Monday, February 27, 2012

The Benefit of Exposed Penises

You have to credit the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who despises Malays but claims to be instrumental in getting their vote, aka Thambi Pundek to come to the rescue whenever I have writers block. I was until recently unsure about what to write about until he called me up on a Friday. He gleefuly told me, “I think the Worker’s Party are going to get punished by the voters for the immorality of their MP.”

I had to spoil his day by telling him that the rulling People’s Action Party wasn’t exactly in the position to throw stones when it comes to the issue of personal morality or marital fidelity. Singapore has just started 2012, the Year of the Dragon with not one sex scandal but three.

First, we had the head of Civil Defence and the Central Narcotics Bureau doing naughty things with a woman who was supplying IT equipment to their respective departments. Then, not to be outdone, the Member of Parliament for Hougang from the Worker’s Party, Mr Yaw Shin Leong was involved in a scandal over an alleged affair with a married party worker (it seems Mr Yaw has a history of being naughty and at the time of writing, he’s been sacked by his party). Then to top it all off, the police busted an online prostitution ring where not one but 80 civil servants were involved with.

We, the people, have suddenly had something interesting to gossip about. How did the Red Dot with a reputation of being sterile suddenly become a centre of “personal misconduct?”

Let’s start with the obvious. Singapore has never quite been as sterile and squeaky as she makes herself out to be. We are in many ways like Victorian England. Our founding father’s were all educated in the best tradition of English Public Schools and as result emerged steeped in old fashioned Victorian Values. On the whole, this was an exceedingly good thing. The Victorians, as The Economist once pointed out, was the last generation of Britons to with the drive to build a better world and had created a situation where countless of generations could ‘sponge of them.’

It was the Victorians who put the “Great” in Great Britain and we in the colonies should be thankful for the fact that our ‘founding fathers’ were brought up to treasure the values that made ‘Great’ Britain. Say what you like about Lee Kuan Yew and his gang but they believed in hard work and thrift. Singapore has prospered as a result of this and as Singapore faces an impending economic slowdown, we can be greatful for the fact that we have a government which actually has money to pass onto us in times of need.

While Victorian Values helped build up an Empire, they were less successful in building up a society where people could be open and honest about sex. In Victorian Britain, women were not supposed to have even enjoy the act of sex (lie there and think of Mother England) and even most ‘liberal’ of people had to be seen in Church. While putting up a front of ‘public prudishness,’ prostitution was rife. The most famous Prime Minsiter of that era, was William Gladstone, a man who was famous for flaglilating himself whenever he thought he sinned and trawling the red light districts to ‘save’ prostitutes.

If you understand Victorian attitudes towards sex, you’ll get Singapore’s attitude to the subject. On one hand Singapore is filled with good Asian boys and girls who won’t touch their private parts until marriage. On the other , you’ll find plenty of those good Asian boys making sure that the Red District remains recession proof.

Singaporean men, much as our women folk may like to denny it, have the same sex drive as anyone else. Like men elsewhere, we are obsessed by the size of our penises and sometimes our penises end up being bigger than our brains.

Men in positions of power tend to be guilty of having a huge sex drive and it becomes more so in a culture like Singapore’s where power is the be all and end all of nearly everything. The key that excites people here is power and that translates into sex. I remember telling an old friend that I was shocked that former England Captain, Will Carling would leave a beautiful wife over a shag with Princes Diana. His reply was simple – “How many man can say, ‘I shagged the future Queen of England?’”

It shouldn’t surprise us that men in positions of power have slept with women they should not have. As a man, let me tell you, it’s fun when you have women who want to shag the living daylights out of you. It’s a sign that you’re in a position of power. Women, who often derive their social status from the man in their life, there is a thrill in being shagged silly by someone in a position of power.

This is an age old game and it shouldn’t surprise us that things like this happen in Singapore. If the US President can get a blow job in the White House, we should be surprised that the head of the SCDF and CNB are getting a bit of nooky on the side.

What is a change is the fact that these scandals are coming to light. While a few of us might decry this sudden bout of ‘guttter journalism,’ this is in fact a positive step in the right direction. This was particularly evident in the case of the Comissioner of the SCDF and Director CNB. The government thought it control the timing of the release of the story but were beaten to it by Lianhe Wanbao, one of these Chinese language papers.

