Time for soul searching in the Workers Party

November 25, 2015

Someone asked me recently, why did the WP perform so badly in the GE. I told this person, some say it’s the post LKY effect. Then there are others who continue to insist the PAP has fixed many of it’s problems.

This person was not happy with my reply. So he asked again….but WHY do you think the WP performed so badly?

To which I answered, ‘I don’t know….to be honest. I don’t think the entire leadership in WP knows either…that could be why they are all smiles and seem to appear quite non chalant about their catastrophic performance….and that in a nutshell is the problem.

In a well electorally attuned political outfit, they would all be soul searching….but that is another party political party…WP is different.


‘Politics like life is basically, a game of chess. To win you have to make smart moves. Knowing where each chess piece should sit on the board in the beginning, middle and end of the game can only come with insight and knowledge – this is the essence of all dangerous games!

Any game that involves winning, drawing or losing is intrinsically dangerous. Don’t delude yourself by thinking otherwise!

If you lack that one strategic insight and knowledge that politics like life is intrinsically a dangerous. All you’re really doing is moving chess pieces up and down the board without a coherent strategy or a clear understanding of what you’re doing along with what’s at stake….. and you will lose!

It’s the same if you have never taken the trouble to sit down in a quiet place and reflect seriously on where you want to go with your life….because failing to do just that alone is by default treating life lightly and not regarding it with the respect that it deserves…i.e life is inherently dangerous.

And if all you’re doing is waking up every day, putting on your make up or tie and the only thing that occupies your train of thoughts is trying to make it to the mythical level 20 of angry birds when you’re on the MRT going to work. That to me is even worse…as not only are you not aware living is dangerous. But it’s conceivable you’re already brain dead!

You’re not even in the game!

Unfortunately, most people never ever think life is a dangerous affair – to paraphrase, they don’t ever want to take ownership over their destiny. To put it another way – they cannot deal with the reality that plain ordinary living can ever be dangerous!

They much prefer to outsource the dangerous aspect of life to someone they saw on TV. Or go thru life with roughly the same intellectual power it takes to tie shoelaces where they take cold comfort in the idea – somewhere…someone is actually cracking their heads to make their life’s better and safer!

Truth is this! No one ever thinks hard and long about your well being. Why should they! Not hard enough at least where they will always put you first and foremost except maybe the people who really love and care for you and even so, sometimes they don’t bother either, as they have their own problems to deal with. So if anything is going to change for the better – it’s really comes right down to you and only you and no one else, but you!

It all boils down to one discipline – thinking seriously about life and coming to terms with the idea that life is intrinsically dangerous.

When I was in my thirties, I was looking at people in their forties and fifties getting retrenched in the name of right sizing. I still remember thinking to myself, ‘what kinda of fuck up word is right sizing? Then I said to myself, just plain ordinary living is so fucking dangerous man!’

I remember watching those poor sods all wearing a dumb look as they walked out of their cubicles holding cardboard boxes….they all looked lost, as if the road of life had suddenly taken an unexpected wrong turn they didn’t even see coming – somewhere in all this, I experienced a moment of epiphany, this is going to happen to me one day….I am not going to play this shitty snake and ladders game where someone tells me one day I am not good enough and sends me packing.

Living is fucking dangerous!

If I am going to swim in shark infested waters then I might as well take my chances in the business world lah. I may go bankrupt, if things don’t pan out the way I planned it or see it in the movie theater somewhere in my head…then again I might just make it to the other side…but at least, if I get chopped. I can be assured I was really not good enough and it’s not from someone whose just telling me this as if he or she is reading it all off from a laminated card that HR prepared on 101 of how to retrench with a heart!

I am not saying I am smart. What I am saying is it’s a tragedy when people don’t even see the wisdom of spending time thinking long or hard about where they’re going, let alone come to terms with the reality – living is a inherently dangerous proposition.

Being a businessman isn’t easy – it’s fucking dangerous! My life is not perfect. Not 100% at least. Some months, it flows sweet and clear. Other months, it’s touch and go. But when I average it out. I rather be where I am now than where I was….and that is the only thing that really matters.

My point is this attitude comes with the territory, it’s like an occupational liability where one simply accepts living is inherently fraught with danger. I am not even talking about the sort of living that requires you to operate heavy machinery or duck bullets. Just plain ordinary living, the sort where you just go to NTUC after work to buy a loaf of bread can be so very dangerous especially when you don’t bother to use your brain and see your life as a chess piece on the black and white squares of life.

The only people in Singapore who I know embody the belief that it’s possible to live, work and play in a bubble wrapped world is the leadership of the Workers Party – what you have here is essentially a group of risk adverse people who have no realistic understanding of the demands of power and politics in Singapore and because they don’t understand that just as living is dangerous, politics might also dangerous as well and this at least requires a modicum of acceptance. You can get sued, bankrupted, your name could be dragged across mud fields…but hey, that’s politics man! You mean you never watch the movie Gandhi meh!

If WP wants a political environment with twelve airbags and five stars safety rating then I say they are not realistic and it’s better to rebrand WP as an alternative lifestyle hub where they hold free yoga sessions and have a store selling reiki crystals and incense sticks at subsidized prices – that way at least they could really add more value to Singaporeans than what they are currently doing.

My take is simply this – if you happen to be a political outfit in Singapore and all you can do is keep silent all the time, then I say, you have summarily forfeited your mandate and worse of all you don’t have a coherent strategy that accounts for your raison to exist – you’re no bloody good – it’s an epic fail. No point even considering their manifesto.

That was why as far back as 2013, I’ve been telling people not to vote WP. Vote them in for what? So that their MP’s can sponge off 13K per month while keeping mum on topical issues that affect thousands of Singaporeans and stakeholders. You got to be kidding me right! My life is not simple. Your life is also not simple. So why should the life of a WP politician be happy and so simple?

But let me be realistic – this is my point of view. It’s personal.

All I am saying. If you cannot accept that politics is Singapore is inherently dangerous. Then don’t be a politician. Just like maybe if you can’t bear mosquitoes and flies, then don’t be a farmer!

My point of view….may count for nuts.

Only it’s bears repeating – it’s no accident that people who regularly read my blog do relatively well in life.

Because I am not like Mr Brown – I don’t do stupid things like behave like a kid when I am pushing into my fifties. I don’t spend my time quibbling whether playing angry birds or Soduku is much more pleasurable to reading manga comics on the MRT. I don’t recreate an image of how I want to come across to myself and broader world in Instagram and selfies that depicts some illusion of what my life is when I know it’s not like that. Everything that I do. I do for a purpose. Above all I come to terms with the idea living is inherently dangerous….so I manage it as best I can to get the most out of it.

Just like a chess piece. It’s all designed to fall together into some grand design….most of the time, I get it right 70%. On the epic runs it’s close to 80% and that I guess is all that you can really hope for in life – to know deep down that no matter how the chips of life may fall, you can still stand and live life under your own terms.

But I certainly

I think if more people just take the trouble to set aside some quiet time to think about where they’re really going along with how they want to get there…everything will just fall right in place.

The problem as I see it

But most importantly. To win in this game. One has to learn lessons along the way. What worked in the past does not necessarily hold true in future chess games – it’s interactive, one makes it up as the game unfurls and to some extent that requires knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are
accumulate along the way.

We become each and every piece within the game called life!’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: