Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Is this the benign feature of ESM Goh Chok Tong?

This is obtained from the grapevine and it is up to the readers to form their opinion as to its veracity. At the end of it, if there is no denial from ESM Goh, then readers can form their conclusion.

As a respect for his privacy, the location of ESM Goh's house will not be given. His house is built on a slope and slightly above his is a neighbour's house. The neighbour must be of an affluent class to be his neighbour. Recently, the neighbour had his house renovated no doubt at a costly sum. What could have suddenly struck the security-conscious ESM Goh that the renovation could have presented a security or ethical problem to his residence is too far-fetched. He required the neighbour to cover up the portion of his renovated house facing ESM Goh's residence. How he made the approach to his neighbour, whether any coercion was involved, was between ESM Goh and his neighbour which may not be known to the public.

It certainly begs the question of whether it is reasonably expected of a man who had spent a small fortune to renovate his house to cover up a portion of his house because of some esoteric reason from a politically powerful neighbour. Quite apart from jarring the aesthetic quality of the house, it also causes extreme anguish to the neighbour and his family by preventing them from looking out of the covered-up portion of the house. So the question of complete voluntarism on the part of the neighbour is a myth.

So let's see what possible motive ESM Goh could have on his mind in requiring such egregious action on the part of his neighbour. If it is from the ethical voyeurism point of view, people will be wondering what is there so sexually stimulating to peep from two who are over the hill in their youthful exuberance. If it is from a security point of view to prevent the threat of snipers, it will really need enormous convincing that ESM Goh could be the target of any sniper from his neighbour's house. Could it be that he drew his inspiration from his late political master Lee Kuan Yew who ordered that apartments in Cavenagh House be covered up to prevent snipers from taking aim at the Istana. But ESM Goh is not Lee Kuan Yew and has not reached his stature.

So let's now go back to the principle of propriety. If the above narrative is true, the question before the public is under what authority is ESM Goh acting in requiring his neighbour to cover up a portion of his house. Is he a law unto himself and is that how an exemplary minister should conduct himself? Above all, has he got the imprimatur of PM Lee Hsien Loong to issue his order to his neighbour? In any case, PM Lee is duty-bound in principle to come to his defence even if he had not been consulted. There is an old Chinese saying: Behead first and petition the Emperor later.(先斬後奏)。

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