Beating Up Weaklings Only Turns You into A Weakling

I’ve just read an article by Al Jazeera’s senior correspondent, Marwan Bishara, that seems to sum up one of the big issues of the current General Election, the seeming inability of a very powerful entity to get the basics right.

Mr. Bishara’s article was about the proposed annexation of Palestinian lands in the Middle East by Israel, as prescribed in the Peace Plan concocted by Jared Kushner. Mr. Bishara, who is an Israeli citizen, argues that Israel, which is a dominant military force, backed blindly by the world’s most powerful military force, will only harm itself if it carries out an illegal annexation of Palestinian lands by becoming like the Palestinians. Mr. Bishara’s article can be found at: [LINK]

Although I’m sitting nearly 8,000 kilometres away from the conflict that Mr. Bishara was describing, I was able to see some interesting parallels between the war zone described by Mr. Bishara and my safe, comfortable city state.

There are no obvious similarities. A General Election in Singapore is a seemingly tame affair when compared to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, if you look closely enough, there is an underlying similarity.

Like the Israeli military, Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is by far and away the most dominant force in Singapore’s politics. This is the party that has every tool at its disposal during an election. Singapore’s opposition parties are pretty much like the Palestinian youth hanging out in Ramallah, a pretty disgruntled lot.

Elections in Singapore are pretty much like an armed conflict between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Youth. One side throws stone and the other replies with drone and air strikes, artillery fire and tanks. Then, when the battle reaches its obvious conclusion, the side with the heavy fire power gets commended in the world press for its heroic defense of the homeland, while the kids throwing stones as the tanks mow down their homes, are chastised for holding an irrational hatred to the benevolent overlords.

If you take this comparison further, you’ll like notice that there are further similarities. Like Israel, the PAP has been a success story. Just as the Israeli nation was the nation of no resources that managed to make the desert bloom, the PAP ran tiny Singapore with no natural hinterland and turned it into one of the wealthiest, safest, cleanest places on earth.

Just as Israel shines in so many ways when compared to its neighbours, the PAP has somehow managed to nab the best and brightest and left the opposition with, well……(The Young Pork Munching Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC for example has been calling me because he’s shocked that in this election, the opposition party has been fielding highly qualified candidates).

Unfortunately, the PAP has somehow picked up another similarity with the State of Israel. It has become the living example of what Donald Trump calls “So much winning, that you’ll get bored of winning.”

Israel is a military and economic powerhouse that has spent years beating up a beaten people led by corrupt incompetents. I remember an Algerian describing the late Yasser Arafat as “That Bastard who stole everything.” The Middle East only democracy produced Bibi Netanyahu, who was the world’s first slick pioneer of populist demagoguery. Bibi built his entire career by taking the easy way out of doing things like making peace and by blaming it on everyone and everything else. Despite its economic success, Israel has been able to shake off a Prime Minister who spends a worrying amount of time in court defending himself from corruption charges. While Israel for the most part remains a vibrant and democratic, one has to ask if it is growing too tolerant of the type of leader that one often associated with Israel’s Palestinian neighbours.

Is something happening to the PAP, a party that has run a highly regarded government for more than five decades. The PAP has been a highly disciplined, well run ship. Its machinery was superb. The opposition traditionally consisted of a few disgruntled people who spent their time trying to brandish this or that to get a bit of attention.

However, things are starting to change. Our opposition parties seem to be getting their act together, while the PAP has been running around like a clueless chicken. The Workers Party (the only opposition party with seats in parliament) has been a model of party discipline and unity. The political party managed to run a Group Representative Constituency (GRC or for non-Singaporeans, a system where voters get four for the price of one) despite every effort made to ensure they failed.

The People’s Progress Singapore Party (PSP), which has becoming the “exciting” party to watch, also proved remarkably disciplined. When one of its members was involved in questionable behavior, he was expelled.

