May 3, 2011

PAP's Cynthia Phua And Her Most Famous Moment as an Aljunied MP

Today I will tell you a story. It is a sad story, so sad that it could almost be a Taiwanese soap opera.  Unfortunately, it is not fiction, but a true story. (I read about it from this newspaper report in The New Paper).

Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived in Aljunied (we don't know her real name, so let's just call her Julie). She was 53 years old, and she had a 17-year-old son (again we don't know his real name - so we'll just call him Ah Teck).

Julie was poorly educated. She had only studied up to Primary 6. She worked as a part-time cleaner, earning $400 a month to support herself and Ah Teck. Meanwhile, Ah Teck had low IQ and was attending a special school for mentally handicapped kids. He also had thalassemia, a blood disorder.

Ah Teck's father had run away several years ago and could no longer be found. So there was absolutely no financial help from him.

One day in January 2009, Julie was at work. She was standing on a chair to clean a fan. Suddenly, she slipped and fell. She broke her wrist. Thereafter Julie lost her job, for she could no longer perform her cleaning duties.

A few months later, their money ran out and they could not pay their HDB mortgage instalments. So Julie and Ah Teck were about to lose their home - the HDB was taking action to repossess it. The HDB agreed to rent her another flat. But Julie did not even have $138 to pay for the rental deposit.

So Julie and Ah Teck decided to go to see their MP in Aljunied. They had gone to their Aljunied MP many times before, to get financial aid, so they knew where to go. This time Julie and Ah Teck wanted to ask the MP to sign an appeal letter for them, to waive the $138 rental deposit. They went to the town council and met with Aljunied MP Cynthia Phua (yes, the same Cynthia Phua now running for Aljunied again, together with George Yeo).

What went on in the office, we do not know for sure. We do know that the letter did get signed. Later Cynthia also claimed that the conversation was cordial and went well. And in the subsequent newspaper report, her fellow PAP MP Lim Hwee Hua also said that Cynthia behaved in a manner that was "very helpful" and "very motherly".

However, Julie tells a somewhat different story, and it goes like this:

      ".....shortly after they had entered the office, Madam Phua asked her son a series of questions: 'She asked him, 'Who are you? What are you doing? Why aren't you working?' .... The mother said she wanted to explain her son's condition, but wasn't given a chance. 'I felt like we were being scolded,' she said.

Whatever Cynthia Phua had actually said, we know that Ah Teck must have felt very humiliated. Perhaps it was not the words, but the tone, the demeanour or the body language. Whatever the case may be, we know how Ah Teck must have felt. That's because right after he walked out of Cynthia's office, he lost his temper in a big way. Ah Teck picked up a foldable chair, and slammed it twice on a glass door.

There was a commotion, other people quickly restrained the boy and calmed him down. And then Julie went home, taking her mentally-handicapped son with her.

The story might have ended there, but it did not. Cynthia made a police report. Later that night, the police arrived at Julie's home and arrested Ah Teck.

Two days later, Julie went to see the MP again, clutching a handwritten letter of apology from her son. We are told that in this letter, Ah Teck wrote the following words: "'Please fodgive me for what I dad I am sinelely truely I'm sorry". (Note that Ah Teck has low IQ - that would be why his writing skills are so poor).

But that forgiveness didn't come. PAP MP Lim Hwee Hua rejected the apology. She would not ask the police to withdraw the case.

A grassroots volunter, Mr Poon, further claimed that Ah Teck's blows with the chair "could have gotten someone killed".

(Personally, I think that the only thing you can kill by hitting a door with a chair is the door. Or the chair. The TNP article also made the subtle observation that despite the killer blows, the door, which was made of glass, remained unbroken).

The hapless Ah Teck was required to appear in court on a certain date - 12th May 2009. He faced a criminal charge of committing a rash act to endanger the safety of others.

What happened next is not publicly known. I have surfed and googled, but the media does not seem to have followed up on the story and I cannot get any more information.

This is probably because the boy was underage. In Singapore, juvenile court proceedings are generally shielded from the public eye and reporters are kept out of the courtroom.

So the story ends here - because we really don't know what happened next.

What I hope is that Ah Teck did not get some criminal conviction that would stain his record, and make his already-bleak future even more difficult. He is a low-IQ boy, after all.

I also hope that both Julie and Ah Teck had the good fortune to meet a judge who could understand their hardship and empathise with their daily struggles for money and a roof over their heads.

And I hope that the judge treated Ah Teck with more kindness and compassion, than the Aljunied PAP MPs had done.

Since the General Elections are here again, it is also my hope that you will take a few moments to reflect on the above incident. Please vote wisely .... for the MPs whom you believe will have compassion for their residents.


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Anonymous said...

How did I come to this? How did wI arrive at and allow this?

Thank you for the posting Mr wang.

Anonymous said...

A famous story about hwee hwa was a forum letter she wrote to a S'porean woman married to some angmo guy. The woman asked about (cant remember which) policy and compared the same policy as implemented in her angmo husband's country. the sporean woman sounded quite angry lah in letter wondering if shes better off migrating to her husband's country.

hwee hwa replied and told her to migrate. wahlao. this kind of coldfish minister? and so fellow sporeans: we lost a singaporean to an angmo country becoz of this minister. and instead hwee hwa and govt taking angmos into our country. why like that? have we had enough of their bull****

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.
: )

Anonymous said...

This post gonna cost PAP at least a few hundred female votes man. Appealing to motherly instinct, emotions, sense of justice and compassion. Probably more effective than most of the speeches WP dish out at rallies. You should send them a copy so that they can use tonight or tomorrow night lar.

Moreover mothers day coming, sure got more impact.

Anonymous said...

How did I come to this? How did wI arrive at and allow this?

answer: becoz straits times & cna major cover-up & they only suck up to pap & don't tell u what goes on in our own country. open eyes & ears people

Anonymous said...

If this is the kind of country that we have been working so hard for, I rather have none of it. PAP belongs to the era when we needed to build a functioning economy, but now, we need to build a country and a home. The PAP way is, at least to me, obsolete.

Anonymous said...

Hi, if this is true, please make it known to the singapore voters..please.

Anonymous said...

sph and mediacorp are monopolies. so of course singaporeans are clueless. all these things go unreported. cynthia phua, ho ching, hwee hwa all share same overbearing personalities. our ministers all behave like mini lky

Anonymous said...

How do we know if this is for real?

We can just change the name to WP or any other person/party out there. Anyone can say anything at this juncture just to sway some votes.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Click on my links.

Try reading the newspaper report.

mr wang says so said...


Anonymous said...

OMG Anon 4.02

The shit is in your mouth and you still argue it's candy.

PAP supporters have all been blindfolded for too long and are obviously hurt by the bright daylights.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia Phua's action is not just arrogance but CONTEMPT for the people who voted for the PAP. It has become the POLITICS OF CONTEMPT. Now we know why they behave as they do. They have absolute no regard for the people.

MM Lee should make her REPENT!

Ser Ming said...


Sorry but I have been reposting some of your good entries with regards to social/politics issues from your blog and credit to you. I will like to take this one as well.

Thank you for your understanding.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.02

Typical PAP loyalist who will jump to defend the indefensible behavior of PAP MPs without first reading the proof. Bear in mind the news was reported by your own PAP-controlled media.

Anonymous said...


Do CP & LBH understands the "public funds" paid to her monthly comes from the public (also from directly/indirectly from this family undergoing much difficulties and need real help from the 'government' supposely elected to represent the people and the country) in the past, present and "paid always in advance" future...

How heartless and no conscience!

Belinda Ang said...

I hope this wasn't true. If it was, Cynthia Phua ought to be ashamed of herself and the volunteer who was helping the mother and son should have offered Mdm Phua a clearer background before bringing them in to meet the MP. Fault on the volunteers as well. It's not just about "writing a letter", it's about getting the facts right and help push benefits to the people who needs it. - From a PAP supporter.

zhanzhao said...
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Anonymous said...

i certainly do not wish to have such a MP in the parliament who only cares about the economic issues and doesn't look into the software elements of this country..

Anonymous said...


I really feel for the special-needs of Singapore with people like you and your ilk in government.

Anonymous said...

Zhan Zhao how did that boy get to be so agitated? And how did it get to be a criminal matter...??? Who made the report?

And take the boy out of circulation? You mean like a bad copy of a magazine, or a newspaper, just take it out?

Well maybe you are like the paps, worry about your own safety first than what is happening out there.
Get high ministerial pay whereas the rest of us worry about when our next loaf of bread is going to come from.

If that what's the paps are like, that their safety are their first concern, what does that say about our safety, our food bowl, our future.

Thank you for this Mr wang. Thank you.

tuesday said...

To ZhanZhao:

It's true that the boy should not have been aggressive. But the facts are this:

1) he smashed a chair against a door, not killed a person.
2) he is low IQ and sick
3) he is 17 years old
4) From his spelling, obviously lowly educated
5) he and his elderly mother is financially troubled
6) his father has been dead for some time
7) they are in need of help

Maybe he shouldn't have gotten aggressive.

Maybe you won't say such a thing if it happened to your own children.

