Tuesday, January 20, 2009


When one is backpedaling from the fallout from an ill-timed article about how a top civil servant spends his money in the face of recession, one really should not be issuing statements like that.

Agreeing that the rebuke in Parliament was “harsh”, MP Charles Chong noted that Mr Tan didn’t “brag” about how expensive the trip was in the article.
“Maybe it made lesser mortals envious and they thought maybe he was a bit boastful. Would people have taken offence if his wife (a senior investment counsellor at a bank) had paid for everything ?”

Let's review exactly what's wrong with this statement:

  1. Way to be really sensitive in today's really charged political/economic climate dude. You winz the interwebz. Do you really want to use rhetoric that emphasizes the rich/poor divide? This was what got the other guy into hot soup. You want to join him? How stupid ARE you?
  2. Lesser mortals? Who talks like that anymore?! I can see what he's trying to say...(i.e. there are stupid people around that are making a bigger deal of this than they should although I humbly disagree with that) but there are better ways to make a point. More sensitive ways perhaps? Maybe refer to Singaporeans as peasants? Might make us feel a little bit better.
  3. Do you really want to bring up the fact that the guy's wife is a senior investment banker who's still making BIG bucks? In this climate?! After people have been royally screwed by banks?
That said, this circus has been the most interesting news that I've read in Singaporean media for the longest time and perhaps this would sound the death knell for the people in charge who seem totally out of touch with their base. I mean, after all this, I think that the immolation of MPs might not exactly seem all that bad after all. Perhaps MP Charles Chong would be better served if he just suggested that we just shut the hell up and just eat our cake.


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