Oct 21, 2011

君子和而不同,小人同而不和


Link to full speech: Chen Show Mao's speech (Debate on President's address)

An impressive maiden speech by Chen Show Mao, especially the Chinese part, which I imagine must have left not a few "effectively bi-lingual" PAP MPs not catching the proverbial ball that Chen has thrown at them as his opening salvo in parliament.

While his references to profound sayings by dead Chinese philosophers and idioms may have challenged the incumbent MPs scrambling to Google what the hell he was saying, they might discover in the process that CSM was actually taking a dig at the them, and even the PAP as a whole:

其实孔子三千年前就已说过,“君子和而不同”。和谐,可却不尽相同。晏婴说过:乐团只演奏一个音符,谁听得下去?白开水上再加白开水,谁喝得下去?一个和谐的社会,不只有一种声音。而是每个人很和平的在法律的範围内发表他的看法,从事政治活动。我们不必防民如防贼。

The full saying of “君子和而不同”, is actually “君子和而不同,小人同而不和。” Confucius has already said 3000 years ago: "The gentleman is harmonious with his fellow man, although he does not necessarily agree with them. The non-gentleman, on the other hand, agrees with others views on the surface, but deep down harbours discontent and dissent in his heart."

Did Chen deliberately leave out the second part of the saying, to suggest that some (or all) non-gentlemanly members of the PAP camp are toe-ing the party line to keep out of trouble, but secretly harbouring (shock!) dissenting views? Very guai lan, indeed, Mr. Chen.

3 comments:

Wei Sin said...

I wonder how Taiwanese perceive our parliament, when theirs is so divisive? We are at the both extreme ends of the spectrum.

ahmad said...

I think most Taiwanese are busy with their own color-blind (either Green or Blue) pursuit of local politics, and don't really bother about foreign politics, especially "pee-sai" Singapore, where pretty much every Taiwanese perceives it as a one-party system anyway.

xlpharmacy said...

I have two problems to visualize the speech, one your page never load the translation, and two the Google translation don't recognize the charaters.