But definitely, the MP aka Cynthia Phua should have offered help - which she didn't; and if she didn't, the Mrs Lim should have visited the mom and offered help, which she also didn't.

What's the point of them saying that they will help the lower-class when this proves the contrary?

Anonymous said...

PM Lee must be a very busy man. While he is trying to get his messages across, he has to undo damage done by the rest of his team members.

Desmond Choo said MCP things in Hougang. Now SM Goh started calling NSP names. I am starting to symphatise with PM Lee.

Anonymous said...


Mr Wang has posted the link of the actual news, up to you to believe.

Anonymous said...


i feel that you really should read up on what is the meaning of special needs. You seem to know nuts about it and yet still claiming to a father? look at the mirror and repeat 500 times to repent.

Anonymous said...

"Actus Rea" and "Mens Rea"

To prove the act was criminal, under the law one would need to establish the intent (Mens Rea) and the action (Actus Rea). Clearly the boy was intellectually sub-normal, which would eliminate the intent portion (he literally doesn't have the intellect to form an intent!), so the charges at most would be the destruction of public property. Taking the story at face value, it would be pretty harsh for the boy to be criminalized. What he needs is long-term care...

Anonymous said...

Well, im not trying to support Mdm Phua as I felt to insist on pressing charges even after knowing the boy's condition is really heartless for a MP.

But if the boy is 17 yr old and has orange dye hair and appear well physically, perhaps its really a case of misunderstanding.I would have assume he is an Ah Beng with bad temper too i guess.

And if boy had walk out immediately after the comment than Mdm Phua might nt have been given the chance to understand the boy's condition as Jane most likely follow the son thereafter.

mr wang says so said...

It is not a new story (it happened in 2009). In fact, many bloggers wrote about this matter two years ago.

I am just refreshing people's memories.

Here are some posts that people wrote about this matter, not now, but two years ago.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

To Belinda: you misunderstand the role of MP. Well-briefed or not, the MP's job is to listen to the people and the problems they have. And help find solutions. Instead, as Jimmy of SPP said in a rally recently, very often, the MPs just throw rules and regulations at residents.

The MP is paid big bucks to help residents help themselves, not the volunteers who are gatekeepers. Any MP worth her salt would not rely on gatekeepers.

To ZZ: what happened to Seng Han Thong was terrible and wrong. But it is also time to reflect why PAP MPs are receiving so much hostility from their own countrymen and women.

Anonymous said...

The mum and son appeared on one of channel 8 or channel U's programme, Dream Potter, Episode 7. After the show presenters managed to find pple to help them improve their lives, they appear rather ungrateful at the end of the show... you can do a search at xin msn

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Zhanzhan says this:
"You forgot to mention that this was shoetly after Seng Han Tong got set on fire. How convenient. Nor the fact that as it was a criminal and not a civil matter, it really WAS out of the MP's hands. As a father of 2 young kids, if I was there with them when that boy ran amok, I WOULD want that boy taken out of circulation, at least until he is certified to be let out safely. Yes I am selfish, but its the safety of my kids I am worried about. The only thing this article has done is left a bad taste in my mouth on what WP supporters are resorting to, if this is the best "dirt" you can dig up."

1. Zhanzhan wants the boy "to be taken out of circulation". As a former policeman who worked the beat for 8 years that sounds to me like police jargon. Are you a policeman. Heh heh!

2. He wants the boy to be kept of circulation until he is "certified to be let out safely". Hmm. Let out safely for the boy? In which case why not fix his problems in the first place which was what he wanted. By the way that's security police jargon.

3. This incident happened "shortly" after Seng Han Tong was set on fire. Tssk tsk. You mean Cynthia Phoa overreacted or did the Police over react? If you are a policeman shame on you for over reacting.

4. It was a criminal and not a civil matter - that's the whole point isn't it? Charge the guy with being a criminal and he IS a criminal.

5. "As a father of 2 young kids, if I was there with them when that boy ran amok." But Zhanzhan you were not there were you? Maybe if you were there you MIGHT have scolded Cynthia Phua? Who knows huh?

By the way how is throwing a chair running amok? I have seen amoks in my days as an ordinary policeman (not security type) and believe me you have GOT it wrong.

At the end of the day whether Cynthia Phua is an MP is not is NOT the issue. The issue is BEING HUMAN and COMPASSIONATE. I hope we have not forgotten these fundamentals which I am sure even PM would subscribe to.

zhanzhao said...
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Anonymous said...

@ZZ: My question is, do you think the MP should have CALLED the police in the first place? How would this have helped to solve the problem?

Please answer the question.

Anonymous said...

It started off ok.. but towards the end, you realised that they have one kind of attitude..

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To paraphrase, why would the MPs feel that their lives were threatened and why the residents have such intent against them if they were doing the job so well?

I personally think that Cythia's reaction was a knee-jerk reaction to the SHT's incident, without due consideration for the circumstances that led to it. Period.

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kojakbt said...


Hi! Nice article... :)

Can I have your permission to post this online to other sites?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

- kojakbt -

Anonymous said...

ZZ: you have no compassion for people who are less blessed than you and I feel very sorry for you. People with disabilities are not a threat until provoked by the likes of arrogant and condescending and callous people like you. why not join the PAP?

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Zhan Zhao:

Stop talking nonsense. I am a former DPP and I have personally handled a few hundred criminal cases.

For minor offences (and yes, this is a minor offence), it is definitely a relevant factor if the purported victim tells the police:

"It's okay, I don't wish to pursue this. The person has already apologised and I am happy to drop the matter."

This is possible even for more serious offences like outrage of modesty (or molest, in layman's terms). Go and look at Section 241 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Cross-refer to Part 1 of the 4th Schedule.

Anonymous said...

ZZ: are you saying people with disabilities are drunk? And should not be brought out? Caged at home like slaves? Maybe when you have suffering in your life which we all cannot escape, you will reflect back on this moment.

Anonymous said...

I think it's ridiculous that you guys just pick and choose bits of information to publish as you please.
In the newspaper article it clearly says that Cynthia phua signed the appeal letter for the mother! Geez

zhanzhao said...
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zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Might as well share another true story, from my DPP days.

Once upon a time, a teenaged girl stole bread from a HDB provision store. The store owner caught her, and he was furious, and he called the police.

The police arrested her and did their investigations. It transpired that this was another very sad story.

I can't remember exact details, but basically the girl had no more parents. Dad in jail, mother had disappeared long ago, etc.

The girl lived with her old grandmother. They were poor and broke, living in an old flat in Chinatown. The old grandmother had fallen ill.

The girl was stealing food, for herself and her grandmother. They basically had no money to buy food for themselves.

They were so broke that they could not put up bail. So the girl had to stay in jail, while waiting for the next stages of the criminal process.


Let me tell you what happened next, ok?

When the police told the store owner about the girl's background, he felt compassion for her.

He packed three big plastic bags worth of groceries - Milo, bread, biscuits, canned sardines etc etc - and he lugged all this food to the police station and wanted to give it to the girl and her granny.

This man then told the police that they must drop the case against the girl, otherwise he would feel guilty forever. The police said, "Well, yes, that's all possible, but it also depends on the DPP, and we've already sent the file out."

The store owner then said, "If you insist on proceeding against the girl, I will not cooperate with you. I will not go to court, I will not testify, I will not say anything against this girl."

By this time, the file had come to me and the police told me the whole story. I read through the case and I said, "No problem, I drop the case. Also, I want you to put the girl and her granny in touch with some welfare organisation or charitable organisation straightaway."

I could see no reason to proceed with the case. The girl was in a desperate situation, stealing food for herself and her granny. Very importantly, the so-called victim (the store owner) himself was adamant that he did not want to proceed. In fact, his gesture of kindess - packing food to give to the girl and the granny - touched my heart deeply.


Of course, Cynthia's story has quite the opposite effect on me.

Wang said...

Mr Wang

This is based on the Criminal Procedures Act 2010.

Compounding offences
241. —(1) An offence specified in the third column of the Fourth Schedule may be compounded at any time by the person specified in the fourth column of that Schedule or, if that person is suffering from a legal or mental disability, by any person competent to act on his behalf.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where investigations have commenced for an offence specified in the third column of the Fourth Schedule, or when the accused has been charged in court for the offence, the offence shall only be compounded with the consent of the Public Prosecutor on such conditions as he may impose.

(3) Where any offence is compoundable under this section, the abetment of or a conspiracy to commit the offence, or an attempt to commit the offence when the attempt is itself an offence, may be compounded in like manner.

(4) Where investigations have commenced for an offence which is subsequently compounded under subsection (2), no further proceedings shall be taken against the person reasonably suspected of having committed the offence.

(5) Where after the accused has been charged in court, the offence is compounded under subsection (2), the court must order a discharge amounting to an acquittal in respect of the accused.

Based on this code cited by your goodself,Zhanzhao is correct on literal reading although practical wise, compounding can be done after investigation.


Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Mr Koh, I would give you more credit if you had shown that you knew exactly what the report was raised for. Was it for Mishief, or Criminal force? From the "facts" of the story it could be classified as either, which means its not necessary a minor offense as you claimed."

