The petard was apparently a small bomb that the French used in the 16th century to blow up fortifications etc. The problem is that, like many such munitions, they can behave quite tempermentally and blow up at unexpected moments. Much like the situation of the terrorist who blows himself up accidentally in the comfort of his bomb factory. So one can easily be "hoisted by his own petard". Funnily, a related word to petard is 'peter' or 'petar' meaning 'to break wind', or fart. Seen in the light of this alternative meaning, one conjures up the comical imagery of someone being 'hoisted' by his own fart. For a guy, I suppose, it's like trying to pee against the wind.
Several years ago, the PAP, in a rare pique of insecurity, suddenly recognized that there could actually be a freak election result giving rise to an unintended opposition-led government. Quite an oxymoron here since all election results actually do reflect real decisions of the electorate, and if the opposition wins, it must be the decision of the electorate, and cannot be a freak result. Nevertheless, the PAP then petulantly declared that there should be second key to the national reserves that was to be held by an elected president; effectively the creation of a petard to be used against the opposition, should they be ever so freakish as to be voted into government. It was obviously never ever intended that the petard could be used against the PAP itself since any ruling party could easily engineer into position a pro-ruling party president.
How times have changed. Likewise the wind direction. Now, more than ever before, the possibility is very real that the opposition could swing enough votes to topple the PAP from its throne. Not only that, the sentiment among the electorate is very much in favour of a truly non-partisan elected president, who can actually serve as a check against the PAP itself. Under these conditions, there could be a very significant swing in support against any candidate viewed to be remotely linked to the PAP. In fact the support could likely swing in favour of any candidate who is capable of expressing some anti-PAP rhetoric.
So we see now the presidential petard dangerously being hoisted against the inventor of the petard. Will it actually detonate? We'll see. In any case, it is not a good time to be sitting downwind.
6 years ago