Saturday, January 17, 2015

10 years as PM: Assessing Opposition MPs

S-pen marked this on my Note 4 this morning from today ST. The PM was commenting on the quality of opposition MPs. I disagree with him because after a while you can tell that the opposition MPs are better than many of his party's MPs. I can't even recall many faces and names of PAP MPs! If you make no impact with me, as far as I am concern you don't exist and is irrelevant. On the other hand I can identify all opposition MPs, NCMPs and many NMPs.

What we have in Parliament today is unlike in 1955. The PAP government is a world class government (but not parliament), so it was easy for LKY and the two others to make short work of the government of the day. It is a totally different situation today. The government is among the best in the world and is not easy to check but nevertheless is nowhere near perfect to be left without check and balance.

I hate this sort of occasional convenient arguments from the PM. Whilst he could persuade quite a few people, there is also a substantial group which can see through this. I bet the number of perceptive voters is growing over time too. Make good honest arguments than easy convenient ones. Not only does it cuts not ice with some of us, but eventually on social media it makes your supporters echoing you look really stupid especially when they get imaginative and brainlessly elaborate your point.

So they should learn from Deng and seek the truth from facts. The WP admitted to the quality of the PAP government which is unthinkable in Westminster type adversarial politics. But this it the truth which they built on and score victories. If you build on falsehood you build on shifting sands and eventually collapse.

Highly intelligent, the PAP sadly has no political wisdom and my be even eroding integrity.


  1. All it takes is just "A Few Good Men" to do a proper job. But with such a heavy machinery like what we have now, all highly paid - I am not that sure

  2. Three opposition members is more than I can handle - otherwise I would be wasting my time trying to fix them.

    1. They must be quite good if they cannot be left alone to self destruct like that two from SDP in the 90s, and need the PM's attention.

      The very good ones like Chiam was a gem and impossible to fix until fell by poor health.

      Nobody should be fixing anybody. All should fight their case professionally but the PAP is a bully.

  3. Why just admit the ruling party doesn't like an opposition - and get on the job? And produce results... To be dishonest and not transparent about one's real intent is really a flaw

  4. The PAP name by itself now already stinks, unlike in the past. Their manipulation of CPF is going to cost them dearly in the next election by their own greed.

    Essentially nobody likes to feel being cheated and betrayed, especially when one reaches 55 to be told that they can't be trusted with their own money. Almost like an idiot.

    Age 55 is supposed to be the right age for majority us to relax a bit and/or start enjoy retirement because of so many uncertainties in life. But PAP is more concerned we will be a burden to them, just like any unfilial son or daughter.

    If old age is going to be such a burden, then why allow new citizens & immigrants to bring in their old parents to live here ? PAP should not contradict themselves when it comes to the import of foreigners. Why we never seems to hear of new Malay immigrants but only of PRC, Indian & Pinoys arriving by thousands ?

    Looks like PAP is a pack of lies by itself.

  5. The MOST shocking thing about the interview, imho, is that he DID NOT wear a Pink shirt!!! The other shocker is that he wore BLUE, Workers Party colour. And he did it again the next day, wearing a Blue t-shirt.
    Is he switching party??

  6. If the 3 opposition PAP MPs were doing such great job, then. They should ha e just remain. As opposition.
    Anyway, history can repeat itself. We vote in an alternative e government and let LHL. Desmond and MG Chan be the 3 opposition MP and we can judge how he performs.

  7. my argument is diff from the other posters. at first I was intrigued by this argument that more check and balance and more political opposition is good for a country, improves governance. But when I looked at the empirical facts and not the ideals of check and balance, I found that there is little positive correlation between a country's well-being and check-and-balance. in fact, the correlation can run the other way as well. I look mainly at countries in the develop west, like the USA ... There is nothing about being a first world parliament by voting a few oppo mp in. The effect of check and balance deceives people (im a analyst btw, hence I got so much time for all these stuff)

    my speculation on why people believe (including peng you) believe that check and balance is good may be due to a postcolonial syndrome. Like what peng you said on his post on the income gap today, Singapore is a price-taker. Likewise, our mind is a price-taker as well. We tend to uncritically believe in the virtues of check and balance because thats what's being practiced in the west. Countries like Singapore are out of the norm, hence doomed to fail !!

    1. Thanks for your considered comment. Very interesting to observe how I am understood or misunderstood too but that is not important.

      I have many thoughts about the opposition place in governance but specifically at this time and place in the Singapore story, I think quite a few of us are using them to punish the PAP and also as a form of check on this govt unfettered power. Of course they are not completely up to the task and the government is more checked by individuals and interest groups using social media, blogs etc.,

      Unlike our parents we dare to use the vote to register our unhappiness and voting opposition is the means to send that message. Why? Because the PAP is too dictatorial. We are being taken for granted, bullied. If we did not use our votes to make them take us seriously they will have many policies that is inexplicably good for Singapore but bad for citizens....that is why I cheekily compare Pope Francis love to our Ministers and MPs "love".

      What is happening elsewhere, and how they govern themselves are for the few thinking types among us. Politics here like most places is mostly local. The post on cost of living after this post is far more important than this one.