PAP is like a fruitful mango tree

From ‘Don’t weaken fruitful PAP mango tree’, 10 Sep 2015, article by Siau Ming En, Today

Likening the People’s Action Party (PAP) to a mango tree that has yielded abundant fruit for more than 50 years and will continue to do so, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong yesterday questioned the Opposition’s desire to weaken it.

Speaking at a rally at Woodlands Stadium on the last day of campaigning, Mr Wong said to the crowd: “If a tree bears good fruit all these years, and you know that the tree will continue to bear good fruit, will you cut it down, will you tear it down, will you weaken the tree? Clearly, the answer is no.”

“The Opposition somehow has a different view, they want to weaken the tree,” said Mr Wong, who is contesting as part of the four-man PAP team in the newly carved out Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency.

I’m no expert in horticulture, but according to an Australian government department of primary industry, old mango trees may be ‘rejuvenated by a moderate and severe pruning’. So contrary to what Lawrence Wong thinks, some judicious ‘cutting down’ may actually revive a 50 year old mango tree rather than ‘weaken it’. The tree got one of its branches nicked post 2011 GE when George Yeo’s Aljunied team was defeated, and in the past 4 years we have got quite a bit of juicy fruiting, from new MRT lines to Pioneer Generation cards to increased Paternity leave. In the past week of electioneering though, all this mango tree has done so far is to throw shade on its opponents.

I hope we’ve seen the last of such metaphors. Retiring minister Lui Tuck Yew compared the Opposition to ‘poisonous mushrooms‘ weakening the ‘special tall trees’. Eric Low, losing candidate for Potong Pasir, said he was out to ‘pluck chikus’ in the ward.  Goh Chok Tong warned of sowing a bad seed and not knowing what kind of Opposition tree you would get. If there’s a more appropriate analogy of the PAP machinery, it’s that of a sprawling behemoth with invasive (grass)roots that creep all over your backyard, threatening to burst through the walls of your house. As for Opposition parties with manifestos that are pretty to look at but are ultimately barren, they’re more like the skeletal Instagram tree in Punggol.

There’s no doubt that the PAP tree is bursting with mango goodness. So abundant has been our harvest that even ex MPs can afford to pluck them as personal gifts, like Michael Palmer’s offering to his lover back in 2012. Sweet.

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