Thursday, 20 December 2012

Politics and Adultery

Update 13 Mar 2016: Bt Batok MP resigns over 'personal indiscretion'
Ex-MP David Ong sends personal letters to apologise to Bukit Batok residents

Mr David Ong, the former Bukit Batok Member of Parliament who resigned abruptly last month amid reports of an extramarital affair with a grassroots volunteer, has sent personal letters to residents to apologise for not completing his term.

In the undated letter, Mr Ong wrote: "I made a serious error of judgement in my personal life, leading to my resignation as MP. I am deeply sorry for having let you down, and for not being able to serve you for the full term that you elected me for."

When contacted by TODAY on Thursday, Mr Ong, 54, confirmed that he had sent the letters to Bukit Batok residents but did not elaborate. Multiple reports have linked his resignation to an extramarital affair with Ms Wendy Lim, 41, a logistics executive who also actively helped Mr Ong during last year's General Election

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Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac
Here's Michael Palmer with his mistress Laura Ong

Just want to give my two cents on the recent Michael Palmer affair that has been dominating the headlines in Singapore lately.

In case you are not Singaporean or you are but somehow still do not know what happened, basically it is your classic story of a politician who decided to have an affair, the news got leaked out, and he resigns his post.

There are no sex tapes or naked cellphone photos accompanying this news (boring!) except some mushy smses discussing... fruit... but Singaporeans are still pretty excited about it. Our country is kinda boring.

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Why power is the ultimate aphrodisiac

Who would marry a politician? It's thankless work, full of pitfalls, and the longer you're in the gig, the weirder it gets.

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila Putina, attended the ballet together, then provided their own pas de deux - the announcement that their marriage was over.

Lyudmila has been married to Putin for 30 years, but for the past decade they have been photographed in public together very rarely.

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"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac"

Those of us old enough to remember Henry Kissinger recognize this as one of his more famous quotes. Our day to day lives offer numerous examples of this being true. Nearly every contact you have with someone from the government is an exercise in civility to someone who barely deserves it.
One minor, personal example. I arrived at the Post Office an hour before closing, expecting to stand in a long line waiting to mail my package. As I arrived at the door I thought the office was closed because the lobby was completely empty. I pulled on the door and was surprised to find it open. As I stepped inside I realized there was only one clerk and one customer. I was greatly relieved to think I would be in and out in a reasonable amount of time.

Since there was only one customer ahead of me, I walked past the red dispenser that allows you to take a paper tab with a number on it. As I reached the front of the line the clerk turned to me and asked, "Did you take a number?" I was stunned. I pointed out the obvious - "I'm NEXT!". With the glaring eyes and indignation of a prison guard, he pointed at the dispenser and ordered me to "TAKE A NUMBER!" I stood transfixed, unable to believe that this simple protocol was being rigorously enforced, considering the circumstances. I returned to the dispenser under his watchful eye, and walked back with my small paper "license". The clerk did not resume his interaction with the other customer until I had complied with his authority.

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Power is not only an aphrodisiac, it does weird things to some of us

There was no mistaking the balance of power in academia when one local professor recently convened a session with lowly graduate students: they listened reverentially, while he hoisted his feet onto the conference table and commenced clipping his toenails.

So, too, are the privileges of power self-evident in the business world. Hollywood film producer Scott Rudin is such a powerhouse that at last count he had fired 119 personal assistants, not including those who didn't make it past their initial probation.

Nor could anyone miss the symptoms of power exhibited by the person considered the most powerful person on Earth: the president of the United States. Lyndon Johnson relished summoning underlings in to confer with him while he sat on the toilet. Richard Nixon authorized illegal wiretaps on perceived enemies because, as he later told an interviewer, "when the president does it, it's not illegal." Bill Clinton wantonly had sex with intern Monica Lewinsky near the Oval Office

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Yaw Shin Leong Vs Michael Palmer


If you want to be a politician in Singapore, you better learn to keep your dick in check.

Two elected MPs, Yaw Shin Leong and Michael Palmer learned their lesson the hard way in 2012. One is from the white camp and the other from the blue camp. Yaw’s alleged affair surfaced at the beginning of the year while Palmer’s affair surfaced now at the end of the year.

Here’s a comparision between the two:


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Where Have All Our Morals Gone?
  • Where have all our morals gone? High flyers straying!
  • Where have all our morals gone? So many lusting.
  • Where have all our morals gone? Something is missing!
  • When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?
The year 2012 has been described as "a year of lust." Singaporeans have been entertained with R rated news this year with the juicy sex scandals involving a MP, high ranking civil servants, teachers and sadly, most recently, even our Speaker of Parliament. This is not a time for self -righteous condemnation but a time for deep reflection and self-examination for all Singaporeans. It is a time to recognise that we may be living in material prosperity but there is a famine of true love in our nation. We are in a deep spiritual poverty. It is time to understand that we need more than meritocracy in our nation – we need the spirit of compassion.