In the old days, the newspapers would have waited for the government to give them the permission to print the story. It was called “responsible” journalism. Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister makes the point that he was never going to allow the press to run the show. His point was simple – “Who elected you?” The idea of a press baron like Rupert Murdoch emerging from Singapore remains an anathema.

The good side of this situation was the fact that the press was never allowed and remains unable to ‘break laws,’ in the same way that it had in the UK with the News of the World bugging politicians and tapping the phones of murder victims. People who unwhittingly end up in the media spot light do have a degree of privacy that they would not have elsewhere. I take the AWARE Saga, which I was involved in back in 2009. The press followed the story religiously. They made the links between various parties. They did not go after people like the children of the parties involved.

The down side of this reverence for the government, was that it allowed people in authority to cover their tracks. I think back of my National Service days when we had live firing. Nobody knew that a good chunk of our ammunition was beyond the use-by date until two-people died. We, the guys on the ground were barred from speaking to the press and the press meekly accepted the Ministry of Defence’s statements for what they were. It was clear to us on the ground that there was negligence in ammunition procurement. More than a decade later, nobody from the defence procurement department has faced even slap on the wrist for what was blatant criminal negligence. The story seems to be it was all the fault of some US based manufacturer who outsourced things to Mainland China.

Today, the press faces competition from websites. Eye balls which only took information from the main stream have other sources of information. Why did the editor of Lianhe Wanbao make the decision to publish the story about the two senior civil servants? Answer is pretty simple –there is a need to come up with a big story before the other news sources do it for you and send you into the dustbins of irrelevance.

Libel laws are necessary. Unlike my fellow bloggers, I’m not going to panic because the Lee family have sent lawyers letters to a few of us. It’s a sign that we as a community as being taken seriously. As bloggers, we should play by similar rules to our bretheren in the Mainstream media.

However, the situation is such that the powers-that-be will find it harder to use libel laws. People have tasted certain freedoms and will not accept those freedoms being removed. Those in power cannot silence things as they like nor can they expect to play by different rules just because they are in power. Look at the recent case of libel letters being sent to the Temasek Review Emeritus, one of Singapore’s most prominent blog sites. Yes, the site removed “offensive” comments but the letters are being discussed online. This would not have happened five years ago. A government official can no longer call up an editor and demand a story be killed without real justification.

Sex scandals may be torrid fun. However, they also show us a few things and I believe the sudden breaking of such stories is positive for the nation at large.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For the Love of Blotchy

One of the latest stories going round the internet is the story on how three expatriates assualted a few Singaporeans outside Suntec City in 2011. The rub of the story is not so much the fact that three Pink Blotchies decided to behave a typical Blotchy fashion after a few too many, but the fact that the police proved to be totally incompetent. Somehow, the police decided that they couldn't be arsed to do their job and two out of the three blotchies were allowed to run home and the one who did face the music faced a grand total of three weeks in jail for causing serious bodily hurt to several people. I won't go into the details as the incident has been well doccumented by Andrew Loh, the editor of Public House in his piece - “Minister Teo should explain handling of Suntec City assault case.”

Reactions on the net have been understandably angry. The tollerance and love that Singaporeans have for Pink Blotchies has for the moment been exchanged for the resentment that many feel against forigners in general. There's also been plenty of anger at the way the Singapore Police Force has managed the case. The feeling is that the police simply couldn't be bothered and because the three blotchies came from “Blotchy Land” (New Zealand, Australia and the UK), the government allowed them to flee rather than to avoid a diplomatic row.

My personal feelings are this – the three need to face the full force of the law in Singapore. A crime was comitted here and the perpetrators need to face the music, whatever their nationality. Singapore prides itself in the rule of law and so, we actually need to show that it exist. By allowing the three clowns to flee we have shown that the message is this – there is one law for Pink Blotchies and Elite Singaporeans and another for the Poor and Darkies from elsewhere.

My stance remains this – if the police and the justice system do not do their job and enforce the laws, the people have every right to defend themselves by whatever means. We, the people have a moral obligation to dispense street justice everytime the system lightens the load off some thug who happens to be of a pale complextion. Singaporeans need to stand up for themselves in the same way that they do in other parts of Asia.

Yes,Blotchies are revered in Thailand as much as they are here and perhaps more so. However, the Pink Blotchies understand that there are certain boundaries that they don't cross. Take the example of a couple of drunken German tourist who thought it was fun to rip a Thai Bhat note right where the king's portrait was. The Thai people rightly decided to wack the living day lights out of them and beat them within an inch of their lives. The police allowed it to happen.

