The Online Citizen

New NMP had joined Young PAP “out of curiosity”

July 12
12:34 2009

The following article is taken from Today.

PN Balji

IN A country where lines get blurred in so many areas, Nominated MP aspirant Calvin Cheng’s decision not to resign his Young PAP membership the moment he launched his bid to enter Parliament is understandable.

If those lines were clearly drawn into our collective DNA, I am quite sure Mr Cheng would have officially cut his links with the youth wing of the ruling party the moment he had made up his mind that he wanted to enter Parliament.

He did that only after a Today report highlighted the issue on Wednesday.

This 34-year-old media entrepreneur must have felt all that was needed was to be honest and upfront with the high-level committee that sifts through NMP applications and picks people it thinks will make a contribution to debate in Parliament. Mr Cheng says that he told the committee he was an “inactive member” and that the committee did not question him on this.

In defending his decision subsequently, he said his Young PAP membership expired two years after he joined the political organisation in 2006 and that he never even bothered to pick up his membership card. Now here is the real rub. He joined the Young PAP out of … you need to be ready for this word … curiosity.

Let me quote from a letter he wrote to Today: “I joined YPAP in 2006 when I visited the Teck Ghee PAP branch with a friend, and I signed up out of curiosity. Due to many reasons, I never returned.”

My, my … what does this say of this intelligent young man who graduated from Oxford and wants to be a member of the highest and most august chamber in Singapore?

Shall we dismiss this curiosity episode as a case of boyish candour?

I would have not bothered much if Mr Cheng had added this line in his letter: Looking back, I realise how wrong I was to treat my application to join an organisation like the YPAP in such a cavalier manner.

The burden is now on Mr Cheng; he has to prove to Singaporeans that the decision by the Special Select Committee, which includes two ministers and several backbenchers, to pick him is not misplaced.

As for the Young PAP, perhaps it needs to make sure that the people who want to join it do so for the right reasons and not for whimsical reasons like curiosity.

A veteran journalist, P N Balji is now the director of the Asia Journalism Fellowship, a joint initiative by the Temasek Foundation and the Nanyang Technological University.

Read also: 5 out of 9 new NMPs list MM Lee as their “favourite politician”.


Mr Calvin Cheng in the Straits Times:

  • blackfeline

    we should grill e select commitee! Did they picked him out of curiosity as well?

  • smallvice585

    I will still hold my guns on Calvin’s performance although I am curious why his YPAP membership did not ring an alarm among the NMP Selection Committee members since NMPs are supposed to be non-partisan. We need more transparency on the NMP selection process.

  • smallvice585

    Hi Andrew Loh #3,

    What about the other NMP Terry Lee? He is the President of the Singapore Insurance Employee’s Union and a member of the NTUC Central Committee. I find it hard to believe that a high-ranking NTUC member is not a PAP cadre.

  • Nothing surprising

    It is understandable that NMPs are not the anti gahmen type, in the likes of Chee Soon Juan, Tang Liang Hong or JBJ. I think they would not even have passed the first screening.

    You must also understand that not many people, if at all , who really want to speak up and make a difference want to be an NMP. Because it would be futile to do it as an NMP.

    Hence in order to fill the quota for NMPs, they will have to choose the “best available”. Hence don’t be surprised by the choices.

  • Andrew Loh

    Sorry I deleted my comments accidentally. Here was what i said:

    Calvin Cheng’s name was submitted by the Select Committee to the president on 6 July.

    On the same day, 6 July, the list of new NMPs was approved.

    He resigned from the Young PAP on 9 July – after his name was approved.

    Would he have resigned from the Young PAP if he had not been appointed as NMP? And if he was just an “inactive member” of the Young PAP, why did it take so long for him to resign – after he has been appointed NMP, in fact?

