Heng Swee Keat proffered brave but ultimately empty words

February 9, 2019

 

In the Straits Times today (9 Feb), Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was quoted as saying that “if the lapse shows that the leader has been slack, negligent or incompetent, then serious consequences must follow, including removal.”

 

Those seemed like brave words. But unfortunately, they were also empty ones.

 

There are way too many examples of current PAP Ministers demonstrating high levels of incompetency and slackness. I will just give 4 diverse examples to show how things have screwed up big time under various PAP Ministers and MPs who are still sitting rock solid in their fat-salaried political appointments.

 

Firstly, it emerged that the ex-GM of AMK Town Council Victor Wong was on the take for about 2 years in a constituency comprising 6 PAP MPs, including one junior minister and PM Lee himself. Until today, despite widespread financial losses suffered by AMK residents, none of those 6 MPs faced any serious consequences.

 

Next, Khaw Boon Wan who is currently the Transport Minister must be severely chastised. In fairness, overall rail reliability has somewhat improved in recent times. Looking back however, over many years with nincompoop paper general Desmond Kuek at the helm of SMRT and under Khaw’s watch, disruptions were aplenty and unreliability became a mainstay of affairs.

 

Apart from the frequent disruptions, a fatal MRT accident occurred at Pasir Ris station, trains collided at Joo Koon station, not forgetting a massive tunnel flooding which happened at Bishan station. Regarding the Bishan incident, pump maintenance records were doctored yet Khaw remained firmly in charge of the transport portfolio till the present day; mind you he would have been sent packing long ago in other counties.

 

Obviously Josephine Teo (who was until recently the minister-in-charge of the National Population and Talent Division) also deserves a tongue-lashing. Singapore's total fertility rate has been dipping for many years- we now stand at about 1.16, even lower than that of Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea . Did anything happen to her who obviously failed miserably in reversing our utterly dismal TFR over the years? Nothing. Zero, zip, zilch .

 

Last but not least, attendance among PAP MPs during parliamentary sittings was consistently paltry. I am beginning to wonder if they were even being reprimanded by the Speaker or Leader of the House for failing to show up. To add insult to injury, for the few who bothered to be physically present, many a time they were seen snoozing away in their overly comfortable seats, paying no heed whatsoever to the ongoing proceedings.

 

Dear Mr Heng, I therefore seek an explanation from your kind self. If this isn't slack, what is?

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