Monday, 25 September 2017

Walk. Over. The Conspiracy Theories.

So Chan Chun Sing was either prescient when he called her "Madam President", or he let the cat out of the bag - that PAP was going to stage manage Halimah into the Istana. (Or Walk her over to the Istana, except that she's staying put in Yishun.)

The conspiracy theory is that this election was declared a Reserved Election to shut out Tan Cheng Bock.

Let's just say that like all good conspiracy theory, there is no way to disprove that.

So I won't even try. But I'll get back to that later.

The second conspiracy theory concerns the stage management of this Presidential "(S)Election".

Maybe it was planned as far back as 2012, when Halimah took over as Speaker when Michael Palmer had to quit because of "personal indiscretions". As Speaker, Halimah automatically meets the eligibility criteria.

Then the criteria for "private sector" candidates was raised to managing a $500m company. To shut out any other candidates. Not just by raising the bar, but also raising the opportunity costs to the potential candidate:
an eligible private sector candidate would, in all likelihood, be someone running a “very successful and sizeable enterprise” and there would be personal trade-offs involved to “assume a role which essentially has very limited responsibilities”.
In other words, you run a $500m company, you have a job with challenges, you have important and strategic decisions to make, you have deals to close, and you probably have a remuneration considerably more than the $1.6m that POTROS is paid.

Why would you want to "retire"? Because that's what the Presidency is equivalent to - retirement.

So about that first conspiracy theory...

Tony Tan's Presidency was quite uneventful. Would it have been more interesting if Tan Cheng Bock had been president in the last 6 years?

The role of the President of Singapore has been likened to that of a goalkeeper.

If the Goalkeeper of your team has had an exciting game and made spectacular saves, it means that the team is in trouble. It means your defence is not making it, and your strikers aren't taking the fight to other goal.

If the team is busy trying to score and the goalkeeper is behind making a spectacle of himself (or herself), I think the Goalkeeper is not working with the team and not understanding his role very well.

Yes. This was a anti-climax. But if you want exciting, go to the USA. I hear they have a very exciting president. Tweets every few hours. Rocks the boat and world relations. Threatens equally unhinged world leaders with nuclear weapons. And for fun might grab your kitty.

Singapore by comparison is predictable and boring. This is not an accident. This is not a bug. This is a feature of Singapore.

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