Our parliament is still pretty tame compares to those in Taiwan or Japan or even India. But then again, it is always good to go fully prepared in case things get a bit rough. I have briefly listed down some items that MPs, particularly opposition MPs, should bring along as a survivor kit to Parliament. But before that, MPs must note that no firearms are allowed, not even firecrackers. No bottles containing liquid, no scissors or sharp objects.
Okay now for the list of survivor kit.
1. A comprehensive list of notes and research material on the subject in discussion. A dictionary will also be helpful, or an electronic translation machine in case they speak in another official language that one cannot understand. Important thing is to know the subject matter well even if it is a discussion on judgement call or an arbitrary recommendation. A slip can be fatal.
2. Related to the above, a mobile phone is essential and make sure that there are some well informed assistants waiting to assist on call, when one is cornered. Get them to sit beside a computer with access to Wikipedia and Wikileaks to pull out information asap to make a proper defence when under attack.
3. Tape recorders. I did mention this. I remember there is another gadget in the market that gives a loud and long laughter by simply pressing on it, and I think this can be a good substitute to pretend to laugh at the enemy. Those comedy clips in TVs use this very often and very effectively.
4. Mirrors or pak kwas to deflect hostile and evil stares. The pak kwas will boost once confidence against more superior enemy, psychologically or spiritually.
5. Protective body gears. Maybe not needed with the present friendly ethos of verbal debates. Hope our Parliament will never see the days of those in Japan and Taiwan.
6. Sleeping bag in case the speaker refuses to stop. Just a precaution. But probably not necessary as there is a time keeper to keep everyone to 15 mins, I think. An inflatable pillow will do as some speaker can be real boring, or if one had a late night.
7. A mask. I think this will be useful so that no one can recognize you outside of Parliament. Just in case. It would be helpful for those who needed to doze off for a few minutes as well.
8. I think a thick skin is also important so that one does not feel embarrass too easily for saying the wrong things. This one is hard to buy.
9. Acting skill is a great asset, to pretend to laugh or to be emotional and cry. Crying is very effective and used very frequently. A greater art is choking, the precise moment before breaking into tears. The pause, the veins popping out on the face, the voice breaking, a little trembling, will make be perfect to win the hearts of the audience. A show of passion and zeal. It will be a class act. Get some training from MediaCorp.
10. Oratory skill is a must. Debating skill will come in handy. The main aim is to win an argument. Pick up the little mistakes the enemy makes and bite into it, don’t let go. Keep chewing on it to make it hurt. Use a bit of body language to bolster the effect.
11. As physical fighting skill is not permissible, a steely stare can be very effective to kill the enemy or make him urinate in his pants. There is a whole art to this skill, penetrating, timing and how to squint the eyes to increase the damage.
12. Make use of technology like videos and put it on the net for the public to see, over and over again, on how good one’s debating skill is and how bad is the enemy. If this can be put on air in the main stream media the viewership will be bigger and the effect multiplied. But a word of caution. Do not over kill or it may backfire. A video clip of real combat serves to improve one’s position and to destroy the credibility of the enemy when one is on the upper hand.
13. Not to forget, Vitamin B Complex to stare calm and compose and not getting too stress up. Relax and enjoy the session. Don’t be too serious. A cool mind can think better and not to get carried away and comes out looking like a gangster in Parliament.
The above list is not exhaustive. Political parties often have their own secret moves, recipes and tactics to defeat the enemy. It will be good if political parties have the resources to send their MPs overseas to learn from them, learn new and untested tactics to surprise the enemy.
Attending Parliament is not attending a tea party and there are risks and hazards. If one can find an excuse, it is better not to attend. Apply for leave to attend company business and overseas trips will be a better excuse. Board meetings may also be important enough for not attending Parliament sessions. Correct me if I am wrong. I have never been to Parliament so my knowledge on the intricacies of Parliament is just guessing, an educated guess at most.