Mas Selamat Part Deux
Okay I guess I blogged without really thinking about the issue. I’ve read the dozens of pages of reports and the followups in ST and I’ve followed some, not all, of the discussions on the blogosphere.
I think PM played a politically shrewd move. I had myself asked the question, should Mr Wong Can’t Sing resign? Of course, it was a question that was asked in passing, knowing full well that it would not happen. Did I want it to? Maybe not entirely and that is, I think, why Low Thia Khiang also hesitated when asked point blank by PM.
No, it was a shrewd move to focus entirely on the extreme measure of the sack and argue that its ridiculous, thereby deflecting the necessary need for censure.
The Online Citizen wrote that it wanted at least the offer of resignation. That it was not just the incompetence that let him out in the first place, but how it handled the entire situation. From the slow leaking of information, to the reluctance to acknowledge that it was at fault, to the opaqueness of the COI report and to its arrogance to the final end. And of course, that the PM himself has refused to censure his trusted DPM.
Therein lies the problem. A ahem confluence of factors has really created this cauldron of boiling sentiment. It’s not just Mas Selamat, who I think we have to thank for for the raising of such hackles, but everything else that is wrong with this government. It’s sitting in the clouds, insisting that it has the monopoly of information and wisdom by surrounding with people scoring 4 As. It refuses to open itself up to criticism, taking any jibe at its leaders as a personal affront to the PM. It is the hegemon, writhing and squirming against a rising tide of opposition, pushing back and ceding none except for a few steps.
By focusing on the sack and the ludicrousness of the suggestion, PM has done it again. What we, I at least, really want is to see someone being taken to task. Surely, a low level failure is connected to something higher. As a sergeant in the army, I am always always questioned if my men does something wrong, in camp or outfield. Even if its a minor thing, much less a major thing. If the squadmate, say, lets loose a spare round without being told to do so, it’s a major incident and everyone down the line from the CO will be questioned, interrogated and, if needed, censured. Where was this process of discipline? For a government which prides itself on integrity, this is sorely lacking.
So instead of calling for the sack, which everyone knows is not going to happen, let’s settle for something less. A demotion to Parliamentary Secretary. At that level, he is able to clean up the ISD’s act without having to worry about SDP’s antics on the road and maybe learn some humility in the process.