Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Procrastination And Paralysis – The Sins of



Many days have passed AND Mr. Mas Selamat is still “on the loose”.

I use “loose” as opposed to “at large” because he is not a criminal.

Mas Selamat is not a criminal because he has not been charged.

Mas Selamat has not been charged because there was not evidence enough to indict him.

There was no evidence enough to indict him because…… er…. well….. ahem

Now let us not dig too far 🙂

Digging too far invariably uncovers worms.

As a boy, i had my fair share of playing in the dirt and digging for worms. One phenomenon I noticed was that wherever i dug, i would find worms. Earthworms, big ones and little ones. In places rich with dirt, you would find worms even on the surface. In less fertile areas, one would have to dig deeper to find them.

Therefore, I don’t propose to dig too deep into the internals of the Ministry of Home Affairs, The Singapore Police Force, the Internal Security Department as well as the Gurkha Contingent. For it would be bad for a nation to lose faith in multiple institutions at one sweep.

I will leave the ICA and the SAF aside for now. But as it is, their performance is also telling.

Therefore, let us now loosen up on the Home Team for having run a hopelessly loose ship. We should give them a little breathing space to let them recover a little of their morale.

Let us just accept that the detention of Mas Selamat is justified.

Let us also accept that according to our ministers, he is a dangerous man. (who walks… ok runs with a limp….. Question – When can a limping man even run? Oh well).

Let us also accept that at times there is a need for an answer to be given and for some measure of responsibility to be taken.

MM Lee Kuan Yew has now seen it fit to speak. AND He has spoken. AND he has spoken of complacency.

But what did he say about the other sins of incompetence, laziness and idiocy?

I was disappointed at his silence on the other sins.

Shortly after he spoke, Lee Hsien Loong now tells people to close ranks and ride this hurdle together.Hello? Anybody home? Did Lee Hsien Long / Lee Kuan Yew / Wong Kan Seng and Member of Parliament [PAP or opposition] try to close ranks with people when they sought to increase the Ministerial salaries and MP allowances on the backdrop of a 2% point GST increase?

Any talk of closing ranks now is just a façade to hide the mistake from the eye of accountability.

MM has found it serious enough for him to open his mouth. This clearly shows that he also recognises that there has been enough Paralysis And Procrastination.

For someone so distinguished like MM Lee himself to find it so serious that he must speak up. He should not be made to suffer fools.

There has been enough placating and appeasement of the wrongdoers, i.e. those in charge of the departments and the units that allowed Mas Selemat Kastari to escape.

The time has come for the strong leaders of Singapore like Lee Kuan Yew himself to relinquish Wong Kan Seng from his posts and portfolio. This will restore faith to the system and prevent the sagging of morale within the Home Team.

The prolonged search operations will tire the establishment and lower morale. Long hours and cancelled leave, difficult tasks with little intelligence information. Basically shooting in the dark. All of these will take a toll on the establishment’s machinery to lead to low morale.

In essence, the entire home team feels punished by the mistakes and incompetence of few.

We are almost a nation under seige. The ICA on is alert and checking outgoing vehicles thoroughly, leaving a complete jam and mess at the roads leading up to the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.Police officers are getting trigger happy. We have a shooting in Outram MRT.

All this tension is inextricably linked to the failure of one man – Wong Kan Seng. How long does the entire establishment wish to bend over backwards for him? He took the ministers’ pay, he has to deliver, and he has to answer for the mistakes of his men.

Low morale is a vicious cycle. It spirals downwards to cause even more mistakes.

Can the establishment handle yet another mistake?

What if tired and low moral home team personnel get involved in an accident or incident?

What if there was a mistaken shooting?

Such a string of events would push the PAP leadership into despondency and panic and hasten the fall of the ruling party.

Fire Fighting & Damage Control

To prevent such a scenario, the entire PAP and the establishment must shed the impression of Paralysis in action And Procrastination of effective measures.

The entire PAP should now turn on Wong Kan Seng to demand the accountability respectfully required of a minister: for his willing statement of apology and assumption of responsibility and his resignation from his posts. This is a must.

[Now, I am not saying that the PAP should borrow WKS’s head for this fiasco, just like Cao Cao did to one of his Logistical Officers in a campaign where he was running out of rations and he needed a scapegoat. This is not the case here.]

For how can he who allowed a prisoner to escape be entrusted to apprehend and hold the prisoner again? The number of days that has passed without success has been telling.

Make not mistake that this has to be done properly to preserve integrity in the system.

Let us also not see the repeat of David Lim who left the cabinet only to have a ready placement for him in Neptune Orient Lines.

To ensure the principles of accountability are adhered to, the Minister has to answer for the misdeeds of his ministry.

Let us make sure that Wong Kan Seng will leave his ministerial portfolio behind for nothing. He could be made to leave his MP post as well AND efforts made to ensure that this is not a WAYANG KULIT SECONDMENT exercise and that Wong Kan Seng does not get placements in GLCs where many PAP MPs belong.

Let us CLOSE RANKS and return Wong Kan Seng to his natural state. The position he was in before he joined PAPpy politics which I believe was merely a middle management position.

If the old ties of comradeship and camaraderie allow, Wong Kan Seng could retain his PAP cadreship and his position within the PAP CEC but that itself would be stark and nagging reminder to the public of a disgraced and fallen minister from PAP ranks.

That being said, I am not seeking to prevent Wong Kan Seng from running for office again in future. He could do so in GE2011 and prove his worth to the PAP.

That’s if, his comrades in the PAP will allow him to do so. 🙂


March 10, 2008 - Posted by | Politics

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