Monday, August 1, 2011

No Big Deal

Over the past few days, there has been some talk about how Presidential hopeful Dr. Tony Tan had used his position to help his son escape military National Service (NS). His son, Patrick Tan, stopped his NS halfway and went to Stanford for medical studies.

A lot of Singaporeans are unhappy as disruption from NS is very hard to get and disruption for overseas medical studies is almost unheard of. Now I can understand why some Singaporeans are unhappy about the situation but people; why is this a big deal?

Dr. Tony Tan is a high-ranking member of the government so his son has certain…privileges. In Singapore, we call the son a “white horse.” If any Singaporean out there says they do not know what a white horse is or if they are surprised by Patrick Tan’s disruption; you are na├»ve beyond hope.

Is there any Singaporeans out there who is truly, seriously surprised by this? I mean come on! There is no reason for this to be an issue now when it has been happening for decades and everyone knows it. I want to also add that Patrick Tan went for medical studies. Compare to the son of another high ranking member of the government who skipped the chain of command and sent a letter directly to a former Minister of Defense, Patrick Tan is almost saintly in comparison.

So let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. What Dr. Tony Tan did for his son is par for course in this country and anyone for say otherwise is lying to himself.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just because it has been happening for eons doesn't mean it's right.

Anonymous said...

maIf powerful man can have his son's NS service interupted in time of peace,he would not put his son in harm's way in time of war.
All other NS men in the front line of fire must view it as a big deal

Ghost said...

It might not be right but every Singaporeans knows about it and it is hypocritical of us to complain about it now just because Tony Tan is making his presidential bid.
As for his son being in the frontlines of a war; you are not serious right? If I am in the frontlines, the last guy I want beside me is a pampered “white horse” who most probably don’t know which end of the gun is supposed to be pointed at the enemy.

Anonymous said...

Just because he is running for the PE now doesn't mean is too late to raise this blatant "white horse" syndrome that has perpetuated within the system. In the past, ordinary citizens have no media revenue for them to call out such practices, but today the new media is par for everyone. And if you still choose not to report or call out such unfair tactics, then your children's children or the next generation will still face the same situations. In fact, the whole integrity of serving NS is been called into question once again. One set for rules for locals, one set of rules for local whitehorse, and one set of rules for FTs.

The PE of Tony Tan is just a trigger point for the matter to be called out, and giving the authority chance to put clearly their stands. It is also a test for Tony Tan to demonstrate his honesty and transparency in handling such matter. The MSM & TT have largely kept quiet about his familiar ties with LKY. But there's no dissing off this matter for all the NS men out there.

ser guan said...

from what i know, disruption from NS for medical studies is very common during 1988.

combat medical orderly 1985-1987

For those interested in this white horse issue may also read "senang diri" blog.

kelvintan73 said...

No big deal in the past that women cannot take part in the Olympic games.

No big deal in the past that African Americans have to order take outs and not eat in the restaurants.

The future Singaporean males will be glad that we are making it a big deal now.

Anonymous said...

"All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others"

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Anonymous said...

In Singapore isn't this considered meritocracy - the talent to be born into the right family at the right time?

Saycheese

Anonymous said...

"What Dr. Tony Tan did for his son is par for course in this country and anyone for say otherwise is lying to himself."
For the record, my sister the wife of a minister, and we have never divulged the information to any party for benefit or influence. So there.

Ghost said...

You mean to say you are surprise by what happened? You are surprise Patrick Tan got his deferment? You are surprise that being Tony Tan’s son, Patrick Tan got an overseas deferment for medical studies?
No one is surprise because this has been going on for such a long time it's par for course.

JeffGoh said...

"The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded." : Charles-Louis De Secondat(1689-1755) Baron de Montesquieu - Source: The Spirit of the Laws, 1748

Anonymous said...

I am sad that you have this view of 'no big deal'. This is the killing of democracy and progress of a country. Following your attitude, there is no big deal that this government is not accountable and transparent to its people. Do you really think those peasant NS soldiers will defend this country if white horse policy is true? This is a very BIG deal indeed even though this is more openly talked about today. If you talk about it before the internet era (that government has less control), do you think MSM will publish your view on white horse policy? You might then be locked up by ISD in those days. Surely, everyone knows about this fact but it is not the time yet to talk about it openly. So, it is a BIG DEAL in the past, now and future.

Ghost said...

Sorry but what world are you living in? Sons and daughters of rich/powerful people are going to get a leg up on the rest of society. It has happen and will always happen. That’s just a fact. If something like this is the killing of democracy, then democracy would never had been born.

Anonymous said...

I wish Dr TT can make this "No Big Deal" comment in his facebook page and see how the reaction will be like.

TKL's values of honesty, fairness, courage, positive attitude and public service resonates with me after learning about the Patrick Tan's NS deferment fiasco.

Ghost said...

Would Tony Tan lose the PE due to this white horse issue? No because everyone in Singapore knows this happen all the time. I stay by my statement that this is no big deal because Singaporeans do not care about this white horse issue. This issue will NOT change their minds on who they are going to vote for.