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Murali: Politics not a career, but a (part-time) mission




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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
On 3 May, Wanbao published its interview with Murali, the candidate for the ongoing Bukit Batok SMC by-election.
At the start of the interview, Murali was still focused on introducing his hope to set up a healthcare co-operative to the reporters. Together with his invited elder care medical expert, they spent 15 minutes trying to explain his proposal in details to the media.
However, faced with the onslaught of issues thrown at him from Dr Chee during the Bukit Batok campaign, Murali avoided confronting those issues. He has chosen to side-step the political and policy debates, and prefers to concentrate on his community plans.
With his lackadaisical responses to Dr Chee, the reporter sought to invoke a more palpable defense. Murali was egged on to response to Dr Chee’s statement that opposition MP would constitute a more effective voice in Parliament.
Murali feebly replied that if elected, he will speak up on issues such as unemployment and the healthcare needs as well as the social mobility of the sandwiched class.
Murali merely said, “To me, politics is not a career, but a mission. I came into politics to change the life of Bukit Batok residents. As such, I have no reason to cover my mouth and not speak up for the benefits of the residents.”
He did not say how much time he would be spending on his “mission” to speak up for Bukit Batok residents. But what is clear is that he is a big-time lawyer with Rajah and Tann, said to be the largest law firm in Southeast Asia with over 300 lawyers and fee-earners. Murali himself is a partner in Rajah & Tann and personally heads the law firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice department with over 100 lawyers reporting to him (https://theindependent.sg.sg/does-pap-high-flying-murali-have-time-for-bt-batok-residents).
In comparison to Dr Chee, who has whole-heartedly dedicated himself to fight for the democratic cause in Singapore his whole life, Murali appears to be on a “part-time” mission to do his MP duty (if elected) while fighting big-time cases in court, earning big-money.
Throughout history, how many times have we seen someone complete missions with great success by doing them part-time?
Can the electorate of Bt Batok entrust someone who they know can only spare half (or may be even less) of his time to work for their benefits?
I, for one, do not think so. One simply cannot have the cake and eat it.
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