Home > Et tu Mr Khaw, Singapore Scene > Et tu Mr Khaw

Et tu Mr Khaw

Et tu Mr Khaw?


Sometimes I feel really sorry for Tin Pei Ling.


Tin Pei Ling was supposed to have been a sign that thePAPhas finally heard the cries of the young. She was supposed to be a star catch – a pap candidate that shows thatPAPis ready to be hip and happening and not just remain old and fuddy duddy. They could not have done it worse.


I do not blame Ms Tin alone though. ThePAPand its unlimited budget had failed badly in its pr management and marketing strategies. Ms Tin became the poster girl for much scorn and derision. Choosing her confirmed for most Singaporeans thatPAPreally did not know the electorate well.


This was clear way before nomination day. PM himself made mention of Ms Tin at an NUS forum with the students. He laughingly asked for people to give her and her youth a chance. Just a few days ago, he pledged not to parachute people in at the last minute. Regrets? A little late, dear PM. Now we are beginning to doubt the ability of the PAP to select and attract able candidates.


Frankly, I cannot imagine that the PAP selected a totally empty vessel. However, impressions once formed are very difficult to correct. The question is, could these poor impressions have been prevented? Exactly what made Ms Tin become so unpopular?


  • Kawaii post with Kate Spade bag
  • Stamping of feet, and cutesy tantrum, professing “I don’t know what to say on national television
  • A deepest regret statement that was extremely shallow – “I did not bring my parents to universal studios”. This was made worse by a younger Nicole Seah’s statement that she was too young to have anything that could be categorized as “deepest” regret”
  • She did not think any policies needed to be changed for they were all good.
  • Her cooling off day fiasco for which she blamed her assistant but made no apologies for the highly sarcastic and uncalled for content. It did not matter who wrote the comment, as the owner of that site, she should have apologized for such a derogatory comment – that would show class.


The above showed a shallow person who is totally supportive of thePAP, who is not likely to make any attempt to speak up against any party policy. The question is, how could thePAPpr team allow such an image to be portrayed to the public? The problem I feel lies more with the attitude the ruling party, than the actual ability of Ms Tin. Did they think the electorate will just accept anyone just because the PAP had selected her? Why was she not prepared for her first public appearance?


This is made worse by the feeble attempts at damage control. Every month or other, there would appear an article devoted to Ms Tin in the mainstream media. Instead of reducing public ire, these articles only serve to remind the electorate how we had been forced to “give her a chance” just because she was a member of a GRC team. It takes time for a rookie to show her performance, and if there were no flashes of brilliance, does bringing her name forward really help her popularity?


In fact, currently, her trying to keep a low profile, quietly serving her community has put her in a better stead. She has been sabotaged enough by her own. Though, to be fair to her team, she has also made some boo – boos all on her own. Classic case was the statement she made about how all of us will grow older, but some will grow old faster than others. Sigh, Ms Tin, every body grows older at the same rate – one year at a time.


Then comes Mr Khaw. He told a wonderful story of how Ms Tin’s grandmother fiercely defended thePAPand Lee Kuan Yew when some people made unfair comments that showed a lack of gratitude for what the party and the former Min Mentor had done.


Et tu Mr Khaw? Has she not been sabo-ed enough? Do you really think a story like this will endear?


All it tells us is that loyalty to the party will reap rewards to the third generation. Come on. Do we want die hardPAPfans, or do we want loyal Singaporeans with a clear eye to see what is not working, and an ear on the ground to hear the complaints without always pointing to past successes as evidence of present capabilities. And why mention Tin Pei Ling at all. I know there are many die hardPAPsupporters who do the same thing. Talk about THEM – let them feel you appreciate them.


Ms Tin, no matter how capable she is will find going forward extremely difficult. Mr Khaw’s statement is more damaging than helpful. Her marriage to the Principal Secretary of the PM already made the public scoff and cry out, “cronyism.” This eg that Mr Khaw cited gave further “proof” for those who love to hate Ms Tin.


Some people I know who are kind and gracious tell me that we should give her a chance. Frankly, I do not think the answer is really whether she is given a chance or not.


