To Fix a Mocking Peasant

Evil Kitten Blogs Irresponsibly

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Confessions, Transcendence and the Rhetoric of Leadership

"It is... stupid to believe we are infallible. We are not infallible." (MM Lee, as quoted by CNA)

We? Who?

"This should have never have happened. I am sorry that it has," (DPM Wong Kan Seng, as quoted by CNA)

You may be sorry that it has happened, but I don't think you are sorry for what has happened.

"This was a lapse. What to do, it's happened." (PM Lee, as you can hear for yourself on youtube)

Are you resigned to the fact or are you telling people to resign themselves to it?

It has been said that people will never hear the PAP say sorry. That is, of course, untrue. They do say sorry. Perhaps they say sorry without meaning that they are, but they do use the word "sorry". (The word can constitute an apology or it can be an expression of sympathy. Or it can simply mean nothing.)

The PAP does admit to failing, though often only on behalf of those who are not really the PAP. I'm sorry some idiots in the security forces did not follow rules. (No, the last sentence was not a quote. The PAP is never as candid as to use the word "idiot".)

Beneath the PAP's sexy, see-through dress of humility is the aggressive rhetoric of leadership and authority. We can seem to say sorry not because it is our fault, but because we tell you what is wrong. I decide whether to move on because we know what is best for the country.

I can label something a failure either because I'm not part of it or because I've transcended it. It's not my failure. It's everyone's. No, in fact, it's not a failure. It's an inevitability because of fallibility. I define where the failure is. I know best.

PM Lee's "what to do, it's happened" (never to be quoted with a question mark) is a creative paraphrase of something peasants have already become tired of hearing after NKF, after James Gomez: the "let's move on" instead of harping on issues that might discredit the PAP. Perhaps it was not a careless remark at all, but a careful attempt to avoid stale vocabulary. (What to do. They have the power to manipulate and circumscribe public discourse.)

What we end up with is a performance of leadership with the mainstream media as a convenient stage. Everyone is busy catching a terrorist. No, everyone is busy controlling the damage done to the reputation of the Party. What is at stake is not security. It is the Party. I guess we are supposed to be impressed by the sense how how the leadership has the authority--the authority to critique (mainstream media are just echoes, bloggers are just noise), to call a failure a failure, to move on. Perhaps in 2011, we will see Mas Selamat included in the election campaign: look at how well we led Singapore through a difficult time.

But where the Mas Selamat incident is concerned, what authority is there? As I have playfully questioned in the conspiracy theories post, why are people responding as though there was nothing wrong with detaining Mas without trial to begin with? What authority can be derived from dubious processes?

How is Mas Selamat going to be dealt with if he is caught? If Mas Selamat is arrested after I spot and make a police report, will I be getting him detained (and I know not what else) without trial? Won't I then be guilty of perpetrating an act--detention without trial--to which I am opposed even though I do believe that he is involved in terrorist activities? (I'm not telling anyone not to report to the police, mind you. I'm clarifying because I don't want to be considered sedition or get me arrested (by none other than the ISD) for threatening national security.)

There is only so much half apologies, shrewd confessions and a nation-building wayang of leadership can do to mask a lack of true authority, a lack of truly credible leadership not predicated upon achieving economic growth that benefits the rich. Of course, no one is claiming that Mas has never been involved in terror-related activities. But, still, why the ISD? (Let's throw the question back at them.)

Of course, few people really bother about these issues Just get that bastard arrested so that we won't have traffic congestion!

And When Napoleon was outsmarted by the human beings and Animal Farm was attacked, everyone knew that the humans were the aggressors. Squealer told everyone that Animal Farm should celebrate their triumph in chasing away the human beings despite the devastation done to the farm. There was nothing wrong with Napoleon and his schemes.

Was Leader Napoleon, too, not infallible but was always right?

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Indeed, the political situation does mirror Animal Farm quite closely.
This is quite scary, never knew it would play out right in my home country.
Lucky thing I'm still young. Better pack bags and run first.

Can you please pack me into your bag?

Sounds familiar?

lol! Do you have an archive of all these pictures?

Hi Molly,

Glad that it amused you ;)

For the rest of the Mas themed funnies, do visit:


You should archive these in a blog or something. And make more of them than just for the Mas issue. :)

Can I make photoshop requests?

1. Broke Toilet Mountain
Brkeback Mountain

2. MSK7

3. Not caught after 300 Days

4. Prison on Fire
Prison on Fire

5. Terrorist, Caution (Starring Mas Selamat and WKS)
[Would be nice to have a pic of one f****** the other]
Lust Caution

6. Kung Fu Escape
Kung Fu Hustle

Insightful and spot on again. Its a shame how accountability evaporates in this fiasco. The formula is simple: give a sense of emergency and need for "vigilance" and solidarity by saturating us with lookout posters- make it seem like a national effort and by flawed association, a national "lapse" where no one is held accountable.

If anyone is to be held accountable, it's you unwise peasants who could possibly become complacent (unlike the ever vigilant smart ones).

Dont let this happen to you.


now that's a good read.

This is a lesson that the 66.6% of the citizens in Singapore have to learn, that is, the PAP is not as good as it says it is, and its only weapon is its tight hold on information and its ability to distort information. This extends to the way security is handled throughout the entire establishment. Been in the services for 10 years and saw how they work. Many are simple conditioned to a compliant press and pliable public who do not ask probing question, and their way of maintaining security is through information obscurity. Even after 9/11 when security was supposedly stepped up, I have tried for many years to tell them that they are not truely securing Singapore and a lot of it is for show, but they are always putting undue weight on external posturing ....

The lack of accountability extends all the way through, and they conveniently hide the information to prevent anything from going out by classifying it. How about Chief Defence Scientist sitting on MINDEF board to approve contracts to DSO, while at the same time sitting on DSO advisory board having executive influence and running his pet project? It is like his left hand passing multi million dollars to his right hand for his pet project. All in the name of ensuring overall coordination. Incest does not get better than this.

My advice to everyone is:

Take full advantage of what the PAP government has done for you by setting up a brand name for Singapore and providing a place to earn $. Build your portfolio in Singapore, be thrifty and build your financial base. Forget about chasing the useless condo dream. Once you have build your portfolio and finances, move out for good. That is what I had always told my men when I was in the services. Now I am finally out of Singapore and well established outside, and will ditch my red passport (and my son's red passport) in 2 years. The PAP takes a hard nose look at running Singapore. Everyone should take a hard nose look at whether they should stay in Singapore or not, and take full advantage of what they have done. Patriotism does not count in Singapore. Imagine deploying to Cambodia or the Gulf, and the first thing they tell you is to buy your own insurance because they will only pay workmen compensation if you died in the line of duty. So much for serving the country.

Don't bother about changing the system from the outside or the inside. You will not believe how entrenched it is in the entire government structure. You almost need to rip everything apart just to get rid of the structural bias towards opposition, transparency and accountability. The corridors of PAP's government structure is darker than you can imagine. For yourself and your family, move out.

Waiting for someone to take me away.

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