The unprecedented unwholesome publicity given by the press on the number of individuals, some of notable social standing, involved in the sexual liaison with an underage prostitute is mind-boggling. This is just a simple case of sex with an underage girl and the way the press, especially the Straits Times, went to town to humiliate the unfortunate perpetrators of the sexual indiscretions is beyond any realm of decency or a person's propriety. To treat this as if it is an important murder case is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary citizen.
This development gives rise to the speculation whether all this unwholesome publicity on the underage prostitute saga is not a ruse by the PAP Government to divert attention from Professor Lim Chong Yah's shock therapy controversy, the SMRT debacle on which a Committee of Inquiry is ongoing and the unresolved corruption case against the former Commissioner of the Singapore Civil Defence Force and the former Director of the Central Narcotics Bureau which has remained dormant after intensive publicity. It would be extremely unfair to these two senior officers if in the end nothing more serious than a departmental disciplinary action is taken for some kind of misconduct after the massive adverse publicity against them.
The normally equable Professor Lim Chong Yah is best known as a former chairman of the National Wages Council. So he came out suddenly with a proposal which, among other things, seeks to increase the wages of workers drawing $l500 or less a month by 50 per cent over three years and a freezing of wages of those earning $l5,000 a month. It was a radical proposal readily welcomed by the lower-wage workers but that it took the Government completely by surprise is putting it mildly.The scramble for a suitable answer by Government ministers and members to Professor Lim Chong Yah's awkward proposal shows the degree of dismay it has caused.
The SMRT debacle is another topic which is causing extreme distress to the Government if you do not disregard the massive public anger that this has caused. The Committee of Inquiry that is going on has shown how incredibly inadequate the SMRT staff were in dealing with emergency situations caused by service disruptions resulting in massive commuter chaos.As long as it sits, the COI will continue to throw up the incredible inadequacies of the SMRT staff which in turn is a reflection of the complacency of the SMRT management.
Could there be any truth in the speculation that the underage prostitute saga is played up excessively to divert attention from Professor Lim Chong Yah's controversy, the alleged corruption case against the two senior government officers and the COI on the SMRT debacle? It may seem far-fetched but it boils down to whether or not one believes in it or if there is a need for it.Anyway, it will be an exercise in futility.