CHC’s Kong Hee: A lesson for political party leadership

There are already many blogs discussing the purported guilt or innocence of City Harvest’s Kong Hee. But if we take a step back, there is something important that we can learn from this episode. This is an especially important lesson for political parties:

A political party must be more than its leader

Personality-driven politics plays a big part in Singapore’s socio-political sphere. It is difficult to imagine PAP without Lee Kuan Yew, or the Worker’s Party without Low Thia Kiang, the SPP without Chiam See Tong, or the SDP without Chee Soon Juan.

The problem with personality-driven politics is that the fate of the political party is overly dependent on the fate of its leader. The allegations on Kong Hee’s integrity have a very strong effect on the public’s view of City Harvest Church. Similarly, any heavily-publicised allegations against the character and integrity of the leaders of our political parties can disproportionately affect the standing of the parties.

Even if the party leader is a paragon of virtue, other circumstances may render the leader impotent, thus leading to the decline of the party. Witness how SPP has declined along with Chiam See Tong’s health . As the saying goes, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

This is a lesson that Singapore can afford to learn from the US political spheres. In the US, the Democrats and Republican parties are able to transcend the “human faults” of  Clinton’s sex scandal and George Bush’s incompetence. Both parties continue to vie strongly for the heart of the American public.

Our political parties must therefore place a strong emphasis in building up a strong team and leadership renewal. Politics is not about hero-worship. A team of strong leaders is more resilient than a single super-human. The PAP and WP understand the importance of a strong team and have harvested electoral fruits accordingly. The SDP and NSP appear to be making some headway in building a team. However, it looks like the RP and SPP are laggards in this area.


About sgthinker

I'm a 40-year old Singaporean male, and this blog pens down my thoughts and feelings about Singapore's political happenings, government policies and society trends. I hope this blog will provide a moderate voice in the growing online debate about the state of Singapore's society. Some of the posts here won't be solely written by me, since there will be times when other writers are more eloquent at expressing their views, in which case I'll share their insights (along with my comments). The content on this blog is owned by me.If you wish to share or reproduce the content, please attribute it to this blog.
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5 Responses to CHC’s Kong Hee: A lesson for political party leadership

  1. I’m really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  2. Pingback: WP makes wise choice in choosing Lee Li Lian (Sorry, Li Lian) |

  3. Whos is Ah Kong says:
    Ah Kong says:I have done the best for you,just trust me,I will try my best!

  4. Sinking Sinkies says:

    It is more like absolute power corrupts absolutely be it CHC or any Gahment without check and balances.

  5. Pingback: Daily SG: 2 July 2012 | The Singapore Daily

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