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Posts Tagged ‘People’s Association’

Zorro & PA make PM look stupid, cheap-skate, ill-mannered & ungracious

In Political governance on 12/02/2014 at 4:50 am

(Or “PA trying to show that it is no PAP stooge?”)

Tot Cheap, Cheapo Quick Zorro is a minister in PMO, the deputy chairman of the PA,  and that PA and the PAP are one and the same? Think again, with people like Zorro and other senior PA managerss, who needs enemies, the PM (and chairman of PA) must be wondering. PM may also be wondering if Zorro and other clowns manager at PA are trying to fix him or that they showing S’poreans that they are not part of the PAP machine.

Still laughing at Zorro Lim’s explanation of why ex-presidential TCB was “un-invited” from an Istana function organised by the PA. And at his petulance in being upset that Dr Tan made the un-invitation public*:  Mr Tan Cheng Bock is just informing his followers and friends on facebook.
Cannot meh? (TRE reader)

Wouldn’t it have been easier (i.e. less damaging to PM, Zorro personally, the govt, the PAP and the PA) once the balls-up was discovered for Lim to say to his staff, “As our sister Jos said We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One: but more careful. Make sure the correct list is used next yr. As for this year, let the invitations stand. Order more food. No budget? Juz cut activities in WP areas. Make the residents there repent. We don’t want PAP voters and neutral S’poreans to think we are ill-mannered: badly brought up by our parents.”

Instead, he called all those wrongly invited to dis-invite them (Wonder how many? Any Oppo GE 2011 canidates? Think Ben Pwee and SDP’s Dr Ang). Surely on a cost-benefit analysis, this was a waste of his valuable time**? Particularly given the PR damage if this dis-invitation was made public? In the age of social media, disclosure must be presumed.

As it is, one TRE reader voiced what is on many minds (self-included)

I think the whole episode of “uninviting Lim Cheng Bock came out badly” in the eyes of many Singaporeans. It showed clearly as long as someone is against the PAP, they do not deserve to be a Singaporean, notwithstanding his or her past contributions to nation building. At least I view it this way as a Singaporean from this episode. Because Tan Cheng Bock, an ex PAP member dared to stand up against the current PAP policies, it seems he is more an outlaw today, and whatever credit he chalked up in sacrificing his youthful years in nation building became a zero and does not deserve any recognition at all***.

He or she goes on to make some very valid points:

Secondly, with Lim Swee Say’s explanation, it also reflected badly on the PA as an organization. It looks like in coming up with the first list of invitees, they did not even know exactly what criteria to use to come up with the selected people for the Istana Party. All these days with the PM loudspeaking his sincere wish to recognize the first generation people who contributed to our nation building, it looks like at the end the selection was morely likely based on a preferred list, which is not surprising at all. Woe betide once again!

Thirdly, Lim Swee Say came across as unconvincing at all, especially when he is also the Labour Chief who needs to have a heart full of empathy in the first place. But by executing the order to uninvite a fellow Singaporean who was already invited, it just reflects clearly that our leadership is uncompassionate and also unkind. Even if the case was not about Tan Cheng Bock per se, but if any ordinary Singaporean who got invited to the Istana to be informed later that he was univited because of an error, have the government given any thought on how the affected person would feel. He or she could have already announced to all the friends that he was invited by the PM for the Istana Party.***

Given the above logic, Tan Cheng Bock has every right to make a comment on how he really felt about the matter. Does Lim Swee Say expect Tan Cheng Bock to challenge the decree when it was announced to him over the phone? Cheng Bock has to accept it as a gentleman but does it mean he has bought into the explanation which is a lousy one in the first place. So my advice to Swee Say, just shut up!

And it’s not only netizens. This appeared in MediaCorp’s freesheet:

Aileen Tan Ai Ker

Published: 10 February, 4:06 AM

I refer to the report “Cheng Bock invited to Istana party ‘by mistake’” (Feb 8). Invitations are traditionally, even now, sent because the host wishes to have the company of the guest.

