Clarification by DPM Tharman on ‘gutter politics’

DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Following my NTU Majulah Lecture last week on the future of education we had a dialogue. Some asked about the recent Presidential Election (PE) – and my views on the PE, especially how we should look at the issue of race, have been reported.

Gutter Politics?

I see that some social media commentators have claimed that I agreed in the dialogue that the PAP had engaged in “gutter politics” in the Bukit Batok by-election. That is not what I said, and not what I believe.

The PAP contrasted Dr Chee Soon Juan’s character with that of Murali Pillai in the Bukit Batok by-election, and highlighted how Dr Chee had said he was proud about his past. Dr Chee and his colleagues in the SDP responded by arguing that questions of character should not be raised in elections, and accused the PAP of gutter politics for doing so.

I stand by what the PAP and my colleagues said. The PAP was not engaging in gutter politics. The character of candidates is at the heart of politics: voters look at a politician’s actions over time, judge his motivations and integrity, and decide whether they can trust him. If Singaporeans ever come to ignore the track record and integrity of politicians, in the PAP or any other parties, it is Singapore that will end up in the gutter. That has been the story of many nations.

For the record, I was asked by a member of the audience at the NTU lecture for my views on whether the media landscape should be opened and the mainstream media “not controlled by the government” – he cited Singapore’s low ranking by Reporters without Borders – and whether I approved of the “gutter politics” by the PAP in recent elections such as in Bukit Batok.

I said that Singapore had become vastly more open compared to when I was younger. I added that “the sense of constraint is far less now. Yes, you get pushbacks, and sometimes you may not like it, and I don’t agree with every tactic by every one of my colleagues. But I have to say that if there is something that defines the PAP, it is its insistence on character, honesty, and being true to Singaporeans.”

I did not entertain the assertion about the PAP engaging in gutter politics in Bukit Batok. It is an assertion that is recycled from time to time, and has been the SDP’s position. But having seen social media commentaries claiming that I had agreed with the assertion, I am making my views clear.

More generally – are there occasional differences of views on issues within Government, or within the PAP? Of course there are, and that’s healthy. But once any course of action is decided, there is no question that we take collective responsibility for it in the leadership.

The mainstream media

On the question about the mainstream media: I have said this before, here and abroad, but it’s worth saying again. The mainstream media in Singapore is not a free-for-all. Neither is it the heavily-controlled media that some critics caricature it to be. That’s not how things are in Singapore – the media doesn’t wait around for instructions, and it doesn’t excuse everything government does. The mainstream media is what I regard as serious-minded, responsible players in an evolving Singapore democracy – helping to take it forward, but airing views in a way that avoids fragmenting society.

That’s not an easy responsibility, because the ability of the media to divide people is a risk everywhere. In my opinion our media does a better job at advancing the collective interests of Singaporeans than that in several other Asian countries, where the media has added to a divisiveness in society not seen in a long time. Even in some of the mature western democracies, people are segregating themselves into media bubbles of their own – both in the mainstream and social media – and public trust in the media is now at an all-time low. These are not the things that Reporters Without Borders looks at, but they matter to the quality of democracy in any society, and are worrying many others.

One more point. Our mainstream media carries all the important news of the day, including both sides of the political debate. Singaporeans pick it up. As I said at NTU, “they know some things are more likely to come up on page four than on page one” but they read things and discuss them freely. So blaming the mainstream media for electoral losses is not a good strategy – it doesn’t square anymore with the reality of a public that reads, follows issues and thinks more critically.

We should keep this going – the mainstream media as responsible players in our democracy, helping to move it forward. We should hope too that the middle in the social media gets stronger, for Singapore’s good.

 

* Facebook post by DPM Tharman.

 

 

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47 Responses to “Clarification by DPM Tharman on ‘gutter politics’”

  • I'm Halimah also Jiak Liao Bee:

    Another of the PAPIGS Talk Cock Sing Song session.
    Look at how he tried to defend the PAPIGS mouthpiece, when everyone knows the Shit Times is a controlled propaganda machine for the PAPIGS.

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  • Poor Botak:

    Aiyo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Poor botak!

    What he originally said was when boss was away in China. Freedom to say what’s in his heart. But after boss returned, “Man, come to my office right NOW!”

    So here we have it! His ‘clarification’ on FB after thinking hard for a few days how to flip flop what he’d said.

