Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tribute to a Passionate Patriot with Lofty Principles

By now the name Chen Show Mao is no longer strange to Singaporeans. In particular, they should remember him as the charismatic member of the Workers' Party (WP) quintet who toppled the formidable PAP team which included the heavyweight Foreign Minister George Yeo in the Aljunied GRC in the General Election in May this year. He was quite modest in his pivotal role in bringing about the historic WP victory.

He brings along with him formidable credentials which even the ordinarily disdainful PAP leaders could only admire and respect. How could they be otherwise when Chen's credentials put him in a position superior to most, if not all, of the PAP leaders, including possibly the immodest PM Lee Hsien Loong himself. With his talent and international legal experience Chen is going to pioneer a political path for Singaporeans which will give the PAP leaders a run for their money trying to emulate or counter.

Chen showed his political dexterity when he made his maiden speech in Parliament yesterday (18-10-11). He showed himself no less effectively bi-lingual than the best of any such politicians that the PAP can muster. He spoke fluently in Mandarin and not only displayed political maturity but magnanimity as well when he deftly sketched out the relationship between the WP and the ruling PAP as he saw it by bringing back to present reality the royal court of Tang Dynasty China.

There was in Emperor Tang Taizong's reign in the Tang Dynasty a famous courtier Wei Zheng who was renowned for speaking the truth to the throne and was unafraid of offending the emperor. As a result of courtier Wei's fearless and far-sighted criticisms, the emperor introduced the Zhenguan golden era (贞观之治) that would become a model for China's future rulers. Mr Chen appealed earnestly: "In this 12th Parliament, I hope a wise ruling party can be Tang Taizong while we the WP can be Wei Zheng. Together we can create a prosperous era, one that is not dictated by a single ruler surrounded by 'yes' men". (The quotation of Mr Chen's speech is taken from the Straits Times)

Mr Chen's speech was described as mastery and commanded the attention of the almost-full House, including PM Lee Hsien Loong. That the House has rarely experienced such a dignified utterrance of a rising political star of Mr Chen's calibre is never in doubt. As a further proof of the respect he commands, Minister of State for Education and Defence Mr Lawrence Wong was careful in his speech to avoid the pitfall of irrational criticism of Mr Chen's speech. As if by intuition he also touched on the same theme of the relationship between the Government and the people. It was the PAP smart Alec Dr Teo Ho Pin who made some dissenting noise that he"did not know the difference (Mr Chen) has made" in defining the differences. (Mr Chen was making the point that political differences are not akin to divisions that will lend to time-wasting politicking and gridlock).

In conclusion there is a Chinese saying which fits exactly the character of Mr Chen Show Mao: Acquainted with things ancient and modern; Well versed in philosophy. (博古通今; 精通哲理). There is a prediction that in Mr Chen Show Mao the highfalutin former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew will meet his waterloo.


Anti-Aging, Health, Personal Care said...

hope Singapore can have more of the 'Chen Shao Maos'

LEONG said...

I have met Chen on 2 occasions. He is my MP in Hougang Ave 1
Humble and unassuming. Doesn't behave lke a person of his educational and previous employment credentials.
He is the fine example to debunk the PAP's and the oldman's myth that you need to pay them well to serve

Gintai_昇泰 said...

Yes. Mr Chen is the envy of the PAP. Well versed in Chinese culture. A true gentleman who even quoted George Yeo in his speech. He has compassion to be a leader. Hope he will be more than an MP! Wish him well.

Alan Wan said...

He highlighted a very good and valid point in saying that it is intolerance to accepting differences is what that causes a society to be divisive. IMHO, in his mind he must be referring to LKY's threat to voters to repent if they geared towards supporting for the opposition.

In fact I also think that it is own gentlemen way of sending a message to our PAP leaders not to be too intolerant and arrogant lest we will sure become another politically divided country just like Taiwan.

none said...

Chen Show Mao's is the educated gentleman's way of dealing with people.

The other way is that of an educated thug: knuckledusters and sharp hatchets in a cul-de-sac from which only one will come out alive.