I am extremely disappointed that PM Lee has lost the opportunity to regain some respect from citizens by showing magnanimity. It does not matter if the money he will receive from Roy through his lawsuit is donated. The end result is PM Lee will be seen as a bully. To ordinary citizens, Roy is a hero.
Recall PM Lee famously declaring “We are servants of the people: Lee”, “always maintain a sense of humility and service” and “never lord it over the people we are looking after and serving”. If PM Lee and PAP politicians are our servants, the relationship between us is one of servant and master.
PM Lee was trying to reverse a master/servant mentality of PAP members and inspire them during the Young PAP 25th anniversary rally. Maybe the YPAP was so inspired to produce a comedy of sorts and, not being a political film, was rightly approved by the MDA. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence because “SERVANT leadership” was clearly mentioned at the start of the video.
The speech was given about 3 weeks before the 2011 election. When in power after the election, all the talk about humility and service was thrown out the window.
It appears our servant, PAP, has been taking legal action against their masters! Besides Roy, cartoonist Leslie Chew, blogger Alex Au and TRE editor Richard Wan have also received letters of demand from various lawyers. Even the Council of Private Education, a statutory board, deemed it fit to throw tax dollars on a letter of demand to fix a then 21 year old student Han Hui Hui.
Why does the PAP continue with an old school approach of using brute force instead of reasoning? Citizens are not so stupid and undiscerning, you know?
Before every election, PAP MPs will visit their constituents with their entourage of useless grassroots members. The PAP has to be mindful that most of them have too much vested interests** and have been sucking up to their political paymasters at the expense of constituents. This appears to be one of the reasons for the huge disconnect between the PAP and citizens.
In “PM Lee on how he stays positive online: I’m flameproof”, he says: “If you want to do something for Singapore, for the population, you should not be deterred because there are some nasty postings. When you are in the public eye, you flame me, I’m flameproof.”
So if it’s true, why the need to take legal action against Roy’s ‘nasty’ posting?
The entire PAP and their political affiliates have made billions from the country. It is not right for the leader or his subordinates to pay citizens back with threats of lawsuits.
The political and economic landscape have changed beyond recognition and what we find is most of our servants continue to be in dreamland. MP Inderjit Singh hit the nail on the head when he recently highlighted “the disconnect between the country’s wealth and Singaporeans’ well being” in Parliament.
An increasing number of citizens have become more distrustful of a disconnected government. The government has to work harder and listen to our REAL concerns to regain our trust.
PM Lee must remember his words and take them seriously. We want to continue believing that the PAP exists to serve and not threaten the people with lawsuits.
The people will hold PM Lee to his words and the ball is now in his court. It’s not too late to do the right thing.
** I recently read an article on TRE where business connections between government bodies and grassroots members were also highlighted. According to the TRE article, one such member, Calvin Teo, the owner of Top Advertising Pte Ltd, has this list (below) of “prestige clients”. The conflict of interests cannot be more obvious.