PAP is not as omnipotent as Singaporeans thought. By now, thinking Singaporeans should have known that it is prone to a sudden collapse.
This is because it has already kept too many skeletons in its cupboard for more than 50 years. Embarrassing information and mistakes cannot be concealed forever and the truth will always emerge.
For example, no one knew AG Lucien Wong was PM Lee’s personal lawyer prior to his appointment. This skeleton fell out pretty quick. An older skeleton in PAP’s cupboard was the sale of public property to AIM, a $2 company whose 3 directors were former PAP MPs. This was material information which should have been disclosed to all stakeholders, ie all HDB lessees but only made known to a few PAP affiliates.
There are of course thousands of skeletons which will eventually fall out because truth hates to be hidden for long.
Decades ago, LKY had thought that he was able to prevent transparency from seeing daylight forever with total control over mainstream media and never expected the internet could one day become PAP’s nightmare.
PAP is now so desperate that it has even appointed a former paper general, Ng Chee Peng, as CEO of CPFB. Ng did not have any prior investment experience but was made CEO to help prevent the leak of CPF information which should have been in the public domain decades ago.
So long as the majority of CPF members continue to act dumb, or maybe are, and don’t question the mismanagement of our retirement savings, PAP will survive another day.
Besides appointing military generals, current as well as former, as CEOs of government-linked companies and organisations, many are also appointed board members, eg HDB board member, BG Kelvin Khong, etc to extend PAP’s control.
Singaporeans dare not engage the PAP on transparency issues and those who did, eg Roy, Chee Soon Juan, etc have paid a very high price. Even the WP fears engaging PAP on transparency issues and this is one reason why nobody knows how much tax dollars are paid to CEOs of stat boards or the hundreds of million$ in our reserves paid to top management of GIC and Temasek annually.
If we are not in dire financial straits due to investment losses, why force cost increases to offset government expenditure or increase government revenue? Why the need for a sugar tax, GST increase akan dating, etc?
The outcome of TCB’s appeal was a foregone conclusion. PAP needs to prevent a full set of GIC/Temasek accounts from being disclosed. If further tweaks to the Constitution are needed to prevent the disclosure of tens of billions in realized/unrealized investment losses, rest assured PAP will do so.
The PAP also told a half truth when it decided to block internet access on government work computers. What the PAP was trying to prevent is another Wikileak; should severely embarrassing information be leaked, PAP will be history. Hmm … no chance to rewrite history anymore. 🙂
For all the talk about being a Smart Nation, was this not a stupid move? Or perhaps other countries which have not done so lack PAP’s ‘innovation’? What about companies, eg Google, Alibaba, etc which continue to allow internet access?
Besides information pertaining to our CPF and reserves, even decades-old historical facts cannot be disclosed. Funny right?
According to a smart ass minister, this is because PAP’s “approach is not transparency for transparency sake”. Since PAP has been opaque for 5 decades, then – according to Lawrence Wong – being opaque must be good governance. Lawrence is a joke. Read TOC article here.
What really happened during Operation Coldstore and Spectrum? Who gave the green light to arrest opposition members? Who cooked up the threats posed by fellow Singaporeans which have not been proven in a court of law? LKY? Which other ministers/civil servants were involved?
Transparency is critical in any democracy. With transparency, policy missteps can be prevented or rectified soonest possible.
But after 5 decades of skeleton collecting, PAP’s cupboard is full and may soon burst open. Its desperate actions such as amending the Constitution and flawed policies are directed at preventing transparency from seeing daylight. In reality, PAP is prone to a sudden collapse. 🙂