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Is Chen Show Mao Singapore’s Wei Zheng (魏徵) or Wei Zhong Xian(魏忠賢)?

Posted by temasektimes on October 14, 2012

In his maiden speech in parliament last year October, Workers Party MP Chen Show Mao proclaimed to the entire Singapore that he will be Singapore’s ‘魏徵’ (Wei Zheng) in parliament to be a fearless critic to check on the ruling party?

Wei Zheng is a Chancellor of Emperor Taizong during the Tang dynasty and was well-known to be an upright and honest official who dared to speak his mind to the extent of offending the Emperor.

When he passed away, the Emperor lamented:

“Now that Wei is gone, I have lost a mirror!”

There were high hopes for Chen when he was first introduced as a candidate for the Workers Party during last year’s general election.

A high-flying corporate lawyer who was based overseas before returning to Singapore to contest in last year’s General Election, Chen was regarded as many Singaporeans as a credible candidate to take on the ruling party in parliament.

Unfortunately, Chen’s performance in parliament has been most dismal so far. Not only did he fail to raise important national issues of concern, being completely overshadowed by PAP backbenchers such as Tin Pei Ling, he was accused of plagiarizing a netizen’s article to be used on his Facebook.

While one might expect Chen to spear-head discussions on current affairs and politics on social media, his Facebook has degenerated into a sort of coffee-shop circus filled with mundane chit-chat and gossips.

Is this the kind of performance we expect from Singapore’s self-styled ‘Wei Zheng’?

By saying and doing nothing, Chen is giving legitimacy to the ruling party and indirectly helping it masquerade Singapore as a ‘democracy’ to the international community.

In this aspect, Chen is more like ‘魏忠賢’, an infamous eunuch in the last days of the Ming dynasty who gained absolute power by currying favor with the Emperor and shutting his eyes and ears.

As a matter of fact, the entire Workers Party is performing well as a ‘忠’ (loyal) and ‘賢’ (virtuous) ‘opposition’ of the ruling party which earn party chief Low Thia Kiang praises from its Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew a few years ago.

Aljunied residents voted for the Workers Party in the election last year partly because of Chen’s ‘star power’, believing that he will bring some change in parliament. They did not vote for him just to ‘wayang’ in the constituency now and then for photo shoots.

The Workers Party’s election slogan was ‘Towards a First World Parliament’ and not ‘Towards a better-run Aljunied and Hougang’.

One does not need to be a lawyer to be a grassroots leader. An opposition MP who does not oppose is worse than a dummy. With his impressive credentials, Chen should emulate the opposition MPs in other countries like Tony Pua of Malaysia to fight for greater democracy in Singapore.

Will Chen be remember as Singapore’s Wei Zheng or Wei Zhong Xian ten years down the road? Only time will tell, but at the present moment, his words and actions (or non-action) are resembling those of the latter rather than the former.


44 Responses to “Is Chen Show Mao Singapore’s Wei Zheng (魏徵) or Wei Zhong Xian(魏忠賢)?”

  1. Nico said

    Leave the judgment to Aljunied GRC people. Other than us, nobody should judge him.

  2. skponggol said

    WP’s Mao Mao attitude to PAP regime : 既忠又贤…

    Mod’s note:

    With such a ‘loyal’ and ‘virtuous’ ‘opposition’ in parliament to indulge in ‘bird talk’, there is no real danger of the PAP of losing power.

  3. skponggol said

    Chen Show is doing a great disservice to the historical 魏徵 and smearing the reputation of that great man when he tried to compare himself to that great man but lack the capability, integrity, courage and outspokenness as that great man.

    People who follow Chen’s pathetic parliament non-performance would think that the historical 魏徵 was as useless, timid, impotent and dysfunctional as WP’s self-anointed 魏徵….They may even think that the Tang Dynasty 魏徵 was a quiet, obedient, subservient eunuch just as those WP’s political eunuchs.

    Mod’s note:

    The historical ‘Wei Zheng’ was a fearless critic who risked his life to speak the truth. ‘Wayang’ Chen should stop comparing himself to this great historical figure to smear his reputation.

  4. Fake Alex said

    just checking is temasek times run by Alex ?

    • Jaded said

      Nope TT is run by the pappies. Just look at the style of writing and poor grammar, all the anti-WP articles and comments are written by TT themselves.

      Mod’s note:

      How can the pappies be ‘anti’ towards their very own ‘B’ team? Wake up, the ‘Wayang Party’ is PART of the PAP! They are on the SAME side – it’s one big happy FAMILY!

  5. Looney Loong said

    Whatever it is, CSM is highly regarded in both, the Opposition as well as PAP camps.

