by Alps Tan on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:53pm
To understand his present and future, we must first look to his past ‘before his journey back to Singapore’.
Chen Show Mao spoke most eloquently in an autobiographical speech to the Stanford Club, later syndicated on his Facebook Page.
Show Mao spoke of public service and giving back. Of how an Opposition slate with Show Mao on board had – within a few months – spurred the government to review salaries, build flats, perfectly calibrate transport hikes, convert the KTM railway into a green corridor, and increase university places.
Of how, if you read between the lines, Show Mao is really no ordinary man.
No Ordinary Mortal
And Chen Show Mao is indeed no ordinary mortal. He holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. He has been instrumental in IPOs and deals worth US$20 billion each in mainland China. American Lawyer awarded him the title “Dealmaker Of The Year”.
Thus we cannot judge him by the yardsticks of other men. Show Mao’s public service should not be measured against the standards of a Low Thia Khiang, a Chiam See Tong, or even a J.B. Jeyaretnam.
Show Mao is a captain of industry, some might say an admiral of capital, a marshal of capitalism. A corporate colossus, he is more akin to a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett.
But has Show Mao given back to society the way Gates and Buffett have? Gates and Buffett may not have contested the Aljunieds or mayorships of America, but they contributed towards research into curing AIDS, helping cancer sufferers, and saving some of the millions of people stricken with malaria each year. It is not clear what Show Mao has achieved, beyond winning a GRC and running MPS in Aljunied. For a man of Show Mao’s career accomplishment, politics is no great sacrifice – if anything it can be an interesting dalliance for a man who has more money than he knows what to do with. Show Mao can always retreat to billion-dollar Dealmaking and one of the many foreign cities he has lived in, if Singapore politics turns sour.
Of Fathers and Sons: Show Mao and the Son Not Shown
Indeed, Show Mao, in other ways, has shown himself to be beyond us normal mortals. Many Singapore sons perform NS in combat vocations, others on the service side or HQ — but all will serve the 2 years (or more, depending on your cohort). But Chen Show Mao, MP for Aljunied, has merely said he “hopes” his son will do NS. Is the lawyer in him suggesting that his son, despite being required by Singapore law to do NS, may yet choose not to do so?
Show Mao’s wife is a US citizen — but his children would not have automatically qualified for US citizenship. Was there some extraordinary arrangement for the children to have US citizenship, in the belief that Show Mao’s son would have a choice of not doing NS?
It would be helpful if Show Mao could clarify these matters. Perhaps it is difficult for him to do so, for we have not seen his wife and son around in Singapore, even after Show Mao won the Aljunied election for the Workers’ Party.
There is a simple way for Show Mao to show his sincerity beyond gilded speech and flowery rhetoric. That he puts the people of Singapore and our Defence first. That he understands popular persuasion is about not just doing the easy thing for his children, but the right thing. That he is willing to serve Singapore and take the lead by showing how his family and children are invested in Singapore — just like the rest of us ordinary Singaporeans.
The General Election is over and Parliament is sitting. Show Mao must show us his true colours. It’s now or never.
– An Ordinary Singaporean
Comments collected from the net :
1. I admire the professionally worded article. If I have a chance to ask CSM just 2 questions, I would ask him when did he start developing the passion of serving Singaporeans? Would his wife give up her US citizenship so that his family be a truly Singaporean family?