Response to Calvin Cheng

Former NMP Calvin Cheng

After results of the last Malaysian elections revealed that Pakatan Harapan has won, ending Barisan Nasional’s 60 years grip on power in the country, a friend sent me something Calvin Cheng posted on his FB (I can’t verify as I don’t have FB). Calvin derided Singaporeans who have taken a keen interest in the results.

Apparently, he wrote:

“There will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let’s try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP and they say, let’s try the other side. That day will come.” Lee Kuan Yew

I do not believe that day has come, nor is that day near. The PAP still rules well on important bread-and-butter issues for the majority of Singaporeans.

But LKY himself said many times that if one day the PAP turns corrupt and/or incompetent, the people should and will vote them out. As President Halimah recently said, the right to govern isn’t inherited and the 4G leaders have to win the trust of the electorate themselves.

Do not also forget that the biggest factor in the Malaysian oppositions shock win was former PM Mahathir Mohammad’s joining the Opposition as its leader. He was post-independent Malaysia’s longest serving and arguably its most respected Prime Minister. Several former UMNO heavyweights also threw their support behind the Opposition.

Many have said that the only way the PAP could ever lose power is if there were a split at the top of the PAP who then leads the opposition – I tend to agree. This also is unlikely to happen in the short run in Singapore.


I wish Singaporeans when thinking of elections in other places would think more about how it would impact Singapore instead of unthinkingly supporting or opposing AS IF they were citizens of that country.

We are not. Singapore is our home. For example, I am often asked if I support Trump. My answer is I support Trump in so far as his policies are good for Singapore, and oppose him in so far as they are bad. I am not American. It does not concern me how Trump’s policies impact the average American.

Similarly, how would the Opposition’s win in Malaysia impact Singapore and Singaporeans? This is foremost on my mind, not how it would benefit Malaysians. It may seem selfish, but I am Singaporean.

In this respect, I am worried. Najib has been far friendlier to Singapore than Mahathir ever was. Those old enough will remember that Mahathir liked to make SIngapore Malaysia’s bogeyman and was intentionally hostile in many ways, including his ‘crooked bridge’ idea, the water agreements etc.

This is worrying for Singapore. We have signed many favourable deals with Najib’s Government , including the recent High Speed Rail agreement from KL to SG, which was proposed to Mahathir many times but never happened. Also, what will happen to our water agreements?

I hope Singaporeans will think as Singaporeans. All well and wonderful to be happy for our Malaysian friends but when it comes down to it, it is how the new Malaysian Government will behave towards Singapore that will impact Singaporeans the most.

And unfortunately, Mahathir has never been the most friendly to us. The Singaporeans ‘celebrating’ now, please do take heed.

Patriotism aside, I think Calvin’s view is myopic and dangerously selfish. He even expresses preference for the corrupt Najib because “Najib has been far friendlier to Singapore…” This is akin to saying as long as my neighbour is good to me, it doesn’t matter he is out there swindling others (perhaps it is this mentality that continues to keep the power and money-crazed PAP in government).

Back to Calvin’s shallow views, the saying, “No man is an island” applies to countries too. Even Lee Hsien Loong emphasized this when he opened the ASEAN Summit in 2007. He said,

“Globalisation has made nations much more dependent on one another… For ASEAN to stay relevant, and to respond to the new strategic environment, it must transform itself into a more effective grouping…. While national interests remain paramount, they must be increasingly balanced with regional and international interests. ASEAN priorities must feature more prominently on our respective national agendas.”

Malaysia is part of ASEAN. The 1MDB scandal is one good example of how one nation’s (corrupt) agenda impacted on Singapore.

As the scandal unravelled and corruption of the highest order was exposed, Singapore could not escape the fallout. We saw Singaporeans charged and convicted for crimes related to 1MDB, banks in Singapore were closed for the same reason, possibly leading to several local job losses.

