Saturday, 30 September 2023

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PAP in a crisis of a generation — Has the “Men in White” gone black?

by Joseph Nathan

Goodness gracious, it seems that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is being savagely plagued by a never-ending streak of bad luck, as if karma is determined to bring them into the abyss of hell.

Just last week, we saw how the “Men in White” had desperately used their majority in parliament to forcefully push for the narrative that both Vivian Balakrishnan and K. Shanmugam, who were their cabinet ministers involved in the Ridout Rental’s Fiasco, were innocent.

Within this one-sided drama in parliament, we saw how Christopher De Souza, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who, despite being charged with professional misconduct as a lawyer, was allowed to preside over a parliament hearing over the Ridout Rental scandal where the integrity of two PAP ministers were being questioned and the house is debating if there is any “conflict of interest” involved.

Then news broke that the Court of Appeal found two senior politicians from the Workers’ Party liable for fiduciary failure in the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC ) case.

Yet throughout the Ridout Rental scandal and the investigation carried out by the PAP’s own politicians, no one bothers to mention the numerous fiduciary lapses and failures that had occurred at Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which in turn, would have implicated their Law Minister who oversees the statutory board.

Has politics in Singapore become so perverse and vindictive?

As karma would have it, then we heard how Tan Chuan-Jin, the Speaker of Parliament, who finally admitted that he did use expletive language in making a disparaging remark about a parliamentarian from the Workers’ Party, and ended up showing his true “nasty” colour.

More scandals

Looking back, who can forget the high-profile arrest of Zainudin Nordin, the former President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), who happened to be a former PAP Member of Parliament and mayor, and Winston Lee, the former Secretary-General of the FAS?

Weren’t we all perplexed when the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) decided in September 2021 not to file charges against them for possible misuse of funds despite actually physically arresting them in person?

How about the Keppel’s corruption case, where the AGC again decided earlier this year that there is no charge to be filed against the six senior executives from Keppel or investigate Lee Boon Yang, the Chairman of Keppel Corporation and who was also a former cabinet minister of the PAP.

Where is Indranee Rajah in all of these latest scandals that are currently plaguing her beloved PAP?

The breaking news yesterday has to be S. Iswaran, the Transport Minister who is currently assisting the investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and “has been instructed to take a leave of absence by PM Lee”.

Is this the beginning of the end for the PAP?

What if we are to include all the extramarital affairs of the PAP parliamentarians and the perceived corruption and emerging scandals at the institutional level of our public institutions, agencies and statutory boards?

Should PM Lee blame the bad advice given to him by his pool of advisers on the use of money politics to entice mediocre to join his 4G PAP, or should he blame himself for his own failure?

Honour Or Horror

In looking at all these horrific developments that are savagely ripping the PAP apart, we can safely deduce with great certainty that the PAP ministers and politicians are no longer respectful of PM Lee or his leadership.

So if there is still any honour left in Lee, then the only honourable thing left for him to do is to step down and admit that he has failed us and our country.

In this way, at least the legacy of the late Lee Kuan Yew, his father, may still be worth preserving, no?

But if PM Lee is to ignore the writings that are already painted vividly on the walls, then Presidential Election 2023 may well be used as the ultimate platform by patriotic Singaporeans to send him a Hard Truth that his Men in White have definitely gone far too black and are beyond redemption.

In the interim, we have to ask ourselves if we still believe that Singaporeans deserve better…

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