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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Big 'S'

The Big ‘S’

To start off on a flippant note, here is the main joke passing around the offices in Shenton Way: Clinton and Lee Kuan Yew are having a phone conversation.

Clinton: "Hello, Mr Yew."
LKY: "Mr Lee, actually, Mr Clinton."
Clinton: "Damn this Asian way of putting family names first!"
LKY: "What can I do for you, Mr Clinton?"
Clinton: "Thanks. But I already have Monica. I called to ask if that Nathan chap is going to be your President?"
LKY: "Yes. I persuaded him."
Clinton: "But there's no election!"
LKY: "I assure you it's democratic. One man, one vote."
Clinton: "How can that be?"
LKY: "Simple. I am the man, and mine is the vote!"

On a more serious note, I am disturbed that our Elected President will become a Selected President, with S R Nathan as the one. (See Saturday's Straits Times).

Didn't LKY speak long and eloquently on the merits of a President elected by the people, with "the mandate" to oversee the government of the day in case an opposition coalition government brought about by a 'freak' election result go on a spending spree and squander all the nation's reserves? Now, it appears we are not even allowed an election. Not even between two PAP candidates.

I would also like to draw Singaporeans' attention to the fact that President Ong Teng Cheong actually gave a press interview in which he said some telling things. I'm sure that like other readers, we are all wondering what the outcome of all this will be. Are we going to just have to live without a presidential election after all?

Will the difference between an Elected President and a Selected President end up being that you only need a Big S for the latter?

Not hopeful