First of all, I do not usually post on a current event so soon after it breaks. So this is a rarity, and in case you have a suspicion, yes, this blog piece is all about exploiting the currency of PAP's David Ong resignation as an MP for Bt Batok SMC. So if you are reading this and was drawn here because you Googled "David Ong", thank you for visiting this blog. Exploiting his name has worked.
The reason I do not usually post on breaking stories is that the facts are still coming out, and really, all people have are speculation. Which does not mean that people keep from speculation and restrain themselves. The lack of information just gives them more scope, more freedom for speculation.
And we could all do with a little more freedom.
And a little more information.
This is after all, the internet age, the information age. We NEED to know. NOW!
Or rather, we want to know.
So the latest, as I write this, is that David Ong was having an affair with a PAP member. And the scandal broke because the husband of the PAP member made a complaint. The MP then chose to resign. Because, well, politics.
The two other MPs with "personal indiscretions" in recent years were Yaw Shin Leong, and Michael Palmer.
They were both in SMCs - Single Member Constituencies.
Perhaps this was misunderstood to mean the MPs were Single?
Or maybe SMC will now mean "Sex Mad Candidate"?
Seriously, is there something about SMCs that make the MPs somehow vulnerable to "personal indiscretions"?
I believe so.
The SMC MP has very specific qualities. They must be able to win the ground, and for this, they cannot be the "facts and policy" type of MP or minister. They cannot be policy wonks in ivory towers. The SMC candidate has to be the kind of person that can engage with the grassroots, and win their trust.
These candidates have to be charming, disarming, personable, likeable, and interesting and interested in people. When they speak to you, they must evoke trust, sincerity, and affiliation.
In other words, they have to make you like them enough to vote for them.
For some, this may be enough to make them fall in love, or at least have feelings for the MP.
In other words, these MPs are "auntie killers" and can charm the pants (or skirts) off you.
At least, that's my theory on the GRC and the SMC.
[Side note on Yaw Shin Leong, Michael Palmer, David Ong, and personal indiscretion.
As far as I'm concerned, personal indiscretions are... personal. IMHO, I do not think that it affects one's ability to do the job or not do the job. Unless it does - like if one is having an affair with a contractor or a vendor, and there may be questions about impartiality.
But I do note that personal indiscretions undermines one's moral authority. And if that is critical to the job, then, yes it does affect one's ability to do the job. The reason I do not know is because, hey, I'm not an MP.
And of course as an MP, one would be subject to the code of conduct (stated or unstated) of one's political party.
My opinion aside, the political reality is that the public (and therefore political parties) are leery of any hint of impropriety. So the reality is, they have to resign. My point is, this need to resign is almost completely driven by political considerations rather than any real or significant operational or functional considerations.]
Exploiting David Ong II [Addendum of Mar 13]
So CSJ has hinted the he might possibly stand as a candidate for the Bt Batok By-Election. This was promptly reported by the press.
But... is this news?
Really, the surprise would be if CSJ said that he was NOT going to stand in that election.
Same for KJ, TJS, and GMS. If they flat out said that they would NOT contest in the BE because they have not worked the ground and have not built up a presence there, THAT would be surprising and THAT would be news.
But of course, they would run. It is the democratic thing to do.
And of course, their egos would not be a consideration.
[I have left out Benjamin Pwee because I'm not sure about his ego. But I believe he has said that he would likely run. So I could be wrong.]