Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scandal January in Singapore....

This is scandal January in Singapore. There are serious allegations against an opposition politician which I'll not repeat here and 2 of our top public servants have been sack and under investigation for corruption.
Cecilia Sue Siew Nang picture found here
According to the papers, the 2 top public servants have admitted to receiving "sexual favors" from a supplier of IT equipment. That in itself cannot be condoned because it clearly results in a conflict of interest The CPIB guys are probably checking if the favors have been exchanged for something else like circumventing standard procurement procedures or influenced the decision making - that will constitute a more serious offense than "personal misconduct".  Suppliers are always out to influence the acquisition decisions and while some of it looks like just maintaining good customer relationships if they go far enough it looks more like corruption. You can replace the phrase "sexual favors" with "money" then it looks more serious. You can also replace it with "fine dining", "golf games", ...or more innocuous stuff like calenders, corporate gifts, Christmas hampers, CNY goodiess etc.  Sometimes the create a situation where you end up taking something. An IT supplier can organised a seminar to introduce its state of the art equipment at a hotel and you have to go to get the information which is part of your job. The supplier may include for a free lunch at a fine restaurant and end up taking something from the supplier. Most people in acquisition whether in the public or private sector are not so puritan to walk off  to eat at the nearby MacDonald's. You're in a group so you feel less guilty besides you're not going to let that lunch influence your decision - at least that is what you'll tell yourself. There is no "absolutes" and plenty of grey areas so I really wonder what Teo Chee Hean means by "zero tolerance"....so do they send back all the Christmas cards and calenders they get from suppliers in the public service? If the supplier pours you a cup of coffee, you're not suppose to drink it? ...

Big businesses protect their interests by influencing of public servants and policy makers. While this may differ from out-right corruption, undue influence can be equally harmful to society. In the US, they are known as lobbyists and big businesses would hire top experts as consultants and use them to "lobby" for favorable legislation especially in the tabacco and energy sectors. In Singapore, following the cooling measures implemented by the govt, a powerful organisation of real estate developers known as REDAS (Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore) expressed disappointment with the measures and that they were not consulted[Link]. Let me ask you - is there an equally powerful "home buyers association" represnting ordinary Singaporean homebuyers? The govt did the right thing not consulting REDAS on the cooling measures. In fact it should never consult REDAS for anything unless there is an organisation on the other side that can represent the interests of home buyers. Home buyers have suffered for years due to rising cost of real estate yet these developers who have been raking in big profits have the cheek to speak out against the cooling measures.  In Singapore, GLCs form a large part of the economy and these companies have close ties with the ruling party.  Unless the govt can consistently demonstrate that it will put the interests of Singaporeans above those of businesses in situation where the interests diverge, there will be a growing desire among Singaporean voters for the "check and balance" to be in place.

As for the opposition members currently embroiled in a scandal, there is no way nowadays to hush it up once the allegations surface and hope it will go away. There are only 2 approaches to handle this - deny the rumors if they are not true or admit it, apologise and work hard to compensate for your moral failings. Take the example of, Newt Gingrich who is running for the Republican ticket - when issues surrounding his divorce, he admitted his moral failings quickly and was able to move on. In Singapore, Steve Chia admitted his indiscretions and voters did not reject him outright in the next elections - he had a credible showing (40%?). Across the causeway, the ex-Malaysian health minister , Chua, from MCA was humiliated when a video captured him committing adultery. He quickly admitted he was the man in the video and did not try to lie about the affair.  While his moral failing was a disappointment, some Malaysians are probably smart enough to be wary of his enemies - the ones who spent so much effort to set him up and hire people to spy on him - may be after power for a more sinister purpose. Chua has since regained his presidency of the MCA and may be able to rebuild his poltical career.

While many voters still expect moral perfection, most are beginning to understand the personal sexual indiscretions are often  separate issues from integrity and performance in public office. Bill Clinton performed quite well as president by all measures and when the Lewinsky scandal emerged,  his biggest mistake was to lie to the public and deny he had any relations with Lewinsky - that lie almost got him impeached.  Intelligence files showed that JFK[JFK's liaisons, Jackie's pain]was a womaniser. It is damaging for political parties if elected representatives cannot behave in their private capaity but it is worse to be seen as being devious and trying to hide it.  The politician involved may or may not survive the aftermath of such scandals but political parties minimise the damage by being open and candid especially those seeking greater transparency from govt....you really do not want to be seen as having double standards and be accused of hypocrisy.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

I oso liddat say! Be a man, grow some balls and face your supporters. Tell them what happened or did not happen.

Anonymous said...

That's why although PAP is not perfect, the opposition is no better.

The ultimate check and balance, of course is the voters mandate for them to rule every five years or so.

In this respect PAP won every time with at least 60% mandate for 46 years!

So I have no doubt that, scandals or what not, PAP will continue for the next 5 or 10 years. Assuming of course the opposition is like what they are now, which most likely will be.

Like it or not, this is Singapore.

Pinocchio said...

