Some PAP MPs are more equal than other PAP MPs.

For a political party which emphasize on Meritocracy, the ruling PAP, or at least Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is anything but meritocratic.

Take MP Baey Yam Keng for example, despite being in the PAP Central Executive Committee and being a third-term MP, he was only promoted to become a Parliamentary Secretary. However, for other first term MPs, MP Ng Chee meng and MP Ong Ye Kung, the two are promoted 4 times straight up to a Senior Minister of State bypassing the Parliamentary Secretary, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Minister of State positions.

Photo of Ng Chee Meng from The Straits Times
Photo of Ng Chee Meng from The Straits Times

PM Lee Hsien Loong did not explain his decisions either. He probably is not able to either, and for good reasons, we should not expect him to: what does an army general understand about managing Singapore’s public transport system? The former 3 star general drives a car if he is not chauffeured around, and it can actually make headline news on Singapore media if he is seen taking public transport. MP Ng Chee Meng will need the S$1.1 million portfolio, otherwise his standard of living will decline after so many years of getting a good pay in the army.

One explanation that surfaced on States Times Review however highlighted an undeniable fact: the former army general needs to be compensated for leaving his six figures salary. Since PAP MPs joining politics for money is nothing new, so Singaporeans should not be surprised about un-meritocratic promotions.

I feel sorry for MPs like Baey Yam Keng. He should realise by now he is not the elite among the elites after all.  Oh by the way, he was only a second choice in the PAP CEC after MP Zaqy refused the position.