A lot of forumners and others in the general public view TCJ's speaker nomination as a demotion. Yes, on the external point, it does look like a demotion. For sure, he will earn substantially less money as a Speaker gets paid $550K while a Minister will get over $1.5 million salary a year. His role in govt is also reduced and some say that he is just a figure head in a parliament with an overwhelming majority of PAP MPs. Even with a low profile Ministry like the Ministry of Social and Family Development, he would still have had more power. Many say he is on the out as a 4th generation leader.
I differ on this point of view, in fact, I view his appointment as Speaker a strategic move by the PAP for the long term. The PAP has plans for TCJ. They had to get him out of MSF because he was a walking time bomb. This moron could not keep his mouth shut and kept shooting himself in the foot. He is one of the most active poster on FB and social media. He could not be reined in, and his handlers are too stupid to keep him out of harm’s way. Some say he was taken out of the high profile and volatile Ministry of Manpower because he could not handle it and is once again being demoted from even this Ministry. Some past examples of his missteps include:
1) Some people collect cardboard not because they need the money, but for exercise. Really? Coming from a Minister of Social Welfare?
2) Accused cancer stricken family of “playing up” their sob story while claiming his Ministry giving them $400 every 3 month is generous. He family subsequently raised $27K on crowdfund, hence making TCJ and his Ministry look like misers.
3) Last Year, it was revealed that Immigration opened up special lanes for TCJ and his grassroot entourage coming back from a Johor durian trip, and bypass passport and security control. He never apologized, and even claimed that oppo MP Png Eng Huat was stirring hate and anger by pointing this out. If the opposite had happened and an oppo MP accused a PAP MP of stirring hate and anger, he would have been sued for libel.
4) A few years ago, he showed his religious nuttism by publishing the entire text of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 on his official Facebook page. There were many people who criticized this as the govt of Singapore is a secular govt and not a religious one. Hence a Minister cannot be seen to favour one religion over any other. If Halimah Yacob were to constantly quote long passages of the Koran on her official Facebook page, do you think she would have been nominated President?
Consider the following. Halimah Yacob is already 63 years old. By the time her impending Presidential term ends, she will be 68 years or older depending on when they call the next PE. By that time, she will almost certainly step down and a new Presidential candidate will be put up. Who better for the PAP to fly the flag then TCJ? He would have been Speaker for 5 years or so. Away from the bright lights and lightning rods of whatever Ministry he is in. As Speaker, he is automatically qualified to run in the PE, and as a 100% Chinese candidate, he will also fulfill the ethnicity requirement. Most important, being parked in the post of Speaker will prevent him from shooting himself in the foot with stupid comments relating to his Ministry and other activities. I think he will most likely be the next President after Halimah.
This post first appeared on a popular local forum.