Give credit where it’s due

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 30 May letter by Ms Tan Say Yin,

Ms Tan claims that Mr Yaw Shin Leong and Mr Png Eng Huat rode on the coat-tails of Mr Low Thia Khiang and therefore the accusation that young PAP MPs enter parliament by riding on the coat tails of ministers is no longer unique to PAP.

I beg to differ. The comparison is not accurate and the rides are not the same. In the previous election, it was possible that Mr Yaw got elected but not Mr Low. That would be like the rider getting to his destination but not the elephant on which the rider was riding. That is simply not possible and that is why it is wrong to characterise it as riding.

On the other hand, when young PAP MPs contest together with ministers and enter the parliament together, that definitely can be considered as riding. The young PAP riders cannot get to their destination without the elephant minister they are riding on getting to the destination too. If the elephant minister fails to reach its destination, young PAP riders will also fail to reach their destination as demonstrated when Mr Ong Ye Kung failed to enter parliament when Mr George Yeo failed too.

If Ms Tan wants to refer to young WP MPs riding on the coat-tails of Mr Low Thia Khiang, she would have to refer to MPs such as Pritam Singh and Mr Muhamad Faisal in the same Aljunied team. Even so, it is possible that Mr Low wasn’t the only elephant in that team. Mr Chen Show Mao could have been another elephant in that team though we won’t know for sure unless we surveyed the Aljunied voters. There could also have been much bigger, intangible elephants that the Aljunied team including Mr Low rode on such as PAP policy failures, PAP high handedness and voters’ wish for greater political plurality.

If Ms Tan wishes, she can characterise Mr Yaw and Mr Png as wearing the Mr Low badge just as young PAP MPs wear the LKY badge.

Ms Tan credits PAP for transforming Singapore from a slum to a First World city state. That is simply not true. Singapore had already attained a middle income status in 1960 with a per capita GDP of $1,330 [1]. Post-war Singapore was never a slum waiting to be transformed by Lee Kuan Yew into a First World city [2]. The King of Thailand wouldn’t have sent 20 of his sons to a slum for education in the late nineteenth century [2]. A slum could not have staged a manned air flight as early as 1911 [2]. Singapore was credited with the finest airport in the British Empire in the 1930s [2]. How could Singapore have been a slum when LKY himself had acknowledged in an Aug 1967 speech to American businessmen in Chicago that we were already a metropolis [2]?

If Ms Tan wants opposition supporters to give credit where it is due, she should give credit to Dr Albert Winsemius who was the genius and the mastermind behind the economic master plan that transformed Singapore from what it was at independence into a First World city state.

[1] Carl A. Trocki, Singapore: wealth, power and the culture of control, Page 166

Singapore had already attained a middle income status in 1960 with a per capita GDP of $1,330

[2] Peter Wilson / Gavin Peebles, Economic growth and development in Singapore: past and future, Page 26

Post-war Singapore was never a backward fishing village waiting to be transformed by Lee Kuan Yew into a modern economy. The King of Thailand wouldn’t have sent 20 of his sons to a fishing village for education in the late nineteenth century. A fishing village could not have staged a manned air flight as early as 1911. Singapore was credited with the finest airport in the British Empire in the 1930s. LKY had already acknowledged in an Aug 1967 speech to American businessmen in Chicago that we were already a metropolis.

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One Response to “Give credit where it’s due”

  1. 60sperson Says:

    on what basis plse is spore now a 1st world country? i
    do not see it as one in the ways that matter.

    how can it be when workers live in accomodation where
    they have to take turns to use a bed? when citizens litter
    indiscriminately. when good manners and consideration
    for others are rare. when people who have money believe
    they can lord it over others. where offering a fair deal is
    not common practice. when integrity is hard to find. where
    too few question and think logically.

    i could go on but will stop there.

    one area perhaps where this country has perhaps attained
    1st world status is with the trains. like other 1st world cities,
    ours break down regularly….

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