By: B Goode
Most lawyers make good politicians. David Marshal, Lee Kuan Yew, JBJ, Mandela, Gandhi, M Ravi (just to make sure you were paying attention) et al were and are awesome at both. There are a lot of reasons for that but the best one is that they’re articulate and are natural born talkers. They can talk and talk and talk their way into your bedroom if they want, or as the Chinese say, until the bird from the tree rests on your palm.
One lawyer that doesn’t cut it as a politician is Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss.
You might have remembered Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss as the opposition candidate for Mountbatten in the 2011 General Election under the NSP where she lost to PAP candidate Lim Biow Chuan and again in 2015, this time under the SPP where she only managed to garner a miserable 28% of the votes. From the Reform Party to NSP and currently the Singapore People’s Party, she is your typical political jumping bean. But is this the final piece of the jigsaw for her? Where will she land up next? The PPP (pee, pee & pee)? Please make up your mind and decide on the colour you want.
Jeanette is also a lawyer and she represented the Mountbatten Road murderer Kho Jabing where she tried to squash the death sentence by piling on the appeals to the Courts. Finally, she was whacked by the Appeal Court judges for “an attempt to re-litigate a matter which had already been fully argued and thoroughly considered”. In non-legal speak, the Judges were basically saying: “WTF do you take us for? Idiots?”
Why am I writing about Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss you might ask? Well, first and foremost I am bored stiff by the Korean drama. But most importantly, I want to highlight the thin line between awesome lawyer/politician and a bad one.
From what I’ve heard, Jeannette is very picky about the cases that she wants to represent. Where have I heard it from? Well from those who have sought her assistance and from their friends/relatives of course. That’s the beauty about being a lowlife like me. I mix with felons.
Some people who have problems with the law will try to get represented by lawyer/politicians. The main reason for this is that in trying to canvass for support, a lawyer/politician would naturally say something like : “If you have any legal problems, you can call me and I will try to help.”
You’d not hear that sort of thing from a mathematician/politician would you? Imagine PM Lee saying: “Boy. If you have problem with maths, you can call me.” Or engineer/politician like Khaw Boon Wan saying: “If the MRT is having some issues, I am here to solve it.” Oh wait….
The problem with Jeannette is that despite her promises to help the unfortunates with their legal troubles during her politicking rounds, privately she’d pick and choose which cases to represent. It wouldn’t matter whether you were rich or poor. It wouldn’t matter whether you had a chance of winning. What mattered to her most was whether she could get any political mileage out of it. Simply put, she would take on high-profile cases that would put her in the spotlight to boost her flagging political fortune.
Kho Jabing case was one good example. She grabbed it with both hands, and mouth because she knew that it would be sensational and that it would be in the news for days and weeks on end. And because that case also had attracted the libertards of the world, she knew that she’d get international exposure as well. Just imagine if she had won the case.
And then there was the case of Daniel De Costa. He got into trouble with something that had got to do with spreading fake news. What I heard was that someone approached Jeannette to see if she was willing to represent him. Jeannette turned the request down. And the rumour had it that it was because the case wasn’t high profile enough or the price wasn’t right. Of course, it was all hearsay but two things to note. My friends, though they may be lowlifers like me, they are the most honest lowlifers you’ll ever meet. But most importantly, it is the fact that Jeannette’s reputation as a picky, glory-seeking, useless lawyer/politician is gaining traction amongst the grassroot, fast.
Whether it is true or not is up to Jeannette to prove by her conduct. As it stands, she has done nothing to disprove it.
So that’s the difference between a good lawyer/politician and a bad one. A good one will use their innate skills to talk their way into the voters’ heart.
A bad one is Jeannette Chong-Alduross.