White Monkeys and Brown Monkeys

"Chen, however, has not turned out to be so brilliant. In Parliament, he makes good prepared speeches, with a written script, but in the followup, he is all over the place. It simply does not gel for him. If he has a keen mind that has thought through subjects deeply, he certainly has done a good job of concealing it in his performances. That is not just my view. The journalists reporting on political news, and voters sitting in the public gallery may have felt the same way. The weight of public expectation of the man, given his rather impressive resume, has probably added to the disappointment."
- Lee Kuan Yew on Worker's Party Chen Show Mao
You do not expect Lee Kuan Yew to shower praise on the opposition and that was quite mildly put as a criticism if you ask me. But that was from One Man's View of the World, not Hard Truths. The humbler approach seems like a good differenting factor.

Say, if what Mr Lee said of Mr Chen Show Mao was fact, what came to my mind was how would it turn out if Chen Show Mao made his political debut for the PAP instead of the WP. After all his career credentials would have qualified him for the PAP. Perhaps Chen will be keeping mum in Parliament most of the time, like many of the PAP MPs.

During last night's dinner with the good ol secondary school pals who could make it, I asked them a question, "Would you vote for a taxi driver even if he showed clear intent of his intelligence and a genuine passion to serve the people?" None of them said yes. One reason that I offered was you need an elite to counter the other elites in Parliament and it was somewhat agreed. So we disagree with elitism but we will vote for elitism.

You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Could this be neccessarily true when you still get monkeys after paying gold? Look at the large array of white monkeys in Parliament. If you can't spot them too well, look around in one of the Ding Tai Fung restaurant and you might find a big one snitching accessories.

My good buddies somewhat agreed that policies are crafted by the civil service, so is day-to-day running of the country. The MPs and Ministers make final decisions of the real work done by someone else. You can't really expect an eye surgeon to review a sports policy or a drain cleaning policy well, can you? So does it matter if the taxi driver wears that suit and try his hand at it? Especially if he ask for just 20% of what the white monkeys demand.

Or do we place characters in appointment because of their social network or the ability to influence. People who hold the ability to make their fans say 'Yes' to anything they say may even make more effective leaders than scholars. Such as rock stars, church pastors or the blogger with three million fans. That is if we can get past the stigma.

Politicians globally overstates their importance all the time. They make their jobs sound rocket science while in reality a lot of common sense does make a difference between a good or bad politicians. Sometimes great ideas draw on common sense and works out of neat simplicity. Do we really need every decision maker to be a golden monkey?

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