    But why boss liddat not happy? People like what TharMan said mah, cannot meh? Reason: coz boss very scared singaporeans might consider TharMan the best person to replace him mah! He not Chinese! Kekekeke…….

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  • oxygen:

    MAU KU LAU SU again – the usual. Who doesn’t yet know that Pravda Sinkieland is which party’s mouth piece? Even without a vote, Pravda sang an orchestra entitled POO YI ELECTED ON TO THE THRONE.

    Botak told Parliament that GIC has no investment in its books. But here is the public truth in statutory declaration made to the Australian Stock Exchange.

    GIC IS A SUBSTANTIAL SHAREHOLDER OF AUSTRALIAN-LISTED uranium producer – Paladin Energy Ltd. Botak denied in Parliament that GIC has any investment in its book either as asset or liability.

    HE IS PROVEN INCORRECT. Here is my proof.

    http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20130814/pdf/42hnqk7kv7pw9b.pdf

    This investment lost a lot of money in book value term relative to GIC entry price but GIC has NOT sold out a single share.

    https://www.facebook.com/PeopleForTrueRuleOfLaw/posts/819011848132218

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  • oxygen:

    PAPpy no gutter politics? Tell the peasants that GRC is to ensure minority representation in Parliament but PAST TENSE CONFESSED that it was a contraption invented to get its useless digits into Parliament via the backdoor.

    How many of those useless cockroaches who failed solo then got crawling in through the crevices via the backdoor and then found to be NOT PERFORMING? PAPpy claims meritocracy. Laughable.

    How many of the truly jiak-liao-bee acclaimed as “natural aristocrats” now at the apex will be found in zombieland today if they haven’t been slotted in via the backdoor decades ago into the political zoo? They most come from the same white termite nests of military or trade union sh*t house, mostly, and not from commerce and industry. No doubt they are politically cunning of worming around but economic stupid. In private sector, top MNCs don’t want to read they CVs, most likely.

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  • opposition dude:

    Fantastic this botak bugger. And this is the joker that people don’t mind being PM!

    So, no gutter politics in the Bt Batok BE eh? It seems like botak is also living in his own dream world. When you have to character assassinate an opposition figure is when it’s already gutter politics lah my dear no hair DPM!

    And as for “something that defines the PAP, it is its insistence on character, honesty, and being true to Singaporeans.”

    Shit, are my eyes deceiving me? True to Singaporeans ah? What about all the lies on HDB ownership, no one left behind and whatnot?

    And as for “the media doesn’t wait around for instructions, and it doesn’t excuse everything government does. The mainstream media is what I regard as serious-minded, responsible players in an evolving Singapore democracy – helping to take it forward, but airing views in a way that avoids fragmenting society.”

    Sure thing botak, who hasn’t read about the countless reports on WP’s town council management by now? And why haven’t we heard anything about ANK town council’s CPIB case? And how often does the newspaper say anything bad about the PAP, everything that is printed is always along the lines of “this policy or change will benefit Singaporeans”.

    All we need is for social media to tilt the field so that PAP’s mistakes are out in the open for all to see. We know we cannot rely on mainstream media to do so.

    So there you have it, a no credibility DPM who has to resort to lying about how not biased the mainstream media is.

    And you still want him for PM???

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  • oxygen:

    THE FACT THAT BOTAK FINDS IT NECESSARY to write a facebook clarification on a seemingly innocuous conversation with little peasants in LEE-jia-pore so much less experienced and knowledge than himself says some of these possibilities

    - he is a poor communicator whose message got easily misinterpreted and those “incorrect” interpretations circulating in the social media is SUFFICIENTLY & SERIOUSLY DAMAGING OF IMPACT when it is not-to-one private closed door exchange of thoughts and words but a group interaction in the public domain. So they heard his words and “interpret” (correctly or incorrectly) his intended meanings?

    - Botak’s mates has been offended by this spontaneous full and frank views on various subjects from disagreeing with the conduct of his mates (including the so-called “gutter politics”) and he was given a dressing down or shaken up to “re-interpret his own “clarification thoughts” on the same subject/s in FB which unlikely to be of interest of anyone including those who have heard him there and then. Most would think it is an insignificant conversation but now mysteriously COMPELLING of his clarifications at his initiative.