The loss of honour, status and power by those involved is heart-breaking, not only for those involved, but also for their families, friends, colleagues and even our nation at large. It is the price they have to pay for their indiscretion. We cannot condone their actions and turn their fall from grace into a badge of honour. It is foolish to think that one’s conduct in one’s personal affairs will not have an impact on one’s public service.  If one is not trustworthy in the little things of one’s personal life, how can one be trusted with the bigger responsibilities of public office?


Packaging Moral
Morality is the distinction between right and wrong, the line drawn in the sand to determine what should be done and what should not be done.

Problem is, there is no end to the debate on what is the source of morals and whether or not they are objective. According to anthropologists, even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are sometimes made among morality, etiquette, law, and religion.

Etiquette is sometimes included as a part of morality, but it applies to norms that are considered less serious. Thomas Hobbes ("Leviathan" or "The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil") expresses the standard view when he discusses manners. “By manners I mean not here decency of behavior, as how one man should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth or pick his teeth before company, and such other points of small morals, but those qualities of mankind that concern their living together in peace and unity.”


Silent treatment: Spin doctors go into damage control mode after disgraced MP Michael Palmer quits politics
Do we merely rely on good leaders?
Do we merely rely on good leaders?
Our political system in the past was heavily dominated by the personal leadership of Former MM Lee and his party. Though they were relatively competent and very much transparent, is this a foregone conclusion that will hold forevermore? For better or for worse, substantial competition and checks to their dominance have arisen only recently,  with more opposition voices of late. Can we continue to hope for and depend heavily on top notch leadership to steer our nation? While we should definitely hope so, we cannot primarily depend on that without great risk.
If we accept the principle of individual responsibility, self-reliance, hard work, meritocracy, and self-government, then we can roll back the vestiges of paternalism in Singapore and increase the personal freedom and autonomy of Singaporeans to choose their own ends. This way, the need for “top notch/virtuous/blameless” leaders that are above reproach making collective decisions for all and tackling complex problems is reduced.
- See more at: http://kentridgecommon.com/?p=17262#sthash.gqmDfCGD.dpuf


In attempting to save face, the party's spin doctors risk losing people's hearts and minds.

With the People's Action Party (PAP, aka the Men In White) in damage control mode after disgraced Speaker of Parliament and ex-Member of Parliament (MP), Michael Palmer, quit politics last Wednesday, there is a risk that Singaporeans may feel the MIW do not have what it takes to roll with the blows and suck it up when the chips are down.

Post-mortems of newspaper coverage of the political debacle indicate that the city-state's mainstream media appear to have acknowledged the call by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean to give the Palmers "time and space for healing to take place".


Do we really rely on good leaders

Our political system in the past was heavily dominated by the personal leadership of Former MM Lee and his party. Though they were relatively competent and very much transparent, is this a foregone conclusion that will hold forevermore? For better or for worse, substantial competition and checks to their dominance have arisen only recently,  with more opposition voices of late.

Can we continue to hope for and depend heavily on top notch leadership to steer our nation? While we should definitely hope so, we cannot primarily depend on that without great risk.

If we accept the principle of individual responsibility, self-reliance, hard work, meritocracy, and self-government, then we can roll back the vestiges of paternalism in Singapore and increase the personal freedom and autonomy of Singaporeans to choose their own ends. This way, the need for “top notch/virtuous/blameless” leaders that are above reproach making collective decisions for all and tackling complex problems is reduced. 


TODAY: More than half of Punggol East residents say no rush to call BE

Mainstream media has begun their “cleaning up” campaign after Punggol East MP Michael Palmer announced his resignation on Wed (12 Dec) over his extramarital affair with a female PA staff.

In an article (‘Punggol East back in the spotlight‘) on mainstream newspaper TODAY (15 Dec, Sat), it polled 30 Punggol East residents to give the impression that most of them are not too keen to having a by-election, now that the Punggol East SMC seat has been vacated:
“But for many of the residents, the thought of going to the polls again has not sunk in yet. They are still reeling in shock over the loss of an MP who was clearly popular among the residents.
Among the 30 residents TODAY spoke to, 13 felt that a by-election should be called within three months. Slightly more than half (16) felt that there was no rush, and one said there was no need to elect a new MP for the constituency.”
What sort of residents did TODAY talk to? Are they grassroots members?


Ng Boon Gay’s ghost looms over the Palmer affair

When news of Michael Palmer’s affair with constituency director and staff member of the People’s Association, Laura Ong, first broke out, the first thing that came to mind was the former Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) director, Ng Boon Gay’s affair with Cecilia Sue.

Beyond the veneer of the saucy details of romatic trysts between Ng and Sue looms the real issue at hand – the potential conflict of interest. Sue was an IT sales executive, and her relationship with Ng went under public and judicial scrutiny for conflict of interests regarding IT contracts awarded by CNB. The crux of the matter revolved around whether or not Sue’s IT company stood to gain from the contracts awarded in exchange for her sexual favours.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) was quick and swift in handling the Palmer’s affair, with Lee Hsien Loong exhorting the PAP Members of Parliament (MPs) to uphold their conduct. Minister of State for Health and Manpower, Amy Khor, added that Palmer did the right and honourable thing.


