Revelation of the MPs
In the follow up to the changes to the political system that is akan datang, ST has a full page report of the views of the ruling MPs on these changes. And the revelation is quite enlightening. Teo Ser Luck said this, 'We will be thinking in terms of national interest, and less about putting things across because of political points.' He was referring to the Govt Parliamentary Committees which were trying to serve as a check on govt policies in the absence of a significant opposition presence in Parliament. Both Ser Luck and Amy Khor probably share the same view that it would be a step back if PAP MPs were to censor their views just to toe the party line. For all these years, how much of the MPs views were party lines or to score political points and how much were based on national interests? The two positions may or may not be in conflict, but at times they could. The other interesting quote from Amy is that, 'When a PAP MP criticises govt policies, he or she is not doing it just for criticism's sake or playing to the gallery.' Well said, Amy. How many had been guilty of criticising for criticism's sake or playing to the gallery? Anyway, what is the point of having opposition views when they have no right to vote against the bills? Opposing views for the sake of opposing views or playing to the gallery of the public eyes? Can this be all there is to it? This is best answered by Charles Chong who said, 'Currently, MPs can say whatever they want,...The Party Whip - applies only during voting.' This simply means that the MPs can make all their opposing views, but when come to voting they must vote for the party line. Doesn't this smack of hypocrisy? When one is so against a policy but must vote for the policy? What is not very enlightening in the report is the comment by Dr Gillian Koh. She said, 'Gone are the days when opposition can say there are so few opportunities. No longer would that excuse be there.' She was referring to the increase of single ward seats from 9 to 12. Hmmm, what kind of logic is that? Didn't she know that once all the seats were single wards? So it is a great concession after taking away all the single seats and now say you can have 3 more from 9? Better say a big thank you to the govt for being so generous and magnanimous.