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Potential Ministers Or Pigs in Pokes?***

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The ruling party’s habit of suggesting to the voters  that there are ‘potential ministers’ in this or that group of newbie PAP candidates is questionable. While the PAP apparently likes to indulge in crystal ball gazing, one cannot see the logic or relevance to involve the voters in what is exclusively and entirely and ultimately, a PAP leadership’s own judgement call.

Dear PM Lee, if you and your party really hold these newbies whose calibres are unknown to voters in such high esteem why aren’t you forthright enough and brave enough to single them out among the 24? Name them to the electorate so that we may know your party’s choices? And in turn, so that we may make OUR OWN choices. 

If you want voters to consider buying into your choices, the decent thing to do is to at least tell them more. Back up your claim about them. Tell voters WHY and WHAT about these choices of yours that have so impressed you? Please do not hint in a manner that sounds like a threat to voters – the subtext being ‘if you know what’s good for you, you better vote in ALL 24 of them as among them are five who are potential…!’ Is it necessary to up your ‘kiasu’ ante in this manner?   

If you won’t go beyond mouthing what you have done so far, voters should treat it as nothing more than cheap electioneering tactic and call your bluff. They are not obliged to entertain you in your kind of guessing game.

***Idiom note:
This is a very appropriate expression that applies to what you have said: You are asking voters to buy a pig in a poke. No, I am not being deliberately rude.

 A ‘poke’ is a burlap sack. To ‘buy a pig in a poke’ is to purchase an unknown, without looking; something not adequately appraised or of undetermined value.  

The phrase started in old England where dishonest people would place a common animal like a kitten or cat in a tied bag or “poke” and try to pass it off to a dumb farmer as a baby or suckling pig. 

You can well imagine what sort of a deal this could turn out to be for the unwary buyer!

In your case,  you are expecting voters’ unquestioning blind faith, no less, to endorse your choice of successors. This conflation of political party and govt is extremely  problematic to voters and to the country, to say the least. Because, clearly, PAP isn’t the State, and the State don’t belong to the PAP!

Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, become confused until there seems to be only a single identity — the differences appear to become lost. -Wikipedia

N.B. The author has no affiliation with any political party. He was an admirer of the PAP until it became evident that it has changed beyond recognition and no longer bear any semblance to the party that he had originally once admired. He feels it his duty to point out that the country is going down the drain if current trends continue unarrested. 




  1. […] 2011: Humility Goes A Long Way In Winning Over The Electorate… – Thetwophilo’s Blog: Potential Ministers Or Pigs in Pokes?*** – Too Many Thoughts: Okay, look: – Sg Truth: Why So Few Private Sector Talents Joining the PAP? – […]

  2. MrsK says:

    Based on PM’s remarks so far, is not hard to hazard a few guess.

    Mine as follows : BG Tan (PM) , MG Chan (Defence), Heng (Finance), Sim Ann/Foo Mei Har, Ang Wei Neng (for transport). The rest, you can toss.

  3. anon says:

    What are the bases for your choices?
    I am curious about your reasons.

    My own belief is the whole thing is a red herring that has seen better days. It wouldn’t work except with the most ill-informed and naive voters. However, when used in combination with a sugar coating of hard cash and promised municipal infrastructural improvements/upgrading, it can be a potent competitor for the votes of these voters.

    There is a sense of desperation in the PAP camp, it is palpable.
    At this point it is being contained rather well, but at some point after the polling day is announced, all hell may break loose. I hope the opposition is using the time now to prepare themselves well to repulse this coming attack.

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