The naked truth
At long last, the emperor knew that he was naked. After all the years of deception, with his merry men telling him how beautiful his clothes were, he finally knew that it was all a lie. George Yeo did his part by being the first brave man, out of desperation, to tell it right at Hsien Loong’s face. This was George’s last and most valuable contribution to his party. Reading the Sunday Times today on the slaying of the sacred cow is comical and sickening. I wanted to throw out. Was it hindsight that everyone’s comment on the outrageous minister’s salary was spot on, that it was flawed from the onset? No, it was not hindsight, it was the emperor’s new clothes that no one dared to say differently. It did not help when it was resolutely defended by the undisputed power of the land. Would any sensible person dare to defy the living gods? The minister’s salary was not the only piece of emperor’s clothes that was defended furiously. The high HDB prices, high medical fees, huge income gap, were stoutly pronounced as sound and well till the eve of the GE. The volteface, the grudging admission of failures, and the reluctant apologies, only came about when there was no way out. The emperor has spoken, face the music, admit to one’s mistakes, and no more thumping down at the people, is perhaps a bitter pill to swallow to some. The years of high and mighty, and ruthless dismissal of discontent are over. At least it appears to be so. A more accommodating and earnest approach to deal with the people is emerging. This change of heart and change of style are at a nascent stage and can end up a stillbirth. The risk is high if the reform is not resolute, to back track to the old ways. Please, let the past go, let the yodas go. Still there are many voices clamouring for the yodas to continue with their influence. Do the people really want to revisit the days of brash, unforgiving and vindictive style of politics and flawless schemes concocted in seventh heavens? The yodas pervade the establishment at all levels. They were the power wielders, having tasted power and dispensing them at the misfortune of their opponents. The old thuggish way of political contest is inimical to a gentler, more gracious and less confrontational political system and culture. Let the past go. Start with a new slate, with new people and new mindset, for a new nation, more agreeable, more listening and more consultation, when everyone with a different view is not necessary an enemy. Would there be a new dawn, or the same old morning sun?