Sunday, 9 July 2017

Oxley Saga (July 3 Parliamentary debates) Part 2.

I am glad that the Oxley Parliamentary Debate is over. The conclusion is that there is no abuse or misuse of power. All MPs endorse their PM wholeheartedly.
Even the WP is prepared to give PM the benefit of a doubt, although they are more reserved about it considering that parliamentary debates are not as scrutinising as the court of law or a COI. 
ESM Goh believed that the feud goes back way longer even before this Oxley house demolition thing. 
He questioned the younger siblings' motive and put the blame on them for trying all ways and means to destroy their brother's unassailable integrity. He said the Oxley house issue is a ruse to bring PM Lee down.
And although PM Lee knows that this saga will not end after the 2-day parliamentary session, he and his government has arrived at a conclusion that they have started with, that is, there has never been (or will ever be) any abuse or misuse of power. 
Since PM Lee's side of the story has been stripped down and spread out for all to see, the matter is, in the government's mind, deemed resolved, final and concluded. That's not just parliamentary privilege, but governmental one too. 
And at this moment, due to the woefully lack of evidence of any abuse to start with, PM Lee is of the view that there is no basis to convene a select committee. But he is nevertheless prepared for one if the evidence adds up in the future. 
The whip is therefore safely put back in its happy place. 
Lesson? ...
Well, say what you want to say, but I can't say that I've learnt nothing from this parliamentary debate. It has really been an eye-opener for me as a citizen, father and a worker in this vast local economy. 
Here are some things I have learnt along the way. 
It is undeniable that PM Lee is conflicted. He is conflicted between country and family. He wears two hats and they are both weighing on his head and shoulders. 
He wanted to do what is best for the country while containing the family feud. He is therefore torn between his public duties and his private responsibilities. 
Personally, although the MPs are 100% rallying and standing behind him, I have to be honest and say that this whole embarrassing saga has revealed three lessons about his leadership and the family feud. 
First, as a leader, he has shown that he cannot bring himself to sue his own siblings. This is understandable because blood is always thicker than water. 
This is also revealing because if you were unfortunate enough to be any person other than his siblings or family members, he would have gone to the full extent of the law to bring you to justice with such grave and baseless accusations. You belong to the basket of "normal circumstances" category. 
And it is within his rights to do so in order to protect and preserve his unblemished record and impeccable reputation. 
However, his unenviable dilemma as a leader here is that by letting this go based on family ties, and knowing it will not go away so easily, he has left the job or the "burden" of (informal) adjudication to a jury of 5.1 million (FT included) as the social media war will persist with no end in the near future. 
As such, instead of placing it before a court judge or a panel of impartial arbiters (in a COI) the serious issues at hand, he is allowing the matter to drift in cyberspace in careless abandonment with impunity for any tom, dick and harry to piece them together in whatever slipshod and slapdash fashion they fancy to make up a self-serving narrative of even more incredulous proportions. 
(Alas, if his main concern is that he doesn't want to air even more dirty linens in court or in the COI, well, with such perceived-to-be self-arrived conclusion endorsed by his own perceived-to-be hand-picked subordinates, the dirty linens will not stop swaying in public with its fumes lingering for some time to come).
Now, I reiterate that I can understand fully why he cannot bring himself to take legal redress against his loved ones, but he cannot have his cake and eat it. 
Like what ESM Goh said, "if reason fails, I appeal to the emotions and sensibility of the Lees to stop trying to drag each other down and move on." 
Implied in that statement is that PM Lee also has an important part to play to "stop trying to drag each other down." 
So, he can't have his cake (declaring to Parliament as his own arbiter of facts that he is whiter than white) and then eat it (leave the matter as it is as if business is as usual without making the sincerest effort to make amends and reconciliation with his siblings). 
I am not so much calling for an independent inquiry as I am imploring for a reconciliation between the siblings as this is exactly what many in Parliament (and the nation) have always wanted. 
Second, as a brother, he has done things that are less than desirable. The most obvious one is to allow this matter to be blown out of hand, out of control and out of proportion. 
He is no doubt only human and his act of donating his whole share of the sale proceeds is deeply encouraging and admirable. 
But what he ought to have done is to respect more the roles/responsibilities/title that his father has entrusted to his younger siblings, that is, as joint executors of the estate. 
You see, the memorial things his wife took without going through proper channel, the SD's accusations (without recourse to court but has only prejudiced the mind of the ministerial committee) that has obviously driven a deep wedge between his brother (his wife) and him, the securing of the Deed of Gift (in his official capacity) without regards to the admitted fact that it is nevertheless still a legally binding private agreement despite its onerous terms, and the setting up of the ministerial committee without proper deference to the joint executors' authority and duties have all left much to be desired as a leader/brother of the nation. 
Now, it may not be an issue of misuse of power, but it is definitely an issue of keeping a level head, a compassionate heart and a humble stand when dealing with such seething sibling rivalry that ESM Goh had already said goes way back. 
Given a second chance, I am sure PM Lee would have wanted to do things differently in order to keep the peace, save the embarrassment and heal the wounds. 
And finally....
Third, as a son, I can't say his tears in Parliament has not moved me to some extent. 
PM Lee fought back his tears when he recounted that when he was 13, his father reminded him to take care of his mother, and younger sister and brother. 
At that time, his father's life was in danger due to a fierce fight between the central government and the communalists. 
He went further to lament that "little did I expect that after my parents died, these tensions would erupt with such grievous consequences and, after so many years, I would be unable to fulfil the role which my father had hoped I would." 
Well, it is never too late to stop the bleeding, and his hope that "one day, these passions will subside and we can begin to reconcile" is not beyond reach or beyond his ability (or capacity). 
I always believe that you can't control other people's choices, but you can always control yours. I also always believe that the first step forward to healing and reconciliation is your very own step. 
You can choose to close the gap, and be the first one to do so as the son your father has entrusted to be a bridge for both nation and family. 
Impropriety and integrity aside, the larger issue or picture here is to do the right thing and make both his father (and mother) and Singaporeans proud by being the first to extend a hand of hope, the soul of humility and the heart of love. 
Because when all is said and all is done, his father would have wanted it no other way than to see a nation heals through the healing of his own family. Cheerz.

No comments:

Post a Comment