How open are we?
Skimming through the few pages of the Goh Keng Swee book by Tan Siok Sun in the papers, it is clear that Keng Swee left politics because of a new love and not too because of his health. In 1982, or even now, we are still a society of monks and priests. A second love life is uncomfortable and could become an embarrassment and the topic of gossips. So it was better to stay away from politics. And Singapore lost one of it brightest leaders because of our high moral standard of social norms. A few days back it was reported that Hilary Clinton was taking out her big gun in her presidential campaign. And that big gun was non other than the charismatic Bill Clinton. Clinton was still as popular as before with or without Lewinsky. The Americans have adored him for what he is and forgiven him for his little indiscretion. And he is still being invited to talk about his exploits in the White House and being paid big money for it. Are we that pragmatic as a people compare to the Americans 'can do' attitude towards life? Or are we just some uptight society that taking a second glance at a pretty face is scorned upon? Or are we just a hypocritical society that claims to be whiter than white and any little speck of dust marks the ruin of a man no matter how talented he is? America is a big country with a big heart for forgiveness. And they are not so uptight about the private lives of their people and leaders. They love them the way they are with all their warts and scars. George Bush is the best living example of how the Americans have accepted him as their president and all his boobs and slips. He is after all a man, and not god.