I can't help you, if you don't know how to read the newspaper report or to click on the link to get there.

The offence is for a rash act endangering the safety of others (that would be Section 337 of the Penal Code).

Clearly you're not interested in the genuine facts, only in generating whatever distractions you can, in an attempt to defend your beloved PAP.

Why do you bother? Where is YOUR sense of compassion?

Kojakbt said...

Hey Gilbert, ok to post your this nice article on other sites? will link back to you :)

p.s. you said you were a DPP b4? retired liao? :)

yunxibigbang said...

Posted to

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

In the newspaper article it clearly says that Cynthia phua signed the appeal letter for the mother! Geez.

???? Did I say that she didn't?

Anonymous said...

Dear Gilbert,
Thumbs up fro the handling of the girl's case...You could have took the Just-Follow-LAW approach but you didn't..Kudos for that

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i'm confused. if lim hwee hua was not the one chairing the MPS, why is it up to her whether to accept the apology and she can claim that cynthia was "very motherly" and "very helpful" when she was not there. why has cynthia phua not spoken up about the incident?

@zhan zhao, please dont forget that when seng han thong got punched, the guy was charged in court but the matter was still eventually settled out of court because seng han thong accepted his public apology. so i do not see the relevance of your point about whether is it mischief or criminal force.

and not forgetting that we do not know what happened to the teen in the article.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"p.s. you said you were a DPP b4? retired liao? :)"

You must belong to my new generation of readers. Yes, I used to be a DPP, and in fact in the past I've written about several of my DPP experiences. Eg:

My Personal Memories of Rape

A Small Kind of Joy

True Stories from Mr Wang's Case File

More True Stories from Mr Wang's Case File

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang

isuggest you let Zhan Zhan be. What goes round comes tound. Anyway, it is hard to convince the PAP and its fellow supporters as we have seen over so many elections. So many have sacrificed themselves to tell the PAP. Think of Gopal Baratham, among others. Does the PAP know what are the problems on the ground? The poverty, the desperation, the unhappiness? Yes and No. No they do not know because they live in gilded cages of gold and million dollar salaries. Yes because they come across these in the newspapers but they dismiss these cases as "those who fall through the crack", pat themselves for a job well done and justification for their salaries.

The one good thing that this exchange with Zhan Zhan has shown is how difficult it is to convince the PAP. There is a Chinese saying, "If you do not see the coffin you do not cry."

So there is really only one solution. Take back the rights that we have entrusted to the PAP for so many years at the upcoming election. Get back our dignity so tha the PAP will no longer look with contempt upon citizens. The choice is now very clear.

Kojakbt said...

ok mr wang, so can I post your this nice stories to other sites? thx!

Anonymous said...

If I were the MP, I will just take out $138 from my pocket for her to pay for the rental deposit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gilbert for inside story.

Where's Sen Han Thong today? Is he contesting? Hope he has fully recovered.

Ok Singaporeans, check out kent ridge common. got story about a lone protester at PM's rally in the business district. dunno if mainstream media will report.

Anonymous said...

To be able to serve others well, a person not only need to be sincere and empathic. He/she also need to understand the feelings and psychology of others. He/she must be able to put themselves in the shoes of others and understand why people react in certain manners. Unfortunately, I guess someone is just using her "template" to deal with people in her ward, no injection of emotion/human touch ...

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mr Wang for bringing this up.

As some readers have said, maybe the problem lies in why the boy acted up in the first place. During election time, MPs act so helpful and nice and say things like they are our servant and our needs come first blah blah, then when the truly needy go seek help all they get is what sounds like high-handedness from the very same MPs with high paying ministers to back them up when things happen (like a low IQ boy losing his temper at getting no help).

Both of them in this case are in Aljunied GRC, what are the odds? Want to know what these MPs are like outside of election period, here is one specific example.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Lim Swee Say that said in the past week that any person who wanted a job and go see him and he will get a job? If after the election I went to him and he said no job or gave me a job which was demeaning to my qualifications/experience, I think I'd probably lose my temper as well!

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Zhanzhao, if your 2 children are special-needs or any other children you have in the future are special-needs, you will surely understand.

A person slammed a chair against a door. Unless your children are a chair or a door, there's nothing for you to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should know better than to trust articles in THE NEW PAPER.

Their job is to SENSATIONALISE.

If you were not present or a witness to the incident, then you have no right to judge anyone.

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

@ZZ: For a person who just only REstarted posting (GE related articles no less) only during the last 2 weeks to take such a heavy interest in Mr Wang's article, it probably says pretty much where your interests are vested.

Not to mention that you merely happen to live in Aljunied as well.

Anonymous said...

Blogger zhanzhao said...

Hmmm funny thing is I am not PAP supporter. I merely live in Aljunied, and do have 2 young kids.

Wow, Are you trying to behave like your "adored" PAP? Who's into the right mind of playing maplestory and mmporg when you have 2 young kids to take care of!

One man vendetta said...

Mr Wang you are my hero!

Anonymous said...

And what's with all these cowardly anonymous attacks? If you have got the courage to debate, then use real name or sign in to an account!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7.05

Nonsense, by this logic, there's no point reading any newspapers, even ST. TNP is owned by SPH so would they be publishing lies? PAP uses SPH newspapers to push their agenda and smear opposition, but when a report comes out in the same newspapers which is negative to them, their supporters then discredit the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Look in the mirror!

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

HEHE Kiddo fell into traps and get agitated easily just as his adored PAP does ;)

Silly little singkie :D

Anonymous said...


When its 100 against 1, you know that there is something wrong with your thinking. The thing is, there was no children there. :D

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I forgot to mention.

If one day your children grow up and one of them lose their temper and punch the wall. Then I think he should be charged too because... what if a father with two small children was there???

Mumknowsbest said...

If you are so passionate about the PAP do vote for them by all means. Nobody is stopping you.

Apparently, after all the barbs thrown left and right you still do not get what WE FELLOW Singaporeans are trying to tell you. So I shall save my breath and not say a thing. Just know this, what goes around comes around. Your selfish nature will not hurt yourself but your children as you seem to be teaching them to only care for themselves and not be compassionate towards others.

Shame on you! And I can say this because I am a mother of 3.

Anonymous said...

zhanzhao said...

At the anonymous guy talking about my Maplestory and mmorpg "habbits", the blog articles were way back in 2007 when I was doing a parttime course in game design in NYP. Of course you failed to catch that.

You know why you made me so contemplated to take a look at your blog? Judging at your invaluable comments, no compassion, i knew how immatured you are. A fatherly figure wont behave as you do :) Get my drift?

Please dont make up stories anymore to cover your true identity/mistakes like Pappies do :)

zhanzhao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Errr, why is everyone talking like Cynthia Phua is a child? There were no children there as someone pointed out, much less 2 children. And Cynthia Phua is not a door either, so why is she getting upset unless she is high-handed and is offended when people lose their temper when she couldn't help them.

Zhanzhao is totally irrelevant, just a distraction from the real issue which is how Cynthia Phua treats her constituents.

Anonymous said...

From the article alone and without any other background info on the mother and son, it does seem very unreasonable to press charges. I do remember watching an episode on channel 8 featuring them. I have to say I was quite disgusted with their attitude. The son gave tons of excuses for not wanting to work and support his family and is so disillusioned to think that he could be a pop star. His mum was so protective of him that she couldn't bear to let him work and basically the episode ended on a sour note. I'm not sure if the episode is available online but I'm sure if someone is resourceful enough, it could be found.
I'm not sure what actually transpired with cynthia phua. But from the tv episode, it does seem that the mother and son are more than happy to get handouts without working. As an unwed mother myself, I do fully emphatise with the struggles of bringing up a child alone, especially in a country that does not encourage unwed mums. However, I believe that children from single families need to be stronger and more independent. Mollycoddling and over-protectiveness will only hurt them.
My point is: since none of us were inside the room at that time, isn't it a little presumptous to make certain conclusions? By the way, I hope I will not be accused to be a supporter of any party. My opinions are not politically driven but as a concerned citizen.

Anonymous said...


The mother was willing to work for $400 per month until she broke her wrist.

Where's your brain? Where's your brain?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at the article. I have been reading this blog very frequently and has great respect for the author but this is a very biased article. Mr Wang, you were not there to witness what actually happened.

What if that guy was really aggressive and threatening?

I will be voting for opposition because I disagree with the numerous PAP policies in place at the moment. [so please don't accuse me for being a PAP troll]

However, I feel that it is not right to put Mdm Phua in such a bad light. I live in Aljunied and she is my MP... She seems like a pretty nice lady who is always organizing and attending functions for residents.

My father has been a civil servant for years. And despite being a really nice guy helping normal citizens, there has been really nasty incidents of "gangsters"/"ah lians" threating him to burn his house down, etc etc. One of his colleague even got a left ear cut off before!

How would you feel if your subordinate/family/relative got threatened by a citizen in such a violent manner? Of course your first reaction will be to seek justice by calling the police!

I hope Mr Wang will delete this unfair post because it is obivious that he was not there at that time to assess what has actually transpired.

Anonymous said...

Well, firstly ZZ commented that it was out of Cynthia's power ("it really WAS out of the MP's hands.") to withdraw the charge.