Tight bank secrecy laws here have helped draw an estimated $1.1 trillion in foreign funds to the city and raised grave concerns of tax evasion and money laundering in Singapore. It was even remarked that Singapore had become a money laundering hub. Singapore banks’ role in money laundering activities has shocked the international community, rocking confidence in Singapore’s standing as a “clean and trusted financial hub”.

Of course Singaporeans should be concerned about the elections of our closest neighbour, and celebrate the victory of the ousting of a corrupt government because whatever happened across the Causeway has had an impact on Singapore.

Now, how the new Malaysian government behaves towards Singapore, I think, depends on how our government behaves towards them. Healthy relationships thrive on reciprocity. Our progress should not come at the expense of our neighbours’ because their foundations for stability and upright governance inevitably will have an impact on ours.



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24 Responses to “Response to Calvin Cheng”

  • Do not waste time on Calvin:

    Singaporeans should not waste time on Calvin Cheng and should ignore his views for the following reason.

    “Basically, Calvin Cheng “played a central role” in price-fixing as president of the Association of Modelling Industry Professionals (AMIP). On 23 November 2011, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) found 11 modeling agencies guilty of price-fixing, using the AMIP as a “front” for collusion.”

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  • Ah Peng Kia:

    Someone should post this response to Calvin Cheng’s Facebook so that all those who liked his post and supported his view will recognise their shallowness, and more importantly, direct his readers to TRE.

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  • Bapak:

    All the more we have to change government since PAP party cannot handle Dr M. Let the new party build a friendlier relationship with him.

    Don’t get me wrong. We are not asking the new party to kowtow to them. Show sincerity, not smiling tiger hidden daggers and arrogant attitude. People can read you like a book. PAP is too arrogant. Even our immediate neighbour hates to deal with them. Time to change.

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  • MsiaBoleh:

    Malaysia can stand on their own 2 feet.dun act so atas towards them anymore.
    As long as the M’sian gov stays clean n on track, they will surely surpass SG in many ways…
    Their gov/ Malaysia doesnt have to kow tow to sg anymore,like before …cuz our leaders had that high n mighty condescending attitude towards their leaders….but not Dr Mahathir..even then he was a very vocal critic of LKY and some cross border issues.

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  • the moneyed elitists:

    //Globalisation has made nations much more dependent on one another…//

    alamak. more like the moneyed elitists are much more dependent on exploiting the opportunities (offered by globalization) leaving the rest behind la.

    not true meh. that’s why the rights (in Europe) are slowly rising and we had Bre-exit and Trump hor.

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  • mercy of any one group:

    //Similarly, how would the Opposition’s win in Malaysia impact Singapore and Singaporeans?//

    why not la ? it just shows that a nation or country should not be at a mercy of any one group of self-anointed white idiotic talents for decades under ownself-check-ownself system where 4 can be 5 and selected can become elected.

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  • playground of another country:

    //This is worrying for Singapore. We have signed many favourable deals with Najib’s Government , including the recent High Speed Rail agreement from KL to SG,//

    this shows that any possible wayang long term plan of 999 years can be disrupted within a short term period – if the game also involves the playground of another country.

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  • To Singaporeans:

    He is right that PAP will be in power for a long time because
    -PAP Ministers and MPs happily make their million dollars annual pay and millions in their business, professions and property investments
    -PAP cronies and the rich happily make tons of money through connections and first hand information – Chua Tian Poh as Sentosa Corp’s Chairman bought lands on the cheap as PAP is promoting Sentosa and overnight becomes a billionaire
    - the sheep do not care
    That is why PAP won 70% in GE2015.
    Does Calvin knows PAP’s secrets more than Lee Hsieng Yang and Lee Wei Ling?
    LHL just appeared in Parliament and said I am innocent and framed, period. He controls CPIB, AG – Najib also controlled MACC and AG
    GCT was in polling station in a GE, yet the AG said he did not violate the GE rules fro candidate not to be within 100m of polling station!
    We will soon know how much Najib and Rosman have in their bank accounts and investment portfolio.
    Unfortunately, we will never know how much LHL and Ho Ching have in their bank accounts and investment portfolio! They control GIC and Tesamek – these are red flags.
    If we want to know, then vote out PAP.

