Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Aspect of the CPIB Arrogant, Uncivil?

Of late there has been considerable hype about the CPIB's prowess whether for the right or wrong reason which may be subjective. As a climax to its distinctive accomplishments, the CPIB held its 60th Anniversary Celebration at the Istana on 18 September and the guests of honour included PM Lee Hsien Loong, ESM Goh Chok Tong and former MM Lee Kuan Yew. Invited guests included former CPIB directors but for some strange reason the current director Eric Tan saw it as "prudent" to withhold invitation to me probably because of the likely presence of Lee Kuan Yew at the celebration, although I was a former director, the first non expatriat after independence. I only read about my exclusion from the celebration from the Straits Times report on 10 September on the celebration.

I was not at all surprised at my exclusion but I was particularly angry that the insensitive Director Eric Tan had not the courtesy to inform me beforehand that I could not be invited to the celebration and that I had to learn of it from the press.True my disgust of the hubristic Lee Kuan Yew could make my presence at the celebration a big embarrassment to him. So I wrote to the uncouth Director Eric Tan on 19 September, which is reproduced below for easy reference,to voice my resentment at his lack of civility in dealing with the matter:

"Dear Mr. Tan,
         First, congratulations on a successful 60th Anniversary celebration of CPIB.
         I was not surprised but extremely disappointed that you had, whether wittingly or unwittingly, excluded me from your invitation of former CPIB directors to your glitteringly celebration. I was CPIB director from 1968 to 1971.You may have been put in an invidious position, and I symphatised with you, to have to make that unkind decision because of your awareness of my not infrequent castigations of the highfalutin Lee Kuan Yew in my blog. My presence at the anniversary celebration would have caused not inconsiderable embarrassment to that demigod. Ido not wish to discuss my reasons for my utter disgust of this man.
          Instead of reading it in the press, would it not have been more gracious of you to have the courtesy to inform me beforehand of your well-advised decision of not inviting me to the celebration because of possible embarrassment to Lee Kuan Yew? As my health condition would not have allowed me, I would have politely declined the invitation.Do you think you are doing me justice by having the press reproting my exclusion from the celebration.?
          I do not have any grudge with you. I only hope that you will show more consideration to me if there is any such misunderstanding in future."

Any right-thinking person will agree that my aggrieved letter calls for an explanation from the enlightened CPIB director. Is it arrogance or lack of civility or a combination of both that prompted the intransigent behaviour of Director Eric Tan in not replying to a former director and a former colleague? Could recent publicity about the CPIB have gone into his head? By extension, could this  arrogant behaviour be extended to the general public? The answer will be an eye-opener.


Mau-Seng Lee said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mau-Seng Lee
Date: 6 October, 2012 6:46:21 PM PDT
To: "singaporerecalcitrant.blogspot-cag"
Subject: Yoong Sui Wah ex-CIPB

The above was the Director during my arrest and two and a half years
of detention without trial during the so called Press Crisis. I was a
totally innocent victim due an egregious mistaken identity but LKY,
despite indisputable evidence, refused to admit his error and refused
to release me. In his book From Third World To First (chapter 10
page172) he thought fit to single me out by name. It made me
wonder if he believed the age old adage that if you tell a big enough
lie often enough people may believe it. This is a grave injustice
which ought to be redressed despite the long passage of time and
I'm wondering if he would be willing to communicate with me to
assist in some of the missing details I need to write my memoires.
Please assist if you can.

MauSeng Lee

Sent from my iPad

Singapore Recalcitrant said...

Dear Mr Mau Seng,

I am well acquainted with your case and I sympathise with your misfortune.I would be glad to help without offending the Official Secrets Act. Please let me know how I can assist.

totoro said...

Dear Mr Yoong

was concerned about your long absence from your blog. glad that you are back.

i trid to look for your name in the CPIB celebration news, but alas, of course, it was a futile effort.


Mu said...

I think what happened here was that he didn't know how to address this issue. (Let's be honest, it would be difficult and awkward to phrase a letter explaining why you can't attend. There could be a possible negative fallout.) I suspect that instead of being arrogant or ungracious, he simply adopted the "keep quiet and hope nothing happens" approach

Mau-Seng Lee said...

@Singapore Recalcitrant, how can I contact you directly? Please e-mail me at Look forward to your reply.

Lee Ching Yan said...


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