I found this amusing. From Channel News Asia:
Mr Goh says: “You have a choice – if having opposition is more important, then vote opposition – but if there is a way to get my views put to parliament to somebody, then vote for your interests, vote for upgrading – and your views can be put across in Parliament and if you vote for Eric Low, I can tell PM to let him be the opposition in Parliament.”
(See also “Will sparing the Whip win PAP worry wards?“)
When criticised during the recent General Elections  of a lack of checks and balances on the Government, PM Goh Chok Tong had this response – the People’s Action Forum. The group, described by the PM as a Shadow Cabinet, is to ensure more debate in parliament. However, unlike other countries where the Shadow Cabinet is formed by the Opposition, Singapore’s Shadow Cabinet will be drawn from the ruling party, with 20 PAP MPs and Ministers serving a 2-year run. The Party whip will be lifted so they don’t have to toe the party line and can even vote against party decisions.
Two points jar at me from all this:
- That upgrading these two wards would not be feasible if somehow the opposition holds on to them. But why not? Wouldn’t the opposition fight for what the ppl who voted them in want? Would the Singaporean government actually withold the monies to upgrade these areas because they are represented by the opposition?
- Understandably the opposition cannot form a shadow cabinet because they just don’t have the numbers in Parliament. So why even bother the pretense of checks and balances? Does the government really expect the ppl to believe that a PAP member would question party policies vigirously, if at all, even if they are “allowed” to?
These two “neglected” wards as described by SM Goh should not be held ransom by politics. Serving the ppl should be the ultimate objective. And in the absense of checks and balances, transparency and accountability are better than a pseudo-opposition. The Singaporean ppl are not idiots and they should be treated accordingly by their government.
[tags]Singapore, Singaporean, politics[/tags]