This post gives a prelude on my perspective (and a highlight in Parliament where Mr Low Thia Khiang seemed to have self-pwn’d) on the recent brouhaha on whether our Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Home Affairs Minister should quit. Strangely enough, no one seem to like to read the "Perspective" section in this blog – if the number of pongs is anything to go by. Well, I guess serious stuffs with non-juicy titles are really hard to get pongs, aren’t they?

Anyway, apparently Mr Low Thia Khiang threw a question at PM Lee if the latter would clarify on the principle in which the Government applied in looking at salary of the minister pitching to corporate world vis-a-vis when it comes to accountability and responsibility.

Here, if I may translate loosely, it’s indirectly hinting at the question "highly paid personnel in corporate organizations are fired when they make a mistake, shouldn’t this apply to ministers in the Government?" or if you still don’t get, it probably means "shouldn’t DPM Wong be fired for the escape of Mas Selamat?"

To which, PM Lee returned the question and asked if Mr Low thinks that DPM Wong should be fired because of this incident… it’s like…

In school

Your teacher made a mistake, say, in giving wrong marks, or failing someone by mistake, or failing to ensure the safety of some student, or letting some students play truant… and your principal asks you "do you think your teacher should be fired?" and holds a cane menacingly.

In work

Your boss made a mistake and failed to secure a deal and your boss’ boss asks if you would like your boss to be fired? Or in another scenario, your sales department fails to close a major deal and your CEO announces it during some general meeting and he asking you if you think that the sales manager should be fired.

At home

Your father’s sister’s husband’s sister’s husband’s brother failed to look after their Rott Weiler and one of them escaped (and possibly going around and biting people) and your father asks you if you think that his sister’s husband’s sister’s husband’s brother should be kicked out of the family clan…

It’s like… duh…

Does Low think Wong Kan Seng should quit?

MR LOW THIA KHIANG: A lot of people, including myself, cannot reconcile the principle which the Government applied in looking at salary of the minister pitching to corporate world vis-a-vis when it comes to accountability and responsibility. Would the PM clarify?

PM LEE: I thought the member would eventually come to this question…

I have to make a judgment who is responsible at what level, and I’ve discussed this with the DPM and I agree with his judgment and I have confidence in him.

The DPM was here, the member yesterday had full opportunity to question him…If any questions showed that the DPM was not up to this, that he was to blame, he gave the wrong instructions, he told people not to grille up the window, he suggested that we didn’t need so much fencing, therefore this happened, he (Mr Low) should have raised it.

Nothing happened.

Today the member comes around and throws a general cloud and says you’re well paid, you should resign.

Let me ask the member whether he thinks the DPM ought to resign because of this?

(Pause. Mr Low remains silent and does not answer.)

No answer.

So I think that settles the point.

Article obtained from on 23rd April 2008

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