“I can be independent. I have never been a minister or a member of parliament. I am not associated with the past policies of the PAP,” says TKL.
The obvious point of rebuttal is that since the 1970s until 2008, he was a member of the PAP, and possibly for most of that period was a cadre, not an ordinary member. So how can he not be associated with the PAP?
But there is a more serious (and related) rebuttal to his comments.
He has played up (rightly) his experience as CEO of NTUC Income for 30 years. But isn’t NTUC Income part of the NTUC? And isn’t the NTUC aligned with the PAP? So aligned that the sec-gen of NTUC, Deaf Frog Lim, is a cabinet minister? As was his predecessor, Cry Baby Lim, until recently. And what abt the PAP MPs that are employed by the NTUC?
“On this 50th anniversary of NTUC, it is timely to recapitulate this symbiotic relationship between NTUC and PAP. Together, we are partners in nation-building,” said the president of NTUC earlier this year. NTUC PAP
NTUC employees cannot have anything to do with opposition parties, so much so that a well-known blogger (then working in Income) claimed to have passed up the chance to meet his hero JBJ.
NTUC and PAP are like “lips to teeth”, and TKL had high positions in both organisations.
So how can TKL claim that he is “not associated with the past policies of the PAP”? He was a PAP member, possibly a cadre. He was a very senior executive in the NTUC which is in a “ symbiotic relationship” with the PAP.
He is doubly “associated” or damned.
Nothing dishonourable abt TKL positioning himself as the candidate that 20% of the electorate will blindly vote for. He, after all, resigned from the PAP in 2008, unlike the other Tans who did so only recently.
But he shouldn’t try to rewrite history by saying, ”I am not associated with the past policies of the PAP.”
It makes it harder for the swing voters (45% of the electorate) to trust his statements on other issues. Christian swing voters might also recall that Peter denied he knew Jesus three times.