The STTA saga has taken an incredibly unremarkable twist in Parliamant yesterday. That the STTA president's conduct was considered important enough for the Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports to bring up in Parliament showed the government's awareness of the immense public interest in this saga. What really came as a dampener was the Minister's incredible disclosure that neither the MCYS nor the National Sports Council was going to be involved or to intervene in solving the injustice. In other words, they are going to be just bystanders occupying the ringside seats to watch the slugfest between the STTA and ex-coach Liu Guodong. How heroic coming from a Minister and to add to his not unedifying utterance he quoted the analogy of a line call in a tennis match to exemplify the dispute which can only appear relevant to the gullible. Perhaps he has never heard of the well-known Chinese saying: To each his own virtue and wisdom.
The Minister cannot blame the public for any misunderstanding of the Minister's incomprehensible non-involvement stand as an endorsement of the questionable conduct of the STTA president Lee Bee Wah. She will certainly take heart from the Minister's encouraging words which will, not unexpectedly, embolden her to be more truculent in her dealing with ex-coach Liu. Is it in the interest of the government to encourage an impasse in the dispute and any subsequent tussle in a court of law. The wise Minister has no doubt been sufficiently briefed as to the possible implications to the government in a court battle. Quite apart from the possibility of not having a good reflection on the government, there is the question of who is going to foot the legal bill. Will it go down well with the public if taxpayers' money is used?
There is widespread call from the public for the removal of Ms Lee Bee Wah from the STTA presidency. In fact, according to the STraits Times, she was handed an online demand with 4,500 signatures for her resignation on Sunday 24-5-09. The government has often been vaunting that it heeds the voice of the people and this is a significant occasion for it to live up to its vaunt. One quite disturbing element that may influence any decision to remove Ms Lee Bee Wah is that according to market speculation she is considered a favourite of PM Lee Hsien Loong in his Ang Mo Kio GRC. Could this be the reason why the Minister is afraid to remove her? There is a appropriate Chinese saying: He who ties the bell is the person who can untie it.
It is amazing how the Minister can justify his astronomical pay by burying his head in the sand and hoping that the knotty problem will unravel itself. Is there a need to needle the Minister out of his inertia in order for him to show more spunk? Quite apart from Singapore public support, could the Minister be blissfully unaware that ex-coachLiu is getting strong support from his countrymen in China and that Singapore is getting a bad press there over ex-coach Liu's shabby treatment?