Monday, May 30, 2011

The Smack on the Head

There's nothing like a nasty head smacking to get your brain ticking. I guess when you realise that you may be lacking in brain cells, the decision to make the most of what little you have becomes an easy one to make.

For some reason I decided that I needed to jump on a bus into Johor rather urgently and so, instead of walking around the barriers, I thought I'd jump them. Unfortuntely, I had a little bit too much to drink before hand and I forgot I am now an overweight blob of 102 kg on the wrong side of 30 instead of a fit, trim 20 something. Didn't clear the low railings, ended slipping backwards and the 102 kg frame ended up bringing down a head straight onto a metal railing and then a stone floor. Ended up biting my own tongue in the process and the blood sort gave me the look of being on the wrong end of a 1960s Kung Fu movie. Sent a few shudders down the travel companion and so to ease his worries and my pain - we ended up having a few more beers on the Malaysian end of the Causeway - this was...purely medicinal ....alcohol in the beer is supposed to heal cuts in the mouth.

Anyway, I'm up and alive. Didn't develop a serious internal injury and won't be obliging the ex-wife by dropping dead anytime soon. Am, however, nursing the ache at the back of the neck but I guess that's OK, since I actually like the burning sensation that medicated oils provide.

So, in light of being smacked on the head, what is there to think about? This being Singapore, I thought I'd give a few of my brain cells to a certain young politician - Ms Tin Pei Ling, MP for Marine Parade GRC and the youngest MP in the history of our young nation.

Ms Tin, has been a walking Public Relations disaster. Everything she does ends up on the nasty side of cyberspace. She tried to be fillial and described how she regreted not brining her folks to Universal Studios and she was panned for being out of touch. She tried to be hip by using Kate Spade handbags and she was panned for being a silly elietist. She tried to be friendly and cool by stomping her foot and the video of her ended up all over the net, leaving us to wonder is she was really 27 and not 7.

It didn't help that Ms Tin's rival was younger but far more mature, Nicole Seah. If Pei-Pei could do no right, Nicole demonstrated that she could do no wrong. The comparison was so unflattering that Ms Tin has officially being dubbed Singapore's Sarah Palin - John McCain's running mate who's idea of foreign policy was to look at the Russian border from the her bedroom window.

Is this a fair comparison, I wonder? Well, I guess you could say Pei Lin and Palin rhyme and both ladies have demonstrated a remarkable lack of awarness about the world as it is. However, that's about where the similarities end.

Mrs Palin, unlike Ms Tin has one crucial ingredient - she appeals to someone. Say what you like about Mrs Pailin's knowledge of geography beyond her small town but she is exceedingly popular amongst a certain target voters. While the more educated may bemoan her lack of basic knowledge of geography and science, she's managed to sell these qualities in her as being "simple, honest -Small Town America." Like it or not, this insires a certin group of people to vote for Mrs Palin. Think of the cries of "Drill, Baby, Drill," when she made her stance clear on drilling for oil in Alaska. While you might shudder at Mrs Palin's lack of foresight, she actually stands for something and people can identify with that. She looks good and she's fiesty. Like it or not, any Republican candidate for the 2012 Presidential Election will treat her seriously.

The same cannot be said for Ms Tin, who's faults lie not much in her taste in handbags but in the fact that she doesn't exactly stand for anything. Much was made of the fact that she couldn't think of a PAP policy which she seriously disagreed with. More should have been made of the fact that there wasn't a policy which she believed in. I mean you don't have to agree with everything but you as a politician should believe in something. In short, we, the Singapore voters had to ask ourselves - "What exactly does Ms Tin believe in?" Look at Ms Tin and you'll see a sweet, demure little girl (when she's posing on instruction) who doesn't stand for much. Yes, some old folks might want her as their daughter in law - my mother for one might prefer her to what I've been bringing home. However, does she inspire anyone?

Ms Palin was hoisted onto John McCain and for a while his campaign actually recieved a boost from her presence. Ms Palin stood for something and attracted a certain group of people to her. Agree with her or not, Ms Palin actually stands for something.

By contrast, Pei Pei is a sad and lonely little girl with no personality to speak of what so ever. Even her major running mate, former Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong had to admit that the dislike on the ground for her pulled his share of the votes down. Ms Tin is a "good" girl who party elders can count on to do as she is told but she's so "good" that she's actually bland to the point of being ineffectual. How can anyone take her sersiously?

Perhaps there's a lesson in there for our young - they should learn to stand for something instead of trying to be paper cut out dolls. For all her faults, Mrs Palin does have a following that finds her electable. Ms Tin, for all her apparent virtues is unworthy of anyone's after thoughts.

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