Writing Maze

Most times when I start writing I have no idea where these points will end up. I don’t even know if they will be eventually be anywhere in the main body of text. I just ramble and ramble without end. Is this really what I want to do?

It’s been a long time!

Life has been busy ever since I came back from the UK. Every few months I experience a change in environment and that’s probably why I still feel like I’m in a stage of transition. Things have not settled down enough for me to actually get a sense of everything that has happened. I get this sense that I’m just floating about without any means of support sometimes, not just because of the different things I have been doing, but also because I seem to have to make quick decisions about relatively major things. It all boils down to my preference to want to sleep on things at least a week before I make a decision, and having a sense that my hand is being forced does not help matters. I also hate not being able to picture what lies ahead. While it does not need to be a clear five-year plan thing with all the objectives and steps laid out, I like to at least know what will happen and what it will be like a few months from now. I guess I have to wait a little longer for things to settle down, and for me to finally see where I am heading with all these decisions made. At least now I can put aside all those calculations and weighing of options that have plagued me since March.

On a brighter note, work is good. And that’s something I would never have been able to say if I had stayed on in my previous job. Best decision so far.


Yes, the deed is done. And yes, I am officially unemployed. Now is time to start sorting out all the arrangements for grad school for real. Administrative stuff bores me, but I am trying to look forward to everything else after that. And of course, there will definitely be more time for myself and hopefully for this blog.

Looking through some of the older posts on this blog, I can feel the unhappiness and negativity oozing from every word. Now that I am moving on to a new phase in life, I am quite sure there will be a change, and more time for things like this:

Onwards, I say!

What Happens Now?

GE 2011 just can’t seem to end. The news that the WP had expelled MP Yaw Shin Leong from the party made me wonder:

1. What is the actual reason behind WP’s decision?
I place myself in almost neutral ground in Singapore politics – not exactly pro-PAP, yet not really completely convinced by the Opposition. I admire what the old guard in PAP has done for the country. That said, I am quite a fan of WP because they really did seem to believe in what they said during the rallies, and appeared to practise what they preach. I had mixed feelings over this expulsion, however, because it seemed like a pretty drastic move for a party that had kept mum over the entire issue just 1 week before. The WP may be sacrificing one of their own to keep afloat, and to fend off rumours that they have attempted to whitewash this issue into obscurity.

But looking at the attitudes and what was said during the announcement, I can’t help but feel that they did what they had to do to maintain the party’s moral high ground. In the words of Mr Low, “the decision to expel Mr Yaw was “painful” but (stressed that) the party has to act so that its MPs can stand tall and take the People’s Action Party (PAP) government to account” (channelnewsasia.com). It seems that at the very least, WP does hold its members to the same standards they use to scrutinise the government.

2. The WP’s move was bold.
Whatever the reasons, I have to say that the WP has made a very big statement with this move. I am not so innocent as to swallow every single word they said, but they were willing to cut off someone who had contributed so much to the party and had been Mr Low’s protege, no less. As much as people would like to deny, one has to admit that most political parties are like old boys’ clubs, where associations with the right people would give you an easier path to the top, and where members band together in times of crisis. Rarely would any throw away one of their own, especially those in the coveted inner circle. What the WP has done would be hard for many other parties to emulate.

3. The WP made a clear stand regarding this issue.
Again, this is something that we have not seen in Singapore politics, and even the civil service, in a long time. Yes, there was that period of reticence when all in the WP were tight-lipped about the issue, but a decision was made, and a clear stand was taken. They do not condone the behaviour, and out he went.

4. Why is Mr Yaw not taking a stand on this issue?
At this point in time, many would be making the assumption that there was some truth to the rumours. What I cannot understand is why he has not said anything about it. Yes, it might be embarrassing to admit something that most people don’t condone, but coming clean would be a tactical move to silence all those critics. There may be some Jack Neo moments andĀ repercussionsĀ on your political career, but it would no longer be a mystery, and people would lose interest much faster. I abhor infidelity of any kind, but admitting to your mistakes is the first step towards public forgiveness. This is especially since many interviewed have actually taken the stand that what you do in private remains private, as long as you are able to serve the electorate.

5. Is infidelity really something that requires such a drastic action?
As I mentioned, I abhor infidelity. However, it seems rather extreme to expel someone, especially when he has not made any mistakes professionally, from his work. I don’t think anyone’s personal conduct influences his/her work performance. Someone may be a bastard/bitch, but doesn’t mean that he/she can’t deliver results. Which is why I think that if he had just given a public statement addressing the issue, it probably would not have spelt the end of his career.

6. PAP’s reaction didn’t earn them many points.
Where they could have done the mature thing and commented on how the decision made was painful but upheld the party’s principles, they decided to start criticizing them about misleading voters. Their reactions to any potential scandals so far has been to hope that things would quieten down, or to issue non-committal statements. There has never been a sense of coming clean and really telling the public the truth.

All in all, I will not make any predictions on the outcome of the by-election, if there is even one. With the current situation, it can go both ways. I hope the best candidate wins, whichever party he/she belongs to.