When Minister turns ordinary citizen
After the last GE three ministers turned into ordinary citizens. They left politics and live a more carefree life as one among the millions. No more trappings of power and attention. A few ministers have stepped down but either remained in politics or staying in the inner circle of power brokers and still walk the corridor of power. To them, nothing really changes. Even for the ministers that have left politics, not much has changed. The umbrella of political power is still providing the needed shade and comfort wherever they go. What would life be if the umbrella is no longer there?
2016 looks ominously uncertain. Would the umbrella be folded and replace by a new one? The likelihood of the current political umbrella being removed or changed cannot be ruled out no matter how secure things look now. In a worst case scenario, the umbrella could be changed and many ministers would join the men in the street or civvy street. And without the coverage of the old umbrella, life is not going to be the same again. No more invitation, no more attention, no more large entourage, no one listening to what they talk or what they talk no longer matters. And the 30 titles and appointments will be lapsed. No invitation to be chairman or directors here and there.
Sinkies are being exhorted to prepare for retirement, to integrate with foreigners, accept a life with high cost of living and high cost of everything, to prepare to become hawkers as a new opportunity in life. The ministers who would join the civvy street need not bother with such issues. They are all very well prepared financially to live a life rich in abundance. What they would miss would be the attention and the sense of being important, being in the thick of things, being waited wherever they go. No one will be waiting for them when that day comes except their closed ones and friends.
Are the ministers prepared for such a change, when everyone in the street and their neighbours will regard them just as another ordinary citizen, just another Sinkie? This is no small change. Would they need psychiatric counselling to prepare them for the new life of being ordinary citizens? It is not easy to adapt to a situation when people will disagree with them openly without deference or decorum, or even ridicule or vilify them straight in the face. It can be quite dramatic and traumatic in the new situation, without the power halo over their heads.
Reading at some of the snippets in Chok Tong’s facebook, things can be rough down the road without the umbrella. Talking cock and craps would no longer be tolerated. Hope they will be strong and none would morph into lunatics at the fringes should that day becomes a reality.