Monday, August 17, 2015
Lessons from retiring PAP MPs
I agree with Han Fook Kwang that Lui Tuck Yew's quitting politics portends more than just a minister resigning. Just look a little further. There was a time when MPs leave because they were told by their secretary general they need to make way for new blood. Now more than a handful MPs are telling us they need to spend more time with their families or their other job need which they have neglected need them.
The MP calling has become a full time job. As some like Baey Yam Kheng, Tin Pei Ling and Foo Mee Har gave up their regular job to be full time MPs, some must gave up being MPs for their day job.
Lui Tuck Yew said that you need a tender heart and thick skin to be in politics. More than ever this is true here. But a thick skin does not mean you don't feel the hurt from the barbs people hurt at you. In fact if you have a tender heart it will hurt like hell. Thick skin isn't tough skin at all just as courage is not the absence of fear. It is just refusing to give in to hitting back or running away when every fibre in you scream at you to. On top of feeling hurt if you have to bear the hurt the spouse and children will also feel on your behalf. It is going to be much harder to find people to come into politics unless you do not mind sociopaths. Such kinds with great acting skill will con many. There will be many such types in the election after this one. It spells great danger for us.
Over the last few days I decided it was fruitless to speculate on the reasons for Lui quitting politics. It is easier to just note the non true reasons and let time reveal the truth. Let's see what he does after he has left the PAP.
At this rate the pressure is to produce an outcome where from the PAP side people come in to serve as MP/minister for two or three terms and leave. They will also not think and plan on a generational timescale like LKY had but over ten to twenty years. Given our small size and vulnerabilities the risk of us not surviving goes up by orders of magnitude. Conceptually for a small state you achieve the equivalent mass and push of a large state by acting early after seeing what is developing over the horizon. We are not like America, a large excavator which can be moved into position at short notice and start working. We are ants and we need to know way ahead of time where to show up and start working. If we do that right we punch way above our size. In fact that is the only way we could.
Posted by PengYou at 9:00 AM