When Gilbert, via his previous encounters, proven it not to be so, ZZ took the approach of having us think in the shoes of an imaginary father with 2 imaginary children who may be at the scene.

(Diverting the topic,familiar tactic, anyone?)

The key issue here is where Ms Phua is treating her constituents in a way which may have had led to the boy's behavior. That is the HARD TRUTH.

Godwin said...

"The mum and son appeared on one of channel 8 or channel U's programme, Dream Potter, Episode 7."

If these are the same people, then I think I understand the situation a little better... I read about the news when it came out, and I happened to watch that episode - just didn't realise these were the same people we are talking about.

MPs wield power on account of their position, and I think they owe it to everyone to perform due diligence before they sign a petition or letter of appeal.

Have a look at the video, and see if you have a new appreciation of the situation...

Anonymous said...

Eh its really out her power, remember its the other minister that insisted on pressing charges, wanna blame must blame that one. And his 1st post oredi mentioned that he was a father, so is pretty consistent:/

Anonymous said...

@Fellow Anonymous (7:55 PM)

Well,she could have called the police, but she could have offered to have the charges withdrawn thereafter if she felt that the boy's apology carried due merit. But the fact that she didn't leave says alot about her.

An MP's role is not just to organize and to attend events. It is also part of their duty to help fellow Singaporean in need, regardless of race, language or social status. She, clearly did not, IHMO.

Anonymous said...

FACT: The boy didn't threatened anyone, didn't shout at Cynthia nor raised his voice at Cynthia.

FACT: The boy threw a chair at the glass door----he was only venting his frustration.

Anonymous said...

How can this happen??????? How can people be SO VICIOUS!??? HEARTLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wait.... A glass door? I thought always thought it was a wooden one....And no one thinks that is dangerous?

Anonymous said...

yeah saw the channel u dream potter episode.

was really touched by the strong bond between mother and son.

The poor mother only wants the best for her son and kudos to her for taking low paid job to keep the family going.

the son wants to chase his dreams but was held back by his poor backgroud

Godwin said...

"The key issue here is where Ms Phua is treating her constituents in a way which may have had led to the boy's behavior. That is the HARD TRUTH."

So you think the boy's behaviour is excusable under the circumstances?

Or is it only acceptable if he behaved so at a PAP MP's office.

(Come to think of it, Mr Low and Mr Chiam don't even have an office with movable chairs to meet the people... *insert comment on grassroots organisations here*)

Anonymous said...

Good journalism requires checking your facts. I believe that what you have done is simply passed on infor unverified by you.

Reading the story you posted, I can already spot some inaccuracies. For example, though Thalassemia is a blood disorder, it does not cause a person to be unable to work unless the person is a Major. And if the person is a Thalassemia Major, he would unlikely live past 21 years old and will be very ill and on a hospital bed somewhere. I know this because I am a Thalassemia Minor, I am able to work, play sports, have children like anyone else. The only implication is passing the trait to my offsprings. If Ah Teck can walk around and even lift a chair to slam against a door, he is unlikely to be a Major and is probably a Minor like myself.

On one hand, I am hearing supporters for the opposition accuse PAP of controlling the media, if that is indeed true, do you think you would even have heard of this story? I am really hoping that everyone can just focus on the policies and not attack people personally, esp based on unverified facts. Only can we truly start the wheels in motion for a "First World Govt".

Godwin said...

"the son wants to chase his dreams but was held back by his poor backgroud"

No, I would think he was held back by his lack of talent as a singer.

Anonymous said...

if you get punched by someone, isn't that considered more dangerous?

yet this is considered civil suit, so why don't you make more noise about this issue?

Anonymous said...

nop, if he is rich, he could have afforded singing lessons.

BTW, Stephanie Sun was my classmate @ Lee Wei Song's music school

Anonymous said...

asking mr wang to delete post is typical PAP mindset.

as for ZZ: when u say we don't live in your area, lets all think about this. spore is so tiny. funny we now have pple in holland acting atas. of course we empathize with what you're going thru as a father. we wish u well. u r free to vote whomever u choose.

may the best, kind pple with heart n good manners win

Godwin said...

"nop, if he is rich, he could have afforded singing lessons."

You are right, of course. All he needs is some singing lessons and he will be the next Singapore Idol.

Anonymous said...

where's the follow up story in the paper that talks about what charges were brough against the boy, or how he went to jail? how do you know the charges were not eventually dropped?

Anonymous said...

How do you know the charges were eventually dropped?

Anonymous said...

if you want to do a rebuttal, then go find out the facts yourself.

stop bothering everyone and Mr Wang with pointless questions

Anonymous said...


You get a nice show here in the comments thread here. I see that the pro-PAPers are camped out here.

----Lim Kin San

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Sun , JJ Lin wasn't a Singapore Idol and they were all Lwei Song's students

Foreign Talent said...

Godwin said...
"nop, if he is rich, he could have afforded singing lessons."

You are right, of course. All he needs is some singing lessons and he will be the next Singapore Idol.

May 3, 2011 8:18 PM

If Singapore Idol's lack of talent is a gauge, it's not surprising we need more and more foreign talent.

Raelynn said...

@Anon May 3, 2011 6:44 PM

Seng Han Thong is contesting in AMK GRC.

Godwin said...

"For days, she said, he couldn't find the courage to face himself in the mirror. He also decided to put on hold a long-time dream to audition for Singapore Idol."

Hey, I wasn't the one who brought up Singapore Idol first.

rench00 said...

this is indeed a very sad case. i wonder how Ah Teck and his mother is now. is there anyway tt we, normal Singaporeans, can help them? and don't say vote for WP. tt's a separate matter altogether.

i really mean to help this family. is there anything concrete tt we, as Singaporeans, can do for them? not to push the responsibility to another person (i.e. political party).

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang, I enjoyed reading your articles.A sidetrack from the topic. I felt uncomfortable reading NSP Nicole's apology on MM's HardTruth statment on Malay. Temasek review has reported Police had reviewed the NSP election tape. Do you think she crossed the OB marker?

Anonymous said...

to Anon 8:16-
in what way that I requested Mr Wang to delete the post be of a PAP mindset?!
[didn't I mention I disagree with their policies? and unlike the PAP who just ignore all the comments and feedback, I am sure Mr Wang reads this!]

I just feel that this is an unfair post. If Mr Wang does not delete it, at least explain himself. Instead of leaving the biased post and a personal attack on the MP when he is not there to judge the situation.

From a person whose father is just a lowly civil servant doing his job... who faced threats and scolding by a citizens due to policies beyond his control... I am just concerned about this article. It just seems weird for Mr Wang to think that it is okay for a person to indulge in violence when he is angry. Especially towards civil servants?!

And yes, of course, may the best, kind pple with heart n good manners win!

Anonymous said...

Pro-PAPers gather and make yourself heard

---Lim Kin San

Godwin said...


Watch the video.

Anonymous said...

Godwin, what video pls?

this case reminds me of something. the assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II in 1981. the assassin was sentenced to life imprisonment. the late Pope met the assassin in 1983 and forgave him. the late Pope requested for the assassin to be pardoned. as a result, after being imprisoned for 9 years, the assassin was pardoned for the assassination attempt.

i suppose we expect all our MPs, opposition or PAP, to be as saintly as the late Pope John Paul II (ok... he's not quite a saint yet, but he's beatified. so nearly there...).

Anonymous said...

First ask ourself, if u were helping someone and she turn around and slap you, how would you feel?

Everyone interpret differently, her sympathy may be interpreted as rude.

i'm nt pro-pap, but still, we sld be objective...

Anonymous said...


u guys are useless, can't u even make a call to Cynthia to get her to shed some light on the situation?

Instead u guys are writing lengthy GP-style comments.


Anonymous said...


yes you are doing not bad, but show us you can do even better!!!!

Remember what Lim Swee Say says, "Faster, Better, Cheaper!"

Let the whole world knows what you are capable of!!!

--Lim Kin San

Anonymous said...

@ZZ, Well I just hope that someday such situation happens to you, and we shall see if you still stand this firm.

Godwin said...

Good grief, don't people read through all the comments and links anymore?

"Well I just hope that someday such situation happens to you, and we shall see if you still stand this firm."

Well, we'll see how you feel when someone throws a chair against a door to show you his anger when you are just doing your job...

Anonymous said...

I wish Zhanzhao's son to be retarded and have fatal illness. And himself to be physically handicap. So that he understand what are everyone else trying to put into his pea brain

Anonymous said...

yep, zz needs a wake up call just like that paps... or he and they won't wake up.

Godwin said...

"I wish Zhanzhao's son to be retarded and have fatal illness. And himself to be physically handicap."

Watch the video and see for yourself if the boy is "retareded and have fatal illness", or if the mother is "physically handicap".

Ask youself if Cynthia Phua was wrong to ask them why they were not working.

Anonymous said...

Debating can be focused and non-personal. At the end of the day, democracy is about having diversity in views. Isn't that what everyone is advocating? Cursing ZZ and her family members is completely personal and unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang,

I salute you for daring to share with fellow Singaporeans your thoughts and opinions concerning the issues relating to the upcoming GE. I must say that I've been greatly enlightened by what I've read - not just this article but the recent ones as well.

