Not my original intent, but the responses and comments posted in reaction to the first article published in TRE on 5 Jun suggested to me that, perhaps, I need to make some factors behind my approach more explicit for some readers less inclined to think through the situation.
I hope to have shed a little more light with this follow-up piece.
What Now, Roy? Part II
No longer a newbie at TRE, why did I bother to offer my 2cents approach to Roy that is contrary to TRE base of readers mostly clamouring for blood? It’s because Roy needs that other voice to keep whispering in his other ear – now, more than ever.
What makes me qualified to speak? Two reasons;
One, I’ve read up more than most TRE readers here from sources and of perspectives other than and different from those that TRE readers read. Or Roy reads.
Two, no one appears to be doing it, so I should at least try to give a view and a practical suggestion to stir up not just shot-from-the-hip comments but provoke a different line of thinking on what the ISSUE is amid the rumpus of this circus-act-of-the-month. Sorry, it’s too soon to declare this episode a milestone.
The known unknowing ones on both sides
Reading only the right stuff exists on both sides of the Singapore divide. How many TRE readers have seen the photos of Roy with his plate of plain rice (but shot in a café)? Or him ‘taking 5-min of power nap on bus 401’? Well, fabricated or not, there are Singaporeans reading stuff different from others.
And those who slammed Sir Nelspruit’s question about Accountability and Transparency, was he not merely applying the same measure Roy uses on others to measure back to him? The question of why Roy is appealing for donations while JBJ & CSJ did not is an honest and relevant one that can better equip readers to counter those who question them later.
How many TRE readers are concerned enough like Sir Nelspruit to actually reach out to and offer his personal assistance to Roy? If you are honest about yourself, read this.
The unknowns known only to one
At least two unknowns we should be concerned about.
One, composition of the donors. When TRE can’t even raise US$3000 of the US$12,000 after 5 weeks while Roy received 20x that amount within 5 days, does it, should it not raise more than eyebrows? One can understand Roy has a face and the foe is specific. But which has been, is and will be more important to the cause of TRE readers and, by extension, opposition supporters?
My guess is that a sizeable amount donated to Roy comes from the Pink Brigade. Think the parallel; Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park attracted >10k while the PWP that affects the lives of all Singaporeans, not just LGBTs, managed only 3k. Why? It’s that sense of fraternity, never mind the cause. Is there a parallel oppo fraternity amongst voters? Mark my word, 7 Jun will see more pinks coming. (Note: I merely state a pink fact, no moral judgment.)
What if 50%, 60% of the donations were pink, does that change the calculus of actual support on the CPF issue? Or is that diluted with a, pun unintended, pinky hue?
Two, why the apparent eagerness to be served the writ? What of the announcements then deletions made by his confidante, Hui Hui, about martyrdom, asylum etc etc which Sir Nelspruit has closely tracked and claimed can call up to show?
So, what is Roy’s true motivation, taking everything that he has and has not done? Well, only he knows.
Roy should understand a day in court is no walk in the park. I took my employer once to court and should know a little. Has Roy sought out CSJ to at least understand what to expect? If not, why not? Is Roy just raring to go and relying on just his own lawyer? Is that good enough, wise?
Wouldn’t anyone normal want to gyrate towards a course with greater certainty, less unknowns? Why hurl yourself headlong towards the unknown, go the whole 9 yards? What for if your claim has always been that ‘the CPF will be transparent to ordinary Singaporeans’ (23 May, apology letter to LHL)? Being true to yourself?
How about us spectators? Would those egging Roy towards the centre of the coliseum actually act on their own advice if in Roy’s shoes?
How would making PM Lee pay a high price help their cause? Could that ‘punishment’ backfire at the GE? Remember a GE is not a BE. Remember also that anger stirred differently may also (perversely, to oppo supporters) cause a swath of undecided voters to play it safe and support an embattled PM to buttress support for the international audience, if only to show solidarity for a 50-year branding exercise. So many unknowns.
Settling for a less unknown outcome
I had asked in my earlier article, ‘those who disagree with my view to imagine the many, many other gains to be had taking this route.’ The many comments I read appear to suggest it can do with some help.
Perhaps, this one scenario may help.
Imagine: Regaining the initiative, Roy announces his one last statement on the saga.
“With my heart-true gratefulness for the exceptional and strong support from my fellow citizens, I decide that, for the good of all Singaporeans, it is better that I try to reach an out-of-court settlement with the Prime Minister. This shall be done in full confidence and in private. Once done, I shall get back to accounting for the donations raised. Once done, let us get back to getting the answers that we citizens deserve from our government, any sitting government of the day, about what belongs to us and how we want to see our money managed such that we can live reasonably well. Thank you.”
Just imagine all the possibilities arising therefrom.
If not, then let me end with this story:
Daedalus is a brilliant inventor—the Edison of his day. Unfortunately, he angers King Minos, the ruler of the island Crete, and he has to hightail it out of there. Desperate to flee the island, Daedalus uses wax to build some wings for himself and his son Icarus. Daddy Daedalus warns his son to fly at a middle height: the seawater will dampen the wings and the sun will melt them. (Not good either way.)
Icarus heeds his father’s advice for a bit, but then he gets cocky…having so much fun flying …he forgets the warning and flies too close to the sun. Sure enough, his wings melt, and Icarus plummets into the sea and drowns. [Link]
And words from a song:
Once we were running through smoke and fire
Running into the sun
In the rush of youth, for love and truth
Our deeds were done” – (Jackson Browne, World in Motion)
Story and verse are for Roy…
But those who donated and now think that it entitles them to a ringside view such that ‘if Roy is going to be made bankrupt anyway, he might as well go down fighting the extra mile for us while he still can. In fact, going the “whole nine yards” would maximise the use of the donated funds.’
Yeah, our young deserve to ‘go down fighting the extra mile for us’ until he can no longer – then what? Another young sacrificial lamb?