By contrast, at least two potential Members of Parliament have been involved in some rather weird stuff. There was Ivan Lim, and there’s also Ng Ling Ling, who can’t explain what she means how she managed to set up an institute where she was hired to be the assistant director after it was set up. The story can be found at: [LINK]

Just as Mr. Bishara said that Israel would become Palestine if it conquered Palestinian lands, might it also be a case of the PAP becoming the Opposition if it wins all the seats in parliament in this election?

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

yyy
SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT
Loading...

18 Responses to “Beating Up Weaklings Only Turns You into A Weakling”

  • Billyma:

    PAP ministers & MPS were like holiday makers lying comfortably in beach chairs enjoying the sea the sun & the sand.

    Having ruled since long long ago & gotten 70% of the votes in GE2015, it can’t be help that PAP take it easy relax & bank accounts keep growing.
    PAP is so sure they know Singaporeans & how to manipulate Singaporeans.

    PAP knows there’s no need to really work the entire time, just throw it some small change at Singaporeans a couple of months before election time will do the trick.

    Guess what, it works all the times.
    How about 2020?
    Maybe not. Hope not.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • trublu:

    If you think you are strong,why hide under skirts like GRC,POFMA,PA etc.

    Bullies only!
    Strong n heroic?
    Fqr from it!

    I see victories for DR TAN,DR ANG,Prof Paul,Dr Chee n one or two GRCs elsewhere.

    No CLEAN WHITE SWEEP.
    BUT I HOPE OPPO WINS AMK,that would be VICTORY.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • AristoCATs - say Ooops !:

    > “Ng Ling Ling, who can’t explain what she means how she managed to set up an institute where she was hired to be the assistant director after it was set up.”
    -

    Padding her CV?
    -
    Hmmm !
    -
    Errr !
    -
    “Men and Women in White”?
    “Whiter than White”?
    -
    Oops.
    -
    Remember the Ballot Box !

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Good people needed:

    Need more good people of integrity and capability into parliament.
    Good for Singapore.
    Does not matter from PAP or Opposition…
    Reject those cannot meet it…defect in Character or lack of empathy for the common man.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • trublu:

    I respect HK YOUNG CITIZENS,THEY STAND UL FOD THEIR RIGHTS AGAINST POWERFUL FORCES UNLIKE OUR OWN YOUNG SGS WHO DONT EVEN LEND A HAND TO HELP WEAKER OLDER COJNTRYMEN N PREFER TO SUCK LOLLIES.

    IF YOUNG SGS LOSE THEIR JOBS TO FTs AFTER GE 2020 IF YOUNG VOTERS ARE NONCHALANT.
    Unlike other countries,PAP GAHMEN HAVE INKED TOO MANY ONE-SIDED FTAs that bind SG into accepting more of their jobless as FTs here.

    Use your brains,young sgs.
    FTs have replaced your uncles,aunties or even your parents n relegated them to be taxi uncles or GRAB FOOD DELIVERY BOYS(OLD BOYS).
    DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE SPARED.

    DONT BLAME OTHERS IFYOU AREA SUCKER.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • trublu:

    China has not kept its words by interfering into HK when the 50 years is not up.
    One country,2 systems is an undertaking that shud be adhered to.

    Big boys love bullying n live to bully.

    50 years is not 23 years?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Partial truth?:

    Lets recognise Bullying like racism , discrimination or biased are common everywhere even one refusal to acknowledged it.

    Just look at Chinese emperors, the woman they took to their chambers majority if not all are fair and white complexion if not beauties. Pro PRC fans comment China dont bully or no racism ….i beg to differ .

    How many married a ugly one. Maybe ZhuGeLiang, ZhongWuYan or JiaNanFeng?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Sojoürner:

    Tang Li:
    Beating Up Weaklings Only Turns You into A Weakling- Just as Mr. Bishara said that Israel would become Palestine if it conquered Palestinian lands, might it also be a case of the PAP becoming the Opposition if it wins all the seats in parliament in this election?

