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After I Called Out TPL’s Conflict of Interest, Grab/PAP Change Her Job Title (But It Doesn’t Change Anything)

Today state media announced that due to concerns about conflict of interest, Tin Pei Ling (TPL) would no longer be appointed as Director of Public Affairs and Policy but would instead become Director of Corporate Development.

Readers of my blog will know that I was one of the earliest and most vocal in calling out the outrageous conflict of interest and cronyism in TPL’s original appointment (read my articles here and here. These articles were circulated widely and precipitated an avalanche of criticism from other quarters.

The PAP have tried to put a positive spin on the latest announcement and tried to turn it into a triumph of “ownself check ownself” rather than TPL being forced to retreat after being caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

The Party noted this and did not object.

It then became clear to the Party that she would be expected to engage regularly with government ministries and agencies on public policy issues on behalf of Grab,

While she would make it clear that she was engaging in her private capacity and not as a PAP MP, there could still be challenges in carrying out these responsibilities, especially under the current circumstances.

I do not believe this resolves anything because TPL will still be an MP and in a senior position at Grab on an undisclosed remuneration and incentive scheme. Of course she will be in a position to influence policy and to pass on what she learns. Will she be rewarded and donations made to the PAP if public policy is tweaked to favour Grab? Such Chinese walls do not fool anyone.

As I have frequently said the barrier between the corporate sector in Singapore and the PAP Government is tenuous at best. This is inevitable when so many major companies are state-owned or affiliated and the Government uses its huge surpluses, extracted from lower and middle income Singaporeans, to take often invisible stakes in so many unlisted start-ups. The number of PAP MPs and Ministers’ spouses and relatives on the boards of public companies, even ones in which the Government only holds a partial stake, shows that like the Communist Party in China, the control of the PAP over the corporate sector is more or less complete.

TPL’s movement to what is claimed to be a conflict-free role does not alter the fact that conflicts of interest, both blatant and disguised, are at the heart of the PAP’s totalitarian state, despite the almost unanimous chorus of foreign sycophants, most of whom either benefit directly or are worried about adverse consequences if they should swim against the consensus of their corporate or academic employers, who laud Singapore’s Government as a bastion of incorruptibility where Ministers work tirelessly for peanuts to make their people better off. There is no greater public conflict of interest (or example of corruption to call a spade a spade) than the PM’s appointment of his wife to run Temasek and her continuing as its head for eighteen years on a salary that he refuses to reveal. While LHL’s CPIB rightly comes down hard on even miniscule acts of corruption committed by small fry, which contributes to the high ratings given by Transparency International and other organisations in what can only be described as a robotic box-ticking exercise, Singaporeans are intimidated or brainwashed into not calling out infinitely greater acts of corruption which are anyway justified by the incessant bleating of those in the elite that these acts can be justified as merely the meritocratic principle working itself out.

Buttressing this brainwashing and ensuring that dissenting voices are silenced is LHL’s corrupt contol of the state media monopoly, which, with other corrupt acts such as placing the Elections Department under his direct control and using his control of the judiciary and AG to harass and crush his opponents ensures his Government’s uninterrupted monopoly of power and his, his family’s and his MInisters’, MPs’ and cronies’ continued access to the best jobs on often secret remuneration. This is only what is publicly known but until. we have a new Government we can never know how deep the conflicts of interest go. Sixty years of access to the pipeline of state resources with those at the top controlling the bodies that are supposed to check them is bound to turn up some real nasties once we start lifting the rocks.

One further point. The fact that the PAP have forced TPL and Grab to back down after I wrote about it provides further proof that the Government reads my blog even though I am sure that they speak to their friends at the social media companies to ensure that I am shadow banned as much as possible and have certainly given a directive to their employees at the state media monopoly to treat me as a non-person. Their silence in response to my questions about the reserves and the Budget should serve as confirmation to Singaporeans that most, if not all, of my conjectures are correct.

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