Sudhir Vadaketh wants to talk about systemic inequities – from his bungalow #RidoutGate

In the shadow of the unfolding #RidoutGate saga, Sudhir Vadaketh, a commentator with a privileged past and ties to disgraced Lee Hsien Yang, has taken it upon himself to pass judgement on those rallying in support of ministers Vivian Balakrishnan and K Shanmugam through his blogging site “Jom”.

Former nominated MP Calvin Cheng branded criticisms of potential conflicts of interest involving Shanmugam as vindictive witch-hunts.

Ben Leong, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore, contended that politicians’ million-dollar salaries were not enough compensation for facing public scrutiny, and questioned the competence of opposition politicians.

Sudhir suggests the counter-arguments detract from the real issue – that the controversy is not merely about whether the ministers followed procedures, but rather about systemic structural inequities in the property market and possibly the broader system.

Glass houses and stones

Sudhir’s critique, voiced from a position of relative comfort, carries more than a hint of irony.

From his own vantage point of privilege, Sudhir asserts, “They all fail to grasp the essence of RidoutGate, which is about structural inequities in the property market, and perhaps the system at large.”

However, given his lifestyle, underwritten by the wealth of his family and wife, Sudhir’s understanding of such inequities seems more theoretical than experiential.

Moreover, his proximity to Lee Hsien Yang, who shares a similar background of privilege, brings into question their ability to truly comprehend the systemic inequities they critique.

Hsien Yang, a former corporate titan turned wannabe political figure, suddenly claims to champion the people despite years of disconnection from their daily struggles.

While Vadaketh is eager to scrutinize the conduct of the ministers tangled in #RidoutGate, demanding transparency and holding them accountable, he seems less enthusiastic about holding up the same mirror to his own life or that of Hsien Yang. This inconsistency raises concerns of potential double standards.

Instead of hasty judgement, perhaps it would be more constructive for Vadaketh to use his platform to encourage a wider, more inclusive conversation about structural inequities.

It’s one thing to critique from the comfort of an ivory tower, but gaining true understanding requires acknowledging one’s own privilege and using that awareness to uplift others, not merely to criticize.

What do you think?

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