Just how many paper generals does the PAP need? Since Pinky’s own entry into politics as a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholar, the pattern of ownself select ownself has gone on and on and the number of paper generals in the party has been increasing. The latest addition to the “mix” is expected to be the country’s first woman general (but not first woman paper general) Gan Siow Huang.
A week after Gan resigned from her position as Chief of Staff-Air Staff, she was seen with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at a Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC walkabout on 22 March. In April, she joined NTUC’s e2i as deputy CEO. She is expected to be fielded as a PAP candidate in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC this coming elections.
Examples of ex-SAF officers turned ministers who have been parachuted into cabinet are the xia suay kee chiu (Major-General), Lui Tuck Yew (Rear-Admiral), Teo Chee Hean (Rear-Admiral), Lim Swee Say and Lim Hng Kiang (Lieutenant-Colonel). A number of MPs also come from the army.
Why do we not see more representation from the masses in cabinet? Does recruiting from the civil service and military make the PAP feel safer because these recruits will think on the same wavelength? The failures of the PAP simply show that they are severely out of touch with the ground and the leadership is in need of refreshment. The danger of group-think is higher than ever with recruits from similar backgrounds. We need diversity in parliament and to stop people from the same mould getting elected.