Just when everyone is trying to enjoy some festive peace during the year-end season, PAP drops a bombshell and announced that Mr Michael Palmer, MP for Punggol East SMC has resigned due to a sex scandal.
Michael Palmer must have been the first PAP MP to resign over a sex scandal for the past two decades.
There are already rumours surfacing over his alleged infidelity and PAP probably saves the party more harm by announcing it before other media starts to do so.
2012 can be deemed the year of sex scandals – from disgraced Workers’ Party Yaw Shin Leong alleged marital infidelity in February – of which he is sacked by the Worker Party to former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon Gay and former Singapore civil defence chief Peter Lim who will probably be facing jail time over sex-related corruption charges.
This year, we were also shocked by a string of high-profiled arrests linked to under-aged prostitution whereby principal, teacher, army officers, banker and celebrities were put in jail.
Singaporeans must either be lacking activities under the sheet or they are sex-crazy.
Most men also have a weakness for women and history has shown that many great men have fallen due to the craving for lust.
Besides fulfilling a biological need, bedding a woman brings to man the feeling of having conquer something espeically if the woman is of great beauty.
Men tend to view their women as trophies they have attain and no one wants to conquer an ugly one.
I remembered during the nomination day standing as a candidate with NSP at the recent 2011 general election in Tampines GRC, we found Mr Steve Tan who is the executive secretary of Young NTUC missing from the PAP Tampines GRC line-up.
Instead, Boey Yam Keng, hailed from Tg Pagar GRC, was announced to take over from Steve Tan instead.
Rumours on internet forums said his decision could be down to harrassment issues when he was working at the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) umbrella union. Allegations have been made against him by female former colleagues while letters have also reportedly been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The whole NSP team was of course joyous at the news as it may mean some votes swinging to our side but the media has kept so mum about the matter that no one really talks much about it during the campaigning period.
We also gentlemanly did not exploit the scandalous news during our campaigning.
I wonder what will happen if one of the opposition candidates was found to have a similar issue as Steve Tan – I am sure that the media will post front page story on us.
That is probably why Meng Seng, the NSP Sec-Gen then wanted the whole Tampines GRC team to account for one another during the campaigning period.
We practically live like priests during that period and fortunately we were so busy that we don’t have time to even think of flirting with any of our few female volunteers!
Politicians are afraid of sex scandals as this not only means widespread adverse publicity due to the the personal clout factor but also embarassment for his whole family.
The party’s name will also be brought through the mud and I don’t blame Worker’s Party for sacking Yaw when he disappeared from his MP post early this year because of his marital infidelity.
Much is at stake for the opposition party here as its always an uphill battle to regain back any ground lost when someone within the party is scandalised.
Singaporeans are still not ready for politicians to have extra-marital affairs compared to overseas whereby politicians tend to have other women by the side.
Politicians also attract more female attention as they are seen as powerful figures with alot of authority.
Fame, power and sex are the politician’s three worse enemies and any misuse of any of the three will bring him down very fast.
Many Singaporeans have also questioned whether a MP’s flamboyant lifestyle will affect his work in the office.
If he can continue to deliver at work, will people forgive his extra-marital side?
This I believe is a personal matter for Singaporeans to consider but I reckon many women will find it difficult to accept a plaundering MP.
We want our politicians to live wholesome upright lives and be a good role model for the population.
MPs are held up so high on the moral pedestal during general election time that when there is a spot on the white shirt, he is deemed to be unsuitable anymore for office however capable he may have proved himself to be.
However, the many recent high-profiled sex scandals have indicated that we may have over-emphasize on credentials and capability than on the person’s character.
We tend to choose a leader based solely on his educational qualification and work experience.
Many scholars who excelled academically have proved to be morally poor and lacks good conscience.
I have confided to some of my NSP colleagues during the recent election that the particulars of election candidates looked like they are applying for a job.
They have all these degrees and masters attached to their portfolio and many belonged to certain institutions of honour.
Nevertheless, are all these credentials sufficient information for the voters to choose their leaders for high office?
Nobody can really tell and I am pretty sure that many voters elect their MPs based on party line than anything else.
Some can’t even name their MPs only after a few months voting for them!
Of course, it will also be tough to judge a leader based on his character alone.
People change over time and I am sure that Mr Palmer is an upright man all along before he took a wrong step and all mortal beings do that.
To me, Mr Palmer’s resignation is a loss to Singapore.
I have heard some of Mr Palmer’s parliamentary speeches and they are real gems.
Its not surprising that he rose so fast and was recently made Speaker for Parliament.
All this has gone down the slippery slope of no return and hopefully politicans will learn a thing or two from the mistakes of Yaw and Michael – that politics and extra marital sex don’t mix well.
For all we know, we may see a minister quitting over another sex scandal in the near future - that will surely be massive shocking news for Singapore!
Written by: Gilbert Goh