    All in all, Botak is a senior highly experienced politician and economists at the very top of OUTSTANDING ASSESSED STATURE – if he can’t communicate his thoughts without risks of misinterpretation from the audience in LEE-jia-pore on these matters (they are not stupid peasants either), how did Botak represented Sinkieland on the global stage on those intellectually-intense forum topic of economic and finance in world’s capitals in the years gone by?

    PRETTY HARD TO RECONCILE RIGHT? His mouth utterances can’t connect with his deep intellectual thoughts or the peasants he spoke to recently are moronic stupid, tragically?

    You decide.

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  • were you aware of AIM?:

    Tharman, were you and members of the PAP leadership aware of AIM? If not, how come you did not know?

    You are the Finance Minister. Did you ask how the PAP Party machinery was financed? What role did AIM play in financing the PAP?

    Was not AIM a most hideous crime perpetuated against the citizens? Was it not literary the PAP robbing the constituents? How honest are members of the PAP leadership. Or how incorrupt are members of the PAP?

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  • was that not cheating?:

    How honest was the PAP? Was that not using public resources to cheat to give the PAP candidate advantage?

    Chin Tu Lan:
    On SDP’s last rally held on 5th May, the Straits Times provided it live coverage and I watched it full on Youtube. At first I was grateful that ST provided such a great coverage, however, I was shocked when I noticed ST edited (2:32:30) by omission, a split second of the audio, to distort CSJ’s message.

    CSJ’s original message: “I don’t want to be just another MP who just writes letters for you during the meet-the-people session.”

    Edited by omission: “I want to be just another MP who just writes letters for you during the meet-the-people session.”

    Notice the word “don’t” was edited out. WTF ST!!!

    So, the above proved beyond a doubt why the Straits Times is ranked 153rd in the World Press Freedom Index, and no surprise again why Mr Murali won the BB by-election.

    So Murali won:
    You noticed they always leave the other meek opposition candidates alone? But immediately come on the attack as soon as Dr. Chee is mentioned? And only ad hominem attacks. Never with arguments, let alone intelligent or logical arguments.

    You recall that embarrassing hilariously infantile chute patten speech by Sim Ann in GE2015? Or Murali’s opening rally speech at the BB BE that delved at length about his moustache that even the PAP felt they had to censor and to doctor in order to hide the embarrassing parts from the public?

    I don’t know if you can still find the video of that speech on YouTube. The PAP might have removed it for good. If you can find it, you will notice that the embarrassing parts have been doctored and made inaudible. Hallmark of the PAP cheating ways.

    Initially, the ST had intended to showcase the PAP candidate pitching him against Dr. Chee by deciding to give the BB BE prominent space on its pages but soon felt compelled to remove both the Murali’s embarrassing speech as well as the impressive opening speech by Dr. Chee, only about an hour or so after first publishing them.

    I was able to witness that before they were removed but most ST readers would have been in the dark as to what transpired. That doctoring and the spin by ST. And no more prominence on its pages on the BB BE thereafter.

    So Murali won.

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  • if msm editors report honestly:

    the media doesn’t wait around for instructions, and it doesn’t excuse everything government does. The mainstream media is what I regard as serious-minded, responsible players in an evolving Singapore democracy – helping to take it forward, but airing views in a way that avoids fragmenting society.

    The PAP controlled msm media either does not report or play down all news unfavorable to the PAP and magnify everything unfavorable to the oppositions.

    Does the msm editors have any choice? What will happen to their fate and ricebowl if they are honest or report honestly and do not play along with the PAP tacit (or behind the scene overt??) threat?

    Likewise, is the fate and ricebowl of the judges at the mercy of the PAP?

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  • oxygen:

    BOTAK NEVER HEARD OF THIS PUBLICATION? It is called OB Marker.

    Ex-Straits Times editor reveals gov’t meddling in tell-all book

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/singapore-media-great-survivor-020754478.html

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  • PAP Control Media:

    If ST is not a controlled media, then why have Dr Lee Boon Yang ex PAP Minister in charge ?

    As far as we are concerned ST have been printing Fake news to fool the public for decades. We have lost trust in the ST and PAP government.

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  • Merobok:

    Like Ngiam Tong Dow who spoke up against his master some years back, this bald snake now retracts his remarks which he made and heard by so many in the audience!

    Why the sudden turn around? Of course, Pinky and croonies must have called both to shut up or face repercussions….and so as the story goes, both became cinderellas and had to get home before midnight!

