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4/26/2011

PAP fears WP will block constitutional amendments

Shanmugam said, ‘…what the WP wants is the power in Parliament to block constitutional amendments and money Bills, as an interim step. The ultimate goal is of taking over the govt.’ Is there anything wrong with both objectives? It is exactly for the first objective that the people must support the WP and the opposition. Many constitutional changes have been made which were questionable and should not be allowed to go through. One major one involves the conditions to qualify to stand for the elected President. If the President is a ceremonial position, appointed to honour someone’s contribution to the country, and paid a pittance, oops, an honorarium, it is acceptable and likely that only the elites will be appointed. As an elected President, elected by the people with some executive power, no ordinary citizen shall be deprived from the privilege of standing out for the people to decide if they are good enough to serve in that office. All the elitist criteria and condition is bull. What if the constitution is amended again to state that only people who have served as a minister can qualify to be an elected President? Possible, if there is no opposition MP to vote against it. The GRC system was created out of necessity to protect minority representation. It is now a different animal with 4,5,6 or maybe more MPs in one GRC. You need to block such things from getting out of hand. The high remuneration for political office is another questionable bill. It is going out of tune and going terribly wild. It is exactly for such reasons that we need a strong opposition representation in Parliament to block constitutional amendments and money bills, to keep the system in check and in balance. For those who agreed to all the constitutional amendments, please continue to vote for a one party dominant Parliament. For those who believe that there must be checks on the what is acceptable and what is not, they must vote for more opposition representation in Parliament, to deprive any ruling party of a 2/3 majority.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."

-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President, USA.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean, you should consider the quote by Thomas Jefferson.

It is not the opposition who can effectively block constitutional amendments. They opposition could also SIDE with certain amendments which have negative impact on the people's freedom. It is more than a double-edged sword -- you could turn that sword into a weapon of mass destruction.

Therefore the argument that 'we need an opposition to block constitutional amendments' is based on a false premise -- you are giving the opposition way too much trust.

Every citizen (or at least a significant number) must be aware of and defend the constitution. When you get to that point, you will get an active citizenry who is prepared to keep the govt honest and curb govt excesses.

Don't leave constitutional defense to the politicians or even worse, trust the govt of the day or the High Court of the day to uphold the constitution.

You, the individual or we the people have to do it. Until then, you will always be a slave.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The constitution is the highest law which everyone must abide by: the government, and the governed.

Therefore the only JUST way to amend the constitution is by REFERENDUM -- i.e. the majority have to agree to a proposed amendment -- since everyone without exception must live under the rule of the highest law.

To have the parliament in-charge of constitutional change is like putting dracula in-chage of the blood bank and asking him to 'be reasonable'.

The fact that the people have allowed this to happen time and again shows clearly that they are not ready for self-governance, and that perhaps a DICTATORSHIP (of sorts) is the best system of governance/ rule.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Shanmugam is easy to figure out. He has shown consistently that the rule BY law is far better than the rule OF law. When you rule BY law, the govt simply passes legislation required for it to rule 'more effectively'.

Hence it is unsurprising when a dude like gunslinger Shanmugam, jurisprudencial heir to Jayakumar is supremely gifted in arguing for rule BY law and manages an impressive defence of media control and 'controlled press' as opposed to 'free press' to a roomful of internationals in the USA. You not only have to have big balls and big arrogance, you have to actually be a 'true believer' in that which you speak. And he does.

It is true that an effective opposition can block money bills. This is known as 'blocking supply ' or 'loss of supply' and it is the 'safety valve' of a free society which has had its freedoms stepped on too much by the govt in power.

IMO, the most effective way to do this is through the senate – like the latest US government shutdown which nearly happened 2 weeks ago. If you don't have a senate meaning that your parliament is unicameral, then actually anyone in the chamber can vote down a money bill – even members of the same party. It can happen. Recently in Hong Kong (unicameral parliament) had a bill suspended because of the threat of loss of supply.

I think that everyone should study a bit of law, just to get a feel for how a top lawyer can argue anything in his favour. One of the tricks they use is 'context dropping'. A clever lawyer knows when to drop a context and focus on a context in order to win an argument.

In this case, the law Minister has conveniently dropped the context about 'blocking money bills'. Why would anyone (in this case the opposition) block money bills or attempt to 'take over the govt?

Here's the context that was dropped: Perhaps they have come to the realization that the govt of the day has stepped beyond its limits and are attempting to pass legislation which will have serious negative impacts on the cuntry and its sheeple.

Maybe the opposition or civil dissidents in such cases are the true patriots. Maybe. Or maybe not. Like a good, seasoned lawyer, Shanmugam only plays one side of the argument – his side.

Here's the Mastercard moment:

Minister's salary: $2million
Bill to raise GST to 10% : several billion
Opposition in parliament blocks supply to stop govt raiding the sheeple's money...

....Priceless

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

At one time you need a certificate of suitability before you can read law in Spore U.

Anonymous said...

