Full time MP not a good idea

A very strange article by Rachel Chang in yesterday’s ST made me wonder why she wrote it and what made her came to such a conclusion. At the end of her piece she finally said, ‘MPs here rarely draft laws, and the scrutiny process over government Bills is brief and uncomplex compared with other legislatures…no need to travel long distances to get back to their home constituencies from the capital, nor are they required to raise huge amounts of funds for political activities…’ She took note of the Meet the People Session and the increasing workload but not enough to justify full time MP.

There is also a lack of interest among MPs and potential MPs who are successful professionals to want to give up their profession to be full time MPs. The $16,000 is just not attractive enough for the big income earners to want to become full time MPs.

So, which is the more important justification to say that full time MP is not a good idea, not enough meaningful work or the income of professionals is too good to forgo? It is understandable that top income earners would have little inspiration to want to go into politics and to sacrifice their huge personal income. But this can be resolved in two ways, one, make them ministers or ministers of state when the multi million dollar package will be fairly compatible. The other golden goose that could be a good alternative is to allow them to take up as many directorships as they like. After all the workload of an MP does not need the attention of a full time MP. A caveat is that high earning professionals will make good MPs or even ministers. The reality has proven otherwise. Professionals with their hearts misplaced can caused more harm than good.

There are other views of why people want to become an MP. Some see it as a calling, to serve the people and country, and money is not the most important thing to them. A good example is Chen Show Mao. Some may have made enough bucks and would want to do something more meaningful than just trying to fatten their bank accounts for several generations to feed on.

Seriously, who gave Rachel Chang the idea that MP’s workload is nothing more than a part time job? Actually, an MP’s job can be a part time job and also a full time job. It depends on how much the person is willing to put himself into the affairs of the state and the welfare of the people. If an MP thinks his job is to just spend a little time to meet the people, have a few walkabouts, shake a few hands and kiss a few babies, and suka suka attend a few parliamentary sessions since they are not much legislative work to do except to vote yes or no, then it is indeed a part time job. A machine could do just as fine and cheaper for sure. A machine also does not have a heart.

On the other hand an MP could be so involved in the affairs of the state and the people that there is just not enough time even for a full time MP. It is relative and how one looks at the MP job and how important is his role to better the lives of the people in his constituency and across the nation. Voting in parliament without having to think does not need much time, just 30 seconds to raise the hand.

In a way, a PM or a Minister too can be a part time job. But some will need 25 hours a day to do his job well, or still cannot do his job well. And there are MPs that are so free or so efficient that they can take on as many directorships as they like, advisory roles and full time jobs and still got time to spare to play golf or engage in their favourite past times.

What do you think, MP should be part time or full time?

Kopi level - Yellow


Anonymous said...

WOW!! $16,000 per mth and its a part time job.

Anonymous said...

"What do you think, MP should be part time or full time?"

Dear fellow Singaporeans.
Use your brains and think very carefully about this.
Who do you want in parliament to represent YOU and YOUR FAMILY?

A PAP Millionaire Minister who thinks it's a huge sacrifice to represent you and your family in parliament?
A dedicated full time MP who understands your problems because he comes from the same background you do ... and has the heart and passion to REPRESENT you in parliament. To be your voice in parliament.

Anonymous said...

I think there should be system to appraise MP. There is no incentive for MP to go into policy matters and serious debate in parliament. MP would still earn the same money if he just do routine job of listening to Ah Beng and Ah Lian woes at hdb issues. Why would MP sacrifice time to write paper and speak up in parliament. In actual fact the latter are the most value add that an MP can give. As redbean said a robot or some proxy could do the job of mps stuffs, write letters to correct deparments, it is really not a $15,000 job.
The mp salary should take into account and add weightage to contributions in parliamentary debate and proceedings. MPS sessions are just Estate Management functions and Counselling functions and not require full time, like what Rachel said.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

As an anarcho-capitalist , I believe "the less government, the better".

Therefore, with the exception of the police, emergency 1st responders, and the military, ALL GOVERNMENT should be part-time.

Anonymous said...

/// There is no incentive for MP to go into policy matters and serious debate in parliament. ///
@ January 19, 2014 12:14 pm

That is why voters have to monitor the performance of their MPs in parliament.
If a person has the heart and passion for policy matters, he will naturally enter into serious debate in parliament.

Don't outsource the quality control of MPs to the PAP.
Do your own quality control checks.
If not happy .... vote for the other candidates.

Anonymous said...

/// Why would MP sacrifice time to write paper and speak up in parliament. In actual fact the latter are the most value add that an MP can give. ///
January 19, 2014 12:14 pm

Is this the propaganda that LKY and PAP wants Singaporeans to believe?
Is an MP really powerless?
Can a PAP MP can do a lot more?

If a PAP MP is not satisfied with the leadership and competence of the Lee Hsien Loong government ... he can lead an internal party revolt and vote out Lee Hsien Loong as PAP's secretary general.

Is the following wild speculation true? You tell me lah!

But the PAP MP is unlikely to lead an internal party revolt against Lee Hsien Loong's leadership.
Is this why they are paid such high salaries ... with Singaporeans' tax money ... to buy their obedience?
Can this be true?

Anonymous said...

Simple loyalty question for all PAPigs.

If the Lee Hsien Loong government is leading Singapore down the road to ruins.
Would you continue to support the Lee Hsien Loong government?
Or would you help save your fellow Singaporeans from ruin?

Are you a PAPigs first or a Singaporean first?

Anonymous said...

What she is saying is that we do not need so many MPs. If an MP's job is not a full time job, why not make it a full time job and increase the size of constituencies each MP is responsible for and reduce the number of MPs?

Obviously the calls for increasing of productivity in the labour sector by MPs is just lip service when this is a glaring and blatant example of waste of expensive manpower in their own ranks.

Anonymous said...

Red Bean

Yellow and green means what??, just like the traffic lights?, so green means good and red means we better light up some adverts?.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi anon 2:56. Green means my kopi level ok or 3 cups. Yellow means not ok, less than 3 cups. See the little window on the top left or page.

Anonymous said...

knnbccb ... wat her opinion on the old fart kuan yew (he is my idol ...okay, i pray fore his longevity)

neber conduct mps and keep "writing" fairy tales ( must admit, sometimes true like been a traitor; a running dog for the japenis ... but he called his role as a translator)

understand some organisation keep these amongst holy books too .. anyway quite appropriate, he outlive his many advisors. he truly have the rights to claim to possess god-like powers.

knnccb ... fucking papigs ... return our cpf@55.

Anonymous said...

What can you expect from a political party founded by a Chinese guy working for the Japanese imperial army as a "translator"?

What do you call a Chinese man working for the Japanese Imperial Army in World War Two?

b said...

Of cos they must be full time and on 24 hr on call all the time just like many of us here. If they cannot give up whatever lucrative jobs they have then they are not suitable to be MPs. They have long violated their vows for working only as partime MPs.

Anonymous said...

I think someone is trying to justify that MPs no need to be full time. And on record, it is ok since many of them don't even have time to attend parliament and do not make any difference.

The truth, they don't need so many MPs and waste public money, so many appointment holders to look busy when half will do.

Paying millions with lesser jobs as more of the duties are taken over by deputies and other appointment holders.