Tuesday, 8 September 2020

The Saga of Liew Mun Leong

 It is not surprising that the saga of Changi Airport Group Chairman Liew Mun Leong  has attracted such prominent attraction not only in Singapore but maybe outside. This is no doubt one of the most iniquitious injustices that could be imposed on a defenceless Indonesian maid who had given eight years of conscientious service to the Low family.

The process of the police investigations and the district curt judgement for the alleged theft by this unfortunate victim were so full of unimaginables and unconventionals that they boggle the common mind of the people completely. It was by the grace of God (or Allah in this case)  that the appeal was heard by such a courageus and perceptive High Court Judge as Justice Chan Seng Onn who minced no words in his highly critical judgement of the judicial proceedings of the district court and his unbridled contempt of the iniquitious conduct of Liew Mun Leong and his son Karl in trumping up theft charges against the defenceless maid.

Justice Chan laid bare the inexcusable inadequacies of the police investigations under the direction of the Attorney-General Department and the unbelievable blunder of the District Judge in convicting the accused on the questionable evidence before her. With her experience she should have been more alert to the misdirection led by the blinkered Deputy Public Prosecutors. She was not able to perceive the improper motive of Liew Mun Leong in victimising the maid as pointed out by Justice Chan. It is incredible that this deceitful character runs in the family of Liew Mun Leong. His son Karl was chastised by another Justice as being dishonest and deceitful.

The denunciation of Justice Chan has put the Attorney General and the government in an uncomplimentary light before the public. The AG has indicated that he will study the judgement and will see what further action to take. Needless to say that his first action should be to look into the improper motive of Liew Mun Leong and to see that justice is done to redeem the injustice he had engineered against the maid. The AG may balk because of the stature and reputation of Liew Mun Leong. He may cringe when confronted with Liew's political connections.It all depends on whether he has the conviction and sincerity to see that justice is done. It will give the wrong signal if nothing is done to people like Liew and others like him to commit injustice on innocent individuals.

In conclusion I think a word of praise and gratitude should be given to the wonderful defence counsel Anil Balchandani for his magnificent act in defending the maid pro bono in her time of adversity and made such a consummate success of it. Let's hope that the maid Parti Liyani will be able to obtain adequate compensation from Liew Mun Leong for her suffering.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

A look at Singapore through unblinkled eyes

There is a perceptible euphoria in the air not unlikely created by the PAP leadership following their lacklustre performance in the general election in order to boost their flagging stature. It is the acme of irony that top PAP politicians who pay themselves millions of dollars from taxpayers' money to consider themselves people servers but equally ironical that there are considerable guillible Singaporeans who believe them. On top of this you have the prime minister's wife Ho Ching whose probably enormous salary as CEO of Temasek Holdings remains a state secret.

That there is a voters' swing towards the opposition, especially the Workers' Party, is a severe slap to PM Lee Hsien Loong and the PAP leadership which could not have escaped the psyche of PM Lee and his sidekicks and could have sent a warning to them that it could be a precursor of some revolutionary changes to the political landscape of Singapore in the future. The dynamic performance of the Workers' Party in the GE must have put them in a state of acute pessimism as the WP will be like a tornado even in their dream as their Nemesis. On the other hand the voters have shown very clearly that they have been satiated by the guiles of the PAP for too long and have reduced the political standing of their ministers, even PM Lee himself, by reducing the percentage of their votes rendering them as caricatures of their former selves. They even dispatched an eminent minister in Sengkang in the hustings.

PM Lee could not have been so myopic as not to be able to see the writing on the wall. So he and his deflated ministers are now working desparately to regain the confidence of the voters by making unprecedented promises to ameliorate the livelihood of Singaporeans. Whether this will go down well with Singaporeans will depend on whether the pledges will be just a perfunctory exercise or a genuine effort to improve the livelihood of Singaporeans. Even the PAP mouthpiece President has thrown in her lot to call upon the people to support the new PAP government. It will be interesting to watch how the promises will evolve from now on.

It is a good omen for Singapore that a large number of Singaporeans are more politically conscious of their inherent inheritance of their inborn endownment to decide on their own destiny.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

An attempt at a post-mortem of the GE

There were genuine fears among opposition leaders that there could be a complete wipe out of the opposition in the general election. In the event I think God had looked kindly on Singapore opposition and could have ordained that there should be some semblance of democracy in Singapore politics. And Workers' Party could have been chosen as a Darling of Fate(天之骄子) and romped home in their victory in Aljunied GRC,Sengkang GRC and Hougang SMC. Although it may not come as a surprise to WP but I think this was something beyond their wildest dream. It shows that Singaporeans are tired of authoritarian rule and wanted to see more checks an balances in Parliament.

