By: B Goode
Back in March last year, when the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) launched the Chiam See Tong’s Sports Foundation (CSTSF), many people could sense a fishy smell coming from whichever swimming pool Ang Peng Siong, the board’s chairman was swimming in.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore Chiam See Tong. Who doesn’t?
And I idiolize Ang Peng Song like a gay man idiolizes Rupaul.
But some people suspected that there was more to it than just to support sports in Singapore.
The question was, did the people who were involved in the project knew what was up the cheongsam of Lina Loh aka Lina Chiam, the foundation patron, SPP elder and wife of the foundation’s namesake?
The more cynical, and consequently the more perceptive (according to Einstein’s theory of perceptivity) amongst us believed then that the foundation was mooted merely as a political incubator to nurture and identify potential candidates to lull them into becoming full-fledged SPP members. Sort of like the Church of Scientology. Or the PAP for that matter.
But the SPP should be better than that, no? If they must, they should just try to attract new members solely via the party machinery, policies, propaganda, work and more work and not to game people’s perceptions via mendacious gimmicks such as using the good name of a respected political elder to form a Sports Foundation with the side purpose of attracting people to join the party.
And so it happened. Jose Raymond, the Deputy Chairman of the foundation has just been inducted into the SPP. Congratulations to the SPP for managing to snag quite a big fish via some reprehensible means. Jose Raymond, if you are not too familiar with him, was a former journalist who used to serve as the Vice-President of Corporate Affairs of global pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper. Before then he was the Senior Director of at the Singapore Sports Hub. His previous appointments include helming the Singapore Environment Council as its Chief Executive Officer from September 2011 to December 2014. He has also served as a press secretary to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. He has also worked in various capacities under Teo Ser Luck and Teo Chee Hean. So yeah. He has been around…
So who will be the next unsuspecting target of Lina Chiam’s wily scheme? Whomever that will be, it will definitely not bode well for Chiam See Tong’s Sports Foundation simply because when sports are mixed with politics, nothing good will come out of it. That’s why sporting bodies all over the world banned politics from their games.
And we don’t have to look far to see the adverse effects of politics in sports. Just look at the shambolic local football scene.
Whatever it is, anyone who joins a political party based on things that are not political like Jose Raymond who joins SPP based on sports and charity, will soon be disenchanted and demotivated because sooner rather than later, politics will raise its ugly head to gobble and spit them out leaving them sputtering like fish out of water.
And what a waste of talents that will be.