atans1

TKL: Ain’t NTUC & PAP like “lips to teeth”?

In Political governance on 10/07/2011 at 8:41 am

“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.

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  1. Well, but the reality is that no one can be quite famous and powerful in Singapore without being associated with the PAP in any way. The tone of campaign for the coming election has become “he who is furthest away from the PAP core wins”. So largely speaking, TKL is just the lesser evil within the current three candidate in terms of the distance away from the PAP.

  2. It is not very logical to associate a PAP member with every action and decision made by a PAP govt without proof that a person had been directly involved in such. It is guilt by association. Surely, you would not agree if someone from country ‘A’ blame you for a crime committed against him in Singapore because you are a singaporean? That is what you are trying to pin on TLK.

    In the case of TT and TCB, there is a difference, a big difference, in that these two were actually part and parcel of very govt system that has given rise to the many problem and issues that are plaguing Singaporeans -from high cost of living to high cost of HDB flats. If you like, their guilt by association, is more akin to being an accessory to a ‘crime’. Not to make too fine a point of it, but elected representatives of parliament (MPs) owe their constituents/voters a direct obligation to speak up AND to distance themselves (vociferously and by action) from decisions and policies of their party’s govt, unless of course at the ned of the day their actually agreed with them.

    The consequence of course is a smooth passage of policies, even revolting and unfair ones, for the cabinet members, when the people’s representatives (MPs) acquiesce by taking NO action as described above to protest their disagreement . So it is perfectly all right to ‘mark’ this against the MP or ministers for which there should be subsequent RETRIBUTION under the right circumstances. In this case of the EP it would be the DISTRUST and a crisis of confidence among the people that they (MPs and ex-minsters) would be able to act in their interest in a ‘showdown’ with the govt should they, touch wood, become the EP.

  3. All I have to say is Mr. Tan Kin Lian should stop feeding the Internet trolls. Him threatening to sue the trolls inflicts more damage upon himself than any troll can do.

    If you ask me, his position is the most precarious. There’s no way he can distance himself from the establishment. He was part of the establishment for most of his time. The more he try to do this, the more shrill he sounds.

  4. Guilt by association does stand and be accepted as a form of collaboration if and when the association is done over a period of time with the participant conscious of reaction and result of the activity he/she participated in. Such association is very different from the example offered by Anon, the Second Commenter.

  5. Absolutely agree with Anon. Maintaining relationship with PAP for the sake of NTUC Income is one thing, participating in the decision and policy making is a completely different animal. Sorry, there is no way you can lump TCB and TT with TKL.

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