I also respect the Turks for not taking shit. Two yobs from Leeds decided that it was fun to use the Turkish flag as toilet paper and they proceeded to do it in public view of people in Istanbul. My gut reaction is not, “Oh, poor things, they were just silly,” it's this - “Don't tread on other people's heritage.” I remember telling an Afghani lady that the two people I respect most on this planet are Afghanis and Vietnamese – the guys who tried to invade them always walked away with a bloody nose.

Having said all of that, I also look back to the way I think the public reaction would have been if the incident took place in the UK, where I spent my formative years.

Funnily enough, I think the three yobs wold have been lynched by White Anglo-Saxons who would have ben enraged of what would have been played out as a “racist” incident. I had two personal incidents and saw one on TV, which gives me tremendous faith in the British people.
The first incident came in my first year of school when someone made a racial remark, which I took to heart. A fight took place. What's interesting about this was one of the students from the year above went to the guy and threatened to wack him if he heard of any racist behaviour towards me.

The second incident came much later in life when I had to serve on an English jury. The jury was filled with White English Working Class people. The case was that of a young Lebanese boy who had been in a scuffle with White English Policemen. Let me tell you, each and every one of my colleagues were on the side of the Lebanese boy. One of them remarked publically, “I'd let him off just for hitting a policeman.”

The third incident that comes to mind was when Shillpa Shetty was racially abused by the late Jade Goody. Channel Four studio was besieged by protest from White English people who were disgusted by the way one of their own had behaved.

I'm not saying that racism does not exist in the West. It clearly does and in horrible forms. Segragation may have been removed from the statuate books in the 60s but it exist in voluntary forms. I think of the wonderful line in “Live and Let Die,” the 1971 Bond movie, which had James Bond entering Harlem - “it's like following a cue ball.” There are some neighbourhoods where White People enter at their peril and there are some neighbourhoods where Blacks don't even think of entering no matter how much money they have.

However, from what I experienced from life in the UK and visiting Europe and the USA, is that skin colour isn't much of a factor. Things like education and social class tend to be more important factors. I take my aversion to your average English football fan. I shudder whenever I think of group of this species gathering and trying to sound intelligent. Then again, I don't think my reaction towards this group is that different from the reaction of people like my good friends Corvin and Vincent, who have been happily living in London.

Generally speaking, Westerners are accepting of foreigners provided the forigners stick to their own space and live quietly. Resentment comes mainly when you come to a country and expect to enjoy the benefits of the social system without putting back. I think I've said this more than once, my stepfather works in a hospital that caters to near Eastern migrants who's only word of German they've learnt is the place for the welfare office. Think of this from the average German's perspective - “I work hard, I pay my taxes and the lot of you come over here and live off my taxes.”

If you are, however, do work and don't try and sponge off the locals, you are left alone. The Old Rogue always tells me, “There is no prejudice against Chinese in America – they refused to take welfare and ran businesses.” Chinese and Vietnamese and South Korean communities do well because they are quiet and entrepreneurial. It takes a generation or two for the kids to look at working in a big company rather than in a laundromat or a restaurant. Yes, these communities have developed fearsome gangsters (notice that when Austrlian biker gangs get out of hand …. they avoid the Vietnamese communities – they know what's good for them), but by and large they coexist with the rest of society.

So, when you get groups of people quietly coexisting peacefully for long enough, they tend to ignore skin colour and look other factors. In such situations you look at decent and awful behaviour for what it is rather than who perpetrates it.

While the nasty racial incidents make the headlines, the West has actually done quite well by being fairly open to immigration.

Things are different in Singapore. We're told that we, the locals have to accept foreigners to drive economic growth. There are however, two classes of foreigners – namely the talents and the workers. The talents are supposed to be the people “we need” and therefore have to welcome with open arms. The workers are the people that we are supposedly doing a favour for by letting them work at starvation wages for the task we don't want to do.

I can accept that foreigners do come with necessary skills and much of the money in Singapore actually comes from elsewhere.

However, if you look at the way things have been communicated, the message is clear – there are several classes of human beings and we, the locals are not the top of the proverbial tree. Imigration policy has been translated into culture.