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  • No need for WP!:

    WP under ltk is guilty of avoiding participation in any protest and public discussions on politics.

    Luckily its about to DIE.

    As we can see, a student can just ask the questions about the EP.

    During public sessions questions can be posed and they have to answer.

    We dun need WP to ask questions.

    To ask them to ask the tough questions is like asking myself to swallow my own sauce.

    Good riddance!
    Hope LTK bankrupt!

    Return all our tax money!

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  • Oh my sperm!:

    Tharman,
    Democracy? You actually used the word Democracy?

    Appointmend system?

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  • C'est la vie:

    *****
    The PAP’s vicelike grip on absolute power and complete control is entirely down to its “containment” of all of its “subsidiaries” which includes the media and the last person you want a comment from; on the freedom of the press and it’s neutrality would most certainly not be a member of the PAP.

    What do you expect the guy to say, for God’s sake !!!
    ***
    *****

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  • oxygen:

    MY ENGLAND IS NOT POWDERFOOL but I am NOT YET confused by these two messages on the same subject at two different point in time and to different audiences from the SAME MOUTH SOURCE.

    KATOB-in-reverse :Singaporeans are discerning. When people get news from the mainstream media, they “do not read blindly”: “They know some things are more likely to come up on Page 4 than on Page 1; the headlines may be a slightly different size, but they read things.”

    http://www.theindependent.sg/yes-dpm-tharman-were-not-idiots-we-do-read-the-inside-pages-and-between-the-lines/

    BOTAK:The mainstream media in Singapore is not a free-for-all. Neither is it the heavily-controlled media that some critics caricature it to be. That’s not how things are in Singapore – the media doesn’t wait around for instructions, and it doesn’t excuse everything government does. The mainstream media is what I regard as serious-minded, responsible players in an evolving Singapore democracy – helping to take it forward, but airing views in a way that avoids fragmenting society.

    SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS – TO ME – ARE EASIER TO DISSECT of its words, language, substance, inferences, nuances and message than KATOB.

    What is the difference between a “confession” and a “denial in obfuscation” thereafter?

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  • oxygen:

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE, if any, between “gutter politics” and politics found in the sewer (if not found in the gutter)?

    The movies taught us the even mafia are politically-correct from beginning to the ending. The always send heavenly-high praising eulogies to those they plotted and even participated in the assassination of even their own pedigree.

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  • pap Selected INDIAN president:

    hey botak. pap is honest? harimau is INDIAN, isn’t she?

    harimau papa is INDIAN. how can pap committee say she is malay?

    harimau IC says INDIAN. how can pap committee say she is malay?

    we give you pap botak a chance. show us harimau IC is malay and we forever keep quiet about her SELECTED presidency.

    otherwise, don’t tell more lies about pap being honest. pap is NOT honest. pap cheats lies like there are only fools in the electorate and forgets there is this 30% die hard loyal local born fellow Singaporeans.

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    What one speaks off-the-cuff without the chance to prepare is usually more reflective of one’s true feelings. Isn’t this an important technique of ISD and police interrogation that rapid and successive questions are asked and instant answers demanded? So, shouldn’t we believe the Tharman off-the-cuff responses at that unpredicted Q/A questioning, rather than this meditated, official clarification pronouncement, which (as Tharman himself says about how differences among Party and Cabinet members are handled and resolved for collective adherence) might represent the result of intra-Party “damage control” deliberations, and therefore the result of Party “group thinking” after “differences” have been resolved, rather than Tharman’s own sincere and true beliefs? Notice how the questioning audience responded and laughed with Tharman, in seeming cryptic mutual understanding of his remarks.

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  • 李大傻:

    媒体、人民協会等等,都在你们控制之下,还敢说骗话。

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  • MORAL-HIGH-GROUND HYPOCRITES:

    PAP never fail to trumpet their self-professed moral high ground while making a mountain out of a mole-hill in condemning trivial misdemeanor of others. The reality is they don’t even keep their own house clean.

    Not so long ago, shocking news went viral on social media, apparently originating from the divorced wife of a PAP Minister. In first person, she alleges that her husband/ex-husband has an unhealthy love for Chinese women, claiming that he has indulged in extra-marital sexual exploits with many of them.

