Ladies and Gentlemen,
Reading the article of the state controlled newspaper Channelnewsasia of May 13, 2008 titled "The Professor and the very bright student" you would be forgiven if you mistook it for a love story of how 2 lovers met, rather than believe it or not, how the Singapore government appointed the young Tamil Indian S Shanmugam Minister for Law in the cabinet.
You must read this newspaper article to appreciate my point. Internet edition of Channelnewsasia of may 13, 2008.
From the article, one thing is certain. This young man's entry into politics, his joining a law firm, his being given law cases and ultimately being appointed Minister for Law has all been orchestrated and arranged by Professor Jayakumar the immediate past Minister for Law, both Tamil Indians by the way.
Please don’t think even for one moment that this whole thing is even remotely related to politics as one would ordinarily expect in a democratic country. The tarpaulin covering on the outside claims it to be a democracy. In the inside, it is no different from the Soviet era Deutche Democratishe Republic or the DDR or East Germany as it was called in the west.
The love story starts more than 2 decades ago when a young man walked into Professor Jayakumar's constitutional law class at National University of Singapore when the Professor immediately noticed; or rather fell in love with the said young man. Nothing short of love at first sight.
The article claims that as soon as the said young man, the present Minister for Law walked into his constitutional law class, the Professor immediately knew that that this was the man, or the chosen one.
There was an unmistakable chemistry in the air. Had the young man been a woman instead, it looks as if Jayakumar, the Professor would have dropped everything and proposed on the spot!
Since the Professor had no doubt at all that this young man, S Shanmugam was indeed the protégé, like the new found infant Dalai Lama, when the strongman Lee Kuan Yew wanted a name for the future Minister for Law, Mr. S Shanmugam, the new found love of the professor, was immediately recommended.
There are even more touching passionate encounters in this long love story.
Professor Jayakumar tearfully recalls during one private moment between his new found love S Shanmugam and himself, when the professor popped the question of marriage, no not marriage, but whether S Shanmugam would join politics; the professor recalls with great emotion and tears almost rolling down his cheeks that he noticed his love, S Shanmugam nearly fell off the chair.
Although this is not mentioned, I am taken to understand from inner circles, that the Professor immediately ran to cushion his beloved from the fall thereby ensuring the young man was not hurt at all.
Not even a scratch, thank God.
Even today, when Professor Jayakumar recalls that moment, he cannot help tears welling in his eyes. The moment was extremely passionate, which Jayakumar cherishes even till this day and swears never to forget it until he is dead!
Imagine that. It seems when Jayakumar the Professor had asked the question, the young man was surprised why he was chosen. In utter surprise at the question, as was earlier mentioned, he nearly fell off the chair and was rescued by the gallant Professor in the nick of time at great danger to himself!
One thing is clear in the strange island of Singapore.
It appears this man S Shanmugam, had no intention of joining politics at all!
It seems from the article that it was only with great difficulty in persuasion that he was finally made to join politics. A strange parliamentary democracy indeed where reluctant people are coerced and threatened to enter politics and made to rule over Singaporeans!
It seems the odd entry into politics of a reluctant candidate was not only in S Shanmugam's case.
Surprisingly, even the Professor Jayakumar himself, the recent Minister for Law was himself completely averse to politics. In fact, he himself states that he joined politics with great reluctance and did it as a duty to his country.
If I could see Jayakuamr, I would tell him that he should have done whatever he wanted and stop trying to imply that he is some kind of a Godsend for all of us. It would have made no difference had it been a donkey instead of him.
Coming back to the intimate private tryst between the lovers Jayakumar and S Shanmugam, in their meeting of love, it appears that the young man was wearing a hat and there was a ring in the private room and when he was thus provoked with the question of politics, this boy Shanmugam forthwith took off his hat and gallantly threw it into the ring aforementioned. Why he did what he did and did it mean anything, that is throwing his hat into the ring, is a puzzle we will never know!
It seems that this new discovery S Shanmugam had told everyone in the People's Action Party or Lee's party that his ambition had all along been to become the best lawyer in Singapore. There is no doubt when the members of the said party was thus informed, immediately after he graduated as the best law student in Singapore tutored under the passionate arms of none other than Professor Jayakumar, he was immediately invited to join the largest law firm in Singapore where the lawyers are all Lee's party members and immediately given all the biggest cases, thereby making sure that his ambition was achieved to the letter.
Jayakumar states that his love S Shanmugam was never too far out his sight and he was arranging for this young man to become his successor when he left the post of Minister for Law.
It seems, according to the Professor, there was a lot of talk and private discussions behind closed doors as to whether it should be this man who was to be anointed Minster for Law, but his love the professor states unequivocally, he had no doubt whatsoever.
At the end of this story, the professor tearfully leaves his position he held as Minister for 26 years only to hand that position to his chosen love S Shanmugam.
I am not sure if Hollywood had gotten wind of this heartwarming love story between professor and student, somewhat in the lines of the Oscar winner Brobeck Mountain, but we will never know.
And all this has happened in Lee Kuan Yew's definition of a First World Democracy, none other than Singapore. If you are shocked, I don’t blame you.
As I had said in the past, had it not been for his part the professor and Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore strongman, it would have made no difference if this S Shanmugam was wearing the Tamil sarong, smoking a beedi, spitting betelnut all over the place and frying the Indian pancake "thosay" and stall 231, Tekka Market in Serangoon Road, Little India, Singapore, at $2 a piece.
By the way, you must read the Channelnewsasia article please.
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