  • ErniesUrn

    Beginning to see the doubts in some of the NMP selection. Alternative voices looks like another wayang kulit. There are always some connection with PAP. Conflict of interest starts to creep in. If one of the NMP’s would be Mr.Tan Kin Lian, I would garantee you, people would immediately have faith in him, not only as an alternative voice, but and opposition voice. Similiar to Mr. Siew Kum Hong’s pattern of speech or Ms Slyvia Lim. NMP must ask serious, strong and impactful questions for the government to answer.

    Mr. Siew KH and Ms. Slyvia Lim have quite set the bar on questioning or government, I hope these NMPs not just give us a wayang show. Do it with conviction and for the reason of ensuring that they are voices for the weak, the monority, and building a democratic society to be upheld.

    Be a first world politican. Prove to society that YOU ARE NOT like that of those MPs who doze off in parliment, who are third world politicians, who are elitist and who are there to take cover behind other MPs.

    Alternative voices… We’ll put your actions to the test.

  • to Andrew Loh

    i suppose young PAP is his backup? what do young PAPers do? suck more money?

  • ErniesUrn

    But after all said. It’s still better to vote in the opposition. :)

  • zachary

    Mr. Siew KH and Ms. Slyvia Lim – it’s a shame other NMPs fought little for the masses but only for own benefits and vendettas. i saw online Ms. Jessie Phua spoke the least and attended the least gahmen debates for 2006-2008!

    Jessie Phua spoke or asked questions 11 times

    Feb 2009 Budget – Min of Community devt, Youth and Sports
    Mar 2008 Budget – Min of Education
    Feb 2008 Foreign Sports Talents Scheme
    Jan 2008 Singapore rowers and national athletes (review of saftey rules and insurance coverage)
    Apr 2007 Application for citizenship by foreign athletes
    Apr 2007 Male students re-taking GCE A-level (deferment or disruption from National Service)
    Mar 2007 Budget – Min of Community devt, Youth and Sports
    Mar 2007 Budget – Min of Education
    Feb 2007 Budget statement

  • zachary

    just quoting, anybody can verify this or is this a joke? i don’t quite believe.

    “Anonymous said…

    Wow can’t believe it!
    the other troll, The Lady Melissa is actually one of the new nominated members of parliament (NMP) hahaha
    Well granted, he is an Oxford PPE graduate..
    July 11, 2009 9:27 PM”

    explicitly hints at the identity of the elitist blogger.

  • Spirit-centred

    NMP scheme is just training ground to give disqueit and aspiring young pap members opportunity to show their talent in parliament so as to keep them entrenched in the party, so no question of them leaving the party after their curiosity dies down. At the same time, pap can cherry pick to field them in the next election. Very shrewd move by the young lee, no wonder he propose NMP to be permanent forever.

  • smallvice585

    If NMP Scheme is used to piggyback PAP cadres into Parliament, this smacks of the Chinese-style one-party state. Bye bye democracy.

    People might be interested NMP Terry Lee’s involvement in the Labour Movement. Looking at this record, I find it hard to believe he was not a PAP cadre and whether he remains to be a PAP cadre.

    1982- President, Singapore Insurance Employees’ Union

    1997- Member, NTUC Central Committee

    2006-2009 Board Member, Central Provident Fund Board

    1996-1997, 2009-2010 Member, Industrial Arbitration Court Employee Panel

    2009-2010 Member, National Wages Council

    2009 Chairman, NTUC May Day Dinner

    2008-2011 Vice-Chairman, NTUC Scarlet City

    2007- Member, CPF Life

    2007- Member, Tripartite Implementation Workgroup on the Employability of Older Workers

    2007-2011 Co-Chairman, NTUC Membership Committee

    2007-2011 Co-Chairman, NTUC Industrial Relations Committee

    2003-2007 Chairman, NTUC Jobs and Productivity

    2003-2007 Vice-Chairman, NTUC Membership Committee

    1998-2002 Member, Singapore Productivity and Standards Board

    2002-2003 Member, Medifund Advisory Council

    1998-1999 Member, Government Parliamentary Committee for Labour

  • blackfeline

    at the end of the day..i think his agenda is not unlike someone b4…to elevate himself in the social high flyers arena..improve our self image? my foot!

