Finally, the dream team is taking shape.
In the form of Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Tan Cheng Bock, in a place called West Coast Hawker Centre, over bowls of porridge and on a lazy Sunday morning.
There was much suspense when Dr Tan went MIA for a few months after appearing in a meeting, led by SDP’s Dr Chee, and attended by reps from various opposition parties. He finally reappeared on FaceBook on 13 Oct with a family photo taken in Osaka, Japan. Coincidentally, rumours has it that LHY has decided to settle down in Tokyo since he is no longer CAAS chairman. No more official duties in Singapore already. Can’t help but wonder if Dr Tan’s post on 13 Oct was a preamble to the breakfast meeting with LHY and if the two had already struck a deal back in Japan.
I remembered last June, LHY fled to Hong Kong with his wife, after openly criticising his bro Lee Hsien Loong and saying that he feared his big bro would persecute them. One year on, he is rumoured to have settled down in Tokyo. If this is true, LHY really has the qualities of a great leader – because even when fleeing for their lives, he and his family are still living in style and able to pursue their career and love interests. Hong Kong and Tokyo are popular travel destinations for many Singaporeans; his son Li Shengwu is enjoying success in his career pursuit in U.S, while his other son Li Huanwu was recently pictured happily with his gay partner at Pink Dot in Singapore.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the dream team.
I also remembered that LHY and LSW were very adamant about not having another Lee in Singapore politics so that there is no Lee Dynasty. LHY also said before that he has no interest in politics. But after this breakfast, I wonder if LHY is thinking of contesting with Dr Tan in the upcoming GE. I hope not, because it will look terribly bad on him for going against his words.
Technically, if LHY and his son don’t stand as candidates, the only other Lee in the next GE will be LHL. No dynasty this way. So, maybe it’s wiser for LHY to just pump in the money (i heard he’s damn rich) and pull strings from Japan and US?
And please please please, don’t start another Oxley drama because Singaporeans are just so sick of this soap opera. Better to keep your dirty linen at home if you really want to help Dr Tan.
Many people said Dr Tan is damn sore because he lost in the first Presidential Election narrowly and he couldn’t stand for the next due to the constitutional changes. He needs to make a comeback to redeem himself. That’s quite harsh. After all, he was a hugely popular MP during his heydays.
Some compare him to Dr M. But I think that’s stretching everyone’s expectation a bit too much. Dr M was a successful PM before he led Pakatan Harapan to victory. He led Malaysia through financial crisis and was directly responsible for Malaysia’s economic development. Sadly, when Lee Kuan Yew was around, Dr Tan was never a political office holder. Not even a Parliamentary Secretary. So even though he was a successful MP in his now-no more Ayer Rajah ward, he never had access to or was involved in ministries and government work and was never a decision maker responsible for policies that affect all Singaporeans. It would be unfair to expect so much from Dr Tan if he ever becomes our PM.
But I think we shall have faith that Dr Tan, at 78 years old, represents the change and the future that Singaporeans want to see. Exactly what we want to change and how he can change them, we can give Dr Tan and his team of never-tried-and-tested folks 5 years to figure out. What’s the worse that can happen by giving Dr Tan + LHY’s $$$ the chance to try? Just maybe economic no-growth, tensions with our neighbours and an uncertain outlook. But at least they have 5 years time to make things work.
We should be ok, i think.