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.