COI for Little India Riot – Respect

My admiration for the Chairman of the COI for the Little India Riot, Pannir Selvam. Senior State Counsel David Khoo pointed to his attention of an article in the ST on an interview with the bus driver involved in the accident that started the rioting. Pannir Selvam took the opportunity to caution the public and other civil society groups not to act too clever and interfere with the COI with their clever suggestions. He said, and I quote:

‘This is all highly improper and we don’t need their advice. If anybody thinks that you, your witness or anybody else can fool us, then you’ll be fooling yourselves because we have had enough experience and we know what we are doing. We don’t need your guidance or advice or anything like that.’

This is not only a statement of wisdom but of fact and conviction. Many of the boards of inquiry formed comprised of eminent and experienced people with the right expertise to do a proper job. Unless of course the people appointed to such boards are wishy washy type that do not know what they are doing or are incompetent. This is rarely the case. Then they would need the advice of any Tom Dick and Harry to help them with suggestions that they came up with after a few minutes in the kopitiams.

Calling for public contributions, suggestions, public consultation papers, presumes that the public knows better. How can this be when the best super talents that are paid millions are the professionals while the public are mostly ignoramus or at best with a little knowledge in the subject? The calling of suggestions from the public inadvertently can be an admission of incompetence or inadequacy, or even a farce.

There are things that the public can be invited to express their views, like whether we want 6.9m population as there is no right or wrong in such a position but a matter of preference. It is like a life style choice that is subjective in nature. In professional and technical areas when technical expertise is involved and needed, how much can the lay public contribute in things they don’t know much about? In this riot case, the public can at best offer eye witness evidence for the COI to make an educated assessment of what actually happened.

I must say respect to the Chairman of the COI for putting his foot down on the noises coming from the public. It is not wrong to claim they know best as they really are the best. Now who else is asking for the layman uncles and aunties for advice and suggestions on technical matters? Are they saying that the uncles and aunties know more and better than them?


Anonymous said...

Allow me to express my view on this matter.

Just 'hahaha' would suffice.

Virgo 49 said...

Why the Top Level Ministers always asked the uncles and aunties : what do you think??? You must also come out with solutions if you want to criticise.

Let me hear your opinion s and solutions do I do not have to crack my brains.

My gaji buta.

b said...

Everyone is equal except ahneh? PAP has turned this place into ahneh territory in 50 years.

Anonymous said...

Ahneh territory with ahneh PM to boot. Ok, Ok, maybe ahneh seat warmer.

Maybe, also a change of name from Sinkieland to 'Republic of Little India'.

Anonymous said...

Respect can come in two ways.

Respect should be earned, but sometimes we are forced to respect something or someone, like the law.

So, which is it?