Sengkang is unique and could be a precursor of more revolutionary changes in the Singapore political landscape. The WP Sengkang is young and dynamic and could reflect  the revolutionary fervour of the young voters in Sengkang. They were so favourably regarded by the young Sengkang voters. The PAP should have seen the writing on the wall and it was a suicide to parachute their candidates including the anchor minister Ng Chee Meng to contest the GRC. According to the grape vine they were viewed with disdain by the young voters and had at once become non-starters. The WP had a political star in Jamus Lim who had made short shrift of the Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in their political debate. Another political star was a 26 year old young Malay woman Rheesa Khan who projected a formidable image of political activism. She enjoyed considerable adulation from especially young Singaporeans despite her skirmish with the police over her so-called racial writings.

WP Sengkang victory stunned the PAP as well as the general public because it was like something out of the blue but nevertheless it was received with jubilation by the young Sengkang voters as well as discerning Singaporeans. Now what is going to happen to the three PAP political office holders who lost in Sengkang is something the public would be interested in.

WP's victory in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC may not be such a surprise to the public as they were already hoping that there could be some political development in the future. The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has not done too badly considering that they were quite new and depended really on the political pull of Dr. Tan Chang Bock. There is a saying that is it not easy for one person to upset the apple-cart.

The PAP has garnered 83 seats out of 93 contested and has a comfortable majority in Parliament but we can see from hereon quite a lot of political sparks provided by the 10 redoubtable WP MPs in Parliament. They will keep the run-in-the-mill type of PAP MPs on their toes which is a good beginning. It's good to make them sweat for their fat MP allowances. Unless the PAP wakes up from their slumber they may see more erosion of their political standing in Parliament in the future. I think they should take heed of the sagacious advice of Home Minister K. Shanmugam to reflect and soul-searching.

Friday, 3 July 2020

The conundrum of the 10 million population.

This sensitive question had caused considerable consternation among Singaporeans when it was first brandished around some years ago but quite strangely it did not explode intensely and somehow became dormant to the peaceful mind of the PAP. Then to their dismay at the political parties debate on 1st July Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party suddenly posed this question of 10 million population for Singapore's future to Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan of the PAP and could have caught the latter by surprise. This is where it shows the magnanimity or lack of it  in the Minister in dealing with his opponent. Could it be so brazen to start by accusing Dr. Chee of spreading falsehood about the government targeting 10 million population for Singapore?  Had it not occurred to the discerning Minister that multitude of Singaporeans had already heard of it and would it not be preposterous to suggest that Dr. Chee started the rumour?

Instead of blustering against Dr. Chee could not the Minister have shown more civility by simply clarifying the public misconception of the 10 million population in a more benign manner considering that it was  already a public knowledge and not a rumour spread by Dr. Chee ? He could have strongly emphasised that it was not the intention of the government to target a 10 million population for Singapore and that certainly not from DPM Heng Swee Kiat. Otherwise this can easily spiral into something so titanic that it could be like a double-edged sword hanging over the PAP election campaign.

Dr. Chee had been portrayed as a scoundrel for starting a rumour and I think it is a great disservice to him by the government. He was only trying to perform his duty as a political opposition and should not be a subject of vilification. I am not a supporter of Dr. Chee and it may be true that he may not be an angel but as  human being he deserves some respect for his self-esteem. I undertake to come to his defence because of my righteousness to stand up for an underdog from imperious attack.

I am sorry Dr. Vivian Balakhrishnan if my article hurts your feelings and I hope that there will not be any hard feelings.

Friday, 22 May 2020

The politics of non-accountability in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic

Is this the face of a selfless politician masquerading in the dedication of service to the people? Hard to convince when they enrich themselves by paying themselves millions of dollars from taxpayers' money. What is jangling the people's mind right now is how much the prime minister's wife is getting for helming the Temasek Holdings as CEO. Her appointment had actually raised some eyebrow as many people could not believe that she could qualifiy for the job if she were not the prime minister's wife. It will be a million dollar question if a candid answer could come from her selectors. It looked like a fait accompli foisted on the people which could only leave them flabbergasted. But a more sinister surprise awaited the public and they could not be more flabbergasted than the concealment of the arcane salary by the run-of-the-mill PAP government that would be the last straw that breaks the camel's back.

The people have never been so vociferous in their outcry for justice in demanding the government of the drollish PM Lee Hsien Loong to be upfront in disclosing the arcane salary of his wife Ho Ching. They could be under the initial miscalculation that this demand could fizzle out in time but I think that the intensity of the vocal demand has rattled them and put them in a very untenable position which can continue indefinitely until there is a goodwill response from the government. With the general election on the horizon maybe it may have an auspicious effect of leveraging the political myopia of the government to give a welcome acquiescence to the people's demand. I think this will enhance the political standing of the PAP and is this really a great price to pay? The PAP leaders must show that they really have the interests of the people at heart.