    This news went round and round on Whatsapp and other social media for weeks, even months. But there was no denial whatsoever by the Minister – to date. The Minister has not resigned either, nor has he been fired by the also-moral-high-ground PM. This cannot happen in a true democracy, like in South Korea, Japan or Europe – EXCEPT IN PAP’S UNIQUELY DEMOCRATIC SG.

    All these show how hypocritical and dishonest the MIW are!

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    “ST doesn’t wait around for instructions”? They can be left to self-”instruct”? And isn’t that worse than their waiting for instructions? Being left to self-instruct (and then called in to ‘explain’ after the event), they would tend to play it safe, and overly self-censor (often,in so doing, embarrassing the very bosses they fear not to please).

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  • Maxchewy:

    They are all the same…..from top to bottom of PAP Govt. Trying to save their own skin. Takut of the Loong’s displeasure over their ‘slip of the tongue’ in a moment of unguarded truthfulness? You want him to be next PM? Gotta be kidding.
    Ngiam Tong Dow is always right on the dot! With millions in their DBS accounts and humongous cash flowing monthly or weekly, they are petrified to lose that suddenly. Plus the power and Vvip treatment everywhere. Dignity, self-respect and conscience just get thrown out of their mindsets. Money talks. Don’t mess with the very sensitive Loong who is all-powerful now! He could even drive out his only bro and wife and their smart kid! How obnoxious is that? But he did. Believe it or not!
    Repeat…..The Loong and all other PAP gutless leaders have no credibility left since 9/11/17!

    MC
    29.9.17

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  • Kiasu miw:

    Ba loo Koo head, why so defensive?

    The truth hurts

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  • rukidding:

    People have to understand that he has “No Choice”.( his hands are tied…forever )

    He basically “can’t do much” , as much as he would like.

    Face it,…..the “highest positin” he can ever make it will just be a “DEPUTY” . Period !

    Don’t expect any “reserved” seat for an Indian or Malay Minority even to be “suggested” for the position of PM Post !

    Sad indeed , b’cos he is easily “tn times” better than his boss !

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  • PATRIOT of TEMESAK:

    LKY was a Traitor & Coward working for the enemy in WW2…no oppositions brought this up during elections..the Hype Propaganda & Deceit is so well covered The PaP looks Whiter than White

    Today they wear Red @ National day Parade showing the Blood of the People on their Hidden evil WhiteUniform

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  • Harry Yew:

    PAP Control Media:
    If ST is not a controlled media, then why have Dr Lee Boon Yang ex PAP Minister in charge ?

    As far as we are concerned ST have been printing Fake news to fool the public for decades. We have lost trust in the ST and PAP government.

    Knn, everyday i still see you buy the newspapers leh!
    Knn you really the knn! Ccb you really the knn poo bor!

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  • N.Jungne:

    Aiyah Botak can fall-back on the whites pariahs to defend him, he don’t have to swear upon his head.

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  • Character? Plps?:

    When a person a professional bootlicks, brownoses, polanpas (plp), carres ball, pi chon (屁虫), sarn ka (三脚), what can one infer about its (his/her) character and its suitability and effect of its presence in politic and bureaucratic system? Why is it willing to stoop to polanpa?Why a human being dares to stand up to injustice and speak his/her mind in a political regime nepotism in the skin of democracy (whose leader told the citizenry that of u do not agree with him then they are his enemies and will be demonished and of u vote against his party u will have less rights than a those who vote for him like your HDB estate will have lowest priority if it is in an opposition ward) he/she is lauded as having balls and stiff spines while the plps are universally referred to as balless and spineless? It is an undeniable fact that a tyrannical, dictatorial and nepotic or dynasty regime cannot exist without plps.

    When an arse doctor lost in a SRC in first round and then succeeded in a GRC in the next round. Why he didnt stay in his kampong he so claimed to have grown up in and loved and then spurn it?

    Well, a plp is always a plp and a risk as its loyalty swift with size of rewards and its willingness to compromise its professional honor, ethic and integrity also increase. Could a plp be trusted? Could they not defend their own kind? Is opacity an absolute necessity? Could adverse critics not suppressed? When a teenager has to seek political asylum in a nation which the leader of his country claimed close tie and willing to plp, what else needs to be said.

    Sure which plp has been known to be brave to own up what he has said?

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  • Uncle Lim:

    No matter how Botak tries to wriggle here and there, he and his party are still guilty of gutter politics.

    Botak tries to cover his arse that much is clear.