    Most Singaporeans have the highest respect for this humble and noble man.

    There is no comparison, really..

    .. but if you have to make one, the widely detested and loathsome LHL is nothing more than a puny ant standing next to an elephant when you think of them both, Pinky and CSM, at the same time.

  6. Pink Panty Loong said

    I sincerely hope all Singapore opposition parties can work & complement each other instead of running each other down….please bear in mind that you all only have one common opponent – the useless & decadent Pro-Aliens Party.

    Mod’s note:

    The ‘Wayang Party’ is NOT an opposition party. It is on the SAME side as the PAP. The real opposition parties must work together to challenge the WP-PAP alliance in 2016. A vote for WP = A vote for PAP!

  7. Naivety said

    He came with high credentials & big reputation as a former Rohde Scholar & even VB is dwarfed in comparison with CSM therefore, naturally performance expectation of him is high as well!

  8. spotlessleopard said

    TRE should seek aninterview or seek his comments instead of mumbling here

    Mod’s note:

    Don’t you know that the ‘Wayang Party’ has boycotted TRE?

  9. KK said

    This is a Bias and Baseless report… z…

  10. meesiam said

    pui! useless.

  11. R Usha said

    Its not just chen who is a dismal failure. the whole aljunied grc gang in parliament, save for a bit of low thia kiang and sylvia lim are a total failure. most if not all the time, faishal manap does not know what is going on in parliament and what he is talking about. pritam singh is only interested in showing off his engoish skills- no stuff at all in his speeches. chen is busy running an opera while making his speeches, totally incomprehensible. well low thia kiang continues to make some good points and sylvia lim gets battered once in a while by the front bench for silly remarks made. so how much can low continue to save this grp in parliament?

    Mod’s note:

    Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim are the WORST of the lot. Low Thia Kiang ranted at the PAP for restricting the inflow of work permit holders earlier this year and it was one of the few times he opened that golden mouth of his. Sylvia Lim contributed nothing in parliament and only know how to apple-polish the PAP by praising it to the sky in interviews with the international media as its unofficial spokeswoman. Aljunied residents must be regretting voting out George Yeo for this bunch of clowns. In fact, keeping Georgie as a reformer in the PAP may be a wiser choice instead as he will definitely ask more difficult questions in parliament than these dummies.

    As for Pritam Singh, who can forget his infamous remark or Freudian slip:

    ‘If the PAP fails to win a majority in the next election, the Workers Party will form a coalition govt with it (to keep it in power)’

    Do you expect somebody so eager to jump into the same bed as the PAP to challenge it?

  12. dragon said

    This is singapore and not US or Hong Kong any part of the world ,so slowly make good start up.

  13. ting said

    Bo liao article

  14. Not as bad as lee bee wah said

    Re: Go Hong Lim to shout Lee Bee Wah n give 3 or more boo to her

    They dun even need to know the head or tail of what I say – just build up the euphoria of the moment when they can exercise their one n only right of expression to boo at the name they hate – eg Yong Pung How – Wong Siew Hong

  15. choochootrain said

    This is a problem when you join a party, there are party rules to follow, cannot 我行我诉, unless he was selected as an independent. I think they are 暗兵不动,waiting for the opp party to think that they are a sitting duck afterall, then they wil fall into the WP’s trap. We shall not be too eager to see the result less 误 了大事。

  16. NaBey said

    Whatever! He is surely his father son!

  17. Georgie said

    Well written and argued. I am an Aljunied GRC constituent and I voted for Chen partly because of his past star quality and partly because I abhor the indefensible humongous salaries that the Ministers are paying themselves. I hope Chen bucks up to our expectation, because otherwise I would be in a dilemma whether to swing my vote back to the PAP. But I have vowed that for so long as the Ministers are grabbing such unjustifiable salaries for themselves I would not vote for them. So, maybe I have no choice but to continue to vote for Chen despite his poor performance.
    It seems so long ago and so far away when Chen first joined the WP. My Chinese scholar friend even predicted that ten years down the road, PM Lee would lament to the high heavens: “ji sheng Mao, he sheng Loong?”
    just like the way Chou Yu (in the Romance of the Three Kingdom) did in his death- bed: “ji sheng Yu, he sheng Liang”
    after he was repeatedly outwitted by Zhu Ke Liang’s mastery.
    Now, it seems that this prediction would never come true if Chen continues in his lackadaisical dismal performance. Perhaps we now have to turn our hopes to Chee Soon Juan who has been consistently outspoken against the high salaries of the Ministers.