I look at the way the police look after Geylang. They're all over the place, either in uniform or as plane cloths officers. Geylang is filled with local Singaporeans as well as workers from India, Bangladesh and China. Hence, the assumption is there is going to be trouble at any given moment. By contrast, the police always ensure they are at the other end of the road whenever Orchard Towers gets into full flow – why? Orchard Towers is filled with Pink Blotchies who are saintly people even if they're doing exactly what the darkies in Geylang are doing. I've been with Indian workers and Fillippina girls when they've been cautioned by the police for the crime of sitting outside and having a beer while up the road you've had Pink Blotchies doing exactly the same thing.

One of the ironies of this situation is that foreign workers are amongst the most law abbiding citizens in Singapore. If you follow the statistics provided by Transient Workers Count Too (Twc2), this section of society is statistically the least likely to commit a crime. Yet the police see them as the most threatening to society.

To problem with this policy is that when put into practice, you actually create a situation of having three different laws. There's the laws for the dark people. A law for the locals and then there's a law for the sanctified blotchies. Now, how do you call it rule of law.

My mother took issue with the fact that in the previous posting I had brought up the case of Michael Faye, the American teenage vandal who had spray painted a few cars. I contend that Mr Faye was an expat brat who could take the good things Singapore has to offer but couldn't take the “other” side of Singapore and went squealing to the embassy. My Mum believes that the US government was doing what all governments should do and protecting its citizens.

One of other things that has never been brought up is the fact that Michael Faye was the last diplomatic row that we had with the USA. Suddenly, Singapore has become afriad of of getting into a row with Western countries. I have to ask myself why?

Let's face it, the Western countries are not about to pull out their military or economic presence in Singapore because we hang a few mules. So, why do we need to give people holding American or European passports special treatment in order to avoid a diplomatic row. The diplomats were not going to get expelled because we canned Mr Faye!

If you talk to enough Westerners in their own country, you'll find that they support our right to enforce our laws. During Micael Faye there were many Americans who thought America should have canning. When we hanged an Austrlian for drug trafficking, our news rooms had letters from Australia telling us that we were doing the right thing. I remember one of my English friends saying, “If you can live in Singapore and take money from Singapore, you got to be prepared to face the justice system there. If you don't like it – bugger off.”

So, why has the application of law become different when it comes to Westerners? After Michael Faye, we had a US serviceman punching a Singaporean and when the issue was brought up – the American Ambassador of the day had a field day reminding us how we should be greatful to American servicemen. By contrast, whenever US servicemen misbehaves in Japan, you get the US Ambassador grovelling infront of whatever provincial governor of whichever province where the misdeed took place.

Why can't we have an equal dialogue with the West when it comes to the enforcement of our laws? People invest in Singapore because it has laws to protect everybody rather than laws to protect people who invest differently from those who don't.

I agree with Andrew Loh, the Ministry of Home Affairs has to provide answers. How is it that we can cane, hang, castrate etc a Bangladeshi for going on strike when he hasn't been paid several months wages, yet when three Pink Blotchies beat people up, they're given their passports and allowed to run away. By contrast, when a Nepali guy breaks the nose (beyond surgery) of a Pink Blotchy who assaulted his boss – we deport the guy on the spot – no questions asked.

You can't tell me its because we need one group more than the other. You can't tell me that Western countries invest so much more than Darky Countries (Western countries being in extra need of investment themselves). You can't tell me that Pink Blotchies are harder working (just drop by my Old Neighbourhood in Soho to see Blotchy Industry at its best). You can't tell me that Blotchies are more intelligent (Afirmative Action in the US was designed to keep Asians out of universities in favour of White ones, as much as it was to get Blacks in).

So here's the question – is there a law for Pink Blotchies and a law for other people in Singapore? If there is, there's a good reason why one shouldn't invest in Singapore.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Question of Faith

My former theology teacher, David Pook died recently. David, who was a decade older than me, had the misfortune of getting cancer and succumbing to it. The event had a surreal feel to it. I hadn’t seen him for nearly a decade and our contact had been limited to Facebook messages. Then, one day, out of the blue he announced he was dying and three days later he was dead. His funeral by all accounts was a tribute to his dedication to the several generations of students that he taught at Churcher’s College and the King’s School Maccesfield. Over 600 people turned out to say goodbye to a man who had been both friend and mentor to so many. His Facebook page remains active as a place where people remember him.

It’s been a long time since I had contact with David and I think our relationship did take a bit of knock when I didn’t read theology at university. I’m probably not the best person to write a tribute to him, except I will say that he, in his theology lessons taught me one of the most important lessons in life - namely the nature of faith.

