Can’t help feeling for the Tans especially the father

In Political governance on 05/08/2011 at 9:10 am

Who would have thought that the campaign of a former chairman of a media group would be found wanting in the field of public communications. There was and is a decent narrative to his son’s 12-yr disruption.

Ignoring minor gaffes aside (censoring comments and not knowing how FaceBook works), there was one major balls-up: the failure to frame the debate of son’s 12-yr deferment within the “medical disruption” exception.

It didn’t work. The facts came out. See this (esp 1-7). Any queries should be addressed to Mindef, not the Tans. But because the now infamous reply to Jessica tried to frame the issue within the narrow confines of “disruption for medical studies” , and failed, people are not interested in giving the Tans the benefit of the doubt. The Tans should give each communications adviser a few tight slaps.

Because the sad and funny thing is that there was a perfectly good narrative to exploit. If an extremely bright student wants a 12-yr disruption so that he can undertake privately (at no expense to the tax payer) a course of study that could be of value to Singapore, why shouldn’t he ask for it? Why shouldn’t dad agree that his son should make the request?

It would be for Mindef to decide, not Tony Tan who was then minister for education.

Unfortunately most of the value of this narrative has been destroyed by the reaction to the attempt by the Tan team to frame the 12-yr disruption within the “medical studies” exemption. People focus on the fact that 12-yr disruption is very long for medical studies and that anyway he is still not a qualified MD. So what’s this tosh abt disuption to be an MD? They are not willing to see it in any other way.

And given the fishmonger incident, one suspects Tony Tan is not meant to be president. Maybe the stars are aligned for Doc Tan Cheng Bock. I sure hope for the sake of S’poreans, they are not aligned for the “People’s Voice”. Or is it “People’s Megaphone”?

  1. I think TT will be applying back for a job at GIC pronto. Wonder if he has to go thru 5 interviews and psychological profiling again?

    He’s been saying that’s he’s the best man to advice govt on navigating the rough economic landscape becoz of GIC experience. If so, then shouldn’t he make a bigger impact by being in the driver’s seat at GIC rather than just interested bystander giving feedback but still collecting same multi-million dollar pay?

    Oh I forgot, his tenureship of GIC performance also dunno will give confidence or not. Last 10 years returns of nominal 3.5%pa in SGD terms. If inflation adjusted would only be 1%pa. OK lah, better than putting in the bank. But I don’t think need to pay multi-million dollar salaries for 1%pa performance.

  2. Uncle Cynical: your post and the cretinous response from peeps like XYZ make me realise that TT must love Sg and his fellow citizens very much to want to stand for EP n put up with such crap, besides the serious, pointless and ignorant invasion of his family’s privacy. Yup, there’s supposed to be a $4m pa salary but come on, TT is more the Mike Bloomberg class than the other EP wannabes! So the $ alone isn’t enough for going thru being the centre of the wrong attention. Reminds me of what Mr LKY said ages ago, that if he could live his life again, he might not want to be the leader of an ungrateful people. If I were TT’s family members, I would certainly urge him to have 2nd thoughts. Moreover, there’s that thankless n painful task of having to sign execution orders that go with the EP’s job. G8 for law n order but lousy for the person who has to do it, even if it’s on Cabinet’s collective recommendation 😦

  3. As suggested by auntielucia, Tony Tan should just withdraw from the race, and do everyone a favour. He’ll be happy, and Singaporeans would be happy. A win-win situation.

  4. Let’s face it, the biggest elephant in the room for TT and govt is not about protecting the reserves because notwithstanding the GE2011 losses, PAP is still confident of being in charge for the next two rounds.

    The biggest pre-occupation of TT and his ‘ex-PAP’ comrades is to keep their waterloo during the recent financial crisis under water tight wraps – the one who can shuck open their oyster to reveal the ‘failed’ pearl inside would be a new unfriendly EP. For this, TKL is the perfect man for the job. That’s why they are throwing everything at him including the kitchen sink – latest assault came from the big time lawyer turned law minister himself. They would loose little sleep if it is TCB who talks a lot and grandstand a lot, but with little in terms of being listened to during his time in parli.

  5. Cynical – Why the sympathy for their “botched” PR on this issue. For all we know, no matter how they spin it it would still look bad and ugly. It is like getting rid of a stench by spraying more air-freshener. And this could be fatal to their overall campaign.

    Case in point – even elitist supporters such as auntielucia (I believe she is elitist) are throwing in the towel and showing compassion for their ego and lofty position and urging withdrawal to save their collective wounded pride.

    Is your support for TCB predicated on his flawless PR and image? And your non-support for TKL for his crude and loud PR image (People’s Voice, People’s Megaphone)?

    Conspiracy theory aside, people are more focused on issues such as effectiveness, transparency and accountability. Conspiracy theory arises due to lack of transparency and accountability and an ineffective presidency.

    It would be indeed sad if people fall for the slick PR.

  6. wah, you all very serious about his pointless, powerless, presidentially Presidential Election hor 🙂

  7. So it is okay to disrupt if you are one of a few hundreds MEDICAL students admitted to top universities, but not okay if you are among the six to eight MUSIC students accepted annually by a world class university?

    Do you see how unjust this appears to the common folks? It is ELITISM and SPECIAL TREATMENT for the privileged. There is no way TT can spin this message.

    What would the British people react if Prince Harry and Prince William are protected from flying dangerous missions in their duties? George W Bush was accused of being favorably treated even though he served as an active-duty National Guard pilot. How do you justify PT’s office career when others have to put their lives in danger?

    By the way, the United States Department of Defense released all the records of Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service in June 2005 – Wikipedia. Are they willing to release all records related to PT’s disruption and service?

    My advice to TT is to withdraw from PE now. Unless he wants to be the next George.

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