Monday, 25 September 2017

Walk. Over. The Conspiracy Theories.

So Chan Chun Sing was either prescient when he called her "Madam President", or he let the cat out of the bag - that PAP was going to stage manage Halimah into the Istana. (Or Walk her over to the Istana, except that she's staying put in Yishun.)

The conspiracy theory is that this election was declared a Reserved Election to shut out Tan Cheng Bock.

Let's just say that like all good conspiracy theory, there is no way to disprove that.

So I won't even try. But I'll get back to that later.

The second conspiracy theory concerns the stage management of this Presidential "(S)Election".

Maybe it was planned as far back as 2012, when Halimah took over as Speaker when Michael Palmer had to quit because of "personal indiscretions". As Speaker, Halimah automatically meets the eligibility criteria.

Then the criteria for "private sector" candidates was raised to managing a $500m company. To shut out any other candidates. Not just by raising the bar, but also raising the opportunity costs to the potential candidate:
an eligible private sector candidate would, in all likelihood, be someone running a “very successful and sizeable enterprise” and there would be personal trade-offs involved to “assume a role which essentially has very limited responsibilities”.
In other words, you run a $500m company, you have a job with challenges, you have important and strategic decisions to make, you have deals to close, and you probably have a remuneration considerably more than the $1.6m that POTROS is paid.

Why would you want to "retire"? Because that's what the Presidency is equivalent to - retirement.

Friday, 8 September 2017

What would Tan Chuan Jin do now?

I can't quite pin down how I feel about his nomination as Speaker of Parliament.

Firstly, there are ample comments about how this is a "demotion" for him. From a minister with a million dollar salary, to Speaker of Parliament with about half that salary/allowance.

From a contender as a future PM, to an also-ran, an early drop out. This was a consolation prize at best.

I feel for him because these comments could hurt.

The views of people who see him as a failure can be disheartening.

If one allows oneself to be disheartened.