A-Level Christian theology is an academically demanding subject. In the course of two-years, one has to dissect the Bible and understand every intricacy of how its created. You are required to provide complex arguments over nothing more than a word of Ancient Greek or two. During the two-year period, you get the privilege of examining the very nature of Christ in the study of Christology.

One of the most interesting things about studying theology is the fact that you have to accept the possibility that everything described in the Bible is very possibly just a matter of an ancient way of explaining things. Learned men like Rudolf Bultmann argued logically and persuasively that Jesus was merely an ordinary man - his miracles were merely the way people explained things back when the knowledge of science was rather limited.

As we were doing this, I remember David telling us, “Lad’s, my purpose isn’t to weaken your faith - but to strengthen it.” I didn’t understand him then but in the two decades since I sat for theology exams, I’ve come to understand that some of the best things in life exist in a paradox. The most common paradox that most people deal with is the question of courage. It’s often pointed out that courage is not the inability to feel fear but the ability to carry on doing the necessary despite feeling fear. I’ve learnt that the same is true of faith.

Faith is not the absence of questioning but the ability to continue believing despite constant questioning. It’s the moment where heart and mind meld together and come with the answer. I think David was the example of this - he spent the better part of his life asking questions but he remained a true believer right up to the end.

This lesson about the nature of faith has been crystalised in a decade of living in Singapore. It becomes life this because this is a society where people have been brought up to believe things unquestioningly. The most extreme example of this is the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who pays for sex but condemns prostitutes as immoral aka Thambi Pundek. However, he’s merely an extreme version of a common trend - people who don’t question and except things based on faith.

People are desperate for something to believe in, whether its in a ruling party or in a religion. Pastor Joseph Prince and his McGod franchise thrive on the desperation of people to believe in something without question.

Both Gina and Joyce, the women who I had the most emotionally intense relationships with, were consistently frustrated with me because I simply could not just believe - I had to question. The Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC pays for sex but condemns prostitutes as immoral, aka Thambi Pundek, cannot get over the fact that

I refuse to accept government actions for what they are. On the human level, its important to question, especially when it comes to the topic of government. Do I think the People’s Action Party is good for Singapore? You get the likes of the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who drinks during Ramadan aka Thambi Pundek desperately labeling me a softy opposition supporter. What he and his ilk see is the fact that I have consistently been critical of government on various issues.

What they fail to see is that I am actually a supporter of the PAP. When I got the chance to vote, I did so in their favour. As a citizen, I am obliged to constantly question things - whether its about the heart of the policy or about the approach and communications method. I believe that the ruling party has done a darn good job and I believe they remain the best people to do that job. With the exception of the Workers Party, I find opposition candidates in Singapore to be a group of sad, vicious little twats. I shudder at the idea of the likes of Kenneth “Aged Toff” Jeyaratnam ever moving into the Istana. So why don’t I just shut up and accept with faith that the PAP are great? Well, I realise they need people to question them.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and the only way to prevent that is by being prepared to question regardless of the consequences. I also realise that political decisions affect me and unless I don’t question and say something no matter how insignificant, I’m going to get trampled on. Nobody knows what you’re saying or feeling if you don’t say something. I think the same rules apply to God or at least the people who claim to represent him. I believe in the divine and I believe faith is rewarded.

However, faith tends to be mistaken as something you just accept without questioning because ...well....that’s always been the way. As such, you get the likes to Pastor Prince and Reverend Kong He milking their followers for a percentage of their salaries so that they can build bigger and better buildings to house their followers.

My theology is rusty but I don’t recall the passage where Jesus said, “Donate unto my agents so that you will have a bigger and better place to hang out on Sunday.” I do, however, recall the passage where he says, “Sell your possessions and become a follower of mine.” Gina and I used to go through this all the time. I’d constantly ask myself, “Is this God speaking or is this Pastor speaking.” Is anyone surprised that the marriage didn’t last very long?

Faith is based on free will and you can only have free will if you know about the brutal nasty things in life. Jesus was well aware that he was about to meet a nasty end, yet he had faith that the “Father” would raise him from the dead in his full divine glory. He says, “Let your will be done.” Many people forget this. Too often they talk about how they’re going to pray their way to prosperity and the path towards it will be smooth and easy. Well, if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Those with faith have doubts. Mother Teresa, regarded as the closest thing we’ve had to a Saint in the last five decades, admitted she had doubts. Yet her faith drove her on and she continued to do what she did in the slums of Calcutta. When was the last time that Joseph Singh ooopppps, I mean Joseph Prince (I forgot he was an ordinary bloke who decided he was royalty) went to anywhere resembling Calcutta?