    Once highly regarded by many, he and MIW must be collectively responsible for the police state they’ve built in SG.

    He once declared that a dominant PAP is good for SG!

    The paper generals dare not to face an audience and take questions. Hahaha. Cowards.

    And why is the Clown always in hiding? In other real democratic countries, not a day goes by without their leader speaking to the media.

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  • Uncle Lim:

    All this talk about Murani begs the question: where’s he now? Not a squeak from him.

    During the By Election, he declared that he was his own man.

    But after being elected, he became the PAP man.

    Bukit Batok voters were sheep.

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  • AL:

    Tharman: “More generally – are there occasional differences of views on issues within Government, or within the PAP? Of course there are, and that’s healthy. But once any course of action is decided, there is no question that we take collective responsibility for it in the leadership.”

    Since this is the stand of Tharman we can forget about him being our next PM. He has proven beyond doubt that he is just a follower, not a leader. For a while we thought we saw a future leader in him …but it was nothing but a mirage. I’m glad that he has shown his true colours before he becomes our PM…!!!

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  • MarBowling:

    “I stand by what the PAP and my colleagues said. The PAP was not engaging in gutter politics. The character of candidates is at the heart of politics: voters look at a politician’s actions over time, judge his motivations and integrity, and decide whether they can trust him. If Singaporeans ever come to ignore the track record and integrity of politicians, in the PAP or any other parties, it is Singapore that will end up in the gutter. That has been the story of many nations.” Quoted by Botak Thaman.

    Voters in the next GE probably in 2020/2021: please bear in MIND what the siblings of Pee-M Mai Hum have called him: a Dishourable Son and and the using the state organs for abuse of power. Compare Mai Hum despicable actions to that of so-called alleged misconduct by Dr Chee! Your future and that of future generations depend on your judgements come GE 2020/2021!

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  • 151th chao kar approach:

    //voters look at a politician’s actions over time, judge his motivations and integrity,//

    how leh ? 151th standard and chao kar approach. voters also become daft and got no choice (hobson’s choice) over time lor.

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  • 亜李爸爸:

    Thanks to DPM Tharman for revealing his true self. Before this, I had great respect for him, and I had reckoned he was the only person in the whole ‘Roti Prata’ party to speak straight his mind. But now, my impression on him change overnight, Perhaps, he is aware that if he doesn’t toe the line, his next step is doomed.

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  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    Tharman “talks cock”. At the start of the campaign during the Bukit Batok by-election, Tharman and Paul Tambyah of SDP met and both agreed that it would be a “clean campaign”. The next day Tharman’s boss LHL started attacking the character of Chee Soon Juan, SDP’s candidate. This shows two things: (1) Tharman does not speak for the PAP. He is just LHL’s ball carrier. (2) PAP cannot be trusted. It plays “dirty” to win.

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  • oxygen:

    Dr. Tan Tai Wei

    GREAT COMMENT AND KEEN OBSERVATION – in the courtroom, it is called EXCITED UTTERANCE.

    “Spontaneity of the declarant is a key to admissibility.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excited_utterance

    EXCITED UTTERANCES ARE GOOD SOLID ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE OF TRUTH TELLING. The declarant defence mechanism is caught off-guard and unprepared of rationalization or false testimony in cover.

    ALL OTHER RATIONALIZATION OF MOTHERHOOD STATEMENTS THEREAFTER IS UNRELIABLE OF PRESERVATION OF SELF-INTEREST.

    That is why Botak ignored all known truths about OB markers – right from the horses mouth of Executive interference in giving instructions to the Pravda media instead of Pravda media waiting for instruction of a detour in sly false & misleading presentation in contrary of reality.

    Dr Tan Tai Wei: What one speaks off-the-cuff without the chance to prepare is usually more reflective of one’s true feelings. Isn’t this an important technique of ISD and police interrogation that rapid and successive questions are asked and instant answers demanded? So, shouldn’t we believe the Tharman off-the-cuff responses at that unpredicted Q/A questioning, rather than this meditated, official clarification pronouncement, which (as Tharman himself says about how differences among Party and Cabinet members are handled and resolved for collective adherence) might represent the result of intra-Party “damage control” deliberations, and therefore the result of Party “group thinking” after “differences” have been resolved, rather than Tharman’s own sincere and true beliefs? Notice how the questioning audience responded and laughed with Tharman, in seeming cryptic mutual understanding of his remarks.