And if this goes on, you may need a certificate of suitability before you can stand for election.

Just the loss of a couple of GRCs and they will shaft more shit into the sheeples' mouth. And naive sheeples will still argue that the shit in their mouths are candies.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean, Lucky those days are gone. S'pore is one of the easiest places in the world to become a lawyer.

Many mature age people don't bother with NUS -- they read law in their spare time, and after a few years sit for the exams.

anon 242:

There are strict criteria for those who wish to stand for elections. There is, for example, the 10 year residency rule -- which will disqualify Hotel-S'poreans like myself from running (not that I have any political aspirations).

This is a damn good 'stopper' because many of the potentially good candidates (the 'brain drain' -- don't include me -- I am just a beach bum) do live overseas -- the bunch of people lambasted by the PAP as 'quitters'.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S. I would love to see the PAP lose just ONE GRC. It has never happened, and I believe, because of the unfair numbers game against the 'minority' parties, it is unlikely that a GRC will fall to opposition.

Of course, I'm hoping to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Referendum?

they don't even ask for consensus.

Rule By Law ensures perpetual and total control over sheeple, all dictators resort to this form of governance. Sin is not unique in this aspect.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Referendum?

they don't even ask for consensus.

Rule By Law ensures perpetual and total control over sheeple, all dictators resort to this form of governance. Sin is not unique in this aspect.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Referendum?

they don't even ask for consensus.

Rule By Law ensures perpetual and total control over sheeple, all dictators resort to this form of governance. Sin is not unique in this aspect.

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...

patriot,

Exactly.

Therefore #1 constitutional amendment which should be top of the list, the fundamental, the most important...stop all the shit until this is done...is to include in the constitution the LAW that no constitutional amendment is allowed until a referendum to a proposal returns no less than 75% of the vote. 75% is known as a 'super majority' -- some cuntries like Aust only require a majority -- over 50% is declared a 'win'.

Singapore's constitution as it stands does allow for popular referenda under 'special circumstances' -- e.g. if the president rejects a constitutional amendment which has been secured by the two-thirds (super) majority in the affirmative in parliament.

My lay-lawyer understanding is that 'allows for' doesn't mean that the issue 'automatically' goes up for a plebiscite vote. There is nothing to stop parliament from 'firing' the president who doesn't cooperate. This is an extreme case, but the law does allow for it.

So far there has only been one referendum – The Merger Referendum of 1962 – about the issue with a merger with Malaysia. Voter turn out: 90%. Lee Kuan Yew had big...massive problems with the Barisan Socialis who tried to 'sabo' the referendum by asking people to boycott the 'rigged' voting.

To all those spoilt young motherfuckers reading this, the folks who don't know jack-shit about their own cuntry, and who are going to the polls 'rebelling' against the PAP, for reasons that are completely illogical...take some time out and learn some fucking history about the goddamn cuntry you allowed to be stolen from you.

When I read your conversations on the Temasek Review, all I hear is a lot of complaining from fuck-nut ignorant brats who've never ever had to struggle to survive. These over fed youths have opportunities open to them their parents and grandparents couldn't even imagine. Many of them receive pocket money which even when discounted for inflation is more than what many people earned in the 1950's and 1960's.

Anonymous said...

It's an Oligarchy in Sin.

patriot

notanotherspinstory said...

"A 32-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested for saying on the Internet that he intends to burn his voting slip and ballot box on Polling Day.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that on Monday, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division arrested the Singaporean Chinese in his Ang Mo Kio home, acting on information they had received. "

Wonder what's this all about?
Is the police being too trigger happy?

Anonymous said...

Is it the fear of blocking "constitutional amendments" or more fear of putting nepotism to a stop?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I wish people would quote the yrl of stories they refer to.

http://www.straitstimes.com/GeneralElection/News/Story/STIStory_661416.html

> The man was arrested for Communicating an Electronic Record Containing Incitements to Violence, under Section 267C of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. Anyone convicted can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both. <

Yup. It falls within the code, if the court rules that 'saying that he'll burn a non-living thing' is 'violence'...which no doubt they will ;-)

anon 1116:

I don't read that much 'evil' into the conjecture of intent. I think it has more to do with the expediency.

Having parliament make the decision to constitutional amendments is more 'efficient' and 'cost effective' than referenda -- which is very expensive and resource intensive.

Efficiency and expedience might be desirable qualities when you are dealing with trying to make a price-competitive product for sale, but when passing laws I think the guiding principles should be fairness and inclusiveness.

And it could go 'the other way' – i.e. the people could sabotage themselves. The result from the 1962 Merger Referendum – the majority of people voted to be a part of Malaysia.

If Malaysia didn't kick S'pore out of the federation, you and I and the rest of the folks would be Malaysians today, and have to put up with all that racist rubbish from UMNO.

Anonymous said...

Me would gladly lives in a bigger country caused by a merger.
Hope it could happen again before me goes hell, at least me could lives the life of a jungle jim or mountain tortoise.

patriot