12 April 2006

Dialogue with Minister Mentor

Just finished watching the forum with Lee Kuan Yew on Channelnewsasia. Had to rush back from school... stupid bus A2 came so late that I missed the first couple minutes of stuff.

Well, all I can say is that the participants got steamrollered by MM. Sure, they put really tough questions, but they had none of the capacity to fight on. Okay, I'm making them sound bad, but that's probably because MM refused to melt in their hands (lame pun intended). He could hold his ground firmly and smartly deflect questions meant to trap him or dig out ugly stuff.

Vivid was the memory of one guy, a journalist as I recall, who brought up that during a street poll he conducted for The Straits Times, he found out that many Singaporeans are afraid to speak against the PAP. It was rather amusing to see MM tear his arguments down bit by bit; in the end it turns out that he only interviewed about 40 people (the rest were done by other journalists on the same article), and only a portion of these 40 say that they have no comments (regarding the question of who will win the election). He should be lucky that this is a forum he speaking in; if he were to say something over the newspaper, it'd be likely that he'd go bankrupt.

That aside, I found that these group of people (the majority of which are women, though I'm not implying anything) are rather rude and impatient. Many keep interrupting each other, cutting into either other participants or MM halfway through, or turning the topic away abruptly. And when the floor is open for new questions (which is usually indicated by about one second of silence), sometimes two or three people suddenly started talking at once. It's typically the loudest (or the thickest skin one) that prevails. I was both pissed off and disappointed by many of them.

And then there was this girl (an undergraduate) that had a chance to speak. Then suddenly she was rattling off like a tree filled with mynahs that I couldn't catch half of what she was trying to say. Oh please, slow down! Advice from secondary school and JC teachers in speech craft come in handy now!

Above all, the greatest surprise of them all, is when a guy in black shirt spoke. A caption was added in to show his name:

Yam Yu Jian

I was like... WHAT THE!!!... and I missed entirely what he said. That's because Yam Yu Jian was my platoon commander during my days in 3rd Guards. He really looked different! No longer the round face and the "come, let's go" tone, I couldn't recognise him at all! Okay, his long hair also played a part too. In fact, this is the first time I've seen him since... like what... two years?

Throughout the entire forum he did not speak a lot (which mean he did not commit the moral crime of interrupting and butting in that many others did), but when he spoke, he did ask some sharp questions, and responded to MM's replies well. He is certainly not one of those who pummel MM with the typical "PAP has an unfair playing ground" question, as far as I recall. He seemed more... measured in his words and arguments.

Now, it has really set me thinking, because when he left my platoon, I did not have a good impression of him (no one did, I believe). But that's the past, and I shall not talk about it (though I'll be seeing him this June during reservist). All I've gotta say is that I now have a different opinion of him. Okay, maybe he is just wayang in front of the camera only, but I think I can only make an affirmed opinion when I next see him.


Anonymous said...

hey jackson! I read a few blogs that you guys wrote about me recently. Sighz... din know i was really so irritating at that point of time. I would like to apologize to you all if i really din do well.

I guess people changed, i changed too. I hope to meet you guys soon and do a reset on our relationship yah?

Pandemonium said...

Sure. Like I've said, people change, especially after the army. I've observed this in almost everyone, including myself. In many ways, the opinions I form about others in the past wasn't really correct either, being heavily influenced by many factors including the opinions of others.

Anyway, well done on the forum!

Anonymous said...

thanks jackson. Hope you did not find me irritating or impolite during the forum yah? haha..

looking really forward to seeing you guys during the reservist. My MSN is yamyujian@gmail.com. I hope that this time i could help you guys enjoy yourselves and achieve the goals you guys set.

Yupz... seeya!

Pandemonium said...

Haha... no. You were fine... perhaps a bit quiet though. Or maybe it's because a few others are stealing the entire show with their interruptions!

Yep, see you soon!