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Posts Tagged ‘Cherian George’

Look who wants Tharman for PM

In Political governance on 13/03/2018 at 11:31 am

Really a wide spectrum.

For starters a Muslim Indian who is now KPJBing because he needed “approval” to talk to undergrads here http://www.airconditionednation.com/2018/03/09/campus-control/. Do read it. It’s a great rant. I’ll come back to it some other day.

Sorry: back to Indian support for Tharman. So what’s new? Countryman always supporet countryman, their non-countryan co-workers in any organisation will grumble, rightly or wrongly.

But then this is a Muslim Indian (by conversion because he wanted to have sex with marry a Malay*) keeps on saying Tharman (Hindu?) must become PM.

Singapore’s mystifying political succession

Why is the PAP so ambivalent about the idea of being led by Tharman Shanmugaratnam?

http://www.newmandala.org/singapores-mystifying-political-succession/

(Byw, I first read the article a day after being told by a friend that he once attended a wedding in India where there was a drinking session for the male guests in which the main topic of conversation was “those XXXX Muslims”.)

Seriously, Cherian George lists all the usual (and reasonably good) reasons why ang moh tua kees like him want Tharman to be PM.

If an ang moh tua kee wants Tharman to be PM, that is precisely the reason why the ruling party in a de facto one party state do not want Tharman as PM; as do many other S’poreans.

It’s not mystifying, simply that the judgements and preferences of ang moh tua kees are treated with suspicion and contempt, both within the PAP, and within the wider society. It’s not always about one’s skin tone.

Then there’s this guy who comes across as an ordinary S’porean. He most probably voted For Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

The curious case of a politician who is so wildly popular

Tharman Shanmugaratnam is a one-of-a-kind politician. He has more ardent fans than any other. Netizens have long clamoured for him to be Prime Minister. Even critics of the PAP have heaped praise on him.

Yet Tharman never sought adulation. On the contrary he seemed discomfited by it and has done his best to deflect attention, protesting “I’m not the man for PM. I say that categorically. It’s not me . . . I know myself, I know what I can do, and it’s not me.”

What is it about Tharman that makes him so well-liked and wildly popular? It could be the sum of different parts in the man. Ironically the more he tried to shore up his imperfections, the more he connected with people.

He revealed that he was “completely disinterested” in studies and was aimless as a youth. “Studying medicine would have required time and academic effort, and I did not have that at the age of 17 0r 18 . . . I never had a job in mind, no ambition in terms of career.”

Tharman went on to major in Economics at Cambridge and Public Administration at Harvard. And the chap who hated studying became of all things the Education Minister!

As an ACS boy, Tharman spent much of his time indulging in sports – playing hockey, cricket, football, volleyball, rugby, sepak takraw. In later years he even played in the premier hockey league for Singapore Cricket Club and Singapore Recreation Club. The once sports-crazy politician gave this bit of advice on Facebook after Joseph Schooling won an Olympic gold medal: Discover something we each can be good at. Persevere and never give up. Then pass the passion on to the next generation.

There is also the rebel in him. Tharman has said that he was once “a dissident, a government critic.” He even got into trouble with the law. As a director at MAS 25 years ago, he was charged along with four others under the Official Secrets Act for illegal disclosure of sensitive or classified information. He was eventually convicted of a lesser charge of negligence and fined $1,500.

When cultural icon David Bowie died, Tharman posted the lyrics of the classic hit Space Oddity on Facebook and called Bowie a “musical genius.” It seems that his love for music goes hand-in-hand with a passion for poetry. Tharman penned four poems for a 1978 anthology called but we have no legends. He co-edited the book with two friends, all then in National Service and part of the Young Writers’ Circle at the National Library.

How cool is that – a poet and a David Bowie fan who became a Deputy Prime Minister?

The supremely smart and brainy side of Tharman is most apparent to people. He has a sterling record as Finance Minister and is the first Asian to chair the G-30 – a prestigious global body of top financial experts.  He has also been named Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney magazine.

For someone who is not attention-seeking or rhetoric-driven, who is in fact  diffident at times, he actually has a great common touch and rapport with citizens. In the 2015 general election, Tharman outperformed all others, securing 79.3% of the votes for Jurong GRC.

Given his unique set of characteristics, his past as a rebel, his artistic bent, his refusal to airbrush his imperfections and struggles, it is a wonder that Tharman ended up as a man in white. He is not cast in the mould of a PAP politician.

Furthermore, we have been told by the ruling party that race and ethnic considerations will always be in the minds of voters when they cast their ballots. As a non-Chinese, he is supposed to be disadvantaged, although polling results have not borne that out.

In fact there are a surprising number of people who still harbour hopes of Tharman being Prime Minister. It may be wishful thinking. But it just goes to show that Singaporeans are not looking for sound and fury in their leader, for someone who is ever generous with promises. Rather, Singaporeans are dying for someone who is smart yet straight talking and sincere, and whose imperfections make him all the more human and relatable.

Augustine Low

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*I personally know one such couple. Mum’s Arab/ Chinese (looks Chinese), hubbie is Chinese. They have a daughter who looks Chinese and attends a Christian school (Dad’s from ACS) but is Muslim. When hols come around, she spends a lot of time in KL with her Muslim cousins.

