Thursday, December 13, 2012

A heavy price for a private affair

When Domiinic Strauss-Khan gave up his job as head of IMF, he was accused of molesting and raping the maid in the hotel room.

Michael Palmer, ex-Speaker of Parliament, had a private, relationship with the then staff of the People's Association. It was consensual on both parties.

I wish to point out the difference in both situations.

I know that many people in Singapore have high expectations of their political leaders. I think that this expectation is unrealistic.

I share the views of a few other people that private matters should be private, and should not be confused with public duties.

I know that in many countries, this type of private relationship do not affect the career of public figures or political leaders.

It is likely that this type of private affairs is fairly common in Singapore, so we should not be hypocrites in expecting our political leaders to be angels.

I am sad that Michael Palmer and his family had to suffer such a heavy price.  I would have preferred that this matter be dealt with by his family as their private matter.


zhummmeng said...

Remember Bill Clinton got a BJ from one of his female staffs? He wasn't asked to resign as President.
Yes, private affair should be allowed to come between.

Snowy Beagle said...

1. We should not impose higher standards for others than we do for ourselves, even for those who lead us.

There should be no double standards for anybody.

I do not believe in putting anyone on a pedestal, including leaders.

2. To err is human. Leaders are human, not gods.

3. I expect the same integrity from leaders as I expect from myself.

Integrity is broken when a person breaks his promise - regardless of whether that promise is made to voters or to his family.

4. Yes, the person he has wronged in having the affair is his wife and family, not the voters.

His obligation to repent and apologise and make amends is to his family, not to the voters.

However, how he accepts that obligation is of interest to the voters - his obligations to his family is NO LESSER than his obligations to the voters.

If a person lies to his wife, how can she be assured he is telling the truth next time?

If a person lies to his wife, how can others (including voters) be assured he is telling them the truth?

Can you trust anyone who claims he will not lie to you or his voters but thinks it's okay to lie to his wife?

Trust broken must be regained.

5. Whether he should quit is another issue. But it is very clear that an elected official's integrity is paramount - regardless of whether it is to family or to public.

Never trust anyone who claims it's okay to lie to friends/family but not to electorate.

Unknown said...

Bill Clinton wasn't just asked to resign, he was impeached! Don't you recall?

一枝梅 iljimae said...

I am not a moralist but I do find the view of judging a politician independent of his private relationships very disturbing. I also do not think that Singapore is unique in pursuing moral high grounds, other countries do have high standards as well:

i) John Major, ex UK Prime Minister, hid his extra-marital affair secret, and "it is highly unlikely that Major would have become prime minister" if his affair was made known. See

ii) Clinton was impeached because of his "private relationships" with a few women. Some of the recent examples are David Petraeus (ex CIA chief with extra-marital affair), Eliot Spitzer (ex New York Governor involved with prostitutes), John Edwards (US Vice-President candidate in 2008 with extra-marital affair) etc. These men were very capable but are falling stars now due to their infidelity.

The reason of holding them in high standards when come to marriage fidelity? If a person is so easily succumbed to sexual desires/extra-marital affairs, it just proves that he let his emotion rules over his head, and how to entrust him with difficult decisions that will affect the country? Furthermore, what happens if the other women are spies/terrorist in disguise? As such, there is no compromise when come to moral high grounds.

cd-rom said...

I agree with Snowy Beagle.

yujuan said...

Getting weary now, so many itchy cocks in politics and the civil service.
Such a big deal as if we hypocrites are still living in the puritanical Victorian Era.
Only interested in the molly-coddling of Mikey Mouse, as if PAP is handling a fragile vase on the brink of being broken, as compared to the vicious attacks heaped by this Party on Yaw, the same disgraced ex Hougang opposition MP.
Same kind of cheating on the spouse, but different strokes of treatment.
Where is the so called moral integrity preached by the PAP Govt.
They even devised their own mode of Democratic rights for the people
- no need By Election, because our devised Constitution says so, even our Judiciary says so. Anyway, Teo Ser Luck next door can step over as proxy rep till 2016 GE.
If it is politically convenient, this Punggol SMC is a separate ward, if not, it's still part of the Pasir Ris GRC family.
That's the message we get.

The said...

On his smoking pot while at Oxford, Clinton defended himself by saying "I smoked, but I didn't inhale."

So, with Monica's blow jobs, he could defend himself by saying "I was blowed (or blew?), but I didn't impale.

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