Oops, the Young PAPayas did it again. The clownish antics of Young PAP members like Jason Neo do nothing to assure S’poreans about the quality of PAP activists. (Incidentally, the SDP’s and NSP’s holier-than-thou attitude will come back to haunt them. The local MSM will make sure of that, given that there must be people like Jason Neo in these parties.)
One of the things that makes many S’poreans disbelieve the PAP narrative that PAP MPs are chosen with the greatest care are the verbal gaffs that they make: Blunderland Tin’s “I don’t know what to say”; Foo(l)’s, “Trying to fool me, is it?”; Puthu’s comments on equating saving babies with doing NS, or telling us that his views on the ISA are secret (the government arrested dad using the ISA); and Dr Lim Wee Kiah’s comment that he does not respect those earning less than he does.
The dumb comments of PAP MPs and other activists have been put down to stupidity, elitism, arrogance, brown-nosing, or not knowing how the common folk live, or any combination of these.
I have just finished rereading “1984″ and can add two more explanations.
George Orwell wrote, “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”. The PAP needs MPs and other activists who can hold “two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”. Examples: believing that one can be compassionate to the poor by stripping them first of their dignity, or that public service entitles one to high pay.
He also wrote,“Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph.”
Likewise, the PAP needs as an activist a person who is not only intelligent and hardworking but also who “should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic.” In October last year when Madam Kwa Geok Choo died, minister Khaw wrote on his blog “if everyone were to be like Mrs Lee, this planet would be heaven”. I have the greatest respect for Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, but Khaw’s tribute is just plain silly, coming from an otherwise intelligent man. And remember Blunderland Tin telling us that she couldn’t think of a government policy that could be improved? Wasn’t that plain silly, especially in the light of PM’s apology and the rethink in public housing, transport and healthcare policies?
The kind of people the PAP wants (intelligent and hardworking but capable of doublethink and credulous) makes them inherently mentally unstable: the kind of people who say or write the silliest things.
But let’s be fair to the PAP and remember that the WP was once the party of bicyle thieves and other petty criminals. And remember that one of RP’s founding members was extradicted to the US because he was wanted by the US government on two terrorism-related charges and brokering an arms deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Let the final word go to Bertolt Brecht, the famous Marxist and German playwright, “The finest plans have always been spoiled by the littleness of them that should carry them out. Even emperors can’t do it all by themselves.” So PM beware.