I live in Jurong and had voted for the PAP when this constituency was last contested by SDP in 2001. Then, I was one of what you would call apathetic Singaporeans. I cared little about elections and whatever I knew about the various parties (including the PAP) came from our media. So as you would probably have guessed, I had a high opinion of the PAP and a low opinion of the opposition camp.

But thanks to my friend who told me to google for "mrwang". I started reading your articles yesterday and my opinions about the different parties have since changed - for the better.

Yes, I've decided to give NSP my vote on 7 May - because they need our support for their courage and sacrifice to stand up against a giant.

acaizm said...

I think Julie and Ah Teck are featured in this:

Smiling Lion said...

To Anonymous 8:55pm:

No one slapped Cynthia neither did she help the boy and her mother. Please get your facts straight.

Unknown said...

can i share this in PAP FB and ask our Ms Cynthia to explain and defend herself ??

Unknown said...

The fact that the mother and son appeared in the show proves that they are of the underprivileged class. Cynthia Phua as an MP and a PAP one at that should really be more gracious and rise above getting angry with the behaviour of the couple. For her to be vindictive, though justified in the minds of some, shows her in negative light due to her elevated status of a member of parliament.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Was shocked when my hubby showed me your blog re-tweeted on mrbrown's tweeter. So I went to search for the Chinese language version and I found this:

I guess by now Singaporeans are exposed to more hidden facts and news, which we will never know if we only rely on zaobao or ST. With new medias, like FB and Tweeter, information is like a running tap, constantly available and accessable. It is time for the people to make use of the running water and make their choice for their future.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Not only Aljunided GRC , Vote all the 23 WP candidates into Parliament.
We are gunning for at least 30 opposition MPs in the next parliament to block all the nonsense bills that only benefit the ruling PAP.

Anonymous said...|||

They appeared here, Dream Potter Episode 7.

Anonymous said...

"During election time, MPs act so helpful and nice and say things like they are our servant and our needs come first blah blah,"

That is why you must look at the results of the last five years. And not the nice words of some 10 or so days worth of campaigning where you may momentarily get distracted and do some stupid thing during the most important day of polling and regret for another five years.

These nice words of concern & help are going to be a continuous burst in the mainstream media for the next few days to give you a feel good euphoria so that it lasts till polling day.

Allan said...

@zhanzhao: Seriously, i guess you're someone who emphasize on the aftermath of an incident, not the process. Well, i wouldn't said its wrong to keep your 2 kids safe by reporting to police, and its obviously right in your thinking when put in your own shoe, but let me just say this to you again. Preventing is always better than stopping, and then now we must question, who trigger this whole thing to happened?
Let me give you an example:
Take it a situation whereby you brought your kids out and happened to saw a heated argument, B hitted A, its seems that the fight is just not gonna end anytime sooner. You as someone else either you 1) Goes up to stop the guy or 2)call the police and await further instructions and at the same time be the key witness to this whole incident. Well given that situation, you wouldn't be going up to the guy, and you would be assuming guy A is the victim and guy B is the 1 at fault. Well its true because you wouldn't know anything.

Now the whole story before the whole incident actually happened, Guy A said this to Guy B:"Hey last night your wife really is a beast in bed, had me drained till this morning, and your mom must be working in these kind of line as well thats why give birth to such a retard like you". Guy B is a low IQ guy, who pretty much can't think straight like normal people do.
Now tell me, who ignite the fire? If guy A didn't said that, would guy B reacted that way? I wouldn't said guy was at no wrong IF he's a perfect normal person like us, but fact is, he's not. And guy A know he's not and provoke him, Wouldn't him be asking for it? What guy B did was totally understandable, he's not normal, moreover not many normal people nowadays could even hold back to such scenario.
So let just put this example here, would your blame a low IQ kid for throwing a chair at a DOOR, or would you blame a NORMAL person who ignite that kid's temper to do that? Take a moment and think what if YOU are the 1 being low IQ and broke and someone just did that to you. Would you do the same as what the kid's doing? or would you not? You mentioned people stand in the shoe of the family but not yours, well i do think in your shoe, perhaps in your situation because i'm a father of 2 kid, 1 which just turn 1 year old, i think the prosecutor should just drop off the charges given 1)the kid had apologize and 2)he's low IQ, and infact i think she should drop off the charges as she is the 1 who ignite it. Did you really do that before pin point saying "charge the LOW IQ kid" and put him off from harm to other people? Anyway your drunk driving example just don't make sense to back what your said about keeping the danger away in regard of this incident. Drink driving in all cases, are done DELIBERATELY, if you are low IQ, would you even get to drive a car to begin with? If you are broke would you even have the leisure to go drinking, or the fact GOT DRUNK? Drink driving is done deliberately and its obvious the drink driver should get charge and put them away.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

I haven't watched the video. I didn't see the TV program me. I wasn't there at Cynthia's office. All I know of the facts of the story are from the newspaper report. It says what it says, and my post is based on it.

Nor do I know any reasons why the video or the TV program should be considered any more reliable or less reliable than the newspaper reports.

Key facts for me are as follows.

1. The boy was officially attending a special school for low-IQ kids.

2. Family was in financial dire straits and was about to lose (or had just lost) their HDB flat. No money, no home.

3. The boy has no father to guide him and to help him and to look after the family.

4. Mother had recently had an accident and lost her job because of that.

5. Mother was earning a pitiful $400 per month previously (that is, you can be very sure she doesn't have any substantial savings).

Does anyone dispute these facts? Doesn't seem to be so.

I think that if you are kind and compassionate, you will feel sorry for these people. Whether they have likeable personalities or not is not the point. The point is that the last thing they need, on top of all their other big problems, is a police investigation, a court case, legal fees, a big fine worth several months of HDB rental fees, possible incarceration, getting expelled from school etc etc.

Of course, we can all wish that boys will grow up nicely and not throw chairs at doors. But Ah Teck's profile and background already marks him out as an "at-risk" youth. He is badly disadvantaged. He needs help. Since he and his mother did apologize, the decent thing to do is accept the apology, shake hands and treat the case as closed.

That's my view anyway.

Incidentally, for those of you who are unaware, the prosecution does regularly drop criminal cases all the time, often for compassionate reasons; and at other times, because the offender is remorseful and the offense is minor. Other reasons for dropping the case are that the offender is young and deserves a 2nd chance; or that the victim is willing to settle for an apology; or that there were extenuating circumstances, eg the offender was badly provoked. So what I was talking about - dropping the case - is not at all a radical concept. said...

@ZZ's comment's they do seem heartless. But ask yourself, in your heart. When a person acts violently as such, would you not judge? would you care if he was special need? Ask if you've ever shun someone who looked different from what people deem as normal. Yes, his comments do sound heartless. But does that justify why some people are cursing him? Are you people also not heartless to curse his sons, who have nothing to do with these arguments but be ZZ's sons?

Of course no one wants to have their kids arrested, have them born that way. The boy's reaction reflects his unhappiness and why so? Because to them, Cynthia Phua has addressed them in a condescending tone. On the other hand, Cynthia Phua feels that she did what she should and there is nothing wrong with what she did. Do you note? This is one of those many I-say-You-say cases. All these spiteful comments of '___ are assholes' is just your perception being influenced by this post and many others on the net, showing what the PAP has failed to do.

Mr Wang makes sense, to mention his story with the girl and such. Yes, if Miss-Im-a-MP-Don't-defile-me had any brains, she would have forgave the boy. Sure it was scary. But act professional and don't breed hatred. Holding a grudge over a mentally disabled person does not alleviate your status. She was no injured, physically, and i see no reason to press charges. This case is obviously not doing any good for the already bad image of the PAP. MP's should behave properly as they are public figures who represent their party. Just as students have to behave themselves in their uniform, as they represent the school.

I may not be very coherent, but I feel that adults can put off very childish remarks at times. Please look through and see if you are giving appropriate comments. I'm 17, not the best person to judge our PMs etc etc. And sorry if anyone is offended. But this whole imma diss you off cause you support PAP or WP or NSP or anything has to be the most child like behaviour. Your choice should not be forced upon any other individuals and obviously, if the person didn't even say who they support, just don't gey kiang and assume. There are people who support any Party for their own reasons. Let's not be assholes and judge and stereotype them.

Eaststopper said...

Hello Mr Wang,
I have had worked with intellectually disabled kids - we run a Saturday programme bringing the kids for a swim and for those mentally more matured ones, we aim a lot higher, like running a marathon or climbing Mt kinabalu.
For most of these parents, the main constant worry is that who is to look after the kids when they are no longer around, esp if the kids do not have any siblings.
One of the things we volunteers observed is that the sooner the parents 'let go' or allow the kids to be free and explore, the kids surprisingly become more mature and independent.
So in some aspects, the parents have to first overcome the psychological barrier of always being there for their kids. They have to 'let go' in a sense. For those who can't, unfortunately, it is a painful sight - we can't help them unless they help themselves.
If you have watched the video, it was about a group of people who tried to reach out to the couple but unfortunately, the mother was unable to 'let go'. It is painful to watch.