I know that even within the party, she is an embarrassment. I know that pro-opposition Singaporeans want to see her fail. Hence I feel sorry for her. BUT – she is paid too much for sympathy to stick.Singaporewas forced to give her chance, and the protests shout their displeasure at this.


Frankly, if I were Ms Tin, I will quietly serve my community, and keep as low a profile as possible. If I were Ms Tin, I will not stand for the next elections – no matter how good I am with the grassroots or how much I love serving the residents of my community.


If she is really sincere in wanting to serve the community, she will do better as a social worker and get the pay that these get. With a high flying husband, lack of salary should not cause too much pain. It will give her more credibility. Brush up on understanding why Singaporeans are unhappy and what are the policies that are failing. Come back again when she is more mature, if politics is really her game. Otherwise stay a social worker – there is a desperate need for them.





  1. hahaha
    November 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Great insight and good proposals. Not that she will heed them, of course.

  2. December 1, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I don’t want her to serve me here in Macpherson – She should just sit down , shut up , collect her MP allowance for the next 5 years and quietly slip away at the next GE and have a more mature politico take her place in the mean time

  3. December 1, 2011 at 7:07 am

    i read with amusement the very lengthy and “great insight” that SSWR posted. I cannot help but admire the time and effort taken to draft and deliver this master piece to tear down a fellow citizen that, in your esteemed opinion, is utterly shallow and not deserving of service to her ward … and of course, her ward’s opinion must be negated in deference to yours…naturally.

    It is indeed Miss Tin’s fortune that you are empathetic to her short coming and chivalrous attempt to put down Mr Khaw’s unkind and inept attempt to underplay her “inabilities”. Mr. Khaw would do well with someone of your caliber as an advisor on his team, I think.

    I personally must give you two thumbs up for your unceasing and unyielding feed back onPAPand its shortcoming per se. They are invaluable feed back and your ears-on-the-ground updates will greatly help the party’s assured re-election the next GE!

    Already, my family, friends and I are feeling a tide of change effected by the ruling party coming on…The surge is steadily building and we feel it will be relentless in time. You will be happy with the changes too, I’m sure! Two of my acquaintances was so overjoyed recently as they secured their DBSS flat finally! Of course they consider this as efficiency, but who can blame them?, the wait was painful for them previously. One of them is a convert back to the ruling party now, how about that?

    Perhaps a suggestion should be made to give recognition to unsung heroes like yourself after the next GE, as I feel the govt will not be so daft as to ignore what has transpired in the last GE. It is good that we have citizens like yourself taking the time and trouble to constantly post on public media to effect change, a big thank you sir!

    In closing, I would like to have your permission to add a little statement myself to this whole charade…

    You are right to say that if you are Ms Tin, you would serve quietly and in low profile…(which she is doing with great results, I think)…and again if you are Ms Tin, you would go serve as a social worker and get the salary there… but alas you are not Ms Tin firstly, and secondly, her ward’s electorates have nothing but praises for her conscientious and unyeilding work done so far.

    Moreover, as far as that is concerned, I believe each electorate should be the judge of their own serving MP and their performance is for their respective electorate to judge. Anything more than that is superfluous.

    As for our dear Ms Tin, I personally would give her my unbiased admiration … for sticking through all these time, bearing all the brutal and nasty attacks on her and still surviving her daily duties. We as man must be honorable enough to recognize her courage and perseverance, because I would like to ask you to look at yourself and say that you can do what she did … serving her time under duress and still striving till her electorate says better things about her. At least she is earning her keeps, which is the most important thing for her ward, agree?

  4. TI
    December 1, 2011 at 8:34 am

    A well-written article. And so true. Thanks!

  5. Hades
    December 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

    ‘forced to Give her a chance?’ Oh please? People chose her in an election freely. No one forced the residents of Marine Parade to vote this cabbage into parliament. They chose the PAP team willingly despite knowing that she is an empty vessel. They shouldn’t complain now. They deserve Tin Pei Lin. They only have themselves to blame and it’s time we took responsibility for our actions, including those in the ballot box.

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