Ministers’ Wives: Rich or Corrupt?

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Thanks to various readers/netizens for contributing to this post.

Links for verification and additional info below.

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1. MINISTER’S WIVES in GIRL GUIDES ASSOCIATION

a) Teo Chee Hean’s wife is Chew Poh Yim (“Mrs. Teo Poh Yim”). Chew Poh Yim was the 10th President of Girl Guides in Singapore.

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Girl Guides newsletter (2007). Source: GirlGuides.org.sg

b) Joy Balakrishnan, wife of Vivian Balakrishnan, is the 11th President of Singapore Girl Guides Association. She is a teacher turned housewife.

In 2015, Vivian Balakrishnan made the following comment (paraphrased):

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“Only Rich or Corrupt people work for free.”

c) Mrs. Christine Dhanabalan, wife of former cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan, received an Honorary Membership to Girl Guides Association from Mrs. Joy Balakrishnan.

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11th Girl Guides Singapore (GGS) president Joy Balakrishnan (in sleeveless white top), at the World Thinking Day 2015 event held at Methodist Girls’ School. Source: AsiaOne

d) According to AsiaOne and GirlGuides.org.sg, Ms Chang Hwee Nee took over from 11th President, Mrs. Joy Balakrishnan, whose term of office ended on 30 May 2015. Chang Hwee Nee is the wife of Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.

e) The patron of Girl Guides (in Singapore) has always been the First Lady (wife of the President).

A CAS UK PDF document defines a patron’s role as follows:

“Patrons” generally refers to well known or illustrious individuals who lend their name and support to an organisation.

On 12 November 2011, Mrs S R Nathan, former Patron of Girl Guides Singapore (GGS), received the Asia Pacific Region (APR) Appreciation Award. Mrs Nathan was also presented with the Long Service Award for her 12 years of dedication and invaluable support to the Girl Guiding movement.

Girl Guides Singapore is registered as a Charity with the National Council of Social Services (NCSS).

Girlguiding is a charitable organisation and adult leaders are not paid for their time.

2. MINISTER’S WIVES in BREADLINE GROUP

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Breadline Patrons (Executive Committee Report: 2014/2015).

a) Breadline is run by Richard Lim, with the minimum of overheads – eg no office. Richard dedicates many hours to his work on a voluntary basis.

From the organisation’s website:

The Breadline Group is a community service comprising of volunteers. It was formed because we share a concern for the welfare of the old and needy in Singapore, and want to channel our efforts towards helping them.

b) Patrons are mentioned as Mrs. Jek Yuen Thong, Mrs. S. Dhanabalan, Dr. Sheryn Mah Bow Tan, and Dr. Seetha Shanmugam.

c) Jek Yuen Thong was the former Minister for Labour and Minister for Culture. He was part of the People’s Action Party’s Old Guard of politicians.

d) Christine Tan Khoon Hiap is the wife of former cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan.

e) Dr. Seetha Shanmugam, a Berkeley-educated, Chicago-trained clinical psychologist (not a foreign talent), is the wife of Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam.

Minister K. Shanmugam was previously married to Jothie Rajah, the daughter of K. S. Rajah, former Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Shanmugam’s marriage to Dr Jothie Rajah failed and they divorced after 15 years, due to “mutual incompatibility.” In 2012, Dr Jothie Rajah wrote Authoritarian Rule Of Law, a critical text which alleges that the rule of law is a subjugating rather than liberalising force in Singapore. Shanmugam said he had not read the book.

In 2012, Shanmugam sent a lawyer’s letter to blogger Alex Au to remove “defamotary comments” with regard to an alleged affair with MP Foo Mee Har. As yet, no lawyer’s letter has been sent to U.S.-based lawyer Gopalan Nair, whose blog post contains a detailed comment on Shanmugam’s “affair with a Chinese colleague” while working in Allen and Gledhill law firm (where Shanmugam was formerly a senior partner).

In 2015, Shanmugam wanted to make a police report over an “inaccurate and seditious” Facebook post.

f) Sheryn Mah, wife of Mah Bow Tan, sits on the board of directors of Compassion Fund and is the president of Mainly I Love Kids (MILK), a non-profit charity organisation providing aid to disadvantaged children.

