WP uncle calling Law Minister a ‘barking dog’

From ‘Personal attack by WP supporter regrettable’, 6 Sep 2015, article by Charissa Yong, Sunday Times

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook post yesterday that he was disappointed by a personal attack made by a Workers’ Party (WP) supporter at a rally on Friday night. The supporter, Mr Lim Ee Ping, called the late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew “a liar who had hung on to power until he died” and referred to Mr Shanmugam as a “barking dog“.

The insults were “very regrettable”, said the minister, adding that they were made because he had pointed out three things: first, that the High Court had said the WP was dishonest; second, that if the Aljunied-Hougang- Punggol East Town Council had been a company, the WP might have faced criminal sanctions; and third, that the WP had not answered any of his questions on what it did.

“Disappointing that the WP officially sanctions these vile personal attacks,” wrote Mr Shanmugam, who is leading the People’s Action Party team in Nee Soon GRC. He noted that during the same Friday rally in Yishun stadium, the WP’s East Coast GRC team leader Gerald Giam said that the party did not engage in personal attacks.

Looks like Shanmugam needs to arrange a tete-a-tete with Uncle Lim before he decides to file a police report or a defamation suit, just like what he did to resolve an ‘Islamophobe’ accusation previously. Or perhaps he just needs a course in Hokkien 101, to fully appreciate Lim’s analogy. Not sure if the minister actually understood Lim, or one of the PAP’s ‘running dogs’ did the translation for him. Shanmugam, a self-professed animal lover, owns 4 dogs himself, all adopted from a shelter. Now he has a ‘bone to pick’ with a veteran who’s not even contesting and was nothing more than the ‘opening act’ for the WP show.

A dog is often cast as man’s best friend, tenacious, vigilant and loyal to the very end. A governing body is described as a ‘watchdog’ if it safeguards public interest, for example. It could also describe a hardworking, persevering chap. Goh Chok Tong had this to say about Wong Kan Seng in 2003 (Bulldog with dogged resolve’, 19 May 2011, ST)

Kan Seng is a very effective minister. Give him the most difficult operational task and he will sink his teeth into it, like a bulldog.

So, perhaps one could view Lim’s dog comment in a more positive light, that on a flipside it speaks of your ‘dogged’ determination. You even have superstars proud to name themselves after dogs. Like Snoop Dogg and Pitbull. There’s a reason why they call soldiers ‘The Dogs of War’ and not the ‘Monkeys of War’.

Otherwise you’re an ‘attack dog’ if you openly criticise the Opposition on behalf of the party. If you’re out of control, you’ve gone ‘off your leash’. If you can’t manage your estate well and it turns into a slum, then your constituency has ‘gone to the dogs’. If you lose an election and scuttle off, only to rejoin another GRC under the protection of an anchor minister, you’re deemed to have your ‘tail between your legs’.  You’re also warned to ‘vote wisely’ and not ‘bite the hand’ that feeds you. Need I mention ‘All bark and no bite’? Or how about ‘Wag the Dog‘, an expression that means using distraction to steer the people away from things of primary importance. Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it.

Dogs aside, halfway into the hustings and we’ve run the gamut of Animal Farm. PM Lee has already warned of having a ‘MOUSE in the house’. In response, WP supporters argue that mice will keep the fat CAT on its toes (or paws, rather). The Orange-themed NSP recently claimed they could roar like a TIGER in Parliament. Chee Soon Juan tries to count jumping SHEEP before he goes to sleep. ESM Goh and WP hurl COCK analogies at each other, the former for being a ‘hao lian’ rooster, the latter for claiming credit for successful policies as they crow. The jeering at the Ng Eng Hen’s PAP team on Nomination Day was referred to as the ELEPHANT in the room. The PAP seems hell-bent on hammering WP’s town coucil management than slay ‘sacred COWS’.

In the last election, Low Thia Khiang spoke of PORK barrel politics. ESM Goh suggested that the WP were SNAKE-oil salesmen with their First World Parliament slogan. In 2007, PM Lee used a Chinese proverb to describe how the WP scattered like MONKEYS when the tree fell.  Even mythical creatures are not spared. PM Lee says that Singapore is a Unicorn, one of a kind. Don’t be surprised if somewhere along the line we may see ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, ‘crocodile’, ‘sloths’ or since we’ve done unicorns, eagle-headed fire-breathing griffins with fairies in rainbow armour on their backs.

Maybe the Law Minister should just let, well, sleeping dogs lie, and focus on the key election issues instead.

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One Response

  1. […] TOC: A man transformed – Air-Conditioned Nation: Opposition – Everything Also Complain: WP uncle calling Law Minister a ‘barking dog’ – Blogging for Myself: GE 2015: Doing my homework on the WP – Thoughts of a Cynical […]

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