Hsien Loong, numbers don’t count, substance counts

‘In an interview with a group of ASEAN journalists on Thursday (4 Jun), PM Lee told the visiting foreign journalists that democratic progress comes from quality discussion in Parliament, not the number of opposition members. (He did not mention the number of ruling party members implies that without the presence of opposition members they could have good quality discussion among themselves. Is my assumption tiok or not? )

He described the duty of the opposition as one to “raise serious issues which concern the country, which offers real alternatives to the population and which then debates the hard choices which the country has to make”.

“If they do that, whether they have one member, whether they have ten members, they are good opposition,” he said. “If they don’t do that, you may have 20, 30 members, you are not being responsible. So, I would not go on the numbers. I would go on the substance of the debate.”’ TRE Editorial on 6 Jun 15

I have this bad habit of going with the flow and not to dispute what is politically right to say. So I must agree with Hsien Loong that substance is important in Parliament and not numbers. What is the point of having 87 duds in Parliament when one dud will do the same damage as 87? Similarly, one good opposition leader like Chee Soon Juan or Kenneth Jeyaratnam would be good enough, no need any more opposition members in Parliament. And on the ruling party side, one good member would be equally effective than having a full house of NGs. And this has been proven, after the departure of the pioneering leaders, there was really only one good member in Parliament and Parliament still functione as a Parliament.

Wait wait, I stand corrected. As I said earlier, I always agree with the politically right statement. Did someone say that if you have a good orchestra, even a dud conductor would not make any difference? Now does this analogy say numbers are important? Or is it numbers with substance are important? Ok, ok, I have figured this out. There is no contradiction here. Basically it is about substance. When got substance, one is good substance and many are many good substances, so can have a full house of good substance or good opposition members. You cannot be contented with one or two when you can have more with good substance to be in Parliament.

And don’t forget, Parliament is not a house for schoolboys to debate and see who is cleverer and who wins a debate for fun. It still needs the numbers to vote and pass bills into laws, if not, just to cheer or jeer or to laugh down the opponents. Ok, I never disagree. Good substance is good. But I think can have more the betterer, at least when come to jeering and laughing session, the voices and laughter would be equally loud which can be translated to be effective or at least give the impression to be so. Anyone saying never mind about voting, voting is not important, not necessary? The ruling govt can do the voting and passing of bills. That is the job of the ruling govt. The job of the opposition is merely to debate to make the Parliament looks like a democracy, got quality debate.

How many of you would agree with me? Never mind, did anyone say power logic?


Anonymous said...

By that same logic, 7m population is also not required lah. The 3.5m native Singaporeans are good substance so much so that it propelled the nation to the number #1 lists of so many times. So he can stop the import now and be content with his lot of citizens , correct?

By that same logic, we also don't need 80 pap politicians too, if 40 good substance ones are enough. Tiok Bo? The people just need to find another 40 good opposition leaders lor. Makes so much sense now,

jjgg said...

Did papa also say that? If he did, then it must be right...at last count, papa was the one who developed the library, even the sound of music, make the flowers bloom in GBTB, produce newater, build infrastructure, house the millions in hdb n keep the Gurkhas employed. If that was so...why bother having parliament n the chiak liao bees...betcha..none of those sitting in parliament today, opposition members included, could have passed pr6 exams if it was not MCQ...and mind you...we are planning T5 n Jewel....hehe (should have called it elephant instead of Jewel)

Anonymous said...

"Numbers don't count, substance counts."

Aiyah. Salary is a number tio bo.
And we have the highest paid political leader in the world tio bo. So are we getting any substance out of our Prime Millionaire?

Anonymous said...

The elephant in the Jewel at the T5.
- betcha you never see the PAP Millionaires build capacity so many years ahead for hospitals and old folks home.

What's wrong with collecting more money?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

I'll have to grit my teeth and agree with the PM.

Numbers, are what democracy is all about---rule by the MAJORITY. However Singapore is a REPUBLIC---very much straight out of Plato's "Republic", where the rule by a "Philosopher King" who acts as a Benevolent Dictator to rule and govern his "subjects".

Because he is a "thinking man", he has lot's of SUBSTANCE. (oo liao). One man, filled with substance. As opposed to many people (the mob, aka "democracy") with no substance. (boh liao).

Singapore needs to find a new Benevolent Dictator soon. The best way is for "nice guy" LHL to become more like his father. He needs to go and retrieve his dad's knuckledusters and hatchet and start doing some political bloodletting to "make his bones" and establish himself as Capo di tutti capi of our fantastic city state.

Singapore needs to be governed unilaterally...it's just the nature of the culture. Too many dunderheads all talking past each other, all competing for attention with their inane chatter...that can't work lah. Nothing would ever get done.

Singapore needs a strong icon to prevail. This individual must be able to resort to doing the most extreme, unthinkable thing to solve an issue---spilling blood and destroying lives IN AN INSTANT, for "the greater good" if necessary. This Authoritarian Giant must never letting down his guard by foolishly handing the trust of the nation over to the people themselves, by allowing them to make decisions collectively as a DEMOCRACY.

Since the authority has already determined that "democracy will destroy Singapore", Benign Dictatorship ala Plato is the most obvious political choice...i.e. the choice of NO choice. 😱

Now, before you all hantam me...ask yourself if you are as SMART at Plato? Muahahahahhaha....😈😹