ASingaporeans from all walks of life, but especially those walks on the footpaths of Aljunied GRC, are once again hailing the results of the 2011 General Election. The reaction comes after former Foreign Minister George Yeo defended convicted child sex abuser George Pell. Pell, a Cardinal in the Catholic Church, was convicted in his native Australia of sexually abusing two choirboys in 1996. He has also faced allegations of abusing boys in the 1970s, and of covering up sexual abuse by other priests in the Church.
Writing on Facebook, Mr Yeo said that he has met Pell 4-5 times each year since 2014 and thus “got to know him well and developed a deep respect for his sense of mission”. He said he would be praying for Pell to be acquitted on appeal:
Lifelong Aljunied resident Wah De Fuk said he was happier than ever about the 2011 electon. “I haven’t been this proud about something I did eight years back since my NUS interviewer asked for my PSLE score,” he beamed. “Back then, so many people were upset with us for dumping George Yeo out of Parliament. They were all like, ‘who cares about having an Opposition presence, he’s so thoughtful, and charismatic, and eloquent’. Well, turns out he also has a deep respect for people whose mission is to abuse young boys and get away with it, and I don’t mean your NS encik. I’ll take some town council mismanagement any day, thank you very much.”
Even staunch PAP supporters admitted the Aljunied GRC loss might have been a blessing in disguise. “I can’t imagine how disastrous it would have been if George Yeo continued as Foreign Minister with this sort of logic,” said Leong Shi Wen, who still has a Lee Kuan Yew remembrance ribbon as her Facebook profile picture. “What if Mahathir hosted a yacht party for him – would he now be saying he has a deep appreciation for Malaysian boats and that they pose no threat to our territorial waters? I’m surprised Bilahari hasn’t sold him a bridge yet.”
Wah says that while the vindication is nice, it’s taken a long time to arrive. “It’s been hard, constantly questioning my past decisions. I wish I had that rock-solid faith, y’know?” Sometimes, he wonders if things might have gone differently. “Back when we first voted him out, we were told to go and repent for five years. Maybe if we’d abused some choirboys instead, George Yeo would have started praying for us sooner.”
At press time, sources reported that Parliament was debating modifying the Elected Presidency to disqualify defenders of convicted child abusers. The Facebook Page “George Yeo for President” declined to comment.