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  • how incorrupt is PAP?:

    were you aware of AIM?:
    Tharman, were you and members of the PAP leadership aware of AIM? If not, how come you did not know?

    You are the Finance Minister. Did you ask how the PAP Party machinery was financed? What role did AIM play in financing the PAP?

    Was not AIM a most hideous crime perpetuated against the citizens? Was it not literary the PAP robbing the constituents? How honest are members of the PAP leadership. Or how incorrupt are members of the PAP?

    Aren’t the PAP leaders the most dishonest in SG? By paying themselves the highest and most ridiculous multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses (bonuses for not having to compete?) with tax payers’ money while a whopping 80% of Singaporeans are struggling to make ends meet and of which 40% live below the poverty line is dishonesty and corruption forcefully made legal by themselves through oppressive rule.

    No forgetting how PAP also functions through rife cronyism.

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  • oxygen:

    IN RETRACTION OF GUTTER POLITICS, does BOTAK admits to PAPpy resorting to SEWER POLITICS instead in the recent PRESIDENTIAL NOITCELE – having regards to illegality of process journey to reach a conclusion of fiction of Office and its now incumbent occupant’s lack of mandate in consequence??

    Note that he regretted and moaned the lack of contest in that farcical MONUMENTAL SCREWED UP (to borrow an expression in the social media).

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  • Uncle Lim:

    亜李爸爸:
    Thanks to DPM Tharman for revealing his true self. Before this, I had great respect for him, and I had reckoned he was the only person in the whole ‘Roti Prata’ party to speak straight his mind. But now, my impression on him change overnight, Perhaps, he is aware that if he doesn’t toe the line, his next step is doomed.

    Feel the same way as you. Used to have some respect for him but no more. State controlled media can agree a deer is a horse.

    Like the rest of MIW, money and power have corrupted their values.

    Thus we have greedy and unprincipled men led by a petty tyrant.

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  • walaoeh:

    If Tharman thinks that someone has misquoted him he is at liberty to sue, just like what his gang leaders and members have done for many decades. Or have them put in jail under the ISA or some other PAP law. Nothing new in any of these.

    It would appear that he is trying to desperately hang on to his DPM post, not daring to even think about the possibility of a promotion. Good for him as we don’t want a PM who can’t think big and is unable to lead…but behaves like sheep, always following blindly.

    In spite of a recent poll showing him as the most acceptable next PM, I think he is not suitable as he has no leadership quality. He makes a good follower but a poor leader.

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  • tokoksingsong:

    In my opinion Tharman was instructed to write this. PERIOD!!!

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  • dignity:

    行动党有前部长及议员都在报馆当高官。前前后后已有多少人?

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  • Don’t be a hypocrite:

    If Botak have something to say, just say it honestly lah!
    Why twist and turn, flip flop here and there?
    Character assassination = gutter politics already lah, you can’t deny this!

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  • The Prata Man:

    Firstly, botak reminds us of the toddler song – The Muffin Man :
    “Do you know the prata man, the prata man, the prata man?
    Do you know the prata man, who speaks so cunningly?”

    Secondly, we foresee botak will be the next president after Nasi Lemak lady?

    Because the post is observed to be reserved for MPs who are too outspoken
    & seen as a threat to the establishment – once become Speaker/President, he/she can’t raise
    issues in the House anymore, right?

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  • U-turn Champ:

    During his lecture at NTU Tharman put up a brave front when questioned about PAP’s use of gutter politics. Since then his true character has emerged to betray him. It does not matter whether he did it on his own volition or he was instructed to do it, but this “clarification” shows how weak and spineless he really is.

    Do Sinkies still want him as our next Prime Minister?

    Anyway I never had much hope for him when, as Finance Minister and a well regarded economist, he announced a few years ago that a family with $1000 income could afford to buy an HDB flat!

    I wonder what he was smoking then?

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  • LIONS:

    Mr Tharman,you. are a fine scholar,though not a govt-sponsored one.
    However,you get it all mixed up this time.
    I tell you,flaming is part of politics but it depends on the attitude ,the way it is being done.

    Imo,the most debased of REAL GUTTER POLITICS here in FIRST WORLD SG IS THE “GRC”!

    I have been searching for years for the BEACH at your PAP MARINE PARADE WARD at SERANGOON CENTRAL but to NO AVAIL?

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