Why was it so impossbly difficult for Shamugam to give Slyvia a spade is a spade answer?
August 16, 2012
Recently the gahmen has been rolling out one committee after another as if it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Presumably all this is done under the aegis of the ‘new normal’ to engage an increasing skeptical and jaded public.
What’s wrong with this initiative? Nothing. IF it is done right that is…..
But why do we all get the sinking feeling that all we are really seeing here is the same caper: saying one thing and doing the direct opposite.
It has always been my contention that anybody can say anything they like. But what they do is what makes the defining difference.
Recently Sylvia Lim asked Shammugam a straight forward question in Parliament concerning the controversial Woffles Wu case. As it’s a subject that has certainly garnered a lot of speculation concerning the impartiality of the judiciary (real or imagined). What’s pertinent in this discussion is: does a MP have a right to ask a minister a question without getting the run around treatment? Well you all have to decide whether Shammugam was evasive in his response. I happen to believe he unnecessarily complicated matters when what he should have done instead was to simply supply a straight forward call a spade a spade answer a la farmer style. That I imagine would have settled the matter there and then. Once and for all. Ms Lim would have been happiest. So would the baffled public and as for Parliament they can move on to discuss other pressing issues – instead, the law minister started to get noticeably flustered, defensive and from what I could see started cross examining poor Ms Lim’s intentions for pursuing such a line of enquiry – was that even relevant? How does that beacon out the murk on the Woffles Wu case? Was it justifiable for Shammugam to have reacted the way he did? Or am I just imagining all this? Maybe you should all catch it in YouTube and decide for yourself. Remember I give you all only the facts. You decide.
This should prompt us all to ask a supplementary question: how does this latest incident add any value to the whole idea of government wanting to engage the broader public on important issues? How consistent is it even with the new ethos of the “new normal” to solicit consensus from the general public when straight forward questions are just given the mushroom treatment: keep you in the dark and feed you shit?
The way I see it, what transpired can only be described in polite terms as an epic fail to live up to the governments hype and spin that they are genuinely committed to engaging the public. Instead what we see here is a classic repeat of the trite tale that we see so often come across in officialdom in Singapore: where they say one thing and do the direct opposite. To put it another way. They embody the form of wanting to engage others on a deep spirited level. Yet decamping from the content that reasonably allows them to accomplish this goal at a meaningful level.
As for the ST, check out this excellent write up: shanmugams-crafty-way-to-avoid-woffles.html they’re certainly doing their darnest to put a positive spin on this incident. Unfortunately, from the looks of it – the fish ain’t biting.