Friday, October 21, 2011

A Dispassionate View of Chen Show Mao's Analogy

The Workers' Party MP Mr Chen Show Mao has so far shown by his words and actions that he is a man of very careful disposition. He is not known to have said or done anything which could be considered to be uncomplimentary to the PAP leaders or Government. In fact, he could only be the antithesis of the highfalutin former MM Lee Kuan Yew. So before he brought up the analogy of Emperor Tang Tai Zong of the Tang Dynasty China in his maiden speech in Parliament, he would have considered all the pros and cons that this delicate theme could engender. The overwhelming response to his speech, especially the analogy of Emperor Tai Zong, proved him to be a consummate politician.

Two of the three PAP MPs who debated Chen's Tang analogy were rational in their comments. One even commented that Chen should have been given more applause. One woman MP Ms Ellen Lee (Sembawang GRC) voiced a dissenting view of Chen's analogy. She argued that it was inappropriate to compare the PAP to Emperor Tang Tai Zong as he was an autocratic ruler in a feudal era. It is quite possible that there may be some conservatives among Singaporeans holding this view.

Let us examine dispassionately the appropriateness of Chen's analogy. Emperor Tang Tai Zong was one of the most, if not the most, enlightened ruler in Chinese history. He had shown no characteristic of an autocrat and under his sagacious rule, the Chinese people experienced a period of peace and prosperity. He treated his people like his own children and showed concern for any of their distress and sufferings. During his benevolent rule, he nurtured and developed a host of literary, artistic, musical, dance and theatrical talents which were a legacy to modern China. That he was able to achieve all these remarkable achievements was due in no small measure to the constant fearless and far-sighted advice of his famous loyal courtier Wei Zheng. And so the period of Emperor Tang Tai Zong's enlightened rule was given the historical title of Zhenguan golden era (贞观之治)。

Chen Show Mao could not have equated the PAP Government to a feudal ruler but the analogy was meant as a timely encouragement to the PAP leaders to emulate the enlightened adminstration of Emperor Tang Tai Zong which he could not have done this without mentioning the emperor. The fact that the emperor was a feudal ruler, though a benevolent one, could only be taken in a co-incidental sense as the emphasis is on his enlightened administration and not on his status as a feudal ruler.

When Chen made the analogy, he would have expected that there will be some Singaporeans who may hold different views. That is only to be expected in a democratic society and it is hoped that the above exposition would be able to persuade them from any misconception. Mr Chen Show Mao has proved himself to be a sincere and able politician and his analogy of Emperor Tan Tai Zong has been made with all sincerity and not without humility.


Gary said...

That Chen is a man careful in speech and someone who weighs his words carefully came across very clearly at the WP rallies I attended at which he spoke.

Unfortunately , that woman PAP MP who criticised his analogy is like the proverbial swine that his pearls of wisdom were caste before. Being an MP, she and others like her, are NOT entitled to speak from a position of ignorance. Voters demand better from their MPs in parliament.

水瓶座 said...

I would say in an enlighten administration, anyone with an opinion have the right to speak. Regardless of intellect or ignorance.

Kaffein said...

I agree with Commenter@Oct23 7:19AM. Anyone has a right to speak out his/her opinion.

Except that many PAP MPs keep thinking they are the intellects when their make them look otherwise. Pray tell me why are we paying $15k or more to listen to people who are clueless and ignorant?

This time around, I wonder who is playing the opposition role. The PAP MPs are opposing for the sake of opposing. The opposition MPs are coming up with better substance, analogys, analysis and thoughts.

Heh. I wonder at this rate of debate, how long will it be before the roles are permanently switched.


ahmad said...

I agree totally with 水瓶座 that anyone with an opinion has the right to speak, and allow the voting public to see for themselves if their MP is worth their tax money.

none said...

Yes agreed, since they claim that Sg is a democracy everyone, no matter whether hi IQ or idiot, has the right to speak here, there and everywhere. To deprive anyone of this most basic democratic right will relegate this island to a police state.

GeraldHeng Sr. said...

What does it really matter if the Tang Emperor TaiZong[like Tar Ker !] was an autocratic feudal ruler,because that was the Epoch of the Times like the Kings and Queens of England in the Middle Ages.What is certainly essential is the cultural renaissance that this Emperor engendered for China for att times.Cultural Renaissance cannot be achieved without sufficient Peace and Harmony in the Country and Communities therein ! In this day and age of a robust and debating Democracy perhaps the Elected Rulers/Administators must be reminded that they exist by virtue of the People's Collective Will, elected rulers for a very long and continuing terms without a sufficiently potent Opposition tend to induce the Autocracy Whims and Impulses as if there has been a return to the Middle Ages of Feudalism !Let us hope and pray for more open debates and deliberations of civility that will ultimately lead to the Confucius Peace and Harmony of the Nation State for which Sing A Pore is a superb example ! Majullah Singapore, not the chance encounters of Mahjjong Lah Singapore ! Gerald Heng Sr. Metrowest Boston,MA.USA.