Anonymous said...

They have no heart, Ms Lim HH is also the same. She visited this elderly couple personally because they did not sign the lift upgrading form. This is becos they have no income & cannot afford it. They had mentioned this to her and even shown her their medical files with the hefty medical bills. They said, I have trouble paying my medicals bills already and yet you asked me to pay for lift upgrading?

Den they ask if Lim HH can help them in any way, Lim HH then said today we are here to talk about the lift upgrading and not the medical bills, you can come find me in the meet the people session regarding this instead..

Anyway, in the end, the elderly couple signed the consent for the lift upgrading as they came knocking on their door more than once... they feel pressured and scared to get into trouble so they signed it.... sad case....

Anonymous said...

today, i heard another story about CP.

she was making subtle threats to hawkers, insinuating that the workers' party will replace them with their supporters.

apparently, someone taped it but was unwilling to release it for fear of offending the authorities.

just another snippet abt CP, btw

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Reading the story you posted, I can already spot some inaccuracies."

Really? Please tell me.

"For example, though Thalassemia is a blood disorder, it does not cause a person to be unable to work unless the person is a Major."

But where did I say that Ah Teck's thalassemia prevented him from working.

"And if the person is a Thalassemia Major, he would unlikely live past 21 years old and will be very ill and on a hospital bed somewhere."

But where did I say that Ah Teck is a thalassemia major or minor. And where did I say anything about what kind of bed he is lying on.

"I know this because I am a Thalassemia Minor, I am able to work, play sports, have children like anyone else. The only implication is passing the trait to my offsprings. If Ah Teck can walk around and even lift a chair to slam against a door, he is unlikely to be a Major and is probably a Minor like myself."

Sorry, but I don't think that your comment is relevant.

Anonymous said...

I am sad. This story brings me to tear. I am usually apolitical and doesn't want to get involved in politics. If ever there is a reason why I should stand up and be counted this is it. We can't have member of parliaments without a heart. If nothing else just this incident alone I am willing to go to jail to fight PAP now. It is tragic. How did we come to this?

Agagooga said...

Not sure how some people miss that this story was reported in the MSM

Farmer Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The recent show of (supposed) humility and contrition is a case of too little too late.

Few would fall for that now after what happened in the last 5 years.

Farmer Ben said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seriously doubt the appropriateness of using the criminal law as a blunt instrument and locking away Ah Teck on the grounds of him being a danger to society.

It is in my opinion, very dangerous to even conceive using deterrent sentences to incarcerate people like Ah Teck who do not even come close to meeting the threshold of culpability.

I hope that judicial or prosecutorial discretion will or has been duly exercised.

Anonymous said...

funny how you claim this is a true story and begin with once upon a time...

buy into all this emotional appeal without getting your facts right is going to cost you, whoever you choose to vote for.

Anonymous said...

To zhanzhao : I am a parent of a special needs child and after reading all you have said, I have only one thing to say to you - YOU are the one that needs to be taken out of circulation. Scum like you need to be cleansed from the human gene pool. Dare call yourself zhanzhao! Do you even know that Zhan Zhao was the honourable right hand man of Pao Ching Tian, known for his strong sense of justice?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Ask youself if Cynthia Phua was wrong to ask them why they were not working",

Nowhere in my article did I say that Cynthia was wrong to ask them questions. In fact, I think that it's very important that MPs take notes, ask plenty of questions and listen very attentively, when people who come to see them.

But obviously there was something in the way Cynthia communicated which enraged the boy. The subtitle of the newspaper article suggests that the boy was angry not because he felt humiliated by Cynthia, but because he felt that Cynthia had humiliated his mother. Anyway, we can't be sure either way.

But I think it's reasonable to say that if Cynthia had been more sensitive and tactful in her communication, this incident most likely would not have occurred. In general, human beings don't fly into a blind rage and throw chairs at doors, for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I have "known" Cynthia Phua when she was just a General Manager managing the Toa Payoh Town Council. Back then, she was known to one and all as the Empress Dowager. She wields a cane so harsh that even the tenants and shop-owners in the town council are afraid of stepping on her tails cos she will not hesitate to impose a fine on any wayward person who runs afoul of the regulations. Needless to say, those who work under her were tormented and were unhappy. I was thus surprised that she was running as a candidate then. No wonder she ended up running the job as a town councillor in the GRC now. Absolutely one without any substance but who is famous for being a hard task master.

Anonymous said...

//Anonymous said...May 3, 2011 8:10 PM
I know this because I am a Thalassemia Minor, I am able to work, play sports, have children like anyone else. The only implication is passing the trait to my offsprings. If Ah Teck can walk around and even lift a chair to slam against a door, he is unlikely to be a Major and is probably a Minor like myself.//

By the way, do you have low IQ and also attending a special school for mentally
handicapped kids like Ah Teck.

Your writing seems to be pretty clear & coherent unlike Ah Teck's "'Please fodgive me for what I dad I am sinelely truely I'm sorry"

But let us not assume anything.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't think it is fair to judge the entire PAP government just on this one incident. There are good and bad MPs both in PAP and the opposition parties. Therefore, we should not be voting against PAP but rather, we should be voting for the most worthy party whom we believe can serve the people the best. Key thing is to be objective and not swayed by this one article which may or may not be true and accurate in the first place.

Godwin said...

"Nowhere in my article did I say that Cynthia was wrong to ask them questions."

Nor did I suggest you did.

"But I think it's reasonable to say that if Cynthia had been more sensitive and tactful in her communication, this incident most likely would not have occurred."

I would have thought that this incident most likely would not have occurred if Ah Teck did not choose express himself the way he did, but what do I know?

"In general, human beings don't fly into a blind rage and throw chairs at doors, for nothing."

Sure, which of course makes whoever they are raging at wrong, deosn't it?

magus said...

It is a very nice article. I think the underlying message is that a little compassion goes a long way. Bringing up an intellectually challenged child is all tears and sweat. More so under such trying circumstances. I hope our leaders bear this in mind. Show some compassion.

Anonymous said...

Of course, any real evidence about her character and whether she is deplorable has to be left to those who could capture it. Our local media here in the case of the Straits Times and Channel News Asia is obviously incumbent-sympathetic and I doubt that they would even try to cover anything to the detriment of the incumbent party. That also accounts for why some brief news get swept under the carpet all the time.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"funny how you claim this is a true story and begin with once upon a time..."

If you think that this is a false story, please file your complaint with the Singapore Press Holdings.

"buy into all this emotional appeal without getting your facts right is going to cost you, whoever you choose to vote for."

If you think that any of the facts in my post are wrong, please quote the specific sentence or sentences and put it up for discussion.

Otherwise, please don't waste my time.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Sure, which of course makes whoever they are raging at wrong, deosn't it?"

Not necessarily. That is why the boy and his mother apologized.

I do feel that Hwee Hua's' response to the apology reflects something less than positive about her magnanimity and compassion.

And that the incident may possibly reflect something about Cynthia's lack of ability to build rapport and communicate well with the residents.

Anonymous said...

i personally had a bad experience meeting with the "Madam" which changed my impression of the same people who are supposed i voted into Parliament...

"Madam is here..." she walks into the room late, like a queen, poised almost too arrogant and throws her arm in your face leaving no breathing space as if she forcefully wants u to kiss her hands... instead of talking to me she ask her assistant to present my case... i was there to address a parking problem and proposed a solution but the moment she heard parking summons, she interrupted her assistant and reprimanded me in a presumptuous manner not allowing me to speak a single word... if not for losing $1,000 for motorbike parking fine which i would have used to pay off my school fees, i would have left the place regretting every moment for stepping into it... and that is just me, what about the others waiting for hours in line whom mainly compromising of seniors and needy...

some might find this as just a petty remark but i find this preying on the weak just to sell of statutory status...

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Honestly, I don't think it is fair to judge the entire PAP government just on this one incident."

I agree with you. Do read my other posts. I judge the entire PAP government on their overall performance over the past five years.

Anonymous said...

"Honestly, I don't think it is fair to judge the entire PAP government just on this one incident."

It's fair IMHO, because it's what the PAP always does - judging the opposition based on a single candidate or a single incident.

Anonymous said...

Travelling on MRT,I have come across a few cases involve Special needs.The mother/guardian looks tired.What ever action their care did,they are always quick to apologized.Their care's behavior,shouting and action can always warrant the police intervention for some but never for some with understanding,compassion and humanity for a fellow humankind.

Steve said...

First off, thanks to Mr Wang for the good read. Guess this story is simply to let readers feel, and understand the word "compassion"...
well, look... look at Mr Chiam. he's had stroke twice and still, fighting for the rights of the people. i bet it's almost as bad as having thalassermia or worse, physically. in another words, the kid could get a job at some factory.

but wait a minute. he's got lower IQ than normal people. so what are the chances of him getting employed in the first place? even if he does, what makes anyone think that he can sustain in that job without having the boss asking him to leave in a matter of weeks or even days? Or, perhaps he can try to make a living, busking in crowds since he can sing? ya.. that's what some readers would want to see right...? or maybe that's what certain MP would wanna see.. No?