    Mod’s note:

    Either CSM is ‘quiet’ all along or he has to shut up because of the party whip. The ‘Wayang Party’ is still essentially a ‘one-man’ show. The plan has been hatched more than ten years ago when JBJ was ruthlessly ousted from the party. Our only hope lies in the likes of Dr Chee and Tan Jee Say to lead an united opposition coalition to challenge the WP-PAP alliance in 2016. Contest in Aljunied and Hougang to vote out these useless clowns too! A vote for WP = A vote for PAP!

    • Hah said

      Dream on! CSJ, a parliamentarian? You gotta be kidding. Bet he’ll never be. Mod, how about you close shop if he fails in 2016?

    • you get what you give said

      Chen Show Mao was reluctantly roped into politics by Eric Tan and has never claimed to be a revolutionary. Why place him in that role then castigate him for not delivering. His constituents have not complained so leave him alone. I agree with the Mod however that if you demand change, we need to get Chee and Tan into parliament. They have shown that they mean business and have put their money where their mouth is.

  18. Robin hood said

    If David Marshall and JB were to rise from their graves, they will certainly give CSM and the others a very very hard kick on the butt for being such a let down.
    Something is damned seriously wrong with them. The moment they stepped into Parliament they seemed to have lost their claws and fangs. People are not entirely deaf and blind and complacent. Being on the ground they give genuine feedbacks, not out of malice but out of concern for the present and future. If the WP continues to align themselves with the unpolular policies of the PAP, this party should realize that they are no longer in the hearts of their supporters and might as well deregister and join the PAP openly.

    Singaporeans now have no one to turn to except the other opposition parties who they hope will capitalize on this misfortune to form a respectable opposition party worthy of support into Parliament in GE2016.

    Mod’s note:

    The ‘Wayang Party’ scums are already PART of the PAP. Sylvia Lim has become its unofficial spokeswoman in the international arena while Pritam Singh is dreaming of forming a coalition govt with it. Our only hope lies in the real opposition parties contesting in Aljunied and Hougang to boot these leeches out of parliament. Since Sylvia Lim had declared WP will contest in Tampines and Marine Parade in 2016, why not others contest in Aljunied and Hougang as well?

    • Zzzzz said

      Dear mod,
      Since you have been mentioning of the real opposition. Please enlighten us? Who is the “real” opposition to you?

      Mod’s note:

      A real opposition is a co-driver which slaps the driver when it is sleeping, not giving it a blow-job when it is driving! Since when did the ‘wayang party’ slap the driver? It has been sleeping in parliament all along!

  19. longtze88 said

    wp party come ist- the day will come wp became the ruling part-how long -when ?time will tell-

  20. Worriedsgp said

    What a ridiculous post, he has been fighting for the rights since he is appointed mp

    • obox said

      Such as which one, may I ask? And how much impact did he make at least among his supporters?

    • Copycat Chan said

      Fight for what rights. Name 1 thing that U can actually remember CSM fighting for. He was brutally exposed on the web for copying. He was brutally exposed by Vikram Nair in Parliament for random bullshit, only TOC article quoting out of context and their mindless rabid zombie supporters prevented him from being embarrassed further. Not forgetting the Worker’s Party supports a million dollar pay check for the ministers.

  21. WP = Wrong Party said

    WP don’t want to take part in the National Conversation. WP flips flops on ministerial salaries and public transport. WP have too many duds in Parliament. WP only knows how to copy ideas from other people. Vote for WP? Might as well vote for PAP! VOTE WP OUT IN 2016!!!

    Mod’s note:

    The useless ‘Wayang Party’ clowns are WORSE than the PAP backbenchers and NMPs, wasting precious air time in parliament to talk rubbish on PSLE textbooks, carparks, construction materials and even BIRD DROPPINGS! Do we pay these dummies $15,000 monthly to ‘wayang’ in parliament? Replace them with a bunch of secondary students and they will probably ask more pertinent questions. The real opposition parties like SDP and RP should contest in Aljunied and Hougang in 2016 to vote these scums out too. A vote for WP = A vote for PAP = A vote for more foreigners! Boycott the ‘Wayang Party’ now!

    • Robox said

      And the copycatting extends to MY posts on the net.

      I was the one who wrote that “diversity of opinion is not “division” which Chen copycatted and I was the one – one the eve of GE – posted that we should vote with ours hearts to counter what the PAP was saying. YSL copycatted that.

      If SDP takes up my words I don’t mind. But not WP.

  22. Copycat Chen said

    U mean the day will come when they become ruling “partner” with PAP not ruling Party

    Mod’s note:

    That will take another 50 years, according to WP Chief Low Thia Kiang. Looks like he is contented being a loyal sidekick to the PAP for the rest of his life. LOL…

    • Penis And Promises said

      The ponzi scheme created by the MIW will not last 50 years and will eventually collapse, thus compelling ordinary citizens in SinCity to become refugees and end up working in neighbouring countries as cheap labour.