The real scandal is the cover up of the information concerning the arrests in order to avoid embarrassment during the parliamentary proceedings.

Anonymous said...

We are all human, even if it is PAP, opposition politician or top civil servant.

Therefore to err, whether it is temptation, to commit crime, etc, is human, because God made it that way.

Hence when a choice has to be made, it is between the lesser of 2 evils, or the best available.

If the best available is terrible, just too bad.

Unless Lucky Tan make himself available.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan is the best - his blog. I say, not 60% say.

So hard to tell whether Lucky Tan will also be best politician. Haven't tested yet.

Anonymous said...

Nature never make anything flawless, hence to err is human.
Lucky Tan as a blogger will be far better than if he is a politician.
Having said the Above; it will be good if Lucky Tan activates in person , in the flesh so to say, like Leong Sze Hian, Gilbert Goh, Andrew and the Few others at Hong Lim Park Speakers Corner.

patriot

Anonymous said...

You have been influenced by the Brotherhood press lucky. You are now anti-womanhood.

Anonymous said...

Like to add that it will be fine when culprits and criminals are made accountable, punished accordingly and with those that repent for non-criminal misdeeds.
However,
it seems that some of the Ruling Politicians are not forthright and or are doing their best to protect and keep their image despite evidences of the contrary. THIS is indeed disappointing and lamentable!

patriot

Anonymous said...

If you look towards ultra liberal societies as role models, you create another set of problems for the small city state. Try not to be gay khiang lah

Anonymous said...

The ancient Chinese found a way to nip the problem in the bud - snip the weenie.

Saying this as Singapore seems to model itself after the Chinese Imperial system.

Anonymous said...

Heavily discounted condominium is not part of the zero tolerance. Neither is the extra egg in the char kuay tow. That's PAP-speak.

Anonymous said...

If I were Yaw Shin Leong, and if I chose to remain silent over the allegations, I would also choose to resign my MP seat so that PAP can call for a by-election in Hougang.

This would be a win win win for myself, my party and Hougang voters, even though WP may not win again in the by-election.

Anonymous said...

If I am a public figure, my private affairs should not become an issue because it concerns public interest.

Otherwise, I should remain a private person so that my private matters are nobody's business.

And nobody will also be interested in my business, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Lucky got it wrong....it is not that we, the people, are hypocrites. It is because the leaders( who sold us their values) <<<<< are hypocrites that we are calling them to step down.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think Lucky will be the first to keechiu HA HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

I see no reason why politician should volunteer to come out if there is no evidence and no victim involved in their personal life.

Steve Chia's wife claimed to be the victim and filed a police report. Malaysian's chua has video as evidence to prove his sexual act. Lewinskys’s or Anwar’s case were politically motivated or some overseas politicians scandal were inspired because of woman’s greed for money and status.

Back to Yaw’s case, if death is not near nor any concrete sign pointing to his “scandals”, than why volunteer to dig grave and built tomb (for who?)- church, himself, wife or some willing woman who believe she has rights to privacy?

Anonymous said...

Hey, the people didn't run...he RAN.

Why?

Anonymous said...

He is running to another man's wife..haaaaa

Anonymous said...

Cld be to lucky wifee..hehe

Ghost said...

Personally I don't understand why people cares if civil servants & politicans get into affairs. If it doesn't affect their work, then I don't see it as a problem.
I think the main question is whether there were favours returned for the sex like in the case of CND & SCDF. If there was, then it is corruption because one party got finanical gains out of it. If not, then there's no problem.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh, you are a Ghost Fuster then. LOL

Anonymous said...

Teachers have affairs with students are also private matter. So long as sexual relationship with students does not affect his performance and teaching abilities, he should be allowed to teach?

Aunty Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

wow, MP in the pretext of helping the needy or visiting homes can ..shiok shiok hor and the people and lucky say....private matter lah.

Anonymous said...

Not true meh lucky? Why delete hah? HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Aiyah, yaw got lucky lah LOL

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... the Irony of Sigapore
上梁不正下梁歪!

If leaders set bad example, subordinates are likely to follow.

In Singapore, we should ask how many ministers' children have been granted state scholarships, and how many relatives of current and former ministers have been given high posts in civil service or GLCs.

The scary part is such practices are deemed acceptable nowaday. But if you are the PM and it is OK for your father to control GIC and wife to control Temasek, what is impossible?

Anonymous said...

To itch is Human...
To scratch,Ahhhhhhh...Divine

Anonymous said...

I would not condone PAP politicians or the top civil service staff for their moral failings as they consitently and publicly profess their monopoly on morality
I am fully cognisant that men and women too can succumb to greed,irrespective whether sex or money.But when I hear he or she is the cleanest guy in the world,I immediately see their faces in the Oxford Dictionary under the words," hypocrite"

Anonymous said...

"While many voters still expect moral perfection, most are beginning to understand the personal sexual indiscretions are often  separate issues from integrity and performance in public office"

Not moral perfection but at least like LKY, no scandal - if you want to be the head and not the tail.

