Friday, January 27, 2012

Promising MP and Civil Servants - From Sex to Scandals to Stupidity

Singaporeans were treated to sensationalism, sex and scandals over the Lunar New Year. First, there were rumours of WP Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong going around the Internet, initiated by Temasek Review Emeritus, formerly known as Temasek Review. However, the name change did not change its sensationalistic tabloid style and agenda. Then Wanbao, the print cousin of TRE, ran news about the heads of the SCDF and CNB being investigated by the CPIB for corruption.

Supposed Scoundrels at Every Corner

More bits of the puzzle trickled out since then. MP Yaw Shin Leong chose not to comment on his supposed affair with a fellow female WP member who is also married. The WP also refused to comment on the rumoured Hougang MP's extra-marital affair and speculation is rife that this is tantamount to a confession of guilt. Reminds me of the Foo Mee Har allegations during her GE campaigning and that her refusal to sue or comment meant her flings were true. SCDF commissioner Peter Lim and CNB director Ng Boon Gay were involved with an unnamed IT executive and the cases appeared more to be about improper sexual relationships with women although speculation is still rampant on the details.

So there we have it. Sex and scandals. Where does the stupidity come in? Some might point to MP Yaw Shin Leong for being stupid to be involved in an extra-marital affair with someone from his party, assuming the rumours are true, jeopardising his personal and political life at one shot. There would be others who would say the SCDF and CNB heads were stupid to get sexually involved with a contractor.

However, the stupidity does not rest fully with MP Yaw Shin Leong, former SCDF chief Peter Lim or former CNB head Ng Boon Gay. The highest burden of stupidity lies with the people who jumped to clouded conclusions.

Setting the Records Straight

While it looked like MP Yaw Shin Leong had an extra-marital affair based on his reaction, what does it matter if he did? That is his personal life and however troubled it may be for his family, it does not necessarily impede his integrity as a politician or his party's effectiveness. Clinton was still a popular and relatively effective president despite being blown, and his ECA with an intern blown. Singaporeans should just learn to be mature and not be confused by revelations out to undermine Yaw Shin Leong's political ambitions. Under no circumstances should the thought of him stepping down and a by-election be entertained.

Similarly, many jumped to the conclusions that Ng Boon Gay and Peter Lim embezzled money and are CPIB's biggest aces since Teh Cheang Wan, Phey Yew Kok or Glenn Knight. Investigations are still in progress and there is no confirmation of taking bribes. Also while some jumped to the argument that it shows Singapore is full of corrupt civil servants, the very show that CPIB would catch big fish heads in MHA means that there is zero tolerance for any imagined or genuine corruption even.

This Lunar New Year variety show of sex and scandals just reminds us that we should be aware of the yapping jackals inside and outside the Internet.

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