26 March 2008

Lessons From The Elections - Part 3 of 5

...continuing from Part 2 of 5.
So. What can Singapore learn from all these?

1. Malaysia

There is one similarity between Malaysia's Barisan National and Singapore's People's Act1on Party is that they were the ruling partying at their respective countries' independence and have been in power for the longest time.
However, just two weeks ago, BN lost it's 2/3 majority. A first in the nation's 50 years of history. If the PAP were to continue their arrogance and detachment from the people and toss us out of their elite and uncaring face, I'd say there would be some serious electoral consequences before the end of 2011.

People have been complaining about the corruption of the gahmen since day 1 but nothing serious ever arise from there to cause even a ripple in the calm waters of denial and deceit. It seems that people are numbed by it all as it didn't create too much of a problem for the people's livelihood.
However, that is just sweeping the problem under the carpet and we all know that it is only a matter of time before the proverbial time bomb goes off.

So when Dr Mahathir stepped down and Badawi took over, people's hopes were raised that perhaps for the first time, things are going to change for the better as Badawi promises the people a lot of things when he was sworn in.

Well, years later, nothing seemed to have changed. Corruption problems are still floating in the toilet bowl like pieces of defiant turds. The people were promised a secular state but time and again there were controversial verdicts in the courts that seemed to point in the opposite direction.

Even the relatively less politically vocal Indians took to the streets in protest recently, only to be met with salvos of tear gas and water cannons.

Where was the supposedly endearing PM, when Johor was severely flooded back in January 2007. Can you spell Perth?

Let's just say that even if Badawi perform as well (or as poorly, depending on how you look at it), people are still going to be disappointed as a result of raised false hope.

Anyway, this entry is not intended to point out the right-and-wrongs but what I said earlier serves to provide a little of background information for the uninitiated.

So the BN has lost control over the gahmen but it wasn't a total loss in the sense that they still retained the simple majority (50%) albeit losing the 2/3 majority which the latter could facilitate pass of any legislation easily.

There are pros and cons to that. The pro is that when the opposition has enough power, it can prevent the haphazard passing of any legislation which may be prove to be detrimental to the country overall. However, it is all good had the said issues are black and white, clear cut case. Sometimes a bulldozer approach is required for legislation addressing gray areas which means that the cons is that for some of these gray-area national issues is that the parliament may end up spending the whole day debating and nothing gets done at the end of it.

How can we apply this lesson to the Singaporean context?

Right now, the Singapore parliament consist of a miserable grand total of 2 opposition candidates out of a total of 84 parliamentary seats. Hardly any resistance or check-and-balance to speak of. Perhap, our country is the only gahmen where the PAP have to assign a few of our own party MPs to play devil's advocate which at best, is only a symbolic gesture.

Fortunately, our gahmen is a relatively clean one and I have 3 million reasons to say the PM Lee is not corrupt. Corrupt is only when it is illegal and if the Gahmen passed a bill (I am guessing by a score of 82 Ayes to 2 Nays) to give our PM Lee a salary of SGD 3 million per year from the people's money. It is thus legal and hence no corruption to speak off.

We seriously need a greater voice in the opposition to balance the parliament properly. I am not saying that PAP should be beaten but rather, a more effective measure to maintain the integrity of the gahmen by keeping everybody, PAP or otherwise, in line.

Then again, that doesn't mean we should go all out and vote in any Tom, Dick and Harry (the other one) opposition candidate, just for the sake of chalking up the numbers. One word to Worker's Party, Singapore's People Party and the rest of the opposition parties, please screen you candidates properly before fielding them let you want public ridicule and your credibility shot to bits. No flip flop slippers and no paper-misplaced-until-don't-know-go-where blur f*cks, please. Thank you.

As a consolation to Malaysia, it was not a total turn of the table like that of Ta1wan 8 years ago and last Saturday. Nothing too drastic.

I say this in the light that the Malaysian opposition as far as governing the country are still pretty green horned and untested. Trouble is already brewing in Penang and Perak where the opposition are slightly at odds with each other internally. Imagine if this bickering was not at Penang nor Perak level but at national level? Scary to even think about it. No?

A transition of power in my opinion is always better to be progressive then abrupt as in the case of Ta1wan.

Click here for Part 4 of 5 - Ta1wan.
Image Credit:;
- Voxeros

1. Ruok left...
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 8:54 am
We need more ppl like Mr Siew.

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