Seriously, I can sit in the comfort of Suntec and have plenty of faith that God has entitled me to be his agent and enjoy the fruits of 20,000 clowns. It’s a different matter to show up in a hell hole and give of yourself because you believe that God has told you to be there.

Real faith comes when you question, have doubts and yet you carry on because you believe that it is God’s will for you. It is not an entitlement you achieve for attending a rock concert on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Arrested but Not Really.....

You have to hand it to my former boss, Mr PN Balji for being able to stir up a few emotions and you have to hand it to the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who cheered the Israeli Bombardment of the Gaza Strip aka Thambi Pundek to rise to the bait.

Mr Balji wrote a commentary, which was posted on Yahoo (http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/missing-piece-smart-government-024702253.html) which said in not so many words that the government’s handling of the communications over the sacking of two senior civil servants was badly done. This obvious point has caused something of a commotion. Singapore’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) has circulated the piece to all the ministries and anything that the top can do; the bottom proved that it can do slower.

Within a few days of this piece of news going out, the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who cheered the Israeli Bombardment of the Gaza strip aka Thambi Pundek started singing the praises of Mr Balji’s article and decided that he needed to meet the man rather urgently. As he said, “The article was well written but no matter which way you look at it, it was an insult to the establishment.” He went onto elaborate, “It has caused a lot of anger amongst the establishment and I need to get to the bottom of his motives.”

What’s interesting about this exchange is the fact that it is a sad reflection about the type of people who are being recruited by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). Simply put, the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who cheered the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip aka Thambi Pundek, couldn’t be bothered to read and analyse (apparently analysis is unpatriotic) what had been written.

Let’s start with his key concern – namely why Mr Balji had described the handling as “Bad PR.” He kept mentioning, “But the Minister has given a response – how can he say it’s bad PR?”

One merely needs to observe the way the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) have been trying to define the word “arrest,” it’s obvious why the delayed release of information about the two men can only be construed as bad PR management.

While the current Home Affairs Minister, Teo Chee Hean (apparently the patron of the Young Muslim Politician from Pasir Ris GRC who cheered the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip aka Thambi Pundek) has acted more quickly than his predecessor (Wong Kan Seng), would have, each ministerial statement appears to be a reaction to something else.

Simply put, the MHA has fluffed its communications efforts by releasing information a month after the fact. The Corporate Communications Department at MHA forgot one of the most basic rules of PR – tell your story before someone else does it for you.

Let’s start with the obvious. Two of the most senior civil servants were “arrested” at the beginning of the year (one at the end of December 2011 and another at the start of January 2012). The story was first published by the Chinese daily; Lianhe Wanbao (usually considered the trashy Chinese paper) and then the government issued its statement.

It doesn’t take an idiot to see that Wanbao did what every responsible newspaper should do and it doesn’t take an idiot to see that from that moment, MHA was not in control of the story.

Whatever it said seemed like a cover up for something. The Ministry claimed that it didn’t release information earlier because “investigations were underway.” It claimed that it needed to be “fair” and to allow “due process” to go through.

However, the question remains, “Why didn’t the Ministry release information when the two men were arrested?” The argument seems to be that they were “arrested” under the “prevention of corrupt practices act” but investigations were underway.

While the Ministry might be technically right, the perception that it is creating is that it has something to hide and it is acting to protect two senior civil servants (one only ran civil defense, which is responsible for things when a crisis takes place, the other only ran the body responsible for narcotics related crime.)

As far as the public are concerned, arrested means that you have a water tight case and you are ready to prosecute. Furthermore, it’s understood by the public that nobody moves against officials of that level unless they are pretty darn sure that there’s a water tight case against them.

So, why the hell did it take such a long time to release information? People can accept that it might not be appropriate to release information during an investigation. However, most logical people cannot accept the fact that an arrest, particularly of two very senior officials would be kept from the public for over a month.

So, one has to ask why the “establishment” would be upset with Mr Balji for pointing out he obvious? Surely, most right thinking people would be upset with him if he had not pointed out the obvious.