Update 24 Jan 2019: Lee Hsien Yang vouchers "Cheng Bock is the leader Singapore deserves
Do a M’sia? No, I want S’pore to do a S’pore: Ping-tjin at forum
“I don’t actually want Singapore to do a Malaysia,” historian Thum Ping-tjin said at a forum in Malaysia on Saturday. “I want Singapore to do a Singapore.”
Dr Thum, a Singaporean, was responding to the central question posed at the forum organised by civil society group Engage: “Can Singapore do a Malaysia?” The 4-member panellists included Singapore exile Tan Wah Piow, Malaysian MP Hassan Karim, and popular activist Hishamuddin Rais.
The title of the forum refers to how the Malaysian political opposition toppled the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition which had been in power for 61 years, in the general election in May this year. The events up north have raised hopes among supporters that the Singapore opposition can unseat the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in the next elections, due by early 2021.
Opposition’s lack of alternative vision a hindrance to doing a M’sia: Wah Piow
It’s mission impossible for the time being, former student activist Tan Wah Piow said during a forum on Saturday in Johor, on the prospects of the Singapore opposition toppling the ruling party.
Mr Tan, a former student leader who has been in exile in the United Kingdom since the 1970s, said there were several factors why “doing a Malaysia” was improbable in Singapore.
One of these was the failure of activists and “those who want to have a more democratic space” to present a compelling alternative vision of Singapore to voters. The task is made harder because of how the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has monopolised the narrative.
Can Singapore do a Malaysia?
A public forum organised by Engage at Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Against all odds, Malaysians voted out ruling party, Barisan Nasional on 9th of May.
Can the same thing happen in Singapore? The panelists are key actors and witnesses from both countries.
The panelists for the forum are:
1) Hassan Karim
2) Hishamuddin Rais
3) Tan Wah Piow
4) Dr Thum Ping Tjin
Goh Chok Tong has no plans to do a Mahathir
Factually, the government website, has debunked online falsehoods on PM’s and Ministers’ pay. I shall use this opportunity to debunk public perception that I am paid a ministerial salary. ESM is merely a title with no pay. Though retired from Cabinet since 2011, I continue to work for Singapore in various capacities and use my stature to help raise awareness and funds for different groups of disadvantaged Singaporeans. Instead of threatening to get up from my grave when things go wrong, I prefer to contribute while still alive but without getting in the way of the younger leaders. Moreover, I have no plans to do a Mahathir! --- gct
The only way for the seat warmer Prime Minister to rewrite his legacy
ESM Goh has said a few times now that he does not plan to do a Mahathir because “things are not so bad” in Singapore. Which is of course not the same as saying “things are going great.”
The fact is, Singapore does not need ESM Goh to do a Mahathir. It is ESM Goh who needs to do himself a favour by doing a Mahathir. It is the only way for him to rewrite his legacy and banish forever the unsavoury reputation as the seat warmer Prime Minister.
For his own good, ESM Goh should attempt a lash hurrah by doing a Mahathir. He could rise beyond being a mere asterisk – sandwiched between father and son – and cement his political legacy by becoming a hero to the nation.
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