Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Catch-33 Situation -- Kuan and the 4 Horsemen

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
The past few days have seen some very interesting events brewing in Singapore. Politically speaking, the two events represent the same conundrum which can paralyse the incumbent ruling regime in Singapore. The seeds of this conundrum were sown in the maiden Rally speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong last year, a speech that re-defines contradiction in so many multi-faceted ways.
PM Lee encouraged Singaporeans to speak up, step up and come forward. Let a hundred flowers bloom. The blossoms are here already. Can the existing ruling machinery respond? No.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Andrew Kuan has studied the nooks and crannies of the well oiled political system. He has planned for SIX years for this week. His actions have so far revealed a political craft that has perhaps been unseen in Singapore since JBJ was fatally crippled by defamation and internal dissent in his Worker's Party and lost much of his political fire.
Andrew Kuan is a political animal. There is no doubt about that. The Presidency of Singapore is a political position. No doubt about that. There is no problem for a political animal aiming for a political job. However, the rumblings of an Inquisition of Andrew Kuan has begun.
But what is apparent now, to many Singaporeans, is the familiar PATTERN that Andrew Kuan's entry has provoked in the PAP. First the shocking revelation to the media of a contest. Subsequently the insinuations begin. The media galvanises into action again. The hints, the clever calls for transparency, the deliberate timing of press conferences. Deja Vu. Remember Francis Seow? Remember Tang Liang Hong? Remember Cpt Ryan Goh?
This is character assassination at work. But what is surprising is perhaps the lack of finesse that the incumbent regime is working out the assassination. An assassin never uses the same tricks twice, never employs the same modus operandi again. This is the Achilles Heel. The confidence that kills.
In a previous entry, I likened the incumbents to the Gods of Homer Illiad. More than ever, the traits become more apparent. Achilles' Heel is not his heel. It is his arrogance, his traits which exposes his weakness. His death is due to his confidence of his immortality. The pride of the immortals. The weakness of the Gods comes when they become predictable.
Andrew Kuan will fail to get his certificate. He should then put himself up as a contender in the next elections.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
The staging of a four person NKF protest is another political action that shows research and application. No laws have been broken. No action will be taken. The show of force by the Police is a show of force. Nothing more. It would have worked many years ago. Now it no longer strikes fear.
The approach of the Government to this political action is again striking. Not because of its obvious sledgehammer tenor, but because of its PREDICTABILITY. It is the same tactic used when concerts are held, when vigils are held, when forums are held. It works if REAL force is used. It fails when it is repeated and repeated and the baton stays in the sheath.
This is the conundrum : the contradictions as dictated and embodied by the incumbent government have permeated into a strange fluxial effect on its instruments of power. I believe the Instruments of Singapore State Power as a symbol has undergone the Derridean differance effect.
Whereas Derrida argues that the text cannot read itself, I suggest that the State Instruments cannot read themselves now. They are at once different and deferred simply because Governance has effected its definitional violence and contradictions into reality; the National Day Rally Speech is the obvious example among the slew of textually tense statements emanating from the Singapore Government since the semi-retirement of Lee Kuan Yew.
I will call this the unique Singapore Catch-33 effect.
This is the difference between the Old Guard and the New Guard. The Old Guard, especially Zeus himself, would never have allowed contradiction to enter reality. for him, the teleos is clear. Zeus knows how the Illiad will end.
The prognosis for the future : more creativity, more research to lure the same incumbent response mechanisms into the open again and again. Synapses will start firing, connections will be made. And what can we see? The semblance of a rise in political awareness for the many Singaporeans who have been de-politicised so clinically and efficiently in the past three decades.
The Catch-33 effect will not last forever. It is a window to an alternative political teleos for Singapore.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Quote of the Day

"They don’t have to show us Catch-22, the law says they don’t have to. 'What law says they don’t have to?' ... "Catch-22" .... Catch-22 did not exist, he was positive of that, but it made no difference. What did matter was that everyone thought it existed, and that was much worse, for there was no object or text to ridicule or refute, to accuse, criticise, attack, amend, hate, revile, spit a, rip to shreds, trample upon or burn up." --- Joseph Heller, Catch-22


Blogger Mr Wang Says So said...

Interesting, interesting .... as your posts always are!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could Kuan be the "achilles" u tok about in the other post? (However I dun think so though cause i dun think he is powerful enough)

Who will be the "Odysseus" who seek him out? (assuming he is the achilles)

I posted an comment on how i understand the Iliad post. Care to verify if I did grasp correctly on what u are trying say?

1:40 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

Mr Wang : ahaha ditto ditto

Anonymous : Sorry for my tardiness. You are right, Kuan is not powerful enough. He may make a useful Opposition candidate if he chooses the next logical path but Achilles he is not.

Odysseus is indeed the more enigmatic figure as compared to Achilles in my post. It will have to be the the most political and the most devious one, the Cassius who leads Brutus to his doom and to be honest, in Oppositional politics now there is no one I can see now, can play the Cassius role. The intelligence. Everyone is playing for the Jock position.

In the ex civil servant camp. There are talent galore.

But who dares step forward and who dares return to Singapore if the consumnate Sg politician remains immortal?

I sense you want concrete names, concrete plans. Sorry, I have none of these.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous andy aka the anon~ in previous post said...

haha... I am juz wondering will there be an Odysseus at all. I too don't think there is such figure in the opposition now.

U are also right about the civil servant camp (although at first I failed to realise that civil servant too were part of the characters manipulated by the "GODS". I always think they were in cahoots lol, but on a hindsight I think u are right). I too dun think anyone dare to step up as long "Zeus" is still around. Not even the most outspoken Ngiam would dare to do it.

Francis Seow was thought to be a potential "achilles" but he had tried and failed. Although it seem impossible but I still eagerly awaits for the coming of the next potential "achilles".

P.S: I like ur posts lol. Came here after reading Mr Wang.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Xeno & all,

I think you are just a bit optimistic about the whole process. Kuan acted on impulse and he did not think through carefully for the whole process. There are many things to anticipate before you make your moves.

The most dangerous enemies are those you couldn't even see, not someone you could envisage. It applies both ways, to PAP as well as opposition. Who that you couldn't see? That's your own self.

Goh Meng Seng

9:29 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

The gods leave mere mortals alone unless they attempt to ascend Mount Olympus. After overthrowing their fathers, Zeus and his brothers will not brook any similar attempts.

4:42 AM  

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