    My own parallelism:
    Israel > PAP; Palestine > Oppositions

    Tang’s very interesting one sided narrative. Fact is, Israel wants Palestine’s land, but not its people and never mentioned the idea of sharing the land. Not in 1948 or in the many other proposals. They did not establish a Palestinian state when Jordan controlled the West Bank or now when they control Gaza. Half a loaf was never considered. All or nothing still stays their demand.

    Let’s not forget the fact that the ‘Palestinians’ are beset by their own internal inability to unite under one government, agree on strategy, compromise for the good of their own people, etc. Add that the ‘Palestinians’ are beset with a lack of unified leadership, the PLO on one hand, Hamas on the other, and one can see it’s more difficult to make a concerted case with a disconcerted leadership.

    Israeli Jews have “offered” nothing more than various forms of rule over non-Jewish Palestinians. The most advantaged Palestinians – those who are Israeli citizens – enjoy at best a second-class citizenship in a state that not only privileges its Jews over its “others,” but privileges Jews the world over, including me.

    I realize it’s not a good deal for Palestinians. But how many more chances will there be for there to finally exist a country legitimately called Palestine?

    Muster some courage and tell West Bank Palestinians that they can forget about an independent state on the West Bank if they didn’t take it.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Bangla Hokkien:

    Just saw a papig lorry driven by a FW, probably Bangla, with loudspeaker blaring Hokkien Propaganda.
    That is how soft papiggies have become.
    They have outsourced their campaigning.
    Probably seeping their afternoon tea in their ivory tower while the Bangla tries to brainwashed the Ah Peks.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Errr..........:

    AristoCATs - say Ooops !:
    > “Ng Ling Ling, who can’t explain what she means how she managed to set up an institute where she was hired to be the assistant director after it was set up.”
    -

    Padding her CV?
    -
    Hmmm !
    -
    Errr !
    -
    “Men and Women in White”?
    “Whiter than White”?
    -
    Oops.
    -
    Remember the Ballot Box !

    This fishy woman used the words “I set up…”, not “We set up….”

    Honesty and integrity are highly questionable and suspect. Quickly got away with using other’s lame excuse Freudian slip.

    Hello we are not 5 years old lah.

    KNN

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Loong did not go EastCoast:

    Why didn’t Loser-Looney show some leadership and stand in East Coast instead.
    Papigs obviously feared WP in EC.
    He was suppose to be retiring; so a lost would not remove the designated PM-in-waiting.
    Perhaps a lost would destroy his non-existing legacy.Would be very Sia Suay; to use a very fashionable, voguish term
    A coward indeed.
    Instead the Party arrowed their PM-in-waiting to that dangerous GRC.
    A lost would result in Sia Suay rubbing his hands in glee; probably the most hated candidate for all the screw-ups, gaffes and insults.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Hi!:

    A gentle correction for facts & history: The word “palestine” was derived from the Egyptian & Hebrew word “pereshet” which translated roughly means rolling, or migratory. It referred to such people who lived north east of Egypt. After the Jews were cruelly persecuted & expelled from their own land Israel, the Roman emperor RENAMED THE AREA OF JUDEA TO “PALESTINE”.

    During much of these period hence, Christians, Muslims & Jews were called “palestinians”. EVEN RIGHT UP TO ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE IN 1948 INTERNATIONAL PRESS CALLED THE JEWS “PALESTINIANS”. Mark Twain remarked the area were much desolate in the many years before Israel’s independence until more & more Jews returned to this area to compliment the Jews who were already there, turning the land dynamic.

    In 1967, ISRAEL OFFERED TO SHARE MUCH LAND W PALESTINIANS BUT THE “PALESTINIANS” WANTED TO RID THE JEWS. War started then Israel captured more of their rightful ANCESTRAL land.

    Palestinian terrorists r offered money for targetting Israel. How criminalistic that is. They maimed n took countless Israeli lives. What credibility has Abbas left with?. This is the real face n gov of “palestine”.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Trust only myself:

    Cannot explain? Err……..not true.

