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Unconvincing and contradicting statements from a PAP MP

Yet another article from our State-controlled-Times (ST): Click here

Apr 19, 2011

WP’s fictional First World Parliament

 MS SYLVIA Lim’s attempt to explain what the Workers’ Party is saying exposes the inconsistencies in the WP’s position (‘What First World Parliament means: Sylvia’; April 15).

Ms Lim, astonishingly, says that WP’s vision of a First World Parliament has no reference to any particular developed country! It is obvious why she refuses to name any specific country – there is no successful model that she can point to.

On the other hand, there are numerous examples of multi-party legislatures stuck in gridlock and engaged in political theatre, while governance, the economy and the people suffer.

The WP paints a picture of a Parliament in which it would simply act as a check on the Government, in order to help it govern better. The WP would, so it says, act only in the national interests, leaving aside party interests.

No such opposition party exists anywhere in the world, because any party with such an agenda is effectively resigning itself to never being in power or forming a government.

Indeed this is contrary to what the WP says it eventually wants to do, and to the stances its MPs have taken in Parliament up to now.

If the WP really only wants to speak up in Parliament and question government policies, and act as a check on the Government, then the Non-Constituency MP scheme provides for exactly that. But in truth, the WP wants more MPs in Parliament to form a base for greater electoral success in the future.

They will act as a bloc to bargain with the Government. They will also seek to block constitutional amendments – thereby again preventing effective governance. Ms Lim has said as much publicly.

This is exactly what we see in the United States, Taiwan, Belgium and other similar systems, which the WP claims it does not have in mind.

The result? Policies which would benefit the people cannot get passed. Many thoughtful American observers lament that this is happening in the US right now. In reality, the WP’s vision is a ‘Fictional World Parliament’.

Indranee Rajah (Ms)
People’s Action Party

FORUM NOTE: The writer is an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC

________________________________________

The writer seems to suggest that Singapore has the best political system in the world, belittling countries that are far successful than we are, and looking down on the very Westminster parliamentary system our own country has modeled upon. Is this a show of arrogance and ignorance on the PAP? The question we should ask is, is our current one-party ruled (not unlike a dictatorship) system the best?

The gridlock in the US legislatures has been an easy target in putting down the 2-party system. But let us not forget that this is the robust check and debate that enables thorough justification of any policy. To quote from a reader on Straits Times: “If a legislature is stuck in gridlock, it happens precisely because the legislature is questionable. There is more chance of people suffering if such a legislature is easily passed through without resistance.” This is the system that gives rise to modern and powerful nations.

No one political system is perfect. The US government allows the great financial crisis to occur. But so did the PAP allowed Lehman mini-bonds to vaporize hard earned savings of many retirees. While those in Hong Kong were compensated by the Hong Kong government, we see no such thing in Singapore.

Too much power corrupts man, and no empire lasts forever, as history has always shown. Without any check and debate, we have ministers that do not need to claim responsibility for national threats such as escapes of potential terrorists. Without any check and debate, we have allowed an influx of foreigners threatening infrastructure overload and destroying the social fabric. Without any check and debate, we have allowed the government to increase their own wages without the citizen’s consent.

The writer claims that the WP can check on the government as a Non-Constituency MP. How can a NCMP, one without any voting rights, voice out against constitution amendments? Without any voting rights, where’s the power to check? If a NCMP can function as a MP, why else distinguish between an MP and a NCMP? The NCMP is a fallacy created to pacify desires for a true democracy and keep the ruling party in power.

Then the writer threatens the public by claiming that policies that benefit the people cannot get passed. Why would an opposition oppose a policy that the people will benefit? If a policy is beneficial, it must be articulated clearly on how it can be so. If it cannot be articulated clearly, it is obviously not convincing as beneficial. An opposition that opposes good policy risks being elected out the next election. Which rational person will then do such a thing?

It sends the shivers down my spine that such unintelligent, bias, yes-man and illogical article would be written by a MP and published by the state controlled media. Instead of arguing with logic, we see the ruling party opposing an idea for the sake of opposing—the very tactic the ruling party accuse the opposition party will undertake should they be elected into Parliament. It further extrapolates the kind of leadership we have in the ruling party.

P.S. Read how Sylvia Lim effortlessly rebut this senseless article. Click here.


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