Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper Straits Times online edition of Sept 14, 2010 has the story "Tommy Koh weighs in". In it, Senior Diplomat and high ranking member of Lee Kuan Yew's Peoples Action Party, in an action almost totally unprecedented in Singapore's entire history has questioned government policy and has stated openly and almost defiantly that Singapore should implement minimum wage law.
He is reported to have said "The growing disparity and the hardship faced by the lowest 20% of our workers is a threat to our social cohesion and inconsistent to our policy of inclusive growth". He also said "As a Straits Times correspondent has recently commented, Singapore is a first world country with a third world wage structure".
Professor Koh is Lee Kuan Yew's handpicked special advisor to the Institute of Policy Studies, an organization very close to the government which it uses as it's mouthpiece on important issues.
Such open defiance against official government policy in the island is almost unheard of.
True to the Fascist style government, every official and top associate such as Professor Tommy Koh are required to tow the government line and speak with one voice which is, that they are against minimum wage law as this will result in their losing competitiveness.
This has been the official policy of the Lee Kuan Yew government from the very top, as has been repeatedly stressed by Lee Kuan Yew's son himself, the Prime Minister as well as the Minister for Labor, Gan Kim Yang and Lim Swee Say, the Trade Union Secretary General.
In fact the stand against minimum wage in the island is so entrenched that it is almost etched in stone, which is, no minimum wage law in the island at any cost.
It is an irony, that the person clamouring most for a minimum wage to be enacted today, is none other than Lee Kuan Yew's arch enemy and his greatest threat, Dr. Chee Soon Juan.
By arguing openly for the minimum wage, Professor Tommy Koh, a seemingly ardent card carrying member of the PAP is in fact seen to be siding with Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party.
The last time anyone close to Lee Kuan Yew who turned against him was the former President Devan Nair who was abruptly thereafter accused of molesting half naked Dayak women in Sarawak and unceremoniously kicked out of office. He died not too long ago in exile in Canada. Another such an unfortunate individual was Francis Seow, the former Solicitor General, who was immediately accused of tax fraud, arrested and beaten and thereafter fled Singapore.
This temerity by someone close to the government, like Professor Tommy Koh, contradicting it's policies is the first in history for a long time. I am not sure what to make of this. It could possibly be the first crack in the PAP machinery since Lee Kuan Yew himself has admitted he has not long to live.
Is this a sign of even more disagreements in the higher ranks of the government? Are we next going to see another PAP Minister coming out openly against government policies, like Tommy Koh?
Or is this a pleasant surprise that Tommy Koh is in fact defecting altogether from the PAP and going over to the opposition Singapore Democratic Party's side?
Or is an enflamed Lee Kuan Yew now suddenly going to accuse Professor Tommy Koh of raping 23 half naked women in a row in Papua New Guinea last year when he was there on an official visit and give the the same ignominious boot as he gave Devan Nair? With Lee Kuan Yew any suprises are possible!
Only time will tell what is next. I hope that this action by this man is the first sign that the lofty tower of the PAP is in fact beginning to crack and Professor Tommy Koh's act in the fist in a line that will spread and bring down this government.
Regardless of Tommy Koh's intentions, and despite his career of shamefully shoring up a fascist dictatorship for decades, I must thank him for having said this and I hope others brave souls will take his cue and stand up for once from their prostrated knees.
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