South China Morning Post reshares 15-month-old article on why Tharman is the perfect leader for S’pore

South China Morning Post reshares 15-month-old article on why Tharman is the perfect leader for S’pore

Mothership.SG·2018-01-07 04:50

Political circles in Singapore has been abuzz with the speculation about who Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister will be.

This was after an unprecedented joint press statement signed by 16 politicians fro the People’s Action Party.

In the statement, the 16 young ministers and senior ministers of state stated that they are “keenly aware” that leadership succession is a pressing issue and “will settle on a leader from amongst us in good time”.

SCMP shares old article

Not missing a beat, Hong Kong’s flagship English broadsheet, South China Morning Post, decided to join in the fun by sharing the following article yesterday:

The article praised Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam for his good political intuition, technocratic excellence and international experience.

It was well-shared by many — probably Singaporeans, though one cannot help but notice the curious fact that the article is 15 months old.

It was first published on Oct. 5, 2016.

Younger potential PM candidates have emerged

If the adage of one week is a long time in politics, then surely 15 months is a lifetime for a newspaper to update its analysis.

Since the article was published, several political developments had occurred in Singapore, especially in relation to the following three ministers younger than Tharman:

First, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was discharged from hospital and has recovered from his stroke.

In fact, Heng delivered a 80-minute Budget speech last year to put any doubts to rest about his political stamina.

Heng was also re-elected into the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) highest decision-making body, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Dec. 4, 2016.

Second, Chan Chun Sing has been re-appointed as one of the Organising Secretaries for the PAP and showed his popularity among its cadre members by being successfully re-elected to its highest decision-making body together with Heng.

Chan was also one of the few ministers who was prominent in lead-up to the Presidential Election last year, as he was engaged in the explanation of the rationale for a reserved PE.

Third, Ong Ye Kung was promoted to full Minister last October as Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence.

Ong was also appointed as one of PAP’s organising secretaries together with Chan and took over Chan as the chairman of Chinese Community Liaison Group. The CCLG, comprising office-holders and Members of Parliament, was set up in 2000 to strengthen relations between the government and the Chinese community, as well as cooperation amongst the various Chinese groups.

So why did SCMP share the same old article?

Even a blogger can skin a cat differently.

Perhaps, one has to also ask, in the commentator’s own words, if the readers of this venerable paper “are truly being served by this failure of imagination”.


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Singapore Politics