The Strange Disappearance of The Men-in-White

As long as I could remember as a little boy, they were always there.  One or two of them would come to our house almost every week to talk to my dad, and neighbours.  They asked him what issues he might have regarding anything really.  Whatever my dad raised, they would promise to do something about it and come back to him with some answers. They always returned. Most times, my dad seemed quite happy with whatever actions reportedly taken. 

I grew up accustomed to see them around the community. On some occasions, they would wear their all-white signature shirts and pants, or skirts for the ladies.  Later, a book would be written about these Men-in-White, or MIW, who belong to the People’s Action Party (PAP) who has formed the government of Singapore over the past 55 years since 1959.  

Just over a week ago on 23 March 2015, MM Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister (1965-1990) and the Founder of modern Singapore passed away at the age of 91 years old.  During the following National Mourning Week (23-29 March), I did not see any MIW.  Indeed, where did the MIW go as the nation engulfed in sorrow and grief?  He was one of the Founders of the PAP, and the longest-serving Secretary-General of the Party of MIWs; their Grandmaster, their Paramount Leader, their Mentor, Advisor and General of Generals who led the MIWs from victory to victory at every general election battle after battle over the past 50 years!

Did the MIWs scatter upon the death of their first leader Lee Kuan Yew?  Lee’s son, Hsien Loong, is now the 3rd Prime Minister, after PM Goh Chok Tong.  Were the MIWs so devastated by the loss of MM Lee that they became dissipated, disorganised and disappeared?
I decided to investigate the strange disappearance last week of the ubiquitous Men-in-White members of the PAP rank and file.  Here’s the Report of the purportedly missing MIW.   

The first discovery was that the MIW did not disappear last week during the National Mourning Week.  It was such a relief and comfort.  Yes, their PAP Branches remained opened as per their weekly schedule from Monday to Friday.  Yes, the MIW were there as usual serving the residents who came to see them.  However deep their sorrows and grief over the death of MM Lee, the MIW remembered that the weekly Meet-the-People Session (MPS) were instituted by him to connect the PAP to the people regularly.  This Mission continues relentlessly even as MM Lee rested in state at the Istana’s Sri Temasek and Parliament House later. 

The people’s issues and grievances have to be heard; their petitions to appropriate government bodies advocated, and they have to be assured of being represented, so that the masses’ confidence in the “Party of the People” be always reinforced and sustained.  For the MIW, the PAP is always there to help lift up the poor, assist in the healing of the sick and the protection of the weak.  Overall, the continuing Mission of the MIW is to assure, ensure and create the greatest benefits, the greater good, for the largest number of Singaporeans for a more secure future and better society for them, their children and their children’s children. 

During the National Mourning Week, the MIW were in fact everywhere, somewhere and anywhere the observance activities were taking place.  And then some. The MIW were there among the people queuing up to 6-10 hours along Clarke Quay, UOB Plaza, One Fullerton and the Cavenagh Bridge on Wednesday, as well as the Padang over the next 3 days.  As always, the MIW enjoy no special privileges or special shorter queue, and they also help to ferry the old and elderly as well as distribute water to the people in the queue.

No, we did not see the MIW in their customary white attires. The Men-in-White had joined common cause with the People-in-Black united in the common painful sorrow of the death of the People’s Champion.  They were indistinguishable. Dressed in common black, the MIW and people entwined in painful grief as they comfort one another to make the transition easier to bear.  The pain grew deep and unbearable as to be intolerable at times during the funeral procession on Sunday.  Together, they were one; united in loss, side-by-side as one people, facing tomorrow as one nation and reaching beyond our grasp towards realizing the fuller vision of the remarkably extraordinary man who took us on the road of no return arriving at the Metropolis which he promised, and which he has now entrusted and bequeathed to us all – MIW and people – to be One People and One Nation forever.

The Mystery solved – the MIW did not disappear last week.  Perhaps, they are always with us and never left us under any circumstances.  In times like the mourning and passing of our Father of the Nation, it is refreshing to know that MM Lee has left behind his MIW to guide and lead Singapore through whatever challenges and prospects await us.  We shall know that MM Lee is always with us, his legacies our foundation and his words of wisdom our pillars, as long as the MIW are around. 

Remembering MM Lee Kuan Yew:


Anonymous said...