It may not be out of place to give some adulation to the PAP Multi-Ministerial Task Force for showing some creditable imagination in their handling of the coronavirus pandemic with the circuit breaker measures notwithstanding the flaks that came from certain quarters. I think it s not an accident that Taiwan is showered with accolades for their exemplary handling of the coronavirus pandemic and it would not be a lack of humilty to take a leaf out of Taiwan's book.

The world is changing and is changing rapidly and it would be  matter of great regret if Singapore could not take the advantage of benefitting from the change.

Friday, 15 May 2020

The PAP's comic opera on Ho Ching's salary

It might have given Singaporeans and citizens of other countries in the East and West that the issue of Ho Ching's salary was a matter of monumental concern that affects the destiny of the rise and fall of Singapore. It really boggles the mind of Singaporeans and foreigners the ferocious tenacity that PM Lee Hsien Loong and his venal ministers have put up to resist very persistent vocal demand by the public to know how Ho Ching's salary could be such a national secret that it could not be disclosed to the public. The only impression that the public can draw is that it is of such an enormous nature that it will cause a gigantic public uproar that may be intractable and defy any civilised explanation.

On 5 May 2020 Workers' Party MP Leon Perera very skilfully raised a question in Parliament whether or not giving the real figure after POFMA directives are issued against allegedly false figure will really meet the objective of reinforcing trust in those institutions. You can easily knock someone down with a feather by the way the PAP Minister Indranee Rajah replied that the matter is before the court which is an independent tribunal and it will  decide on the specific question of public trust. Don't you think she should be given a gold medal for her ingenuity or the lack of it? I have said before that PAP politicians are simply money-minded charlatans and I think I have to be proved wrong. It does not take more than a dolt to remind them that all it takes to solve the prickly problem is to disclose the real figure instead of concealing behind a rigmarole.

PM Lee Hsien Loong cannot beguile the public for eternity and there must come a time when he has to show some conscience in relenting. This may not adversely affect his election prospects but he has at some time or rather to show that he has a whit of conscience to heed the public plaintive cry for justice. I think it will be more to his interest to calm the public's mind on the salary status of his beloved wife as continued fermentation of the issue is not going to reflect kindly on his wife in particular and on himself in general.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

The egregious saga of Ho Ching

The name Ho Ching represents clear, pure and lucid. But it is anything but pure and lucid judging from the voluminous amount of vitriolic critiques by Singaporeans on the esoteric concealment of her so-called obscenely astronomical salary Singaporeans and citizens of other democratic countries are simply mind-boggled how a democratic government like Singapore could be so insouciant in unheeding the demand of its citizens to seek the truth of the enormity of the salary of the spouse of the prime minister who has been, whether equitably of not, foisted as a Chief Executive Officer of a government sovereign corporation, the Temasek Holdings.The appointment has indeed raised the ire of discerning Singaporeans since its beginning not excluding the possibility of nepotism but it is the secrecy of Ho Ching's salary that has raised the hackles of Singaporeans. And the continued trepidations of the PAP government to conceal it has not helped in any way to restore the confidence of Singaporeans in the PAP government.

It titillates the imagination to watch how long the PAP government can beguile the citizens with their intransigence. They may get away with it with some of the more guillible Singaporeans and may be encouraged to persist in their shenanigan but I think there must come a time for them to relent. Singaporeans will have to be very patient to wait for that fateful day because it is like the mountain won't come to Mohammad.

Ho Ching may be tempted to emulate the the radical feminism of Jiang Qing (江青), the notorious wife of the late Chairman Mao Tze Tong of China in fllaunting her prowess but whether she will be able to achieve that will depend on how long her joker husband can remain as prime minister. But in the meantime we may be able to be amused by some stand-up comedians in their antics. Both husband and wife are filthy rich and may have assests in the region of $100 million which can see them through their luxrious living for several generations to come. The irony is that whilst PM Lee Hsien Loong and his venal ministers are pocketing millions of dollars from taxpayers' money, the hmanitarian or inhumantarian Lee Hsien Loong showed his ugly feature in his downright refusal to raise the poverty level pensions of civil servants who retired more than thirty years ago and receiving the same pension whilst the cost of living is rising from time to time. If he can be described as humanitarian then the epithet should be changed to something more suitable to his sadistic character. He is as humnanitarian as his infamous father.

May God bless him.