It is dangerous to have people wielding chairs around. No one in the right mind would wanna be in the way of the chair. BUT, if you see someone wielding a chair, would you stand near that person? No? Great. Pull him away, give him a stern warning, and make him walk off. Why blow up the matter in the first place?

If your kid throws tantrum, throws his toy out of the window, endangering passer-bys, will you charge him to court for littering + endangering life of others? No, because he's your kid. At the most, you will tell him off. Hit his buttock a couple of times, pick that toy back up. If he did hurt someone, crashes a car into a pedestrian, well maybe you will send him to the police station. But in this case, no one got hurt. So, like my point earlier, why blow up the matter? (@ Mr ZZ, father of 2)

Now comes the politics. Being an MP, your role should be to listen to grievances of residents, help them to as much as you can. you definitely should ask questions to find out more on the situation, before you can provide a good solution. Also, listening, at times, could be the best way to understand the situation. in this case, did the MP listen to what "Julie" had to say? Seems like she wasn't given the chance to even explain the kid's conditions.
so, well... hope your kids will not get into trouble if Aljunied gets Cynthia Chua again ya... may she show you her compassion and motherly love. (@ Mr ZZ father of 2, again)

Anonymous said...

After reading the post and article from ST, I can safely say that this mum and son pair appeared in 1 episode of Zhong Qin's Dream Potter 梦。窑匠 in 2010. If you have watched, you would have remembered how frustrated the host was when she tried to help the family......

Anonymous said...

So next time when someone wants to attack u, u shouldn't call the police and help? Ask the person why he wants to attack u first? Come on guys, let's be realistic. We are running a country here, where law and order is crucial. Yes, maybe we could have shown sympathy, but someone could be have been hurt here. Let's be fair. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

check out xin msn catchup tv, Dream Potter Episode 7!

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Let's suppose that your father is a heavy smoker. You tried very hard to get him to quit. But he could not or would not.

One day, he gets lung cancer. He suffers terrible pain. And then he dies.

Sure, you could say that it's his own fault. But this does not mean that you cannot feel sad and sorry for him. It does not mean that you should not be kind nor compassionate.

I hope you get my point.

Anonymous said...

Talking about 梦。窑匠 which I sometimes watched, as well as those involving artistes going to needy/problematic homes to help in cleaning up and furnishing, I wonder what the MPs of those constituencies where these people live were doing all that time. It seems these people were neglected and help came largely from generous and charitable members of the public.

It seems the Malays (not being racist here) receive better government support in cases like this, perhaps because they are less concerned about "face" when seeking financial aids?

Any thoughts?

Andrew said...

I'll try to be objective here. Yes, Cynthia Phua had every legal right to legally pursue the matter. Should she? No. I was a volunteer with the intellectually-disabled for a number of years and I cannot count the number of times I've been hit. I had to change my glasses three times in one month. I certainly had a right to get compensation, but I didn't. Not because I'm a saint but because I know the person did not mean it.

Ms Phua should have investigated the matter further before reporting it to the police. The fact that she didn't shows that she simply did not care. As a public servant, she should have known better.

Anonymous said...


Singapore very strange country leh...
you get punched, call police, police says civil matter not criminal matter, would not excute warrant of arrest.

Now if you throw at chair NOT at someone, NOT in someone's direction but at a door, police come arrest you at 1 am.

majullah singapore!

Anonymous said...

From the article, I do indeed sympathise with the less fortunate mother and son.

Being MPs, elected by the people, or as PM LEE mentioned, the people's servants, I would hope that they would be more sympathatic and show more compassion.

Though Cynthia Phua might have merely follow procedures or rather "templates", I deeply feel that instead of merely following these standard produres, she could be more flexible and assess each case on case to case basis.

The 17 year old might have been wrong to vent his anger. The reason(s) as to why he was anger is still unclear to me. It might be that fact that he felt insulted during the conversation with Cynthia Phua or was it just a cry for help.

In addition to the personal attacks, I feel that the comments that some of the readers posted seemed to be rather biased. I can understand why some of you wrote these comments. The possible reasons I can think of are either the fact that PAP did not live up to your expectation or you might have been betrayed of your trust. Nonetheless, the capabilities of the opposition parties are still quite uncertain. The chioce of the next MPs to come rest in the hands of the voters.

I'm only 18, so if I've offended anyone, do forgive me.

May all Singaporeans prosper along with Singapore's economy.

Food for thought: Quoted from Spiderman, 'With great power, comes great responsibility'

-Zen (Nickname)

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"So next time when someone wants to attack u, u shouldn't call the police and help? Ask the person why he wants to attack u first? Come on guys, let's be realistic. We are running a country here, where law and order is crucial. Yes, maybe we could have shown sympathy, but someone could be have been hurt here. Let's be fair. Thanks"

1. The boy did not attack Cynthia.

2. Cynthia did not call the police to get them to rescue her. The boy already left the premises. The police arrested him at his own home, many hours later.

3. The boy and his mother apologized. At this juncture, the apology could have been accepted and the MP could have asked the police to drop the case.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, since you have been a DPP before, you would have known that sometimes cases that go to AGC present a totally different story from that portrayed in the public media.

In this case, we all are none the wiser, being not privy to the case facts in detail, other than what was published in the media.

It could have really been that CP was not willing to back down due her heartlessness/lack of sympathy/lack of ability as a MP; or it could be that there were other reasons, maybe some antecedents? Perhaps there were innocent bystanders at that time who could have got hurt? Unless we know for sure, it's not fair to jump to conclusion and assert a certain judgement.

Btw one major difference between the case of theft and this - the girl who stole didn't go around causing danger to the other people in her vicinity when she committed her crime.

What is regrettably missing in this post and some of the comments thereafter is objectivity ..pity..

But your argument that it is time to perhaps send a signal to PAP resonates. I am neither pro PAP or opposition. I'm looking both ways and am not satisfied by what the opposition in my GRC is offering. I am actively looking for information that will convince me that the opposition can offer something viable. Sadly, that's is lacking in the internet, which is filled with PAP-slamming rather than anything else.

Perhaps you can share some insight in this light?

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Thank you for following up on the Cynthia Phua story. It has bothered me for a long time and I'm glad that you brought it up again.

By the way, did you read about GCT and LHL's recent comments about ministerial salaries

When you put the well known million dollar private sector benchmarked salaries and the lesser known fact that they get salaries and pensions at the same time after turning 55 against their comments above, it boggles my mind that they can be so greedy and yet so casually dismissive of citizens' concerns about their salaries.

Most of the arguments for and against million dollar ministerial salaries are well known, but the double salary+pension embedded in the senior civil service and for ministers are less familiar to the typical Singaporean.

LHL's rebuttal to the questions raised (see parliamentary archive 2004 or media report in 2007)was that the double salary+pension is a practice carried over from senior civil servants.

How convenient to pick and choose which part of private and public sector remuneration to follow to their best advantage. And they can make all the rules as they like and make the Singaporean taxpayers pay for them. It all smacks of greed, pure naked greed.

Anonymous said...

yar lor,

in singapore, some netizens kbkp, say throw chair at door very threatening

but when people get beaten up and police says civil matter, the same netizens keep quite and say nothing

Pui !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I wish Zhanzhao's son to be retarded and have fatal illness. And himself to be physically handicap. So that he understand what are everyone else trying to put into his pea brain
Do not wish evil on other ppl. Even if you don't agree with his views (I don't), his boy is innocent. You are no less of a scum either, and your curses will fall on your own head. Amen.

Raelynn said...

@Anon May 3, 2011 11:16 PM

yes, the hosts show their frustration at trying to help the mother and son. because they succeeded in getting a volunteer to offer a job for the son, but the son because he is very reliant on the mother for advice and help, seeing that his mother is not supportive of him working, he also said to wait until he is better. note that from the clip, he repeats almost everything that the mother said. yet when asked other questions but regarding the matter by the host, he gave the same blank look just like when the doctor asked him regarding his medical condition. this seems to me a lack of independent thought.

it may seem very unfortunate that this is a result of an over protective mother, as @Eaststopper (May 3, 2011 10:19 PM) has mentioned. yet can we truly fault the mother for behaving the way she does? the mother is not asking for handouts and has repeated stated that she will work to continue to provide for her son, who is mentally challenged and his mental dis-ability is further aggravated by lack of care resulting in psychological (the mother admits that the son has anger control problems when he feels that he is pushed into a corner due to neglect and distorted education as she is frequently away at work when he is in his developmental years) and physiological problems (scoliosis. and according to the doctor, it is mentioned that it is not only the cause of the pain, it is also affecting his organs iirc.) considering all these points, can you fault the mother for panicking that it is a restaurant job that is 12 hours (there is a 3 hour break though) where he will have to deal with communication in a stressful fast paced environment and also probably involve a lot of standing and bending up and down?

Anonymous said...

U were there with them? Or is it hear said? Do u knw tat their are alot of free loaders at MTP sessions. They hv to b sure that this lady's case is genuine. I understand why she is agitated by questions but she has to b understanding and patient if she needs help..most importantly she must restrain her low IQ son. If he is that violent then he's a danger to society. Who knows where n when he's going to blow his top on ppl. The next victim may not b the door but a human. If she cant teach her son to contain his temper, then the social workers will. If he's really Low IQ then he will not b imprisoned but be sent to an institution for his case!

