Tuesday, March 28, 2006


or Please Don't Threaten Me..

I'm abit slow, but here's SM Goh's comments on Hougang and Potong Pasir


My very first reaction when I saw this story on the news is that, is it necessary to have such a heavy weight to help out in the contest for Hougang and Potong Pasir? 杀鸡焉用牛刀, is PAP really that concerned that they will not win these two SMCs that they prefer to err on the side of overkill?

Next thought, by putting SM Goh as a backing for the candidates running for Hougang and Potong Pasir, PAP is just admitting that their candidates are not strong enough to go against the opposition. What kinda confidence does that inspire? I would not want a MP who cannot fight on his own to represent me, he can't even win my confidence, how can I possibly vote him into Parliament to represent me? *shakes head*

On to something SM Goh said that rubbed me the wrong way..

To address concerns by Hougang residents for an opposition voice in Parliament, Mr Goh says he will push for the party whip to be lifted so that PAP's candidate Eric Low can speak up, if elected.

Now this is getting ridiculous, SM Goh to push for lifting the party whip for Eric Low so that he can be like the opposition voice in Parliament. *slaps forehead* who's the guy that writes his speech notes?!?

To me, this means two things, first, it's unfair to the rest of the wards that are currently under PAP right now, they had supported PAP all along and believed that their MPs will voice their concerns out for them. They supported PAP and voted (or not due to walkover) them into Parliament to be their voice, yet their MPs are bonded by their party whip. It may not be much of a concern majority of the times, but when important issues come up, things that the residents and even the MP feel strongly against, the MP have no voice to speak out.

It's unfair as the longtime supporters gets an MP that cannot speak out whilst the non-supporters gets an MP that can speak out. It makes no sense to me now, absolutely no sense. I get penalized for doing the "right" thing whilst other who did the "wrong" thing get a reward for correcting the "wrong". No, this is not the way the system should work, if so, then everyone should do the "wrong" thing first then choose to correct it the next time round, this way we can all receive rewards.

The other thing, party whip, it's there to ensure that majority members vote in line with the party's vision. Ok, that I can agree with.. maybe in the States, but in Singapore, we have a parliament that's dominated by PAP. Party whip ensures that the members vote in line with the party, and with a Parliament that's more than 90% PAP, what kinda voting is needed? Once the senior members in PAP decides on something, they can just happily go ahead and do it, it's not necessary to vote since the outcome is already known.

I like what Mr Wang said..

If the PAP wins all seats, Mr Wang thinks that Parliament could just close down. Debates are not necessary. The PAP could just hold ad-hoc meetings here and there, in the meeting rooms of government ministries, for ministers to meet MPs and discuss matters, at any time throughout the year. They could talk over things over a nice cup of coffee, have some cakes etc.

These wouldn't even need to be big meetings. For example, if the Health Minister wanted some views on health issues, he could just invite those MPs who are doctors. If the Finance Minister wanted some views on the economy, he could just invite those MPs who are businessmen or entrepreneurs or economists. And so on.

Maybe if the PM had a big issue every now and then, he could write a long paper, send it to all MPs by email, and they can respond by email, when they're free. After that, he can make up his mind, and send out an email and say, "Ok, guys, this is what I decided ... A, B, C etc."

Alternatively, maybe they could host Parliamentary sessions on a blog or a Internet forum, and MPs could just login and post views if they felt like it. It's more convenient. Imagine the alternative, ugh. You actually have to physically drive down to Parliament and appear in Parliament House and stand up to speak and then the Speaker says, "Oh, I allow you only five minutes to air your views, so be quick."

Voting is largely irrelevant. After all, in our Parliamentary model, if the party whip is not lifted (and historically, it almost never is), all MPs must vote along the same party lines. In other words, no PAP MP is allowed to say "No", if the others want to say "Yes". So the voting result is already known, for the next five years. The voting result will always be 84 to zero.
-Mr Wang Says So

To me, the opposition don't even have to lose for such a scenario to happen.

Other parts of his speech irks me too.. (time to shoot the person who wrote the script) but there's a pretty good summary in The Little Speck that more or less speaks my mind. Click here for the article

Last thing that I want to say, it's not right to use upgrading as an incentive for people to vote for PAP. Upgrading is done with public funds and all Singaporeans should have an equal right to upgrading. And upgrading is already passé, upgrading does not increase the value of our flats substantially whilst adding cost and inconvenience to our lives.

People who are allowed to vote (yes, voting is not a right in Singapore, we have to be allowed to vote), think about it, are these people really the ones that you want to represent you? People who are not adverse to using threats and coercion.


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