    If you are selected by the white………telling lies is a great honor and usually won’t get caught.

    Remember the chief liar from PE talking about missing TC funds……….now happily retired?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NotMyProblem:

    trublu:
    I respect HK YOUNG CITIZENS,THEY STAND UL FOD THEIR RIGHTS AGAINST POWERFUL FORCES UNLIKE OUR OWN YOUNG SGS WHO DONT EVEN LEND A HAND TO HELP WEAKER OLDER COJNTRYMEN N PREFER TO SUCK LOLLIES.

    IF YOUNG SGS LOSE THEIR JOBS TO FTs AFTER GE 2020 IF YOUNG VOTERS ARE NONCHALANT.
    Unlike other countries,PAP GAHMEN HAVE INKED TOO MANY ONE-SIDED FTAs that bind SG into accepting more of their jobless as FTs here.

    ….

    @trublu; you are right, HK youth are very involved in politic, they knew it is their future. HK youth faced rubber bullet, pepper spray, police brutality and jail in fighting for their cause.

    Singaporeans don’t need to fight that dangerously, we only need to vote wisely. We have to fight back for our jobs, we want to get back the grant for foreigners to study in our universities for our own Singapore students. We want health care for our sick and elders. Our government is not responsible for the unemployment of other countries, just take care of our own unemployment.

    Vote wisely. Don’t worry to vote against the PAP. PAP is not worry at all because of more than 40% of Singapore population consists of immigrants (you can check on United Nation’s Population report).

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PM LHL "talking cock":

    Straits Times: Singapore GE2020: Investors have confidence in S’pore due to quality of government, strong support from people, says PM Lee

    PM Lee is “talking cock”.

    Investors come to Singapore mainly for two reasons: (1) they got a “tax holiday” (do not pay taxes) and (2) “cheap” labour.

    The latter is the reason there are so many foreigners working in Singapore. They are cheaper to employ than locals because foreign workers are exempted from CPF and for males also exempted from reservist training.

    Investors “like” the “quality” of the PAP-run government because it is subservient to foreign investors. It also ensures there are no strikes by workers since unions are tightly-controlled by the government.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Soccerbetting2:

    Somebody here hope opposition will win at AMK. And who is contesting AMK? I understand it is reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam challenging the LHL at AMK. KJ essay writing, ability to speak, debate are distinction quality. However he lacks supporters joining him and his leadership ability isn’t that excellent. Where is all his follower Alex Tan ZX? Still hiding in Australia, maybe tons of coronavirus$$$ attracting him there??? And why is KJ overseas when GE is so near and he need to be Stay home notice for 14 days after returning from overseas. Doesn’t sound logic to go overseas during GE period. Is he intending to migrate overseas and need to busy setup an account there. He doesn’t worry corona virus $$$ may infect him overseas? So while his speeches delivery is distinction quality, his chance is as good as zero unless the whole economy goes down. Even if Tan Cheng Bock were to contest AmK alone without LHY, also unlikely to win at AMK. So how could KJ win at AMK.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Taleban:

    “trublu:
    July 1, 2020 at 5:28 pm (Quote)
    China has not kept its words by interfering into HK when the 50 years is not up.
    One country,2 systems is an undertaking that shud be adhered to.

    Big boys love bullying n live to bully.

    50 years is not 23 years?

    That is China internal business. Let them settle among themselves. Don’t be like USA, poking his nose into other people problem.
    We concentrate on GE2020. VTO or you want to fight in the street with the police? VTO.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • But:

    @ Taleban

    Agreed but Can u please tell Chua Chin Leng or Great Asia to fu*k off when they sell CCP propaganda else …everyone entitled to freedom of speech and their opinions.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
Member Services
Self-SupportMembers LoginSelf-Support
Sponsored Advertisement
Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement
Announcement
Advertisements
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic
Advertisement

UA-67043412-1