Ho Kwon Ping – A Rebel is also a human bean

Ho Kwon Ping delivered his first Nathan Series lecture under the roof of the Institute of Policy Studies in a much unexpected tone. He was a young rebel turned business tycoon and many people were wondering what his thoughts were over the years and the changing role and lifestyle he has taken on. How much of the rebel is still in him or left of his youthful idealism of the past.

His lecture was on the next 50 years of the PAP. I could not see any trace of a rebel left in the man but so much deference to the PAP, and, saying all the right things. Maybe he was trying to be polite, after all he was giving a lecture as a fellow of S R Nathan lectures. Anyone expecting some flashes of fire and some unwitting snipes must be disappointed. It was all so tame and so familiar.

First, he expects the PAP to be still a dominant force and still be in charge in the next 15 years, untouchable. Of course it was only his opinion and gazing at his own crystal ball. No one is wiser what tomorrow shall hold for the PAP. But this is a pleasant note to the establishment.

His second point, no opposition party would want to wake up the next morning winning 80 seats in Parliament, even if in a freak election. This is a strange thought in my view. This is a moment that all oppositions will relish and have been waiting for all these years. And why should a winning by the opposition party be called a freak election? Are the people all freaks when they choose the opposition and all sane when they choose the PAP? Of course this is classic establishment rationale. The people are smart when voting for the ruling party but mad if they vote otherwise.

And more, the opposition party would be booted out duly in the next election. The assumption of course is that the opposition is not ready or did not have able leaders to run the country and cannot do good for the people. Only the PAP can. This is also very establishment thinking and very condescending. Only the PAP is able to run the country. Opposition leaders are half bakes and can only drum and make a lot of noise, no substance really. Even after winning an election they would fail miserably and would be kicked out by the people summarily in the next election, as sure as the sun will rise. Really?

And the PAP will play by the democratic rule. The soldiers will not be marched out of their camps to seize power in the event of a freak election. Smell the deference stench? Of course not. This is a democratic country and everyone will play the democratic game, no cheating, no abuse of power, no gerrymandering, no fixing of opposition. And the soldiers will stay out of politics, and a new party will be welcome to rule by the will of the people.

We cannot be worse off than the Indonesians can we? Yudhoyono is the perfect gentleman of a politician. He has shown all the 3rd world leaders how to hand over power gracefully in a democratic system. Are we up to it to learn from the Indonesians, to admit defeat when the people have decided? Or we can be the scoundrels of a 3rd world pretending to be 1st world polity but behaving with the predictability of 3rd world thugs when the time comes.

And, this is classic PAP mantra. No one wants to change the govt. Really, really, really? Ho Kwon Ping said he has spoken to many people and no one really wants a change of govt but everyone wants to vote the opposition. What does he mean by that? I have spoken to many with a totally different set of answers.

There is no trace of rebellious blood left in this senior citizen. Maybe he was just trying to be nice and saying all the right things that people want to hear. Let’s forget about Ho Kwon Ping the young rebel. Everyone grows old with time, very few exceptions. Rebels grow old too.

Kopi Level - Green


Anonymous said...

Men proposes, God disposes.

The old man never figured the internet into his forecast and thought that, with control of the MSM, Unions, Law Society and lawyers and people's mind through veiled threats, his grip on power will be for generations.

Empires have fallen, dynasties have disintegrated, grand visions have always been thwarted by God.

The British empire was the most extensive globally at one time, many dynasties in China did not last and Hitler thought he could conquer the world. Alas, he was defeated by nature, God's will conquers all. It is not for man to dictate.

Humans can judge other humans and proclaim them number one, most brilliant, most powerful and the best in everything, but it is God who make the final judgement. And that is the one that really matters.

Anonymous said...

Hi again RB.

Kwon Ping is not saying 15 years of total PAP dominance. He is breaking it into 15 year blocks and to say "likely" PAP staying in power. But staying in power doesn't mean winning all seats, is it? A gradual erosion is likely.

As for freak results, Singaporeans are not freaks but a significant proportion have weird voting habits. They vote opposition to piss off the PAP and make them do more!

Opposition parties relish winning 80 seats? Tell that to WP, who said they are not ready to take over?

Your narrative suits the TRE school of thought. Kwon Ping has his. Like you said, who can tell?

Anonymous said...

He is definitely not a planter like Darkness. No where near.

Anonymous said...

RB, some, like you, have grown into rebels. They should reflect on this new phenomenon. As for Ho, those waiting for him to open up were duly disappointed. Apart from the trace of acquired arrogance when answering one Chew's question about the prospect of an army coup His prognosis is nothing new.It would not even see the daylight if you had given it.The change in the man is encapsulated in his statement that the PAP retained power for the last 56 years because it had "maintained exemplary transparent governance". Hadn't he heard the calls for transparency by all and sundry, not leaving out Roy, Leong Sze Hian, et.al? And the unabashed use of state organs to ensure its political dominance?

Anonymous said...

I am sniggering.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 9:27, rebels are for the young lah. Oldies are only story tellers in the kopitiam.

Some will call it drumming of old fools. Some kinder will say wisdom of ageing.

Anonymous said...

Extremely Very Polite!

He was extremely polite and kind
in his views and words on the
possible political outcomes for
SG next 50 yrs.....

But, deep inside him, he knows....

He is correct.....

"Don't Say ALL That You Think"

Cheers..... TGIF.......

Anonymous said...

And why should a winning by the opposition party be called a freak election?

Depends on what kind of opposition party lah.

If it is the kind Sinkies are having now, don't say Ho Kwon Ping, even I as oridnary Sinkie also agree it is freak.

Anonymous said...

A rebel billionaire?
If you got rich because of the status quo.
Why would you want to change the status quo?
That is why million dollar salaries are good for the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Quite a useless seminar staged to reaffirm the shakey idea the PAP is still relevant. Goodness! Does this man even realise 25 years is five elections! If that is not endorsing the trek record of the PAP. Then I don't know what is. To say he was polite is to be quite polite and forgiving.

However if it was the likes of darkness and company. Then I think it would be far more interesting. It is always nice to see a handsome man who is well spoken and confident enough to criticise intelligently.

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure to watch a well educated and handsome man speak.


Since they are easy on the eyes and ears. They will always be very influential.

Our hope is the man does not suffer too much. He always seems to be in the wilderness. So faraway from his family. As for the others. They are all in Africa and South America. If only Singapore had more business men like him, we would have good role models for our youths.

Instead we just seem to be able to produce who build malls and run hotels.

patriot said...

Why did All the Brilliant Minds abandon Sin?


Anonymous said...

Ask Darkness.

b said...

No one can predict what will happen in 15 years later, not even the youknowlah. Whether this island will still be around, no one will know. He is just giving his version of opinions/assumptions/presumptions and everyone is at least entitled to do that until the court stops us from doing that.