Love him or hate him, LKY is a part of the Singaporean's psychic. We are all MIW is many ways ... "do not litter", Q-ing, Singlish etc. Even the daftee Amos is a pitiful (defective?) by-product of LKY's Singapore. Recycle him through Changi Academy and he could change, maybe. The IB who mindlessly sniped at every critic and outspoken Singaporean missed the point - LKY wants us to
debate, think and argue for a better Singapore. Stifle disagreements (without profanities and vulgarities, of course!), we are all poorer and LKY is not in us.

Anonymous said...

Ya-man, I got white shirts, white T-shirts and white jeans too. Checking around just now, almost everybody also got, and their mothers, sisters and lovers too.
We are all MIW ... !
Thank you, MM LKY.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

There were still there, but changed their clothes to "blend in" with the rest of the sheeple.

Afterall, if you're going to suck oblong dick, better to adopt a disguise ;-)

jjgg said...

Can't really understand why there is a need to explain the disappearance of MIWs..there are many unsung contributors to the week..why be so defensive?...one suspects the intention of this post is to glorify the absence of the MIWs...a bit tiresome le

patriot said...

Haha.. ..

The Cynical me suspects strife or infighting for power. And I am quiye sure that those young X-military turks will challenge the Older Academic and Professionals holding the Higher Positions in the Cabinet.

To gel with the People is to source for votes in the Impending General Election. There could possibly be some older Cabinet Members calling it quit to live in luxury here or likely overseas away from the Prying eyes of the Locals.

It shall be fun to see how things go with the Demise of the Godfather.


Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ patriot:

I think is it always wise to be skeptical. However I doubt if there's in-fighting. The crafty old bugger would have done his best to ensure "safeguards" were in place. Which doesn't mean to say some kind of internal coup couldn't happen.

Singapore politics is quite stable and thus boring. It's not like Malaysia or Thailand where there are obvious tussles for power on several fronts. The thing is also, to the PAP, they IDOLISE Lee Kuan Yew. The young ministers especially, he is like a god to them.

Anyway, gossip and dirty laundry is hard to keep hidden in Singapore. A significant part of the online community is 100% suspicious all the time---you're not alone ;-)

OK, ministers. Start earning your pay lah!

Anonymous said...

Is the nature of a Sinkie different from other species? If not, human nature will take its own cause and bickering will occur in a matter of time, follow by politicking.

Goh said...

Use knee cap think oso can know they are dedicated to their job and busy with their constituency.
Who will feel comfortable staying away during this mourning period.If not because i have to work i will even go and guard the coffin round the clock for free if they allow me.
No matter how sad they are they will not let their supporters down by not turning up for their MP sessions or serving their constituency. They know the priority.
When others are wearing black , only no brainers will wear the opposite.
Commonsense. No need waste time to investigate.
Looks like I must oso go get a title oso.Looks easy .

Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patriot said...

Matilah Singapura;

There WONT be any coup, there is only ambition for power and fame.
The X-military Men are supposed to specialize in strategy. The Academics and Professiobals are experts in their fields. As for governing a nation, the First Thing is to grab the Power, few like to share power and money. Some who had made enought may just walk away from the Tussle and seek safety.

Let's see how it pans out.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I looong ago already MIW leh. I from Raffles Institution at age 13 already had to put on school uniform white and white leh.

What MIW are you talking about?

I also got contribute to building of Singapore leh.
Now I 70 years old already, you mean I now cannot be MIW, is it?

MIW must be from PAP and only PAP members ah?

How come so narrow minded, ha? Can I call the WIM or not? May be better to call them WIM, right?

You want to split the country into two divisions, is it? One group called MIW and another group called Non-MIW, is it?

Divide an Rule Policy, is it?

FFFFFFuuuukkkkk stupid!

Anonymous said...

Singapore Fairy Tales (Limpeh Kali Kong) - Grandfather's Story From the Crypt
"... it is refreshing to know that MM Lee has left behind his MIW to guide and lead Singapore through whatever challenges and prospects await us."

Ya lor.
What more do Singaporeans want?
Three meals in a hawker centre, a food court or a restaurant?
With LKY's MIW "protecting" Singaporeans.
Wah!. I feel so rich.
More good years!

Virgo49 said...

See your CPF statements and smile

But the monies does not belong to you

Got GST top ups of s few hundred bucks and your few hundred thousands is not yours


Anonymous said...


patriot said...