Btw, tail is nearest to the fart hole so don't like the function of the farthole? chop off your tail or delete it...hypocrite.

Lucky Tan said...

Everyone,

I think acceptable/unacceptable moral failings issue depends very much on the value system of our society. Many believe a man who can't keep his marriage vows cannot be trusted in public office. This belief is valid but we have also seen in recent years cases that tells us this isn't so. We have a society where the number of divorce is 30% the number of marriages every year. Western influence on our conservative moral values is so strong but that doesn't mean we should roll over and accept what we think is wrong to be right. While public judgement is always harsh as expectations of 'moral perfection' from those in office fostered by years of LKY where he manages the media and quickly move those he sees are "flawed" and prevents the whiff of moral scandal from surfacing. How practical is this approach if we want an open society,..in the Internet age? If public judgement is too harsh it only encourages politicians to cover up what may have no bearing on their behavior in public office.

I leave this open to debate. But I just want to maintain that I've been consistent on such matters whether it occurs in the opposition or ruling party.

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Anonymous said...

The other extreme, which is advocated by a mildly twisted mind, is to hold your head high even your salami is hanging out loosely from your trouser.

There is a difference between moral failing and being a ...playboy.

You,toadhead, can't tell the difference between someone who is useful in the garage but hang loose in sleazy joints and someone who owns the classroom and hang loose with your kid.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong in cutting out the cancer. We do that all the time. And LKY did it very well except, he shouldn't be a role model.

Anonymous said...

There is a mountain of scandals in the pap. If they are revealed, it will make Bill Clinton looks like a saint.
A teaser : an ex-pap minister had an affair with the wife of a president.

Anonymous said...

That is a good reason why the mms cannot be free. Singaporeans perception of the pap will be very different. The pap will be out of power.
Another teaser : a few top pap men who are extremely close to lky kept mistresses.

Anonymous said...

Good. Next step is to name names. Fear?

Anonymous said...

They should parade their achievements proudly.

Anonymous said...

The scoundrel neither admits nor denies A Luke-warmer worse than state enemy.

Anonymous said...

The power of information sometime lies in letting the culprits know that somebody out there knows their dirty secrets. Sometime umours are more destructive.

Anonymous said...

True. You dislike the strongman but you can't remove him from his seat, what use?

Spore men are non-polygamous? said...

I disagree with you with regard to a person who has an affair cannot be trusted to run office simply because he can't be trusted to do the job. These are two separate issues and you'd made an error in non sequitur.

I'm obliged to point that out to you.

The fact of the matter is men and women are polygamous creatures.

We are socialized animals. Our morality is not real. It is given to us by moralizers in the society.

Many data points to instances where children born of parents who do not share similiar DNAs.

Evolutionary psychology has also revealed that many men who claim to be celibate when they're still not married is a lie. Even the Vatican fathers engage in homosexual activities with their 100s of pastor boys.

Celibacy and monogamy is anti-nature and religion attacks nature. Prostitution exist becasue of the marriage system. Remove marriage and prostitution will disappear overnight.

The problem with humanity is that it still has not gotten it right with regard to sexuality. Sexuality is a powerful drive in homosapiens and many societies, apart from secular Europe do not know how to address this.

Way before man and woman were socialized, they were polygamous unions. And it continues to this very day.

Find out when sexual jealousy is only peculiar to the homosapiens.

Ask yourself. Why is there 15 lorongs of brothels in Geylang?

The truth is that polygamy is rife in Singapore. Batam, Hap Chai, Bangkok, Tanjung Pinang, Batam, Tanjung Babi, Tanjung Batu, Johor, etc. are serving Singaporeans for decades.

What has happened is not unusual. It's just that these men were holding top profile positions.

For every other engineer, lawyer, doctor, production officer, etc. no one bats an eye.

Why are there so many PRC prostitutes at Lorong 10 and 12, to such an extent that it was debated in parliament?

Singapore men are well-known whore mongers. The issue is not that these men bought sex but that they were unfair in issuing out the contracts.

Had the lady been a PRC whore in Geyalng, no one gives a shit? The issue is that she's a vendor. There's clear conflict of interest. Something a whore in Geylang would not provide you with.

Till this day, whenever I heard people making mountains out a molehill and tells me that Singaporean men are not such, I wonder if they ever mixed with Singaporeans.

I mean...we have sammyboy forum, for God's sake.

I also need to point out that woman are the same. The only difference is that there is no market here to purge their urges and desires unlike in Tokyo.

Anonymous said...

Better you go preach to the church

Valen Minbari said...

Me think that to prevent corruption we need high pay, so in same line of logic I would like to propose that pay packages for all mp to include a working lady!

Anonymous said...

Monogamy is anti-nature and religion attacks nature?
Then why do gays in UK demand to get married in churches?

Anonymous said...

we are not investigating A worm; coz many knew this worm will bring along a host of other kind of creepy crawlies, centipedes(deadly / poisonous) or the fatter milipedes (full of 'hum-sup' fingers but not deadly in nature).

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