‘We should be more outspoken in speaking up on issues, not just in Parliament but also separately in our constituencies. Each MP would have to raise his own profile; we need to be more politically astute rather than just being implementors on the ground.’ - Baey Yam Keng
The above is the feedback from Baey Yam Keng on the last GE and what went right and wrong and what needs to be changed. What he said is the need for an MP to be himself, to be noticed as an individual leader, to have a voice and a view. So far, the political system under the PAP has been putting the PAP first and the rest of the MPs subsumed under the brand and become nondescripts. They have not much of an identity, not much of a view except those of the collective view or position of the PAP.
Perhaps the current state of affair is a legacy of the past, when anyone can become an MP, literate of illiterate, donkey or genius. In those situation, it was better that they be shut out and said nothing, just towed the line before they confused everyone and talked nonsense thinking that they were immortals.
Today the whole game has been changed. The PAP MPs in particular, are the best of the best, the best that the PAP can find in the island. They are the most talented and with leadership qualities in their blood. Many were even scholars with the best academic report cards comparable to the best in the word. It is a pity and a waste to keep them in the bottle, not allowing them to speak up and prove that they are really great leaders, with an ability to think independently. With their qualifications and the stringent selection criteria, every one of them should rightly be good enough as ministers if needed be.
I agree with Baey Yam Keng that such great talents must be allowed to shine and be seen and adored by the people. The only slight problem is that if they speak too freely and express contrarian views to PAP’s official position, it may be a bit difficult to swallow. And it could be worst when they are expected to vote for policies which they spoke vehemently against in public only to tow the line. It can undermine their integrity and sincerity or look hypocritical.
By all means, it is still a good suggestion to have these great talents speaking out more freely and more often instead of ‘no comments, it is party policies’.