What should Ho Ching’s new role be?

09Feb09

Interesting article over at Today on the options of  Ho Ching, Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter-in-law, which manages to insinuate that she is incompetent, that her becoming a politician would be viewed as nepotism, and that the PAP’s vote-for-us-or-else tactics no longer work.

But the Temasek CEO’s answer gave many of us a peek into a personality that became the subject of endless discussion when she married Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 1985, when her Government-linked company’s investment in Micropolis failed in 1997 and when she became executive director, and later CEO, of Temasek six years ago. …

As the team marched to a drumbeat of an aggressive acquisition spree, missteps were made. The stakes in Thailand’s Shin Corp and Australia’s ABC Learning were particularly bad because bets were placed on people who turned out to be an embarrassment for Temasek. …

What’s the problem then? Well, having a third member of the Lee family in politics or the Cabinet is not just going to be a very difficult cross to carry. The Singapore that we were when former Foreign Minister and one of the founding members of the PAP, Mr S Rajaratnam, proposed a youthful Lee Hsien Loong for politics in 1984 is very different from the Singapore we are in today.

The population is becoming more demanding and judgemental, with a click community sometimes hijacking the debate in a digital world always looking for the next hot-button issue.

The siege-mentality strategy that was used so effectively to get Singaporeans to get real is not going to cut ice any more. Neither is the carrot-and-stick approach.



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