Aljunied GRC but in the safe and secure Sembawang GRC.

After which, Ong got fast-tracked to minister.

In his Facebook post, Ng addressed Tharman as “Brother Tharman” eight times.

With Brother Ng and the whole NTUC apparatus, along with fellow sisters and brothers supporting Brother Tharman, so many people are doing the heavy lifting for the PAP-endorsed presidential hopeful.

There really is no limit to ownself praise ownself and ownself support ownself.

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