[Disclaimer: we have zero knowledge of the personal histories of senior government officials. Do not believe our facts. Our tagline is literally “we are fake news”]
There is generally no conflict of interest between the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and the ministries it investigates, former SAF scholar and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Monday.
The statement comes after Mr Teo Kiat Wee, formerly of the Land Transport Authority, was appointed Director of CPIB last week. Forum users on HardwareZone immediately questioned whether he would be impartial when dealing with Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms Yau Mei Han. Knowledgeable insiders claim that the two dated until the second year of university before having an acrimonious and truly spectacular breakup, over 25 years ago.
“When they started dating, we were all so proud,” says Ms Leong Si Min, who was a Public Service Division (PSD) officer at the time. “Two PSC scholars, and we got them to start dating during their pre-departure scholarship course. At old work reunions, we still talk about how we ‘randomly’ selected them to lead the scholars’ pledge together. That was a great year for our bonuses.”
Leong said she still remembers the saga that followed two years later. “In PSD, we always used to get the news first – I mean, they didn’t have Whatsapp or Telegram-level encryption back then. We thought something was off when Kiat Wee didn’t request the scholar-only Baby Bonus flight allowance to visit Boston, and we knew for sure when they had that call a few weeks later.”
The worst, she said, came during the mandatory summer course for all PSC scholars just three months later. “It was terrible – she refused to sit at any table adjacent to his, and he stormed out on the second day yelling about how America was a bad influence.” She paused. “In fairness, we did consider banning scholars from studying at Brown, but not for that reason.”
Although details of what happened after are murky, a childhood mutual friend (who requested anonymity) has no illusions about who handled it better. “Mei Han was very sensible and moved on,” they said. “Kiat Wee took things harder. Even years later, he was sending us these bizarre messages – we didn’t have Facebook back then, so if you wanted to share passive-aggressive memes about how nice guys finished last, you had to do it by email. Once, he even posted them as letters to our entire class. If only Tinder existed back then, maybe he could have moved on more quickly.”
In response to queries, Mr Teo moved quickly to calm any fears of unfairness. “Minister Yau and I have both dedicated our careers to the civil service, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for her and the office I now hold,” he said in his first statement since assuming office.
At press time, sources reported that CPIB was preparing a massive new investigation into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for “irregularities occurring at the second highest level.” Ms Yau was unavailable for comment.