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Whither All the Brave Heroes: A Tale of Messiahs and Muck-Ups

ELSON: Too often, Singaporeans have been promised too much and given much too little in return.

Some might call it hope, others like Amos Yee would probably dub it blind faith.

Many rallied behind every new messiah that popped up from out of the blue, expecting a change in an “autocratic, oppressive and uncaring” system.

They got false prophets in return.

What’s left of Roy Ngerng isn’t pretty: a jobless man who went on trips to Norway, London and Kuala Lumpur and badmouthed Singapore.

A man some S$110,000 richer by way of a charitable Singapore public who supposedly used the money to pay his lawyer (though M Ravi claims he wasn’t paid).

Someone who continued to defiantly post articles attacking the Prime Minister and suddenly cowered in a corner when it came to summary judgment.

Ngerng’s bravado ended with his now-famous one-liner question to PM Lee, “Will you give me a second chance?”

The biggest victim in this whole defamation saga is probably the poor chai tow kway seller, aka Ngerng Senior, who’s had to lug around his baggage for him.

That boy comes with a lot of baggage.

Then there’s another boy who carries even more baggage, at an even younger age – Amos Yee.

Raised up by a hopeful and disgruntled public (and Roy Ngerng) as the boy wonder for speaking up against the big guns by means of an insensitive and vulgar video, he was touted as the “next generation of Singapore leaders”, the kind to reform this country.

He’s in the looney bin now, possibly because the 16-year-old was a little nutty all along and all the baying only served to reinforce his deluded self-importance (and how his poor parents have to suffer for all this).

Again, the public gave, both in money terms and vocal support.

Again, the public was left disappointed because this flash-in-the-pan small fish wasn’t the messiah he was made out to be.

And then there’s that one man who perhaps should draw the most sympathy – M Ravi.

The human rights lawyer, strutting proud and tall at rallies, orating to adoring crowds his message of truth, righteousness and salvation.

Openly declaring a million-dollar campaign to wrest Ang Mo Kio from the clutches of the Lee junior.

Ravi was bipolar all along, drugged up with medication to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Ravi’s is a sad case because, allegedly, he never got his cut from Ngerng’s S$110,000 collections, and even got struck off from practising law because of his medical condition.

And if he ran for parliament, he might even lose his deposit – guess which politician is going to play the “but he’s a loon” card, and which voter segment is not going to vote for him (i.e the majority who don’t believe in electing reportedly crazy people into office).

So much hope, so little delivered.

There’s a reason why stalwarts such as the WP, the SPP, the SDP and the PAP have endured.

They’ve a vision, arguably sound policy recommendations in place, and trust, built up from years of campaigning, that they’re not fly-by-night.

If the public has enough faith to spare, put that in proper institutions that are in it for the long haul.

Understand what these institutions stand for, and the value of their recommendations for a better Singapore.

Save the heartache and the hole in the pocket.



This commentary was written by Elson.
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