Cow Beh Cow Bu

Cabinet Reshuffle – A Hustler’s Shuffle?

Reading the latest cabinet reshuffle, I’m reminded anew Jackson Browne’s ‘Information Wars’. With apologies to him, here are my revised lines contextual to SG.
Give us twenty minutes and we’ll give you the world
We bring good things to life
The news you need from people you can count on
Doing what we do best

The government of Singapore
Your true voice
You’re in good hands
Now more than ever before

…The latest spin on the shit PAP’s in, blow by blow
And the more you read, the less you know

Here’s a ‘blow-by-blow’ response to the PAP spin.

The changes are part of continuing leadership renewal “to build a strong ‘A’ team for Singapore”, Mr Lee said on Facebook.

Come on, lah. What ‘continuing leadership renewal’? Same faces. One 4-term old cock who’s announced he wanted to quit government, another 2-term rear admiral-minister proven to be a failure leading from the rear on transport issues. Two never-fought-a-battle generals, 1-term promoted-in-a-hurry ministers with nothing quantifiable that benefitted citizens significantly to show for. And one minority minister-MP who I’ll comment on separately.

What’s common to all 5 PAP supposedly ‘A team’ talents? I’ll tell you: ALL 5 got into parliament originally via the coat-tails of others in GRCs. ‘A team’…hahaha! Not one talented and with balls enough to fight one-to-one to enter parliament.

Lim Swee Say has been hailed as the ‘best immediate choice’ to lead the Ministry of Manpower, ‘given his experience representing the unions and workers.’

The outgoing Tan Chuan-Jin says he had not realised the extent of the MOM’s reach, which includes retirement adequacy, employment opportunities, workers’ rights, and workplace safety and health.’
If true, then it’s not just the blue-collar workers but all of us PMETs are also done in and done for.

What can we expect of an ex-NTUC chief who led his members to the lowest relative increase in median wages? Whose members could no longer afford to pay for their most basic HDB flats on their own wages but now need PAP cabinet’s faux largesse of more grants just to own 2, 3 or 4-room flats that are also smaller than when my hawker-father-office-maid-mother could pay for their open-market S$17k 3-room flat within 8 years and without a single cent grant from LKY’s team mid-‘80s?

‘Retirement adequacy’? What can we expect from a minister who proclaimed insensitively, ‘Every month, when I receive my CPF statement, I feel so rich and the best part is, I know the CPF money won’t run away’? How will he who feels ‘so rich’ even begin to understand what retirement inadequacy is, never mind how to address the issue?

We are dead meat in Swee Say’s hands, PMETs. Very suay.

Now, Tan Chuan-Jin. In the real world of accountable-to-stakeholders organizations, an employee gets promoted for measureable KPIs. How does Tan measure up after 21 months as acting minister and 11 months 8 days as full minister? Any real and specific number of PMETs you have directly helped with his JobsBank initiative to land a job

What of ‘retirement inadequacy’? Someone help me here or is it also zilch? Am I more retirement adequate now with this ‘A Team’ minister after 32 months + 8 days with his S$5mil salary safely taken home?

Next, our favourite ‘Minister Stumblebum’, this kee-kiu Minister must address with a cap ‘M’. He’d be writing to editor to complain if I do not.

His trajectory is not unlike his fellow (but junior BG) Chuan-Jin. So, no need to belabour the point about having nothing measureable to show for…except perhaps the headcount of happy aunties and uncles with their free chicken rice for attending a PAP activity.

Inche Masagos may well desire his promotion. The Cabinet ministers, MPs, academics and all kinds of pundits have chimed in their views. Even lau Goh highlighted Inche Masagos’ promotion. Oh, Masagos himself also spins it well;

‘In an interview with MediaCorp’s Berita, Mr Masagos said: “It would seem apparent that the Malay community would celebrate having two full Ministers in the Cabinet for the first time, but I think this is also how Singapore runs on the basis of meritocracy.’

I’m truly sorry to say #fail for lack of humility on the first point. Isn’t it arrogant to say that one has been promoted ‘on the basis of meritocracy’? The subtext is, hey guys, I’m really a talent! One would have thought that the first words would be to thank voters who voted me into parliament resulting in another opportunity to show that I could serve their needs.

As for ‘two full Ministers in the Cabinet for the first time’, has it occurred to Inche that maybe it’s because the current one, minister Yaacob has been proven to be a dud? Therefore, to save Yaacob’s face and his own poor judgment, PM Lee has to bring in one more to see if he can neutralize Yaacob’s failure? Hey, why is the Information & The Arts minister sidelined from helming ‘The Smart Nation’ project? (Giving it to Vivian, the Youth-Olympics-Budget-Overrun-Big-Timer, is another story for another day, dear taxpayers.)

On Liu Tuck Yew, Tattler describes him succinctly, the ‘poor guy already submerged way beyond his depth with the onerous Minister for Transport hat’ and we are supposed to believe that Liu is ‘A team’ renewal candidate? (…my toes J)

So, how to believe PAP’s spin of ‘continuing leadership renewal’ and ‘strong A team’?

Doesn’t it look more like

  • a desperate move to temporary plug sinking PAP-Sampan v2.0?
  • a callous move to ignore PMETs’ cries for measurable support to retain or regain employment?
  • an overt attempt to address the sinking support level with the Malay voters?

Now that we can see a perspective cutting thro’ the spin, for PM Lee to suggest that he has done the reshuffle to build an A team ‘for Singapore’ , can believe or not? Folks, that’s after a 20-year apprenticeship + 10 year premiership – and no more than 20 months, probably less, to the next GE?
Tell it like it is: It’s for PAP to win the next GE. ‘For Singapore’? Nah!…alternative media, the more you read, the less you are deceived….



This commentary was written by 2cents and first published on 2econdsight.
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