Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Exploiting People's Misery"

I was at Hong Lim Park this evening to help Mr. Tan Kin Lian to deliver his Chinese translated speech for the third time. I will be missing next Saturday gathering as I will be out of town.

During these three weeks, there were a lot of speculations about "individuals with political agenda capitalizing" on this Minibond issue. And true enough, after today's meeting, I read some forumer putting up a thread entitled "Mr. Goh Meng Seng exploits people's misery". This is quite within my expectation, really, after reading how the media trying to portray Mr. Tan Kin Lian as someone who has "ulterior motive" in leading this movement in helping aggrieved structured financial products investors to seek justice from unfair mis-selling and mis-representation.

Mr. Tan Kin Lian was painted as having "political ambition" in either becoming "Presidential Election Candidate" or "forming new political party"..etc. Surprisingly (to those with intent to dent his credibility), what seems to be a "subtle smear campaign" set out to discredit Mr. Tan's good work has turned public opinion in supporting Mr. Tan to become a candidate for the next Presidential Election!

The talks in coffeeshops have indicated that most, if not all, would support a "PEOPLE's PRESIDENT" to provide checks and balances on the PAP government! Why? I think Singaporeans are not stupid at all. Anyone with a good sense of right or wrong, would realize that the PAP government, via MAS, has made grave mistakes in allowing such toxic structured financial products to be sold in Singapore. There is a re-thinking of whether this government is as good as it claims to be and maybe it is time that we should have some REAL checks and balances on the government.

If such lapses in such regulatory role could happen, who knows whether there would be more lapses in the government or its government-linked entities? Thus, for the first time in Singapore's history, such "subtle smear campaign" has turned upside down and backfired very much subtly! This is why you have stopped hearing or reading about "Mr. Tan Kin Lian as Presidential Candidate" anymore in local media.

As for me, I am really a nobody to start with, even though I have participated in the last General Elections back in 2006, contesting in the hottest Aljunied GRC constituency. I am always playing a supporting role, back then, as well as now.

I did have a slight dilemma when Mr. Tan Kin Lian called me on 18 Oct morning to request my help in translating his speech into Chinese and deliver it on behalf of him. This is because I understand that eventually, someone would just label me as "political opportunist", "exploiting" or whatever. I did have that minute of dilemma back then. It is quite typical of Singaporeans' skepticism when "political figures" try to help people in such "well publicized" issue.

The other consideration I have is this, I am also aware that some people (from the group of aggrieved investors) may feel uneasy or even wary when an "OPPOSITION" member gets involved in the whole movement.

But after much consideration, I decided to do what my conscience tells me is RIGHT. Yes, do the RIGHT thing. Whatever people talk about me, or criticize me should be of least important now. What is most important now is to help my fellow citizens to extract JUSTICE (be it Social Justice, Legal Justice or otherwise) out from such gross mis-selling and misrepresentation of toxic products.

The truth is, at this very moment, I am not even considering of standing as a candidate for the next general election as I have my other commitments. i.e. I am not interested in taking part in the next GE, at this very moment. Although I may change my mind later but chances are, most likely I may just be playing my supporting role for anyone that I would consider as worthy candidates.

Anyway, only time will tell. For the moment, the following is my reply to my critic:

"Dear Madmansg,

Err.. I was hoping to see some sharp criticism about how I "exploit" people misery here but I was disappointed.

There are already criticisms about Mr. Tan Kin Lian on his "ulterior political motives", speculating on whether he is going to stand for Presidential Elections or forming a new political party etc etc. These are the tactics of smearing the leader of the movement, to discredit his standing, damage his moral high ground etc etc. It is all too common.

For me, I would say, SO WHAT? Aren't people always complaining about Opposition politicians "USELESS", never seen to help the people, only come out once every 5 years....etc etc... but now, when somebody turn up to be the leader of a movement to help the people, you turn around and say he is exploiting the situation, opportunist, ulterior motive, hidden agenda.. whatever!

For me, its clear cut. I am ALREADY a KNOWN oppositoin entity. So I say, I was ASKED or INVITED by Mr. Tan Kin Lian to help him translates his speeches and deliver them on his behalf. I did hestitate for quite a while before I agree to his request, just because of people like you! LOL! Now I look back, its so silly. Help the people, I am damned as opportunist, exploiter or whatever. No Help the people, I am damned also, as an opportunist for standing for electoins every 5 years but when the people need help I am not there to help! LOL! Head you win, Tail I lose!

So after I see through that, I say damn it lah! Do also expected to be kena scolded, don't do also expected to be kena scolded later, to hell with it! My priority should not be about wondering what other people will talk about me; my top priority should be helping those people who really need help. So be it if there are people like you that would criticize me for that."

Goh Meng Seng


Saint Splattergut said...

Respect to you, sir... Glad that you don't give a hoot about those fellas.


cf said...

Mr Goh,

Glad you decided to do what you think is right. No one ever did anything constructive second-guessing others.