Tea Sessions In Recessions: The Coming Contestants.

Ever since the cabinet changes, there have been a lot of speculations in the political appointments including who will be the next Prime Minister and if he or she has already been injected into the parliament. Just as the speculations on MM’s retirement in the previous elections, Elfred is laughing at the current speculations… in both directions. Here’s Redbean’s take: http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.com/2009/04/finding-square-pegs-for-round-holes.html

This coming election is probably one of the most critical but boring elections ever, other than any possible excitations from the oppositions’ performance when the tide is raised to such level in their favor… Why’d I say that? Of course, it’s all political… First and foremost, by right… the party would be on high gear since the pivotal election to be prepared for this crisis, but it went very wrong expectantly so, and I don’t even need to explain anymore. PM Lee, without his wings, has clearly missed the big chance to establish the critically needed legacy for establishing his political influence matching his father’s, and now… he’s obviously coping  to stay afloat among all the slew of scandals and so on. Hence the coming election becomes critical for him… because 1. of the disasterous consequences since the pivotal election, 2. the rising tide for the oppositions, 3. the influx of the rebellious youths… and of course 4. this election is going to be a post-Obama and post-blogger-sensation one.

It’s boring because given the norm and the reality of Singapore’s political talents’ pool, I personally do not expect much deviation from the expected course as explained in the YP Forum. In this political field, on records… political elements are mostly slighted and non-existent. So whatever the outcome in PAP should not be surprising at all.

The Square pegs for the round holes… Hahahahahaha… Redbean does show some humor this time round. The same old soup for the same round bowl. Will they be acceptable to the people as their older counterparts would be really not the issue here, because I don’t expect much deviation from the script and we have already a whole records of what are going on. Or how else can a New Father of Singapore be on the cards? If somehow, deviation does come… the mess stops growing, then how can I have my job? Hahahahahahahahahahaha…

Political Human Resource… can kill… even mighty regimes as China’s.

This coming election will also be the turning point for the oppositions’ fate, because the next election will be taking place in an extremely difficult time. Don’t ask me, I’d never tell. Then what is real ‘ministerial calibre’ will be defined in that point of time. I know what this Redbean has in mind… Hahahahahahahaha… I doubt his option for Singaporeans will be any better.

This election’s main role is to seal PM’s political path ahead; a determination of what are to come and what to go into history. That given the domestic and global outlook, the best thing for Elfred now is to just sit back and idle.

I don’t see DPM Teo’s point about the 4th team being developed in the coming election basically because apparently in this crisis, MM’s heart has gotten attacked… and I don’t expect MM Lee to really think he’s going to leave his son in such a… situation… plus plenty of scandals generated. And obviously, I don’t think either Mr Teo or Mr Tharman could be the future PM as rumors are rife about. I may be too blunt but… basic political sense must be upheld. Melvin Tan’s analysis about the cabinet change may be laughable, but at least he got one thing right… Mr Teo is too old for the PM position unless somehow PM Lee retires in the election after the next. By the time PM Lee becomes the Senior Minister, he’d be around 65~70yo… This is given the earliest calculation. Given that, the next PM… as I have mentioned in the past, would be about 30~40yo currently. Both Mr Teo and Mr Tharman don’t fall into this range. The most likely figure for the next PM… if you must know and he must exist now against all know concerns, would be Mr George Yeo.

He’s the most likely successor so far; ie. if he can survive the coming onslaughts from the oppositions.

And the rumors about Mdm Ho Ching entering politics is most ridiculous…

May I ask… where in the cabinet will Mdm Ho be? Are we going to create a new title for her? It’s ridiculous to assume that the first lady to be positioned as a junior minister after a senior position in Temasek or a senior political position being a rookie in the cabinet, and of course, not to say many people in or outside the party will scream. MM’s own perception of the parliament with a global aspect implies a very low chance of Mdm Ho becoming a junior minister from a First Lady, unless she is that keen to be in politics. There is also a conflict of interest in the normal workings among the ministries to report to the PM… her husband. Why would the PM make things so complicated when it also won’t appeal to the public?

So it’s really too early to say who will be the next PM and pretty outraging to accuse Mdm Ho wanting to enter politics. Remember Jiang Qing, the last wife of Mao? As for Redbean’s perception of what a PAP candidate would be in this system… It may have been far-fetched. After all, politics is like a flow of water… how can things never be changed? If everything goes by records, Singapore would have thrived in this crisis as when it became one of the four tigers while the world slacked in Cold War; and if everything goes by records… then the next PM would be another Mr Goh. Argh~ Myth… Mr Shanmugan’s stunning appointment doesn’t seem to have shattered the mythical PAP appointments cateria…

You can’t blame Singaporeans’ 10-years-series mentality…

But if people were to ask me, I myself don’t see much change this round either. This has been discussed before.

Notice Not The Tea Session.

Notice not the tea session, notice not the candidates, but focus on how those candidates got into the tea sessions. The quality of the candidates as how would be decided by the cadres would not be the same as how most people and even Elfred would probably prefered… in the understanding for this political field.

The other thing people have to note is that every Prime Minister would prefer to stay in power, and hence about how they will choose candidates for appointments. Hence, as I have mentioned, what leader gets what leaders; and what leaders determine what sorts of politics and the future of Singapore.

It doesn’t really lessen your chance if you express interest in politics than if the PM perceives that you are useless. The basic requirement in this system or any system is in real how much you are needed, or in real… how good is the PM in determining if you are needed. Simple.

It’s something of two directions.

All across histories, these happened. A lousy leader surrounds himself with craps, and most drowned with those craps.  Wise leaders… even Liu Bei was no wise leader. He looked at Pang Tong, and dismissed him as a joke. How good could he be? The point about tea sessions is that people cannot take them too seriously. Because the main issue about tea sessions is that you notice many may not be in PAP. And if you are smart, you’d poke into from where are those elements introduced to take those teas. This is the critical part of the game.


Because that shows what are influencing the party most. Because it is those influences one must examine and handle in Singapore. It’s the same as with titles or positions, the most important thing is to know who has the real power. Because only from there can you factor things in. Melvin Tan’s analysis is considered crappy because many things are illogical. And of course, Redbean is still pondering based on his understanding of the system. But one have to look at things from PM and MM’s viewpoint. With the council in MM’s hand, and the Prime Minister’s office in PM’s hand… those are where you focus on. Because they are the system, they are the change. You have to know what they are thinking, what their characters are, and what situations they are most sensitive to…

Records are pretty useless, facts are also quite useless… Because the future is always about wisdom.

Ultimately speaking, always remember that in politics inertia is very strong. The only thing that can break such inertia happens on the pivotal points. Other things are not really important.

If you find that strange, that’s because it’s time to use your brain.

There are two main categories of political leaders… One is to rot into history, one is to be the savior of mankind. Usually when you are rotting into history, it’s very unlikely to be the savior of mankind. Which is why entering politics… you can’t be less choosy of the timing, and the people you would be associated with.

The best elements don’t go after tea sessions, but situations.

Actually, this is by right one of my favorite subjects, but… it’s not appropriate to go further now.



  1. Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Too much tea is bad for health.

  2. Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Editor,



  3. Posted May 4, 2009 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Hi Elfred! Can you please write shorter posts? Cheerio.

    • Posted May 4, 2009 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Hi Gleechoo!

      Can you please write longer posts? Cheerio.

      Alright… Lemme see… I’d like to seek your understanding for writing very ultra long posts…


Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: