Opposition MPs deserved to be respected
Was it a coincidence, or Media Corp read what I posted about the lack of coverage on opposition MPs in the Parliament report? Both were unlikely. It was probably their way of scheduling whose turn to appear on TV, and last night I saw Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Kiang and even Chiam See Tong’s face on the news. So strange. For quite a while, opposition MPs were somehow treated in a less friendly way by the media and also in Parliament. They were kind of like the enemies of the people, out to subvert the govt, to do the country in. They were like thugs or gangsters, probably carrying guns and acid into Parliament. In short they were up to no good and should be kept at a dismissive distance. Actually the opposition MPs are also the people’s elected representatives to Parliament. They deserve to be respected and treated with some decency and decorum. Treating them otherwise, humiliating them, spitting at them, mocking at them, etc is as good as showing no respect to the people who elected them and whom the MPs were representing. By adopting such a negative stance, it will only accentuate a deep divide among parliamentarians in the highest house of the land. We do not want our parliamentarians to drift down to a state when they hurl shoes or throw chairs at one another. The parliament is a place to contest ideas in a honourable and respectful way. It is not a place to run down one another at the slightest opportunity, right or wrong, like little boys and girls do, to look smug. Our Parliament can be a model parliament where debates and issues are discussed seriously, vehemously, and logically, where parliamentarians fight vigorously over issues instead of taking snipe attacks at one another. We are a mature first world country and our parliamentarians should behave likewise, with great honour, graciousness and humility, while pursuing their political objectives and championing the cause of the people. Chok Tong has fired the first salvo to be fairer to the opposition, to listen to their views. Let’s make this real for once. We need to grow up and behave like adults.