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5/29/2009

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.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's so surprising to see more of the aging Low and Chiam? A new beginning is happening on the local political scene. Low is really getting on in years. Shows you that it is not easy to be an MP.He seems fatter. Hair lesser. Eye bag bigger. Soon, he will look like JBJ and then time to hang up his boxing gloves. In fact, all the politicians seems to be aging like crazy.

Wally Buffet.

Anonymous said...

Redbean, no one deserves respect just by being who he is. Respect has to be earned, not demanded. Low is coming to his 20th year in Parliament. Chiam has been around even longer. They should reflect back and honestly assess their performance, not just as MPs but as political figures. Have they managed to make a dent in the PAP's armour? Have they contributed to making the lives of Singaporeans better? ON all those counts and more, their performance has been abysmal.

redbean said...

given the circumstances they are in, they have done their best. they don't have a big machinery in their favour.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. There were many things they could have done but didnt, the main one being not grooming competent successors, both in their parties and constituencies. They could also have worked at uniting the opposition parties into an alliance and also using their current wards as bases to penetrate neighbouring wards. They have also failed to make a mark in Parliament, what more serve as an effective check and balance force on the PAP. I remember after JBJ won Anson in 1981, LKY started to attend Parliament sittings more often than before. That is the sort of impact Singaporeans are looking for which sadly Low and Chiam were not capable of.

Anonymous said...

We talk about wanting an opposition that can change things and are expected to do the opposition proud, but when it comes to the simple task of voting them into Parliament, only the majority living an Hougang and Potong Pasir are doing the right thing. The rest? NATO!

What great upheavals can one really expect from such sheepies?

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

I want more alternative voices in parliament to address the country's problems since many different brains make light work. But I don't want opposition in my constituency leh.

I heard from two of my relatives one each in Hougang and Potong Pasir that maintenance very bad lah. Big rats can go up to the 10th storey! How? Seems like really true because as relatives, they won't bluff me right?

Wally Buffet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally, you heard from your relatives, but I know the situation first hand, because I live right in Hougang, and sorry lah, your relatives must be big time PAP supporters out to tarnish the image of Hougang and Potong Pasir. Ask them why be so like that? Election season is not on the cards yet, and tell them not be kiasu.

I also heard from a big time PAP minister a long time ago, before opposition took control of Hougang, that if opposition wins control of Hougang, rubbish will pile up to the third storey. So far so good leh. Rubbish are cleared every day, blocks are washed every week, grass are mowned every fortnight, lift trouble attended to within the hour. No big rats and no complaints whatsoever.

Don't believe me, come and have a look. Hougang people are purely heartlanders, friendly and above all simplistic fellows, lesser mortals definitely and don't say we are mollycoddled Singaporeans because we are under the opposistion. It will help if you can speak Teochew.

Lost Citizen

Matilah_Singapura said...

This concept is especially true for people in public life, people who are seeking majority support for their ideas:

Respect is EARNED, not given

Anonymous said...

Lost Citizen,

Really meh? Then someone must be bluffing me. But I heard from some housing agents who must surely be non partisan that hdb apartments in Hougang not that hot leh. Prices also lower compared to other adjacent areas. Running a small constituency must have taken a heavy toll on poor Mr. Low. He looks beat to me. It must have been a pretty tough job providing all the necessary amenities in double quick time to appreciative residents like your good self. My MP also aged a lot but at least he still got his hair. Maybe he is in better shape because got four other jokers to share his responsibilities. Can sometimes pon tang abit ah? Don't understand why people get into politics in the first place.

Wally Buffet.

redbean said...

there is one exception, or maybe two, that MPs are ageing too fast. just look at nathan, he is getting younger by the days. and lky is not looking too bad either. i think the next few to look younger will be chok tong and boon heng. hey there is no white hair on boon heng's head.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally.

Thanks for debunking my thoroughly partisan and unreal comments. Housing agents always tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Can't blame you lah.

I admit HDB prices in Hougang are not that hot because we don't have pavilions like those in The Forbidden City, designer walkways that rival the French Riveria.

