Days have passed and The Sunday Times has not been asked to make a retraction, or worse, slapped with a letter from a lawyer. We can safety adduce that the quote attributed to a certain politician is accurate:
“This is a resident who has an issue. I spoke with her personally after the dialogue and I’ll be doing my best to assist her. She’s a resident in one of the landed estates in Thomson.”
Was the third sentence really necessary? Ad hominem attacks take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hom attack can be used to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.
Ex-Straits Times editor Cheong Yip Seng wrote in his memoir (“OB Markers: My Straits Times Story”) that he resisted Lee Kuan Yew’s pressure to print the full O level results of Opposition politician Chiam See Tong during the 1984 election. Chiam won that bout, but Mah Bow Tan was allowed to sneak into parliament via the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) route at the next electoral opportunity. Ad hominem attacks can backfire.
The 76 year old spinster must have been frugal enough to set aside a portion of her teacher salary to pay for her terrace house, assuming she owns the property. Decades ago, such units could have been selling at a fraction of present day prices. A friend sold off her father’s spacious house at the old teacher’s estate after he passed on, and could only afford a tiny condominium unit with the proceeds.
She’s not the only one who is asset rich, cash poor. Plaintively, the senior citizen had begged, ““What I want is my money back and I want to arrange for my funeral and I want to arrange for my rice and I want to arrange for a nice settlement.” She articulated what we now see as a truism, the three letters for our retirement money spell Coffin Provision Fund.
“That’s all I want. Give me back my money. CPF, give me back my money. And make it as soon as possible. Because 76, I won’t be able to live (too long),” she added. If we are in her shoes, we too would like to spend the final hours on our own bed, rather than the tented facilities of our overcrowded public hospitals.