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10/07/2005

dance of the white elephants

the truth is now out. the white elephants were the works of senior grassroot leaders. isn't it strange that people will report the works of grassroot leaders to the police? though the ending has not turned out to be an ugly episode, there are, as the grassroot leaders commented, lessons to be learnt. just my guess, it seems that the people who reported the incident were likely not to be from the ruling party. as such, the police had no choice but to go through the motion of investigating the report. otherwise they can be accused of favouritism. this may be the reason why the case became an issue. unlikely for their own grassroot leaders to be reporting against their own acts. the unfortunate development is that the poor grassroot leaders have been stood up and invited for tea by the police. and this could cause them a lot of anxieties as to what the outcome would be. this can be detected from the comments by the affected grassroot leaders and the little taste of bitterness after the episode. what was originally meant to be a little fun and cheekiness had ended up with many people becoming so uncomfortable. and this speaks a lot about an uptight and no nonsense society where a little sense of humour is sorely absence.

23 comments:

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Szhcornan73 said...

Sorry, you are warned. No elephant jokes next time. This is Singapore.

redbean said...

thank you szhcornan, for the warning. let me see, if elephants can fly, india will have a lot of jumbos. ok ok, no elephant jokes.

i still remember all the talks about loosening up. are people serious when they said we want to have a little fun, turn singapore into a little bohemia where we can have fun and laugh at ourselves. is having a bungee jumping machine means we are loosening up?

the grassroot leaders have learnt their lesson. and charles chong said they are going to have a retreat to review what they have learnt. and the retreat will be in bangkok, land of the elephants. he is serious, not making elephant jokes :)

Anonymous said...

If you go to Serangoon road, you can see alot of white elephants along the roadside.

szhcornan73 said...

Well, retreat, if it was an opposition party or other member of public, they would have spend their retreat behind bars.

GrassRoot learn their lesson? As a Singaporean, I've also learn my lesson. There are two set of rules.

Elfred said...

What about all those banners and smaller ads, sign boards littering all over the neighborhood? :D

You can't say we got two rules because grassroots people or who placed 8 boards got stern warnings while tons of others place boards, banners and such all over the places and 'got nothing' still.

Funny.

redbean said...

what is questionable were the banners of a non mp in potong pasir. i thought this is a common knowledge that only mps are allowed to place their handsome photos in their constituencies.

can all the opposition parties mps in waiting start to put up banners all over the constituencies?

Elfred said...

Where there is a coming election, the norm is that the relevant candidate (incumbent or challenging) will publicise by such banners/posters and so on in the contented area.

This is happening not only in Singapore but Malaysia and so on.

But whether specific legal prohibition and practise deny such thingy... Me not an expert in election laws, so cannot acertain.

redbean said...

hi elfred,

i was referring to the banner that came up in potong pasir a couple of months back. the one that was vandalised. general election is a different issue and banners, posters etc are acceptable.

Elfred said...

If I were to be the one to challenge Mr Chiam this coming election (this is merely for illustration), I'd probably put up posters over there.

Though, I'd do it in a gentlemanly manner.

If I can afford it, and the laws allow, I can even paste my humongous pictures at every block. :D

But pictures don't mean quality. You can fool somebody with pictures some of the time, but eventually, it's the political quality of the candidate that determines.

This is what I always believe. Politics is a game that lasts.

redbean said...

what happened at that particular incident appeared to be an obvious case of violating the rules on putting up posters. i may be wrong, but subsequently the poster or banner was taken down after chiam made a police report or something like that.

redbean said...

the straits times today has a commentary by cherian george on the dance of the white elephants. what is amazing is his linkage of the white elephants as an attempt by the opposition parties to introduce civil disobedience into our society.

how could this white elephant dance be the works of the opposition when there was another report on sunny leow, the grassroot leader responsible for it? i am very sure that sunny leow is not from the opposition parties. and i am also very sure that charles chong is also not from the opposition parties. maybe they are and the public does not know.

charles chong was quoted to comment that he and his grassroot leaders were going to work like insurgents to champion the cause of his people in the affected constituency, to fight for the opening of buangkok station. now this is beginning to sound more like the opposition parties.

it is a strange analogy, that works of pap mp and grassroot leaders are identified as resembling opposition party's modus operandi and used as a warning of what the opposition parties are up to.

can pap mp and grassroot leaders really stand up and fight for the cause of the people they represent without being seen as if they are from the opposition? or must pap mps and grassroot leaders just do the lip service, ask a few questions in parliament and get a few standard reply, then sit down and shut up, work done?

for pap mps to be credible, in representing the people, they must be seen to really push for the benefits of the people. we need more charles chong to make the difference. and also more sunny leows.

szhcornan73 said...