No one sends an invitation and retracts it, especially after it has been accepted. This is unacceptable in any culture, by any social standard. It is a question of “face” and emotional quotient. Similarly, a guest should have basic, reasonable emotional intelligence to decline an invitation if he or she feels awkward or is on unfriendly terms with the host.

In this instance, former Member of Parliament and presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock received and accepted the invitation.

The People’s Association (PA) should have been sensitive and exercised discretion to host him and those guests whom they considered were invited by mistake.

An old invitation list was used, despite today’s database management technology. It would have been smarter to bear the brunt of this and be graceful. The cost of hosting them would probably have been negligible.

Instead, the episode reflects badly on the PA, which deals with the grassroots and Singaporeans in general.

We expect more sensitivity than a simple apology after making a mistake. EQ training might help prevent a repeat.

Update: Related article: http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/02/08/pap-in-stage-3-to-4-of-decline/

—-

*He implies that since Dr Tan accepted the dis-invitation, he should juz sit down and shut up. A TRE reader pointed out: Mr Lim SS, Dr Tan may accept your explanation. He may not necessarily agree with or support your explanation. He has not explicitly say that he agrees with your explanation. Example : I may accept the price of NTUC goods/products however I may not support it. So Dr Tan has the rights to provide his side of the story. Remember he has his grassroots supporters to explain to. So if you have nothing to hide, Mr Lim why be do defensive.

**Remember he needs time to read his specially prepared monthly CPF statement, and to borrow toothpicks from a certain place.

***It is not about the invite – it is about some small- minded people who felt threatened by his presence. By 0.35 % margin! Dr. Tan will be the one sending out the list. Now he is pariah!

Shame on the PAP. (Another TRE reader)

****But the important things is this – if an invitation has been extended, you honour it and follow through with it. And if you have to have a longer guest list and cater more food as a result of this, then so be it. Making things right in situations like this is to honour what the Government has done. Updating the list and uninviting people is not making things right, and in fact is not right and making things worse.

It is disappointing that you would stand by and approve of this kind of conduct. Is this the ethos PA goes by?

Don’t highly qualified people in the civil service understand what it means to do the right thing in human relationships? (Yet another TRE reader)

MoE analogy abt PA

In Political governance on 13/09/2011 at 6:42 am

“It’s like having the Ministry of Education, the civil servants are impartial and neutral but the Minister is a Government Minister,” said the PM when trying to explain that the People’s Association was part of the government, like the MoE, and not the PAP.

The problem with this analogy is that the MoE doesn’t have embedded within its structure of administrators and teachers, PAP MPs, defeated PAP MPs and candidates and possible MP candidates; and whose ranks cannot contain non-PAP MPs. On this ground alone the analogy fails.

The analogy only works if the PA only appoints civil servants to be grassroot leaders, to explain and promote government policies. Do PAP MPs, defeated MPs and candidates, and potential MP candidates, get invited to attend school and MoE functions as a matter of routine, while Opposition MPs are not invited as per standard operating procedures? I think not.

The PM should give give several tight slaps to whoever suggested that he use this analogy. Any chance it was Tin Pei  Ling, via her hubby yr PPS? Sounds like her.

Try telling the PA and yr minister abt unity, PM?

In Political governance on 06/09/2011 at 7:18 am

On 1 September 2011, the PM said Singapore must also build a united society which leaves no Singaporean behind. He was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of Singapore’s seventh President Dr Tony Tan at the Istana.

This was the fifth time that he had spoken about the need for unity since the 7th May 2011 General Election. Five times in five months.

Well the trouble with this latest attempt was that the day before, the People’s Association (a statutory of agency of which he is chairman) had published a statement explaining why it excluded Opposition MPS from being appointed grassroot leaders. In a letter to the Straits Times Forum, PA director of corporate and marketing communications Ooi Hui Mei said on behalf of the CEO, “Besides connecting people to people, grassroots advisers are required to help the Government connect with people and help promote Government policies and programmes such as anti-dengue and active ageing. Hence, the Government has to appoint grassroots advisers who support its programmes and can play this role well. Opposition MPs cannot be expected to do this and thus cannot become advisers to GROs.”