      Have you forgotten the old fart’s prophesy of wives and daughters becoming maids in other countries if SinCity was led by a non PAP govt ?

      Ask ourselves why and the hard truth is because the damage done by the previous govt is beyond redemption.

  23. Peter Tan said

    What’s your intention TEMASEKTIMES? Are you trying to convince us (ie Aljunied Voters) to stop voting for WP and to vote PAP? So that we have even less opposition in Parliment?

    SDP has any candidate with qualification and corporate experience similar to Chen Show Mao introduce?

    Mod’s note:

    The real opposition parties will be contesting in Aljunied in 2016. Please vote for the real deal rather than the fake opposition party. A vote for WP = A vote for PAP! Boycott the useless, shameless, worthless, spineless and hopeless ‘Wayang Party’ before it is too late!

    • Zzzzz said

      lol. funny mod.. ppl asking you if SDP got real candidates anot. you replied that? hahaha. then dun need election la.. better.

    • Robin hood said

      As I said, something is very wrong. If their opposing voices are unheard of in the medias during debates, they can always resort their own bulletin and the website. Silence is consent. WP had dug its own grave. Voters in Aljuneid and Hougang need not waste wreaths.

  24. goh69 said

    Temasek Review is really going down.

    Attacking PAP may lead to legal case and bankruptcy, so now change to attack WP?

    Mod’s note:

    WP is PART of the PAP. It is the PAP’s ‘B’ team, its most ‘loyal’ and ‘virtuous’ ‘co-driver’ in parliament. A vote for WP = A vote for PAP!

  25. meesiam said


    • skponggol said

      PAP 的招安 !…WP ultimate goal is to be assimilated into a PAP-controlled “coalition” regime.

      WP political slogan : “替 PAP 行 盗”

      Mod’s note:

      Precisely. The ‘Wayang Party’ is making use of disgruntled Singaporeans to gain protest votes. There is no real change except a transfer of votes from the PAP’s ‘A’ to ‘B’ team! The ‘Wayang Party’ clowns are lusting for a cabinet position from the PAP daily. No wonder they dare not offend their political masters! A vote for WP = A vote for PAP = A vote for more foreigners! Vote for the real opposition parties in Hougang and Aljunied in 2016 to boot out these non-performing scums!

  26. Singapuraboi said

    We Singaporeans have 三分钟热度. We all start out all so excited but our stamina are not adequate to see anything thru. Sigh! Guess they r only humans so when they see opportunities to fatten their wallet, they seize. So now they r singing PAP praises. Getting into politics for many is like a back door into PAP.

    Mod’s note:

    Don’t be surprised if CSM gets an invitation from the PAP to join the party in the next GE.

  27. Michael Ang said

    I think Chee Soon Juan may make a better Opposition than the WP. Yes, he may have a less than sterling past (his hunger strike saga and Chiam saga), but I think during that period, people were not ready for confrontational type of Opposition and the media played up and made him look bad, and hence WP seems a more suitable choice because of its moderate approach. But again during that period, we were not faced with so many issues that’s making life so difficult (such as FT taking away our jobs, the overload on our public transport system, foreigners driving up our property prices making even HDB so expensive for us, the list goes on.)

    Short of going to the streets to protest (which we can’t, because we are probably the only country in the world where there is no right of peaceful assembly), we can only rely on a more forceful Opposition to voice for us. And the current slate, it seems only Chee Soon Juan can do the job for us. Pritam Singh is vocal too, but I guess he won’t be able to say much if he stays with WP. He should leave WP to join Chee Soon Juan, the 2 will make a perfect team as both are vocal, and not afraid to speak.

    I just hope Chee will not run into trouble with the law again and get himself disqualified from the next election. We really hope to see Chee put together a strong team for 2016. Sure, he may not topple PAP in the next election. That’s fine and we know it won’t happen (so soon), but we want a stronger voice for us. Not a Wayang Party to went into the parliament and stayed so quiet.

    Mod’s note:

    Pritam Singh is only ‘vocal’ during the election after which he is as quiet as a mouse. Don’t pin your hopes on him as he is yearning to jump into the same bed as the PAP:

    ‘If the PAP fails to win a majority in the next election, the Workers Party will form a coalition govt with it (to keep it in power)’

    – PAP’s ‘B’ team MP Pritam Singh, May 2011

    Now you know why he was never ‘fixed’ and was left pretty much alone.

  28. 陳一峯 said




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