 

 

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Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

In Political governance on 11/10/2017 at 8:00 am

Recently, I wrote

The USSR lasted for 74 years from 1917’s October Revolution. Counting from 1959, PAP has until 2033.

Here’s the real reason why PAP rule will end in 2033: 2033 will be the time when the 5th generation of PAP leaders take charge.

Here’s the detailed reasoning.

Tay Kheng Soon posted on FB on Sunday

Cherian George’s prediction or expectation that there will be 20 exceptional young people who will emerge to form singapore’s 5th generation leaders is too optimistic. Unlike the first generation leaders of the 60’s who had a socialistic world view the young today have been destroyed by post modern philosophy which combined with a good life has inbued in them a hyper subjectivist mentality. Its old radicals that need to step up to the challenge of a disrupted world. The 4th generaltion leadership are on cruise mode.

Cherian George had earlier been interviewed by Mothership (the PAP’s atas version of Petir) as saying:

“What the PAP and their supporters celebrate today is the creation of a small band of exceptional young Singaporeans. Lee Kuan Yew and less than 20 other people. So I asked myself, is it reasonable to hope that in Singapore today, among teens among 20-somethings and 30-somethings, that there are 20 Singaporeans with exceptional intelligence, ability, sense of public service, empathy, and conscience, to make Singapore what it can be? Yeah, of course I have hope! You can’t find 20? Please!”
Cherian George on why there’s hope for Singapore to become a better country.

After publicising the article: Cherian George (Malay Minister’s brudder-in- law, and his wife was ex tua kee in ST) commented  on FB

… be able/willing to rise
to the top. That’s why I don’t talk about 4G. More realistic to place hope in 5G (a long time off).

Coming back to the USSR, depending on how one decides to count the leadership changes in the USSR, it was the 5th generation of Soviet leaders that presided over the collapse of the USSR.

Already things like the continual breakdown of MRT services and the failure to find new engines of growth despite a restructuring plan every decade (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different) shows that like the USSR after death of Stalin, S’pore is going to the dogs after Harry’s death.

People that the PAP fear?

In Hong Kong, Media on 14/05/2014 at 4:59 am

“A prophet without honour in his own country or home,” was what I tot.

No not talking about one Devan Nair, for one thing he is being re-recognised by the PAP govt: “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East …”, it was reported on 1 May 2014.

No, I couldn’t help but think “A prophet without honour in his own country or home”*, when I read on Saturday, “Outspoken academic Cherian George takes up post at Hong Kong Baptist University” (http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1508715/outspoken-academic-cherian-george-takes-post-hong-kong-baptist).

He needs no introduction as the hubbie of ST’s editor, brudder-in-law to the Malay minister, and an academic and former journalist who has had disagreements with the PAP govt since the 1980s. Seeing no future in journalism, he became an academic. In 2009, he was made an NTU associate professor but denied tenure. In 2010, NTU denied the school’s attempt to renew his position as head of journalism. He was denied tenure again last year and had to “move on” and out of S’pore.

Is it not surprising that The Reporters Without Borders 2014 Press Freedom Index ranked Hong Kong at 61 and Singapore at 150 out of 180 nations?

Mr Spock can reasonably conclude that he was denied tenure because “Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration.”**

He is after all, “one of Singapore’s most accomplished and civic minded media commentators”, as someone whom  I respect described him. He could also have be a model for what Seah Chiang Nee in his final column for the Star wrote: “make sure you get the facts right. Use refined language, with no exaggeration. Accuracy, objectivity! When it does well, give it credit; if it does badly in the eyes of most people, say so.” This is something that doesn’t fit rabid PAP cybder warriors.

Rabid anti-PAP cyber warriors especially those who distort the truth can take heart that they are not the ones the PAP fear most or that they will get into trouble for attacking the PAP.

The PAP it seems fears those who are willing to speak the truth, and who thereby have the respect of the 35% of S’poreans who can be swayed by the facts and rational arguments, unlike the 35% (Any donkey so long it is branded “PAP” and 30% (Any donkey who says he is anti-PAP) who can’t.

I’m exaggerating who the PAP fear most? Remember this incident when someone was uninvited to the Istana.

And there are some (not me though, here’s why ) who think that Alex Au’s legal problems have something to do with his well researched and totful pieces.

Happily for the PAP, the really rabid anti-PAP cyber warriors don’t think that telling the truth is that important. What matters is being cheered on by 30% of the voters. If only they can recognise that 30% is not a majority in S’pore politics, and that they have to appeal to the middle 35%.

But maybe they (or at least some of them do) do but are afraid of kanna “marked” by the PAP, and suffering the consequences like having to “move on” or being a non-person.. Better to appeal to the 30% hard core. Better safe than sorry. That after all is the S’porean way.

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*1And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. (Mark 6)

**An NTU spokesman said,: “The tenure review process is purely a peer-driven academic exercise with two equally important criteria, distinction in scholarship and high quality teaching. Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration.”

He wrote on his blog, “As for why the university took the exceptional step of withholding tenure from a faculty member who it decided had earned promotion, I was assured this had nothing to do with my scholarship, teaching or service, and not because I had conducted myself inappropriately.” He was never contradicted by NTU.

So a hyper rationalist like Mr Spock can reasonably conclude that it was “Service and other contributions to the university, profession or community are also taken into consideration” that did him in, making him move on; to a place controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, no friend of a free media or internet.