Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Steve Chia's Demise
The opposition in Singapore has taken another knock in it's bid to improve their credibility again. Just when Singapore thought that they have finally realised a potential well-versed, well educated young man in the form of Steve Chia to contest the PAP, he trips and fall over his own shoelaces. It is hard to comprehend the extent of the damage that is already done to his budding political reputation. But, he knows that the damage is large enough to destroy whatever credibility he has left. Who will believe him when he says that PAP are unjust and discriminating in their policies? After all, he is no better.
Any politician will know that private and public affairs cannot be mixed. Shakespeare showed it clearly in his two plays, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra. Othello fell because he let jealousy rear it's ugly head, Antony fell because of his insistence of being with Cleopatra and his subsequent neglect of the political state of the country. Now right here in Singapore, Steve Chia fell because he let his passion rule. He allowed his passion for nude photos to ruin his budding political career.
Unfortunately, Mr Chia still does not believe that this passion is wrong. After all, he believes that Singaporeans should have a more open minded and accept his passion. He failed to realize that this "passion" is akin to a large scale scandal in the similar context of the Watergate scandal and the Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton affair. Of course, the magnitude of Steve Chia's crime is not as bad as the above mentioned but it is scandalous nevertheless.
He asked if Singapore is open-minded enough to accept his wrongdoing. After all, he is sure that his passion in his private life would not affect his judgement in politics. Using the theory of private and public never mix, he has a point. But like what a forum reader has rightly pointed out, how could he contest in elections and assure everyone of his credibility when he has an "albatross" hanging around him? This is not a matter of open mindedness or not. This is about credibility and status. Like many Singaporeans agree, MPs should be "whiter than white. The public look up to MPs to lead the way for the country but if they are just similar to one of us then why bother? How can a MP be of the same level as a normal citizen? After all they have taken up responsibilties and decided to represent the people in the parliament. They have turned to leaders with status and respect.
Such scandals and passions for nude photos(with or without the maid) is simply not acceptable. The reason why we elect someone for parliament is because he is chaste, so to speak. He represents the good side of humans and if he has any flaws, it is minimal. Does Mr Chia think that by relegating himself to a normal citizen status with his lurid passions, he can further gain people's trust? The seat that he occupies in the parliament comes with a price as well as it symbolizes the trust that the people put on him. When this trust that we place on him collaspes, he is no longer entitled to that place on the seat.
His nude passions have been the destruction of his career in politics. Whether he likes it or not, he has been relegated to the mavericks like Chee Soon Juan and Tang Liang Hong. The people that Singaporeans so faintly trust. If there is any, this incident that Mr Chia got himself into is similar to Dr Chee's shouting through the loudhailer at PM Goh. Sure, they can argue till the cows come home that in western and liberal democratic countries, all these are accepted as part of the antics of oppostion members. However, for 38 years Singapore has been ruled by a party that is pure, white and conservative. Ditto the citizens as well. We are not prepared for mavericks like Dr Chee and recently Mr Chia. I will like to sum it up by with the reaction of my neighbour who saw me carry a newspaper with Mr Chia's face plastered over it. " Aiya, opposition can never seem to get their act right. How to vote for them?" Those words ring true for thousands of eligible voters in the next election.

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