Anonymous said...

Anon May 3, 2011 11:26 PM
"Yes, maybe we could have shown sympathy, but someone could be have been hurt here. Let's be fair. Thanks."

Have you heard of non-seizable offence.

Voluntarily causing hurt (a non-seizable offence) and voluntarily causing grievous hurt (which is seizable).

Perhaps MPs deserve to be treated differently even if the door is the one that is hurt whether grievous or not.

And yes, let's be fair. We definitely know one when we see one. Thanks.

Zhanzhao said...

Screw it guys. I always believe the nature of the follower reflects the characteristics of the candidate for better or for worse and vice versa. Seeing so many posts, including curses and such, who do you think I would vote for now? Consider this the start of my own self imposed cool-down period. Hopefully by Saturday the bad taste would have left my mouth soon enough for to give eual consideration between the 2 parties again.

Anonymous said...

This is a true story... one of my new immigrant friend from China went to see an MP regarding the destruction of the biodiversity of Singapore near his place because of a planned road construction. MP's answer was the usual that it is already planned and cannot be changed. This is not the best part, the best is, before he left the MP's office, the MP said something to imply that if you really want biodiversity, then go back to your hometown, China.
Is this what an MP should say?

Anonymous said...

Anybody has the photos on how Hougang and Potong Pasir held their MPS at void deck? Do post on the internet if there are....

jtanlgim said...

MP must not have the mindset that they are above common folks. They have to lower themselves and communicate with needy seekers. Even if the seekers' requests are ridiculous, the MP must strike and achieve a balance or in-between somewhere, to foster a win-win solution. I have encounter the MP of my constituency once (only once in 10 years) but all she did was a haughty look at me and turn her head away. No smile, gesture or handshake. I am wondering why so highly educated but know no manners?

jtanlgim said...

Forget to mention...this lady MP from PAP, Tampines GRC :-(

Anonymous said...

actually the son and mum looks like they appeared on Channel U before...talking about the son and mum in that show, i feel they could do something to help themselves also. The son was offered a job but the mum was over protective and refused to let her son even try to work...although everything was already prepared...there needs to be a balances somewhere, where we help ourselves whenever we can...if the son can apsire to be some singer..why isn't he working? and I am talking about the channel U show ok.

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Aljunied. Tested out the MPS and sought CP's help in getting employment. I can totally understand how the boy felt about being "scolded" or not listened to. I didn't get a chance to tell her how I felt before she launched into some common advice and went off. I don't think she's effective as an MP.

Anonymous said...


I went to the meet-the-people-session once. It was CP on duty, and I had to go through several volunteers, repeating my problem at every stage before I finally get to see the MP. (The whole process makes one think one is trying to meet the Pope)

I think MPs are more cautious when they meet people who are educated. When the people are weaker like the poor mother and Ah Teck, they became easy prey for the high mighty to trample on.

Mr Wang is right to say that CP should have been more tactful. After all it is 2 people whom she has pledged to serve as an MP, isn't it so?

Anonymous said...

It's very true that these MIW are damn bloody atas!

Don't ever be so stupid and think that these white MPs are there to help us.

They're just wayanging only.

People going to seek their help are actually eye sore to these elite MPs.

Godwin said...

"before he left the MP's office, "the MP said something to imply that if you really want biodiversity, then go back to your hometown, China."

I LOL'd.

Anyway, back to the issue.

I think we should be careful not to blame the victim here. However Cynthia Phua might have spoken to the boy and his mother (hey, both parties might be at fault here, right?), is throwing a chair at a door an acceptable way of expressing one's unhappiness?

If the boy is in control of his actions, then he is culpable. If he is not in control of his actions, he is a danger to the public.

As Mr Wang pointed out, the boy and his mother later apologised for his action, so whichever party was at fault (and I say again that both could have been), the issue had been reduced to one of forgiveness.

Unfortunately, as we do not have any information on how the whole thing progressed after the events described in the news article, we may not be in the best position to judge.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia Phua is well known for scolding and shouting at people from residents, hawkers to her own staff. She torments them, insult them and demoralise them. Those working in NTUC Fairprice where she is the GM are praying that she will not be elected.

Anonymous said...

Just saw a posting in Aljunied GRC Facebook by one Alvin Low. I quote:
"PM seriously think that Cynthia Phua is one of the best Town Council Chairman?? This is a shameless statement as everyone knows how vulgar & ruthless she is. For many years, she has hurt people working with her. She's a mad tiger"

SG Girl Next Door said...

Thanks Gilbert for sharing this and the one on the girl who stole bread.

I've watched the video regarding the mother and the son. Some said they appeared ungrateful at the end of the video, cos the mother is not ready to let the son to go out to work.

We must understand that the teenager has a lot of medical and emotional problems. Being low IQ, diagnosed having "anger behavioral problem" and other medical problems; no social skills (he has no friends) and low self esteem (my guess). Any loving parent would want to protect his/her normal child; moreover he is one with low IQ. His mother just want to protect him more (he also has dizzy spells).

If I were in a place where a teenager threw a chair at the door, I would be afraid too and wish he be warned by the police. (locked up or charged would be too strong a word afterall no one is hurt). And if I knew he's a special needs person, then I wish the police would link him up to some special school/services that'll guide and teach him so that he could pocess some skills to survive in this tough society.

Anonymous said...

While a common Singaporean
(the stall owner) is able to make moral judgement, MPs who walk into the parliament under the umbrella of a heavy weight minister only knows how to throw weight at the common people. This is not hard to believe that most of the PAP MPs who take up civil position are attracted to the exorbitant salary. Serving the people is not of their interest. Sometime I do wonder if MPs under PAP’s banner are all money face.

sy said...

Let's put things in perspective here. We cannot be sure of what went on inside the room. If Cynthia Phua was indeed "motherly", she has every right to be angry. If you can accept the mother's account, then all the more can you accept Cynthia's account.

Also, Cynthia Phua has to be sure that the mother and son are not faking it. I mean, this are govt resources, your own taxpayer's money. Now she's taking steps to ensure it doesn't go to the wrong people, because unfortunately she doesn't possess the ability to look at a person and determine their IQ level, and she gets slammed by the same people who complain ministers get too high pay/YOG over budget? So you'd rather the money go to some con-man?

Finally, let's not mistake that this was clearly a traumatizing incident for Cynthia, a defenseless woman sitting inside and worrying about her own safety. The fact that she was not physically harmed does not mean diminish any of that trauma. So her anger, IF she was indeed "kind" to the mother and son, was more than understandable.

Don't pounce on our MPs without finding out the cold hard facts. For all you know the charge was dropped but it wasn't reported, because like you said, reporters aren't allowed inside juvenile courts.

Yes, I'd want my MP to be compassionate, but there's reason why she's a MP and not Guan Yin Ma. We're all humans.

Fellow Singaporeans, think carefully before accepting any information at face value.

Furious said...

The lack of humility towards the young man aside (plus no one got hurt and there was a sincere apology), I think there's something seriously wrong with this "assistance" being offered to our lower income Singaporeans.

Here is a mother who has spent possibly much of her life-earnings to pay for the HDB. Instead of helping the family to RETAIN the flat (which according to many ministers are our ASSET for old age), how did HDB come to the conclusion of repossessing and offering a RENTAL flat?

So the already poor loses even the roof over their heads and they still have to BEG our govt to tide them over the rental fee imposed upon them by our fantastic, innovative housing policies.

If i were the reporter, that would have been my angle for the news story. Not some lame, cry-wolf story of a matured, well-educated, VERY busy MP feeling all traumatised over a chair thrown against a door(when she wasn't even around).

Seriously, and this people are running our country? This are our TALENTS. Enroll in Mediacorp, maybe can get best actresses award. Most popular a bit difficult.

Anonymous said...

Look at things in another perspective: If CP did not call the police and juz let them go off. One fine day, the guy smashed someone's head bcos ppl do not give in like his mum did. Or mayb he had the 'manhood' requirement and harm a innocent girl, wad r u ppl going to say? I'm sure everyone will point finger at CP n said she shld hv did something blah blah blah!
As a mother i understand that she wants to protect her son. But how long can she do it? How well can she do it? Shielding him under her 'wings' will only harm him more. She's not immortal. When she goes, wad happen to the low IQ guy? It's better to report him to the police and let them take it from there. It's a better future for him to go for special training and learn a skill to feed himself when his mum leaves him for good.

Anonymous said...

I think this case was featured in a mediacorp programme called The Dream Potter episode 7.

lyn said...

could you please offer evidence to make your blog post credible? This could be important for Workers' Party Aljunied team :D

banglacow said...

the woman and son is featured here.

cheryl said...

this is the straits times report, for those who are interested: the original report seems to be no longer on the ST online website.

Roxanne Ong said...

So the paper said, "This is the third incident in recent months involving MPs and their constituents." = - what are the other two?

Anonymous said...

Poor family which seriously need a leader with rules with his heart rather than money

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