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  • pioneer citizen:

    Those old enough in 70′s and 80′s would understand what calvin said. Reciprocity? Singapore was expected to be an obedient younger brother.

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  • LIONS:

    This Cc is such a loud-barking *siow kow*(mad puppy).
    We shud call the AVA to put him(it) down.

    Now,Ah Long cannot merely use taxpayer $ to buy friendship like he did with Najib.
    He has to apply statesmanship plus real diplomacy.

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  • Malaysians Boleh:

    No surprise at all. PAP has become a toxic brand to honest and upright people. What can you expect from Calvin Cheng?

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  • Bystander:

    There goes the pet project and dreams of PM Lee on the HSR.
    Mahathir must have seen red over LHL so buddy buddy with Najib over this
    highly publicized, expensive infrastructure.
    This new but second time PM most likely won’t scrap it as it benefits Malaysia more than Singapore, but like Trump, he wants to set his own terms, and thus delay for a few years, he may be 93 years old, but he is in no hurry. Maybe he wants us to foot part of the costs, take it or leave it.
    Would Mahathir also open the book on the Rail corridor/Tanjong Pagar land exchange also? The deal seemed pushed through relatively smooth and fast, with no hiccups.
    Tell you folks, Mahathir is no enemy of Singaporeans, but he dun like the PAP Govt, as a ultra Nationalist, he apologises many times that he has to drag us ordinary folks in the mud to protect Malaysian interests.
    He has a heart of gold for the unfortunates, he had before helped a group of Singaporeans to retrieve their own property in K.L. when the developer nearly went bankrupt during the Asian Financial crisis.
    Compare this gesture with our own Govt dun care less attitude.
    Precisely, relations depend on our own Govt’s behaviour towards Mahathir, more so now than during LKY’s days.
    May Almighty God bless him with good health. As Singaporeans, we respect him as before.

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  • SheePAPore:

    This guy is not stupid. He went to Oxford college. Neither is he blind. He can see that this present pap team can’t hold a candle to the team led by lky. Yet he die die has to be on the pap side and carry their balls no matter what wrong they did. He’s just a typical kiasi sporean. He, like all other daft sporeans, fear that without the pap, sg economy will slump and sg international recognition will be affected. These kiasi people only worries about their investments and their millions.

    This guy, he knew that the Presidential Election’s walkover is wrong yet he told people to accept and respect the Appointed President. He has even bad-mouthed his friend PJThum on his FB to suck up to his ex-polictical masters. That speaks volume of this guy’s character.

    I won’t curse him. It’s no good for me. But just wait and watch. No one can escape from the Law of Cause and Effect. He’ll pay for his actions one day.

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  • rukidding:

    It would be interesting if Dr M starts to “investigate” into the Railway corridor and Rail station project !

    Tatsin, Botak and Mai Hum…all have one thing in common…they run the place like a Company ,….forgetting about their responsibility to ALL the people !

    All 3 , only interested in their own pursue and “results and of course…own benefits”.

    Well,…Tatsin was found to be Corrupted .

    Botak was now also found to be corrupted.

    What do you think about Mai Hum ????

    Don’t forget, Botak “bought over” the previous AG to “protect” him…unfortunately Dr M now “suspended” this AG.

    Coincidentally,….Mai Hum’s sister also “warns” us of how Mai Hum “appointed his friend” ( Lucy Wong ) to be the TOP AG to “protect” him too … similar birds of same feather.

    So,…what do you think again ?