She is saying that Opposition MPs are not loyal S’poreans that the government and PA can trust.

Ms Ooi’s letter drew a response from WP’s Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh (the guy with tots of being in coalition with the PAP on his brain). He wrote on his Facebook page that he found it “apposite to inform the PA that Opposition MPs do not love the aedes mosquito, nor do we have anything against active aging.” He cited examples of former and current PAP MPs, including former MP Tan Cheng Bock and President Tony Tan, who opposed the Nominated MP scheme and the graduate mother’s scheme respectively.

Hehehe. Snigger, snigger. Gd riposte Bei-Yee Singh. Letter writers to ST and Today and online forums joined in the fun of bashing Ms Ooi’s letter.

Unhappy with this mauling, the deputy chairman of the PA, Lim Swee Say (who is also a cabinet minister and NTUC chief), not heeding PM’s call for unity, got Ms Ooi to issue another letter on 3 September 2011, making the same point again: that Opposition MPs are not loyal S’poreans that the government and PA can trust.

Because of her letters, I’m again left wondering (I’ve commented on his four previous attempts here) whether the PM is sincere when he calls for unity. Why should I take his words at face value, when the spokeswoman from a government agency, where he is the chairman, takes a view that is contrary to his call for unity, both before and after his message. If she had not written the second letter, I would have been willing to try to suspend cynical disbelief. But Ms Ooi’s letters have left me no choice but to disbelieve the PM.

Is he or the CEO and deputy chairman, she scribed for, off-message? Or is his definition of “unity” different? Maybe he means “unity under the regime of Hard Truths”?

Time will tell.

If PM is sincere abt unity, what abt talking a leaf from Mao. When the Chinese Communist Party refused to listen to him, he launched the Culture Revolution. Maybe PM should reform the PA to better serve his and our needs.

Why did PA take so long to complain?

In Political governance on 25/08/2011 at 7:37 am

At the same time as hoisting the white flag of surrender, the PA said its underhand tactics of fixing the WP were a result of WP tactics. WP has denied these allegations.

Problem is the incidents it cited were from yrs ago (shades of CurryGate). So how to believe? Ironically, the media carried at the same time reports of rape charges against the former head of the IMF being dropped by the American authorities. One reason given was the fact that the complaint took several hrs before complaining of being raped. She had gone on with her work.

She was no longer credible because of the time-lapse.

And why didn’t the PA see fit to allege publicly that the WP was playing dirty before the May GE. If it had, residents of Aljunied may still have Cynthia Phua as one of their MPs. It might have also prevented the WP’s near victories in East Coast and Joo Chiat.

And doesn’t it sound strange to hear from a government agency headed by the PM no less that it played dirty because it alleged the WP played dirty. Sounds like a criminal admitting it broke the law because it alleged someone else broke the law.

PM should give PA five tight slaps. One for making him look like a liar (how to believe the calls abt hearing us when his agency went rounding fixing the WP?), one for saboing Tony Tan’s campaign, one for not raising the allegations abt WP before the May GE, one for using underhand tactics, and one for making the PM look stupid (he chairman of PA)

 

What MM Lee said of the ties between CCCs and PAP

In Political governance on 23/08/2011 at 9:46 pm

On 30 December 2009, our nation building, constructive ST reported MM Lee as saying of the Chinese officials who come here to study the governance of S’pore,“They discover that the People’s Action Party has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs, CCCs, and the CCs.”

(RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and the CCs (community clubs)
are grassroot organisations under the People’s Association. Its Chairman is none other than the PM himself who is also the secretary-general of the PAP.)

Todate no-one from the People’s Association, PAP or government, has to my knowledge, contradicted the then MM Lee.

 Back story. PA waves white flag.

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