Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A (Predictable) Game of Political Chess

The current judicial brouhaha surrounding the Lees, the Chees, and new entrant Gopalan Nair reminds me of once of those chess games where players use set moves at the opening game.. and is therefore entirely predictable to a point.

White move 1: During campaigning 2006 elections, SDP makes allegations against the Lees for political mileage.
Black move 1: MM Lee/PM Lee threatens a lawsuit/asks for a retraction/apology.

White move 2: Other SDP-mates back off but Chee siblings refuse.
Black move 2: MM Lee/PM Lee make good on threats to sue.

White move 3: Two years later, Chees use court action to promote their own agenda/grievances (but do not give evidence to substantiate earlier claims). Also ridicules Court officers/system.
Black move 3: Court sends Chees to jail for contempt. The Chees will lose really big on the libel suit.

White move 4: A Chee supporter/blogger writes a blog which sullies the reputation of the judge & the Court. (It is possible that the blogger, being a former Singaporean and now a US ctizien, felt he was unlikely to be brought to task).
Black move 4: The blogger -- who was in Singapore -- is arrested.

To quote a line from the Desiderata, we should "Know that the world is evolving exactly as it should."

The Lees/PAP have a fierce reputation of protecting their reputation through libel suits. Our Courts cannot afford to let anyone, even (or perhaps especially) opposition parties and civil activists to challenge their reputation for "fairness".

There was no other way this scenario could have played out and everyone who is involved knows it.

What we should ask ourselves is why.

The PAP's agenda is clear enough. They can 2 birds with one stone -- protect their own reputation while bringing down the Chees, a political inconvenience, down another rung. But what do the Chees and Nair want out of this? How will the Queen's Gambit (Accepted) play out?

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