by Yoong Siew Wah
This may be something that Heaven bedevils the People’s Action Party (PAP) to curb their blatantly blustering tendencies.
The lunatic utterance of expletive in Parliament by the cavalier Speaker Tan Chuan Jin has boomeranged so inimically against TCJ that it leaves the mentally-battered Prime Minister Lee Hsin Loong in such a muddled fluster.
The victimised Workers’ Party MP Jamus Lim had naively accepted TCJ’s apology without realising the gravity of the matter, which provoked a massive reaction from concerned Singaporeans calling for his resignation as Speaker of Parliament.
This must have scared the shit out of both TCJ and Lee Hsien Loong. And this, unfortunately, looks like it’s going to drag on until TCJ is removed as Speaker. Lee Hsien Loong can ignore this at his peril.
It seems that with his abrasive character, this is not the first time that TCJ has been caught using unparliamentary language against Opposition MPs.
Therefore it is patently clear that there is a character flaw in him, and it boggles the mind how he could be appointed an impartial Speaker with decorum.
The expletive used against Jamus Lim comes with the realm of taboo, and no sane and rational person will normally use it. So can it be said that Tan Chuan Jin was not sane and rational when he used this expletive against Jamus Lim, who should by now realise its gravity.
I don’t think the discerning public will be satisfied with a censure which is actually a slap on the wrist. Opposition MPs will be placed in a dilemma as to how to accommodate an insane and irrational Speaker whose impartiality will be a big question mark.
The die is cast, and there does not appear to be any other course for Lee Hsien Loong. If he still dithers, there is an open course for him to seek public opinion, like a referendum or other similar courses.
Anyway, Tan Chuan Jin gives a public image of a swaggerer and blusterer, and could he be expected to give advice and guidance to especially Opposition MPs?
Mr Yoong Siew Wah was the Director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) from 1971 to 1974. He was Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in the 1960s, and had a distinguished career in the Singapore Special Branch in the 1950s. Mr Yoong, who is in his 90s, keeps a blog called Singapore Recalcitrant.