Ever since The Straits Times has published the possibility of Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and Social & Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing to succeed PM Lee Hsien Loong as prime minister in the future, there seems to be a decidedly attempt on the part of The Straits Times to give more prominence to Minister Chan as the more preferred choice of the prime minister-in-waiting. Hardly a day passes without The Straits Times giving publicity to the so-called political posturings of Minister Chan, be it in expounding government policies or clowning among old folks. Without doubt, the prediction of being the prime minister-in-waiting could not have passed off without a heady effect on this young minister. Will this be manifested from now on in his persona when dealing with the public or with his colleagues?
What kind of a prime minister will Chan Chun Sing project if indeed he becomes the prime minister-in-waiting? He is hardly a popular figure in the Internet world and judging from the amount of snide comments about him is a clear indication that he is the least likely minister to be welcome as a prime minister-in-waiting by this section of society. In the beginning of his political career, he was fond of asking his audience to "kee chiu" (raise hand), and so he was seen as a joker given the moniker of "kee chiu". He is commonly known as kee chiu on the Internet.
As far as the discerning Singaporeans are concerned, he is one of those army wallahs appointed ministers to fill in the gap when suitable talents from the private sector are, for cogent private reasons, giving a wide berth to PAP political appointments despite being strongly approached. So this is a golden opportunity for these army wallahs, or for that matter any other minister including PM Lee, to amass wealth from the millions of dollars in salaries from taxpayers' money. It is very clear in the public mind whether these ministers are in it to serve the people or just self-serving, notwithstanding their not infrequent pleadings that they are not self-serving. Opposition parties should give prominent emphasis on this point in their election campaign in GE 2016.
It is clear that Minister Chan Chun Sing has had only army experience when he was appointed acting minister and his performances in the political sphere so far can be described as run-of-the-mill. So his appointment as full minister after a short stint as acting minister without any performance of value to show, can only be mystifying to discerning Singaporeans. But then Minister Chan can take comfort that he is not the only one among a host of ministers who have been underwhelming in their performances. This is a point opposition parties should make when commenting on their humongous salaries in GE 2016.
If the political status quo persists or gets worse, PM Lee Hsien Loong and his PAP will find it hard to reverse the wheel of history in GE 2016.