Some people express “shock” over TCJ’s apparent demotion from a full Minister to the Speaker of Parliament.
Although I have once said before that TCJ, as an individual, seems to be a good person and many people who have met and talked to him would agree with me that he is really a down to Earth person, but as a politician, he lacks basic political acumen and he is really not shrewd enough.
I was alerted by a couple of FB friends who find TCJ’s FB posting a bit “over-religious”. I am a religious person myself but you hardly see me writing Praise Lord Buddha or Pray to Buddha for anything. You don’t see other PAP politicians doing that as well.
In Singapore’s context, religion is even more sensitive compare to race issues. Tang Liang Hong was forced into political exile just because he pointed out the obvious fact that there is an imbalance in the “religious composition” of the Cabinet. This is the extreme political taboo in Singapore.
I know that some PAP Ministers or even MPs have deliberately kept their religious identity or affiliation out of public domain. Some would go to Church or Temple but would make their religious affiliation extremely low profile. Even some of the family members of these politicians tried very hard not to be seen as affiliated to any religion.
This is especially so for any contender of the Prime Ministership. If you are vying to be the PM of Singapore, then learn from past PMs and keep religion out of the way.
But TCJ, as one of the contender of PMship, has repeatedly express his religious affiliation openly on his FB. It is not a politically wise thing to do at all. Even for this latest posting about his “New Posting” aka “Demotion”, he expresses his religious affiliation within that posting!
Thus, in my opinion, even though I don’t think TCJ should be demoted to be Speaker of Parliament, but his total lack of political sensitivity and acumen would have ruled him out from the race of Prime Ministership. Just like my FB friends, I am surprised that no one in PAP, especially those veterans, has pulled him aside and give him a pet talk or advice on such political sensitivity.
Religious belief is a personal thing and it should be kept extremely private when you are in Singapore’s politics. Unlike America, our social religious composition is more complex and should be dealt with great sensitivity. This is where TCJ has really failed badly.