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I am Singaporean X – Lesser Mortal Organisations January 22, 2009

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II.

So lately some people have accused a particular Perm Sec of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of being insensitive when writing a travelogue of how he and his family spent a mountain of money on a cooking course in Paris.  Many were angry and felt that his display of extravagance was really unsuitable for the current situation in Singapore.   For it, he was reprimanded for ‘being insensitive.’ (but personally, aren’t they all quite insensitive?  I mean, a certain Old Grand Master is quite insensitive when he tells us the Mystery of Life)  And just when it started to quiet down and people started to move on, this issue was brought up in Parliament and another guy an MP for Pasir-Ris/Punggol Town Council, Charles Chong, made this following epic statement:

Maybe it made lesser mortals envious and they thought maybe he was a little bit boastful.

Firstly, it made me ask the question the Rock used to ask when he was still wrestling: WHO IN THE BLUE HELL ARE THESE GUYS?

Anyway, i agree with what’s been said on The Void Deck, in that i don’t really give a damn about how he spends his money.  Publicising it, though, was wrong, example of family time it may be.  It’s also amusing seeing how the PAP shoots itself in the foot time and time again, and this time, it’s even a combination.  I swear, if they ever invented an arcade machine for shooting yourself in the foot, i would play it all the time.

Actually, Tan Yong Soon could have evaded this whole thing by not signing off as some Perm Sec or something.  After all, who the hell knows who’s the Perm Sec for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (the Newater Minister?) And who the hell knows who is Charles Chong?  I sure as hell don’t.  Seems our world-class press is as world-class as it seems, because it tells us all these juicy details which ought to have been left out and relegated to the silenced world of office and political gossip.

As for ‘lesser mortals’ – now we know what we are really in the eyes of the elites, no matter what form of damage control they may attempt.  Of course, a semantic switch is an attempt at defusing the situation, but i guess i can say ‘nice try.’  Changing ‘they’ to ‘us’ must have been one well thought-out strategy, but as you can see, he still cuts no glass with the Net.  But hey, at least the guy replied to Wayang Party and didn’t relegate us to the crazy ward, did he?  Also, it’s nice to know how Singapore, Inc. sees us – indeed, as economical units.  Did you see his definition of ‘lesser mortals?’

After hearing Minister Teo Chee Hean read out the salary scales of senior civil servants in response to a question by NMP Siew KH, I can safely say that I am not in the same league as any Permanent Secretary or any Office Holder.

It seems that he could only safely say he wasn’t in the same league as any Perm Sec after hearing Teo Chee Hean read out the salary scales of senior civil servants.  Very good…i guess we, then, the non-MPs who don’t earn at least 10 grand a month, are less than vermin.  Since he called himself a lesser mortal, i think we are relegated to being less than a lesser mortal…perhaps we’re like ants.  We’re fine if we don’t bite the lesser mortals, or if we don’t set them on fire, but once we do…dangerous, these lower life-forms.

Also, there was no apologies.  But then again, when do we get apologies from the Gahmen?  Extracting a ‘sorry’ from the Government is tougher than pulling teeth.  Also, isn’t it interesting how it’s all the non-Godlike mortals which are drawing all the fire? I think to reach Godlikeness and the realm of money enough to swim in, you have to pass an important PR exam on how to give yourselves more money without actually infuriating the peasantry too much.  Those down there, although they’re not Godlike yet, are already trying to act as if they are.  Arrogance?  These humans are walking around thinking they are God (which they are compared to us ants,) but they forget Zeus, ready to electrify them with a lightning bolt up the ass.  Who could too, incidentally, be affected by a lot of angry ants who sting hard enough to push them into action.

It means that elitism and arrogance is something which has pervaded the social elite so much that the top level elites are smart enough not to explicitly show their elitism, and the lower level elites are there to bear all the flak which comes their way.  And that there is a clear Us/Them dichotomy, with Us having nothing of Them and vice versa.  Uncontrolled meritocracy, hear, hear!  In the end, uncontrolled meritocracy leads to the birth of the royal family, anyway, and his bunch of consorts.  Keep the peasants blind with materialism and the insane scrabble for money, and we shall prosper as long as they are too busy to try and root us from power.  Oh, and make sure they’re not too unhappy too.

An ideal political system, no?  Machiavelli would have been proud.

Next up is this on the Association of Bloggers.  What’s up with this Association thing after all?  Everything must form an Association.  But well, even ants must form a nest, right?  But the main question is: is there a need for an association? Will i have to follow a particular association manifesto?  Do i have a writing quota?  What concrete benefits does the association do for the member, who pays 60 bucks a year?  Kampung spirit needs 60 bucks a year meh?  Also, is the state of the blogosphere THAT appalling?  What is ‘appalling?’  Is it simply ‘not nice?’  If ABS is about a place of rational discourse, rational discourse can be found everywhere, even if the language is coarse.

Lastly, kampung spirit is one thing, but it also means representing the kampung.  I think if bloggers have to speak up about something which affects Singapore, they speak up as Singaporeans.  Is that not kampung enough?  Talk of an association reminds me of having to discuss various methods and views before deciding on the course of action and then publishing it as a blog article.  If that is so, how is the individual going to be heard?  Will there be no moderation, and members may write as they wish?  Belonging to an association means agreeing tacitly to rules and regulations.

I am all for a stronger blogosphere.  But i am not all for factions.  That is why i am more for article collectors like The Singapore Daily (with chiobus included) over the politisation of the Blogosphere (TOC, Wayangparty, etc.) which receive undoubtedly higher popularity, and higher publicity.  Do we have to join an organisation in order for us to be heard?  If so, then what’s the use of the Internet as a ‘free space’, when if my views are radically different, i am going to be attacked on all sides and sent to a virtual crazy ward?  In doing so, where’s the difference between the Net and Singapore in principle?

Allow me to refer you to TOC’s take on this whole hullabaloo…there are contradictions here and there between what they want and what’s going on, so to speak.