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  • Greed rotted d(b)rain:

    Greed softens a human spine and can only survive by stooping to plp for rewards. It vaporises human value particularly integrity, honesty and dignity and pride. Which human being in its wholesome form would stoop to plp? Any govt promoting and nurturing plp is eroding the citiznry and all talks become wayang targeting concealment of truth or naturing effectively falsehood which in all HUMAN seriousness a crime unforgiveable and irredemptible. Such erosion of human value eventually generate a moronic society. Such regime eventually get such in by their evil missiom and progressing faster than their evil scheme on the citizenry resulting what we see in the wave of awakening of people power across the globe regardless how powerful, how iron clad regime or how opaque the operabilty of the power.What fantastic political analysts and scientists thought they will never happened have happened. US and UK it is not how good or capable leaders they have that brought the change, it is the populace choked with increasing load of garbage and lies to the self gratification and glorification of those they trust with the mandate to rule till the light strike and realizing enough is enough resulting in Trump and Briexit demand. The realization that effective cleanout of traitors are not possible without complete change. Opacity is the worst enemy of the citizenry. Absolute power is disastrous. Prolonged mandate to rule is suidal as Singaporeans saw in Malaysia. It is natural that power not only collapses but self deterioation as the mandate is prolong. Absolute power collapses absolutely till corruption is wiped off from the regime linguo and can be conveniently and easily be modified as legal just like democracy can be easily modified including nepotism and dynasty.
    Although Singapore has relatively a short history but
    her citizenry has withnessed it repeated as the ground turns sour and the renewal of mandate is impending.
    Today we heard the aged old wayang of wealth gap. None of the billionaire ministers ever refer to their indecent millions they legally pocketed with their absolute power. Singaporeans including Amos generation can see the same pattern of pre GE with deadly sour ground once again surface. Will Singaporeans including new citizens labelled officially not too long ago as hungry, greedly and aggressive when they r foreigners and r urged to be more in every aspect now they r citizens really that depraved and stupid to be repeated insulted by these politically but really nepotically and polanpaicly made billionaires to fall into their wayang indoctrination of what will be reversed to originaland worse. Singaporeans saw how they wayang with their salary reviewed by a plp commitee engaging a state fund expert consultant whose expertise based nil but…

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  • Lao uncle:

    pioneer citizen:
    Those old enough in 70′s and 80′s would understand what calvin said. Reciprocity? Singapore was expected to be an obedient younger brother.

    I lao uncle remember. It’s the other way around. Mahathir hated LKY’s guts. LKY was arrogant and ambitious. He wanted everyone to be beholden to him. He wants Singaporeans to fear him, but he also want Malaysian government to fear him. LKY thinks he is god, and treats others with disdain, showing little respect to others. His arrogance was a put off that’s why Mahathir called him out several times for his arrogance.

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  • Bloody sin:

    Seriously, we need change no matter what because we are all trapped in quick sand already.

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  • PAP sure liao:

    Recruiting such shit even though PAP knew he is shits enough not to be allowed onto the Grab Rape Con vehicle, they manage to legally sneak him in as Nit. Is he the basket that took law into its own hand to slap Amos in front of the court with police standing guard and did nothing. He think his big lp will shield him and he was right to get away with a next to nothing punishment. With such rotten garbage, how can pap not facing the same fate as BN.
    Today ST reported the old pap survival song yelping like real before all the spineless plp. Wasn’t just a month or so ago that $10 chaitowkway just challenged Singapore arrogantly that HE has NO PROBLEM to import Pmets after he thiught that is poed blg lp silence means agreement and consent he will take over his seat. If it was LKY, tgis scumbag will be packed into the garbage truck longtime ago. Surely no seniors can forget the fate of two after appearing on the front page of Times & Newsweek and how an academic smart Aleck praised with 6 cylinders was reduced to 2 with 4 kaput after his arrogantly tell the ST plps to ask the old man if they want to know his brilliant future, went bald and went on aeound the bukit timah canteen preaching his Lord message as a returned strayed sheep. This showed if the big lp deteririates all the small lps wag wildly in defiance and sneer as if to say mine is stiffening while yours is drooping fast. The old man tolerates no such belittlement. That is why pap is over the hill as some pol sc and analyst forcast. The wayang goes on mindlessly.
    Singaporean seniors went thru LM test of strength and mentality era. M hanged to amend his past mistake and eliminate those worse mindless ones within his old party while Lee threatened and gone. This is why many Singaporeans were bewitched by the strength and dedication and his words become wiser. The imberciles here are still wayanging in their stupor left behind by the big lp they admire so much but learnt only his arrogance but not his crafts.
    Ironically the cesspool still wallowing in the filths clinging on to believing his famous last words Daft.

