General Paper question in the year 2065:
In S’pore in 2016, there was “cosiness”, not the meritocracy claimed by the bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists. The system rewarded mediocrity or even failure if one happened to be in the “right” circle.
The FT reported in October 2016 that a group of neo-Maaoists held a secret meeting recently and denounced the present system in China. Their manifesto was a call for revolution to overthrow the current system, which they claimed had evolved into a “bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists”.
A student wrote the following essay that won the Mad Dog Chee prize that the first non-PAP PM, Dr Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, set up to commemorate Dr Chee.
Text of essay:
A columnist from the capitalist supporting Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, in 2016. wrote:
“Britain is not corrupt, as such. Laws on bribery and embezzlement are not routinely broken. The country does well in transparency rankings.
But what it lacks in venality, it makes up for in cosiness. Insiders look after each other and mediocrities fail upward, or at least sideways. The elite is only half-porous: it is possible to get in but not to fall out. There are plenty of second acts in these British lives. There is always a commission to chair, a university to head, a seat to take in a second chamber that now has almost 800 members keeping London’s livery tailors in profit. This is public service as a parallel welfare state for good eggs.”
Sounded like S’pore in 2016, it seemed to S’poreans who read the FT article. This cosiness wasn’t just a figment of the imagination of the anti-PAP cybernuts who helped the ruling Peoples’ Action Party’s maintain its grip on power (With enemies like them to alienate the swing voters, the PAP didn’t need friends).
The then PAP PM said that ministers who failed cannot be chucked out just like that. Their exits had to be “managed”. He said this after two ministers (the transport and public housing ministers) resigned after the PAP’s GE 2011 “defeat”. The “defeat” (only 60% of the popular vote voted PAP) was attributed to voters’ unhappiness with public housing prices and public treansport deficiencies.
In 2016, an ex-CEO of NOL, a shipping company (scholar, paper general and a Temasek MD) after losing his job when NOL was taken over got a cushy sinecure as a director of SPH, the owner of the media outlets that parroted thr PAP administration’s line.
And then there was Desmond Kwek the CEO of SMRT, a public transport company, another paper general, who kept his job despite failing to make the trains run on time.
I’ll let an alternative media outlet of the time, TRE, describe what happened to someone in the “right” circle who really failed in 2016
Cock-ups after Cock-ups
Mr Chew, who was previously with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Navy, joined LTA barely 2 years ago in October 2014.
During his two year term at LTA, Mr Chew presided over multiple cock-ups including the collapse of a temporary structure at the Bugis DTL work site which killed two workers, the discovery of extensive defective trains from China and attempt to secretly ship them back to their manufacturer, and the failure to resolve the perennial problem of taxi shortages on the roads.
In what appears to be a move to appease increasing public anger over the record-breaking failures of the public transport system, especially the SMRT, the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has tendered his resignation yesterday (5th Aug).
Coffee shop gossips have it that the CEO has been ‘fingered’ as the ‘fall guy’ to take the blame for the countless failures in the public transport system and did not resigned voluntarily as Mr Chew claims.
“Who in his right state of mind would want to resign from a lucrative paying job that comes with so much authority?”, some uncles and aunties commented.
Some however, speculated that he has voluntarily committed ‘harakiri’ out of his own conscious [“conscience” is what he must have meant], following the foot steps of former Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.
TRE went on to describe “cosiness” S’pore style:
Members of ‘men-in-white’ club never go jobless
The 48-year-old did not mention where he was heading for, but it is a known fact that members of the ‘men-in-white’ club will never go jobless and arrangement will be made for an alternate posting to some GLCs. It is believed that Mr Chew might join Singapore Technologies. [Chew had said he was going into the private sector.]
Only in a bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists would ST qualify as a private sector co. It was owned by the state.
Thankfully in 2026, Mad Dog Chee and Harry’s daughter (she was the chief priestess of the cult of worshippers of Harry Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of the PAP) brought the edifice of a bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists down, albeit at the cost of their own lives.
The subsequent general election brought Dr Paul Anantharajah Tambyah’s PAP Bahru (Slogan: “Whiter than White and a Lot More Compassionate”) remade S’pore into the compassionate place it is, with admittedly a standard of living today that is below of of London and NY (OK closer to that of Calcutta and Bombay) than today’s global cities of Rangoon, Shanghai and Hong Kong.