3. MINISTERS’ WIVES re: NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION (NKF)

In 2005, Tan Choo Leng (Mrs. Goh Chok Tong) stepped down as the patron of NKF after the T T Durai corruption scandal. She is remembered for describing a S$600,000 annual salary as “peanuts.”

Mrs. Goh Chok Tong had previously supported Durai.

Ms. Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek Holdings, asked for continued support for the NKF after the scandal broke. On the issue of the CEO’s pay, she said:

“I would not begrudge Mr Durai a proper and well-earned compensation and bonus.”

Author Interview, Tony Healey

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Interview #69, with writer and Kindle All-Stars contributor, Tony Healey!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Blood, Sugar, Sex, Majik, Ha!

OMG I *love* that RHCP album (lol!). Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

From my short story ABC featured in the upcoming anthology CARNIVAL OF CRYPTIDS:

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I checked my watch again. “I’m sorry to push you, but I’m really pressed for time. I’ve got to–”

He laid a hand on my wrist. His eyes were fixed on the horizon, on the line of the sea beyond the boats in the harbour. Those little black eyes peered through time as he spoke. “This happened about twenty years ago. There’s a long stretch of woodland lies above the cove, between the farms and the moors.”

“I’ve seen it,” I said, mystified.

“Every man I ever told this story to has just laughed at me. Called me a drunk. Called me a senile old man. But with you I think it’s different. I think you’ll listen and understand what I’m telling you,” he said. “I think you’ll have an open mind.”

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

I think my favorite author is Arthur C Clarke. He’s not the best writer I’ve read, but there’s something about his singular vision of our future I find enlightening and hopeful. This is a quote from his novel THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH:

“The lives of men, and all their hopes and fears, were so little against the inconceivable immensities that they dared to challenge.”

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

I don’t really have a problem with the publication process. It’s always an interesting and fulfilling experience. To write something, have it edited, polish it and then simply click a button and PUBLISH it is quite mind-blowing when you think about it. It can be frustrating when something of yours doesn’t quite hit a chord with readers, but like a writer friend of mine said: “Forget the haters. If they don’t like your book, write another one. Write ten more.”

I think that as self-publishers we should be working on that next project. We can’t sit on our hands and rest. The BIG 6 sure aren’t going to cut us a break. It’s a battle of the old world versus the new.

Yes to productivity ;) What is your definition of “good writing”?

Writing that isn’t up its own arse. There are writers putting work out, and I won’t mention names, but they seem more concerned with WORDS than telling a story. These people are so filled with their importance as WRITERS that they forget people don’t want to sit through that. I may be punching above my weight in saying this, but I don’t think it’s necessary to spend 100,000 words telling a story you could tell in 60,000 words. I love pulp fiction, and although I know it’s not to everyone’s taste it can teach writers some valuable lessons. The same could be said of reading bestsellers. You know, your Dan Browns and James Pattersons (shudder!). Although they’re not great books, they are fast paced and well-plotted. I love writers like Michael Chabon, John Irving, people like that who can spend 600 pages or more meandering back and forth within their story. Their books are a joy. But not everybody can be the next Chabon or Irving.

Good writing for me, at the moment, means brevity where possible and for the author of the work to remember they’re a storyteller first, and a high and mighty writer second.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Get a pair of headphones. And Led Zeppelin.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://www.tonyhealey.com

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Much thanks to Tony Healey for stopping by — do visit Tony’s Website for more info on him and his projects! And do check out the Kindle All-Stars FB page too.

Tony has a free eBook on Amazon too that you can check out!

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TONY’S BIO (in his own words):

Tony Healey is a Sussex-based writer and a born-and-bred Brightonian. He is the author of the best-selling Far From Home series.

He was a contributor to the first Kindle All-Stars short story anthology, Resistance Front, along with award-winning authors Alan Dean Foster, Harlan Ellison and 30 others.Tony has also contributed a piece of flash fiction to the anthology 100 Horrors.

As well as his writing, he’s interviewed numerous figures in the publishing world for his site, including Bernard Schaffer, Meg Gardiner, Alan Dean Foster, Debbi Mack, Russell Brooks and many, many more.

Tony can be contacted via tonyleehealeyATgmailDOTcom and at his personal site, http://www.tonyhealey.com