Elfred: You can't say we got two rules because grassroots people or who placed 8 boards got stern warnings while tons of others place boards, banners and such all over the places and 'got nothing' still.

Well, which law say I can't say? Haha... your law? Which is more funny? Your's?

Who dare to make poster card board that size and that many at a go and SHOW it to our dear visiting minister?

It's either you refuse to face the fact or you've once again practiced double standard ;) Haha...

朝里有人好做官,官里有人好办事!

szhcornan73 said...

redbean: for pap mps to be credible, in representing the people, they must be seen to really push for the benefits of the people. we need more charles chong to make the difference. and also more sunny leows.

Yes, we need to jail Sunny Leow to make a statement: Singapore is impartial, you break the law, we break your bone.

Just like the way we jail those racist bloggers!!! Do it Singapore! Welcome the good old days!

Elfred said...

So said, some PAP members ain't defintely mean the entire party is like that. I just 'chatted' with a resident over various 'issues' that bothered him, and that includes sweeping the entire boat with a bamboo stick.

So those posters were removed after all, if there is a regulation.

There must be better elements within the party, it's perhaps time ain't ripe yet.

Corn,

A poster is a poster no matter how big or small. Everyone's taking a risk, including party members.

redbean said...

actually this issue is a rude awakenging to many grassroot leaders, including mp. they probably thought that they, being in a privilege position, could indulge in a little fun and jest and at the same time do something which they all knew is necessary. they must know how sore the people were about the buangkok station. and they would think at worst the minister would just laugh it off. but they were not prepared for the heavy hand of the law.

and, despite their attempt to push a genuine cause, they have to back off simply because it was against the official line of thought. yes, they said they will try other means to push the issue again. the question that stands out glaringly is that they belong to the same camp and cannot do much about it. neither can they cry out too loudly.

on the other hand, why aren't the opposition parties making any noise about the , or they are holding back all the shells for the ge? does anyone really believe that they are people's representatives and are expected to represent the people's interests.

szhcornan73 said...

Elfred: A poster is a poster no matter how big or small. Everyone's taking a risk, including party members.

I support you! Jail that bugger. And send out a clear message! We need the good old days!

Elfred said...

As I have posted in YPForum... it's actually how they handle the case with the police. This case is rather 'popular', which could even be popular with police living in Buangkok.

It's not that police won't close one eyes, in reality. It's how they handle against the person who made the move to call up the police. Of course... the police cannot do nothing, and be complained for... whatever. See? :D

Whichever the case, it's time to drop the case, isn't it?

szhcornan73 said...

That's why I support you, charge the bugger!

We are Singapore, no mocking of the gov please!

redbean said...

this case is quite unique in the sense that it is done by the grassroot leaders of the ruling party and likely also to have the consent of the mp. and the intention definitely was not meant to mock the govt. it is more of friendly and cheeky way of trying to get the message across. any ill intention was the furthest in the minds of the participants.

on the other hand if the elephants were to be put up by the public or opposition members, then the mocking aspect will be more relevant. but as it is, it has set out some ground rules and how the police will handle such cases in the future. still, it will be interesting to watch should the opposition parties attempt to imitate the same act.

szhcornan73 said...

1st rule:
If it was done by ruling party, it's good intention.

2nd rule:
If done by anyone else other than from the ruling party, it's mocking the gov.


OK, I accept the fact that there is 2 rules. ;-)

redbean said...

hi szhcornan,

it will be interesting if the opposition party just do a trial balloon and see what is the outcome. would they just get a stern warning too?

redbean said...

a lesson to be learnt from this saga is that mrt or privatised public companies and still seen as govt companies. and mps who oppose such companies are seen as anti govt. so that cannot do so without being seen as acting or behaving like opposition parties.

so they cannot really act to represent the interests of the people. very strange.

why is an mp fighting for the opening of a mrt station seen as anti govt?