After the 2011 GE, Michael Palmer had to resign as MP, speaker of the house and from PAP because of his affair. This time round, it’s David Ong. I think this is starting to form a trend. I wonder whether this will be the “new normal”?
Of course, that is absurd.
But what is interesting is what else is common in both instances. Previously, PAP was blasting WP about Yaw Shin Leong’s affair. Not long after that Michael Palmer resigned for his affair. This time round, no affair on WP’s side for PAP to blast. But they were blasting Lee Li Lian for not taking up the NCMP post. Then now David Ong resigns as MP.
Looks like karma works very fast on PAP. Of course, this time round, it’s a lot worse. Why?
Punggol East residents who voted for Lee Li Lian weren’t voting for her to be NCMP. They were expressing their wish for her to be their MP. So it can be argued that she actually isn’t letting anyone of those who voted for her down by not taking up the NCMP post.
As for David Ong, 73% of residents of Bukit Batok voted for him to be their MP. That he is now resigning as MP is, in no uncertain terms, definitely letting down those who have voted for him.
Therefore, between Lee Li Lian and David Ong, David Ong certainly is the greater disappointment. And, by extension, it casts the PAP in rather bad light. As a friend on Facebook mentioned: “To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one MP due to personal indiscretions may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.”
That said, I don’t think PAP will lose Bukit Batok. Bukit Batok has been pretty staunchly PAP for a very long time. I don’t think enough of them will be that upset about this incident to turn against the PAP. So… I don’t think we’ll see any SDP MP any time soon.
Honestly though. I think this whole “MP must resign if they have personal indiscretion” thing quite silly. It’s personal! It’s an affair (pun intended) between two consenting adults right? Why should that matter? You mean David Ong’s any less competent as an MP just because of his personal indiscretion? You mean he can’t take care of his residents as well? You mean just because of his personal indiscretion, David Ong is any less capable as a Town Council chairman? Where’s the logic in that?
Bill Clinton had an affair with a White House employee. Did he step down as President of the United States? Nope. Congress tried to impeach him. But not for the affair per se, but for alleged perjury and obstruction of justice. The result? Bill Clinton was acquitted and stayed on till the end of his term of office.
So why is it that here in Singapore, we feel that an MP MUST resign if he had a “personal indiscretion”? Do we expect all our MPs to be flawless saints? Are we that naive?
Unless of course, there is more to this story that the mainstream media is reporting. That somehow, David Ong’s “personal indiscretion” affects his ability to be an MP. I can only think of two ways that this could be the case. First, David Ong, like Michael Palmer, had an affair with someone from PA who was working in Bukit Batok constituency. Second, David Ong had an affair with one of his grassroots leaders.
If either of these were the case, then I can understand why it may make it difficult for David Ong to be an effective MP. Otherwise, I really can’t understand why David Ong had to resign. Especially if he had been doing a good job as an MP.