Monday, May 16, 2011

PAP's unready recruit in battle: Goh Chok Tong's analogy

The Temasek Review (source)


One of the more interesting things about GE 2011 is how old school PAP politicians like Goh Chok Tong found the Internet like the way a sinner found religion. In scanning the various blogs, I came across the following from Mr Miyagi ( )
of the Mr Brown Show fame. Apparently, the former SM had posted the following analogy about Tin Pei Ling:

Dear Yvonne Chia,

Think of this analogy. I was given a recruit who was assessed to have the potential to be a good soldier. The platoon had to capture a hill. The recruit came under a hail of bullets. As platoon leader, I had to protect him, even at the risk of my own life.

Am I being stubborn or deaf? Or did I not do the honorable thing expected of a platoon leader?

That the recruit could have been better prepared for the mission or be an older, more experienced recruit is a separate point. I am aware of the widespread unhappiness at sending this recruit to the platoon. But I would say, now that the recruit has survived the ordeal of battle, let him prove that he can be a good soldier…

Goh Chok Tong

I was stumped when I read what Goh Chok Tong had posted. I had never expected him to be so open about his frustration and his distaste for Tin Pei Ling.


After the results of Marine Parade GRC were announced, Goh Chok Tong planted the blame for the poor election results directly and firmly on Tin Pei Ling.

“Rightly or wrongly, she has been given that negative image from the very start — but maybe because of her youth as well. I mean, she was a factor.”

He then went on to say how her youth and inexperience made many people unhappy that she had been elected an MP.

“And the main thing is she has got through. And that’s the reason why people are unhappy – that such a young and inexperienced person has got through.”

On the future, Goh Chok Tong was blunt in saying that if she did not buck up, she would be a negative factor that could perhaps cost the PAP Marine Parade GRC next time round. He gave her 3 years to show substantive improvement.

“In politics, it’s transcient. We have five years. If after five years, Tin Pei Ling remains what she is, then of course, she would still be a factor at the next election.

“But at this stage, looking at her action, in three years time, she would be a different Tin Pei Ling”.

I seriously doubt if Tin Pei Ling can make the necessary improvements within the next 3 years. Being the iconic symbol of everything that is wrong with the PAP, she is likely to continue to be the object of derision and ridicule. Given her track record of causing such a large swing in a supposedly safe GRC anchored by perhaps the most popular senior PAP politician, which Minister will dare have her on his GRC team in 2016?

Thoughts of a Singapore Statistician

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