Singaporeans vote for such things nowadays, so they can enjoy the Imperial Chinese and French Standard of living right here at home. I am not too sure what things they need to put up by the next election to showcase the Swiss Standard of living that we have been craving for all these years.

But one thing is for sure, and that is, simplistic people and lesser mortals like me living in Hougang really don't understand, not to say, need such make believe things anyway. That's why we voted for the opposition continuously, election after election. Bad opposition candidates may get voted in only once, like Cheo and Ling.

By the way, HDB prices in Woodlands and Jurong areas are not that much hotter than Hougang, maybe the sea breezes over there are much stronger and cooler, making the flats not that hot also lah.

Of course it is no surprise to know that Low looks much older compared to your MP, or our PM or SM or even MM (if you want to make a stronger comparison), and has even less hair than our Finance Minister. (A thousand apologies to Mr. Low, but I was not the one who noticed your receding hairline in the first place).

Singaporeans must understand that Low faces more than 80 unfriendly people in Parliament at every sitting, so his work is therefore much, much more difficult than our PM, who has two DPMs, a MM, a SM and a couple of ministers without, I don't know what, helping him.

Who is your relatively young hairy MP by the way? With four other jokers (you said so) helping him, I can only predict he will get younger and grow more hair as he ages. No wonder some people idolise him.

I hope Redbean doesn't get angry and quarantine me for asking silly questions on his turf.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

haha Lost Citizen,

we just enjoy a little chat and quite nice of you to put things in a lighter vein.

as for your questions on what to put up in the next election, i am thinking of little sheep grazing in HDB grasslands. or some chicken coops with live chickens. you know, many of our children have not seen a real chicken in their entire life. for the presence of sheep, we can simulate or replicate a little Swiss life style.

as for the chickens? a little Joo Chiat or something like that : )

Anonymous said...

I asked my grandchildren where does eggs come from?

All of them chorused "Supermarket"!

The only chicken they have seen is a dead chicken.

But of course when they grow up, they will be seeing a lot of foreign chickens clucking around the Integrated Resorts like what they do in Macau. Singapore has caught up with the world!

Wally Buffet.

Anonymous said...

Lost Citizen,

Thanks for bringing me up to speed regarding the good things in your "kampong" You may have lesser amenities but have an MP you elected to represent you. My "kampong" has more amenities and generally I am satisfied with what is made available. I have no need to meet my MP to request for anything so don't really know what he can or cannot do. But the few occasions I did meet him socially, he strikes me as a genial man, friendly and approachable. Not all PAP MPs are like those who got into the news recently. Some are really nice people.

The thing I like about Red Bean as a blogger is that he is also friendly with a wry sense of humour. Like he said, it's good to loosen up and chat as we would if we were in a coffee shop.

Wally Buffet.

redbean said...

hi wally and all,

a blog is a place really for people to chat, even if the views are opposing. an opposing view allows us to ask, how come people can have this kind of views, or why would people have such views?

the important thing is to enjoy the chat and make some friends along the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally

I agree with you that it is good to loosen up once in a while, and what better way than a little dose of humour.

I also agree with you that Redbean strikes me as friendly and frank in his views, that's why I like to visit his blog.

Honestly, I met my MP personally only once, when he came house visiting (no, not before election time) during my 23 years stay in Hougang, but saw him often at functions at the senior citizen's corner below my block, 'kampong' spirit style. I attended many of his election rallies over the years. Low is quite a friendly guy though he appears stern in Parliament. Have really no complaints about him. He did his job relatively well, within the constraints of his position.

Lost Citizen

Housing Agent said...

As a housing agent (and also opposition supporter) I can tell you that the only reason why flats in HG and PP are lower are because they are older flats. Agents know the valuation of older flats are always lower. You compare the price of flats with Yew Tee and Sengkang, of course the price of flats there is higher. If Sengkang ends up with the opposition, valuation will still be high. You may also want to know that in areas like Jurong West the flat prices are even lower, and they belong to PAP wards.

redbean said...

hi Housing Agent, welcome to the blog.

yes your points are objective and valid. the lifespan of flats also determine the prices.