Monday 16 Jan 2011 could be the most significant day in the history of Singapore politics. It is a day when the grossly overpaid compensation package of the ministers, a world record that belittles all other records in the Guinness Book of Records, will be put under the microscope. It could be expected that every single dollar paid under the system will be questioned. But one thing for sure, the world record will stand at least for another 4 years.
What is important is that the ruling govt will have to defend its position and justifications for the high salary at a time when its credibility is under question. It is also a time when there are more than 2 opposition party MPs sitting on the opposition bench, and with everyone of them equally and professionally qualified, to challenge the crème de la crème of Singapore’s hard nose elite.
The whole bunch of PAP MPs will be closely watched on what they say, what they defend, what they stand for and their value system. This will be a day when the truth of what they represent will be hung up for all the people to see. How real are they will determine their fortune in the next GE if they are still around. Who knows, some may feel so embarrassed and may be pricked by their conscience to want to quit prematurely than to go through it till 2016.
What is of great concern is that the people will also be watching the opposition MPs closely. Will they measure up to the PAP? Are they meticulous and reasonable in their disagreement with the high salary recommendations? Are they good enough to form the base for a bigger opposition in the next GE and even to win the next election? They have a tough job and a heavy responsibility to prove to the electorate that they are worth their trust to represent them and are as good as the ruling party in intellect, and better morally, to be the next govt.
The media, mainly the professional reporters and journalists, have an arduous task of keeping the people informed of every pertinent things said by every MP in Parliament, to provide a clean, objective and unbiased account of the debate in Parliament. They too are being watched.
This is the Battle Royale the people are waiting for, with an equally sensitive and emotionally charged agenda on the table. But the people must accept that the battle is strongly against the opposition MPs in numbers. The only big gun they have is the conscience of PAP MPs and the power of the people who will be gunning for justice and equality and will not be forgiving if the PAP MPs proved to be a disappointment. They will be judged by the people, not by any KPI the PM handed to them at his discretion. It is the people’s KPI, the people’s expectation of what is a good MP and what the people want, not what the PM wants.
This is the real KPI that is under scrutiny, the KPI that counts, would not pay them more bonuses, but the electorate will reward them with another term, or they are fired.