Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, a critic of the Government who once described singing ‘Majulah Singapura‘ as a ‘mindless demonstration of nationalism’, wrote a series he titled “Singapore’s leadership crisis” in which he took it upon himself to appraise the 4G leaders. Presenting his thoughts in a cocktail mix of fiction and embellishments, Sudhir writes these pieces as editorials.
In part 2 of the series, he was barely able to disguise his effusive defence of playwright Alfian Sa’at as an appraisal of Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung. For people familiar with Sudhir Vadaketh and his penchant for launching attacks on Singapore from various platforms including the South China Morning Post, Sudhir’s defence of Alfian Sa’at came as no surprise. This leadership crisis that Sudhir wrote about is really his own personal crisis, an inability to accept any critique of his friend Alfian Sa’at, unable to tell right from wrong, or truth from falsehoods.
This is seen in how he also criticised Law Minister K Shanmugam for the minister’s expose of the lies of another friend, Thum Ping Tjin.
Not once did he attempt to delve into Alfian Sa’at’s poems in defence of his friend. Perhaps he did not want to confront the truth. His so-called analysis of the 4G leaders barely scratched the surface. It is but a reproduction of his friends’ opinions and his own conjectures. The writing is plentiful in assertions and fiction but scant in substance. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how governing in Singapore works.
In a display of arrogance, he descended into an ad hominem on ‘beng’ Chan Chun Sing and how this beng would not be able to able to represent Singapore at the highest international stage except perhaps in China for the reason that his ‘England not that powderful’. Perhaps instead of listening to his friends, he should listen to the beng minister who has been representing Singapore on many international stage? Really, if you’re looking for objectivity and journalism, you will be sorely disappointed.
Essentially, he writes from the perspective of someone with a series of grouses with the Singapore society, a society that does not fit his ideals and keeps company with anyone who hates the government for whatever reasons.
He dreams of a Singapore “where “crazy” is a virtue and “busy” a vice, where anybody can speak about anything, where politicians serve people, where one can eat both Laksa and Lasagna.”
Idealism and cynicism may be good but the realist is the one who plans and solves problems. The realist does not have the luxury to indulge in idealism or utopia. He is busy working hard so that others can dream dreams.
It’s because there are enough realists around working hard to create opportunities that people like Sudhir can continue to dream dreams of a Singapore where “‘crazy’ is a virtue and ‘busy’ a vice, … where politicians serve people, where one can eat both Laksa and Lasagna’.”
Imagine you live in another place where putting food on the table is a challenge. How does one afford to dream the dream where “being ‘crazy’ is a virtue and being ‘busy’ is a vice” when you can’t even find laksa to eat, or lasagna.