Our views on MM Lee and SM Goh’s exit

Posted on 16 May 2011

Let’s be frank: We’re skeptical about their departure from The Cabinet.

By the editors of New Nation

Lovingly captioned from www.news.gov.sg

MM Lee Kuan Yew and SM Goh Chok Tong called it a day as cabinet ministers on 14th May, 2011.

This is a momentous day, no? Honestly, we don’t know and we have yet to find out.

So does this mean both ex-PMs can no longer go around beating the other parliamentarians over their heads anymore? Or can they?

We can only wait to find out.

We have heard quite a bit from the mainstream media about what old, stuffy foggies have to say about this occasion.

Here at New Nation, the three editors with a combined age of 77 years old (which is only 10 years older than an average Straits Times reader), pick each others’ brains for the answer.

Here are our responses to four basic questions:

1. Where was I when I heard the news?
2. What does it mean to me?
3. Why now?
4. Is there an alternative meaning?

Lovingly captioned from www.asiaone.com

Terence’s response:

1. I was at home minding my own business. The first thing I remember doing after hearing the news was telling my dad about it.

2. I hope the move is just the first of many changes they’ll make. I think it’s an effective move, a sure crowd-pleaser for a population hungry for change. But the PAP cannot stop there; they need to dig deeper into existing policies and address issues Singaporeans are concerned about. Like skyrocketing HDB prices. Otherwise Singaporeans will move to JB.

3. I don’t find the timing at all surprising. The move is an admission that the two giants have lost touch with the ground. It’s just a pity they didn’t recognise this earlier; it’s like they have finally woken up from their slumber after being bitch slapped by a legion of Singaporeans.

4. The pressure is now on our Prime Minister to deliver change. Tactically, the move by the two Guardians of Singapura would force the government in a different direction. That’s because if Xiao Lee doesn’t deliver, the dramatic gesture would then look like mere tokenism, which wouldn’t sit well with the electorate. This is a moment that could define his legacy.

Belmont’s response:

1. I was in the car when my girlfriend got on and alerted me about it. That was about 630 p.m. (a bit late, I know) because I am usually woefully ignorant of anything earth-shattering as I still refuse to carry a smartphone.

2. The surprise of the announcement turned into skepticism in about three seconds. Why now? That’s the major question still bugging me since Saturday! Because does it really make a difference if both ex-PMs operated from outside the Cabinet? If Hu Jintao showed up next week bringing tea looking for His Leeness, it will still be official but in an unofficial manner, no? Business as usual in all aspects but title, right? Up till now, I’m still considering the shrewdness of such a move. This is politics so no one can ever take anything at face value.

3. The timing of such moves are always suspect because almost nothing in politics is not deliberate. Yes, the ground sentiment towards the PAP has turned foul in recent years, but both men could have ride it out, no? Reading the speculations online and the official explanation from the joint press statement released by both ex-PMs did not do much in sensing something else is brewing. Maybe I’m just paranoid.

4. I feel that His Leeness simply cannot exit this life holding onto the title of Minister Mentor because it just does not look good in his biography. What would historians say? They’ll say he is a tyrant. Or something like that.

Instead of controlling his people, SM Goh can now focus on controlling his weight.

Shihan’s response:

1. I stepped out of the shower and was watching a Taiwanese variety show while letting my hair dry. Partner’s mum broke the news to me and compared MM Lee stepping down to Japanese Ministers quitting after something goes wrong.

2. It means leadership renewal. Like really, instead of merely paying lip service. It also means that the PAP is finally taking voter sentiment seriously. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean anything much in terms of concrete change because the two fellas will still be serving as MPs, and will still command a sense of influence within the echelons of the elite. But a symbolic change is still better than no change at all.

3. Nao, because GE is just over and change just gave the PAP a big tight slap in the face. They have finally woken up their idea after a shocking 60% win and they’ve realised they somehow need to appease the masses. The online media has been building up MM Lee as demon without par so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s the first sacrifice. Also probably because he’s been making inchoate remarks to the international press the past few years and the foreign ministry’s tired of cleaning up his piss.

4. An alternative meaning to the retirement of MM Lee and SM Goh? Maybe MM Lee just wanted to retire and the cabinet didn’t want SM Goh to be promoted to MM. Might as well retire the both at once.

What are your thoughts on their exit from The Cabinet? Do share with us!

Join our community on FacebookTwitter, or follow us on the S.alt app for Android.

This post was written by:

- who has written 231 posts on New Nation.


Contact the author

  • Something to consider

    I just think life still goes on, because I feel nothing fundamentally changed – unless the government responds differently to the needs of the people.

    • yimming

      What exactly are the needs of the people? And I mean economically viable people who want to live in an economically viable first-world society.

  • yimming

    In retiring from the Singapore Cabinet, LKY frees himself to become a deity. Like God, his power over us does not come from being part of the Singapore government. 

Trending Travel Videos