The husband of PAP MP Tin Pei Ling, Ng How Yue, was given his 4th promotion in 5 years, in an announcement made by the Public Service Division (PSD) yesterday (Dec 22). Currently the permanent secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Law, the husband of PAP MP Tin Pei Ling will be the Health Ministry’s second PS. The ardent PAP supporter was just recently promoted eight months ago in April to be the chairman of the Energy Market Authority.
It is understood that the former Private Principal Secretary of Lee Hsien Loong is one of the Prime Minister’s favourites and that Ng How Yue even offered his wife to Lee Hsien Loong to contest for the General Election in 2011, despite knowing that Tin Pei Ling is under-qualified and later ridiculed throughout in her political career for being an airhead. PAP MP Tin Pei Ling barely won her election under a GRC group ticket under former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Another hardcore PAP supporter, current PS for Ministry of Communications and Information Aubeck Kam, was also promoted. He will be the PS for the Manpower Ministry come 1 Jan 2017. The former police officer was in-charge of state censorship as CEO of Media Development Authority.
The third promotion announced is for Gabriel Lim, also another fervent supporter of the ruling party PAP. Like Aubeck Kam, he was also the current CEO of Media Development Authority, and like Ng How Yue, he was also the Principal Private Secretary of Lee Hsien Loong.
While the Singapore government may claim it is incorruptible, it cannot deny allegations of nepotism as cronies, supporters, relatives and friends are given key executive positions in the civil service or government-linked companies. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself is the son of former dictator Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. His wife, Ho Ching, was given the CEO position of sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings. The unhealthy political situation created multiple layers of circles of cronies centered around the Prime Minister, who are only interested in the lucrative political salaries which is the best paid in the world.
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Singaporeans however claim they are a pragmatic people who are willing to overlook corruptions and cronyism for economic performance and political stability. The formula trading of democratic rights with economic progress has worked since Independence until the recent decade. More Singaporeans are questioning the government’s competency in light of recent events like MRT breakdowns, challenging China and increased poverty.
Self-proclaim “independent” news media like Independent.sg, Mothership.sg and The Middle Ground are however afraid of criticizing the state of cronyism, furthering the rot in the modern Singaporean system.