    I have no problem to import pmets. This is all they have in their mind which can be summarised as We will fix u real well after u swallow poison carrots and in coma handing over the power. We will fix u. True or false Mission. This may be the only truth of the 5 decades.

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  • opposition dude:

    Calvin Cheng shows just how naive he can be. The long history we have with Malaysia is always played up but at the end of the day it’s 2 countries dealing with each other.

    Mahathir may have been a total bast**d and Najib a saint but so what, we deal with the here and now. In fact, this would be a good time to see how the supposed 4G leadershit handles wily old Mahathir if you ask me. You can’t change what the Malaysian people have voted for so instead of living in fear see how our government works and deals with Magathir.

    So since Calvin is scared stiff about Mahathir being PM again and all that old history then what about Thailand whose military ousted Shinawatra? Dealing with a general with no political experience is good ah? Or how about an increasingly assertive China run by a communist party being mischievous in the South China Sea?

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  • Great Asia:

    This western educated monkey is like those PAP fat cats and their American brothers.

    They only think of their own interest – “I win and you lose”.

    Singapore has only one station. The bullet train line doesn’t need to come to Singapore. Don’t always think that Malaysia will fail if Singapore doesn’t support.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • idiocracy:

    The exchange rate today was 1sgd to 2.8 myr. It went up after BN was defeated.

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  • never voted pap:

    The exchange rate today was 1sgd to 2.8 myr. It went up after BN was defeated.

    same day Dr Mahatir PH landslide win against najib BN pap PA paid IBs no end predicting S$1 = MR15.

    actually an insult to the malaysia boleh folks because the prediction of S$1 = MR15 by pap PA paid IBs is message, you folks don’t know what you are doing.

    that is why never voted pap. because never trusted pap.

    asset enhancement of HDB – we did not vote pap.

    swiss standard of living – we did not vote pap.

    aliens FTs PRs create jobs for Singaporeans – we did not vote pap.

    many more pap FAKE news – we will not vote pap.

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  • MarBowling:

    Great Asia:
    May 16, 2018 at 6:56 pm (Quote)
    This western educated monkey is like those PAP fat cats and their American brothers.
    They only think of their own interest – “I win and you lose”.
    Singapore has only one station. The bullet train line doesn’t need to come to Singapore. Don’t always think that Malaysia will fail if Singapore doesn’t support.
    Ha ha ha!

    Response:mother of all Great comments wrt Malaysian Tsunami.
    Wah lan, when and NOT if Dr M does carry out the Unthinkable: carry on with the HRS project But stop at JB! Just compensate Mai Hum Coverment with peanuts for the revised project. Come this Sat, Dr M might convey this great idea to Mai Hum and tell him, take it or leave it! LOONG term benefit for Malaysia Peninsula esp Johore. Dr M right now is very busy and preoccupied with his country problems, shits and mess passed down by Mai Hum buddy Ahjib and yet our friend still doesn’t know what is priority and diplomacy: you have already phoned Dr M personally to congratulate him. What’s the HURRY? Like someone has said:Damage Control! Cannot Wait Meh? Btw, Dr M looks very haggard and tired after doing BATTLE with Mai Hum buddy Ah Ahjib for the past few weeks. Be gracious and wait for your turn patiently, Mai Hum. OK!

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  • 'domestic exchange rate':

    //same day Dr Mahatir PH landslide win against najib BN pap PA paid IBs no end predicting S$1 = MR15.//

    daft sinkies (those at the lower end of the value chain) have forgotten that there are many white idiotic rent-seekers who are worst more than themselves in sinkie land – i would call this ‘domestic exchange rate’ (wealth being the ‘exchange rate’) among one another daft sinkie.

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