Workers’ Party star catch: PAP is insulting

At an age when most 50- year-olds prefer to take it easy, Chen Show Mao has opted for the rough and tumble of politics. And in the context of the one-party state that’s Singapore, and a ruling party that is hostile to a political opposition, it’s  even more admirable. 

Unlike some other politicians, it’s certainly not for the money.  

Curious to know how the Chinese- educated react to Chen, I asked a 70-year-old former civil servant.

He said, “When I read in the paper, they asked what’s Chen’s motive I was very angry. After 30 years abroad he’s still a Singaporean. He never gives up his citizenship, he and his whole family, you know. 

“Now he comes back PAP asks what’s your motive? How can. Very insulting. You know Chinese have a saying LUO YE GUI GEN.”

I asked, “What does it mean?”

He said, “Fallen leaves return to their roots.”

I said, ” A beautiful idiom.”

“Now Chen comes back to serve his country you ask what’s his motive. PAP too much. Don’t forget he did his national service.”
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“If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupted them earlier.”
– Lee Kuan Yew on political opposition, Straits Times, Sept 14 2003

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