Just What Does A Politician Achieve By Being So Callous?

When Yaw Shin Leong was rumoured to be messing with a woman other than his wife, Khaw Boon Wan asked WP to come clean and proclaimed that WP was selling rotten fruits to Singaporeans. As no one has admitted to Yaw's affair, it remains a rumour. And no one knows for sure who the other woman was/is, if there was indeed one.

However,  ex-PAP MP and ex-Speaker of the House has publicly admitted to having an affair with another woman and through his admission and exposure of "I love you and missed you loads", he has brought much attention, grief and hurt to the woman he so love(d).

If it were me, I'd rather be the "other woman" of Yaw Shin Leong than be the Michael Palmer's "other woman". Though both (if the rumour on Yaw is true) suffered from itchyprickitis, the man from WP knew how to protect his woman. Disgracefully, the man from PAP simply fed the woman to the dogs and the wolves! It is sad that the hounds are now painting her as a real slut, claiming that she was simultaneously messing with another man while healing the itchyprickitis of the man-in-white! (Straits Times, Saturday 15 Dec 2012, Page D2)


People’s Association and PAP in partisan tango

The uncomfortable truth that Singaporeans have to confront is that the People’s Association is literally in bed with the PAP. This is not an idle or flippant comment. A supposedly non-partisan statutory board whose professed aim is to build social cohesion and represent the interests of all Singaporeans is nothing but an extension of the ruling party, both in spirit and in substance.

For instance, in every ward that has ever been won by the opposition, the leader of the grassroots organisations, also known as the grassroots adviser, is not the elected Member of Parliament, but the PAP candidate who lost the election. Contrast this with all PAP wards, where it is the MP who serves as the grassroots adviser.

It is the grassroots adviser who gets prominence in all activities and events organized by the official grassroots organisations, namely, the Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCC), the Community Club Management Committees (CCMC), the Residents’ Committees (RC), the Neighbourhood Committees (NC), and the Community Development Councils (CDC).


Snapshot: Photos of PA staff helping the PAP in GE2011 surfaces on the internet
Hardwarezone Forum
 

Photos courtesy of lauraong.wordpress.com


Related:
  1. People’s Association and PAP in partisan tango - Sgpolitics.net
  2. PAP MPs doing walkabout wearing PA shirts? - The Online Citizen
  3. PA or PAP? - Article 14
  4. Is the People's Association a Political Tool of the PAP? - Singapore Recalcitrant
  5. PA CEO Yam Ah Mee felt sorry for Laura Ong - Channelnewsasia Forum

 

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Conflict of Interest Unlikely in Palmergate, say PAP MPs

Like a well-coordinated orchestra under the baton of their PM Lee Hsien Loong, PAP MPs and the Straits Times have come out one after another to try to douse the flames precipitated by the illicit affairs of Michael Palmer and Laura Ong.

This time, their focus is on the issue of potential conflict of interest between the PAP and the PA, raised by many netizens in the aftermath of the scandal.

In a report today, the Straits Times highlighted that MPs have assured that the potential for conflict of interest in Palmergate was unlikely as “MPs have almost no contact with the constituency directors of other divisions”.


PAP was unaware of SMS exchanges
The People's Action Party "was not aware" of the SMS and e-mail exchanges between former Member of Parliament (MP) and Speaker Michael Palmer and Ms Laura Ong.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean clarified that he did not know about the exchanges when Mr Palmer had first approached him over his extramarital affair with Ms Ong on Dec 8.

The New Paper revealed in a report last Thursday that it had received the exchanges from an unnamed source on Dec 8, and speculation has been rife that it was this that drove the former MP to resign from politics.


Mainstream media continues to downplay Palmer’s affair

The mainstream media reported DPM Teo’s presence in yesterday’s Meet-the-People Session at Punggol East. It was reported that DPM Teo took over at the first session since Michael Palmer resigned over an extramarital affair with a PA staff.

About 60 residents turned up yesterday evening (17 Dec) with their usual concerns, from getting a new flat to seeking help over traffic offences. Two uniformed policemen were present as well as 20 grassroots volunteers, giving a ratio of 1 volunteer help to 3 residents at yesterday’s MPS.

A divorcee, an admin clerk, Ivy Lee, was there over a request for a new flat for herself and her two sons.


Punggol East residents react to Michael Palmer's resignation


He says, I'll knock your head.

She says, I'll cut off your ku ku cheow (manhood).


related:
Geylang, the final frontier
An Undercurrent Of Fear In Geylang
Where sleaze and food coexist
Sex in the city drags you down
Women, Sex and Singapore
Crime, Corruption, Scandal & Professional Misconduct 3
Crime, Corruption, Scandal & Professional Misconduct 2
Politics and Adultery
Reflections on the year of lust