  • Jc

    NMP is supposed to be a gd scheme. However, if the selection are for thsoe with similar thoughts with the MP, it fails to do what it sets out to be. Allowing alternative voices. I am dissappointed that SkH are not appt again for the 2nd term. And if the parliament debate ends up singing the same songs by the NMP and the MPs, it is really just another wayang show.

    Well I guess at the end, it is our vote of confidence to the party that really counts, isn’t it. SG has become mature and sophisticated. If this persists, i think it is possible that the rating is just continue to slide futher. For that, time will tell.

  • ruka

    we like to complain about singapore environment doesn’t encourage young people to be politically active. from the comments above, it seems like it’s not the government that’s being harsh on engaged youth, but his fellow peers.

    let’s say an engaged youth feels sufficiently interested / curious about politics to bother signing up for a political party.

    scenario 1: he joins YP. he is active in it. he has some views that are critical of PAP that he wants to take to a higher level. he applies to be an NMP. the select committee lets him through. the people doesn’t — labels him as partisan, boos him off the NMP stage.

    scenario 2: he joins YP. he is not active in it as he found it not be suitable for him. he applies to be an NMP. the select committee lets him through. the people doesn’t. same as above.

    scenario 3: he joins workers’ party youth wing. he is active in it. he applies to be an NMP. the select committee lets him through. the people applauds him. forget about double-standards.

    anyhow i think it’s what the nmp say in parliament that’s important, not where they come from. after all, we have Minister who came from Roundtable, aka roughly an offline version of TOC, who are now saying more conservative things than his fellow ministers.

  • Tan Yeong Hong

    PAP’s credibility is being torn to shreds in the Internet Age.

    I’ve torn the Police Force’s credibility to shreds,and am now in the process of tearing IMH’s credibility to shreds. :D

  • BS

    this young man is smart, he joined ypap to forward his career, now he just have to suck up at parliament sessions as nmp…woah.. great way to grow his status and business.

  • The Sketch Times

    Did he hide his PAP membership or did the select committee ask about his past PAP membership? Hmmmm Does it matter? :)

  • mightmouse

    this guy is indeed shrewd. but hey, he did not list MM LEE as his favorite politician. besides, Oxford educated should be 10 times smarter and perform 10 times better than his locally ed critics here.

  • aiyoyo


    another abang scenario?

    tired of these type of elites,

    not sure how next generation going to survive the world outside red dot?


  • Star7

    Did they ever state WHO were on the selection committee?

    I fear that the selection committee wasn’t “independent” in the first place.

    How would a “independent” selection committee selection “independent” NMP then?

  • Ganga

    I’m sure the sequence of events would have been exactly the same if it was Young WP instead of Young PAP…

  • Ganga

    I had included tags for sarcasm in my earlier post but they did not appear… fellow readers, please take note.

  • Gilbert Goh

    If he is not from Oxford will he be selected?

    Another case of putting eliteism above passion.

    We dont need more elite just people with a heart to serve others. They must also have stay in HDB before and take buses/MRT to work.

    I always wonder how the elite can understand the aspiration and struggles of the common people?

    They dont even know the smell of a pink slip in the letter box asking for town council or phone bill payment!

  • There is prestige in being whatever MP

    Must change name card to include Nominated MP below name. At least for a few years. Prestigious!

    After all, how many only? Limited collection what. Including elected single seat MPs, elected GRC (ride on coat-tails) MPs, walkover MPs, opposition MPs, NCMPs, NMPs less than 100 only in the whole of Singapore!

    Isn’t it prestigious?

  • tom

    boy oh boy……the name list of Nominated MPs are getting “exciting”.

    PAP is always looking out for “immaculate candidate” with “immaculate family members”.

    If then, how is Jocelyn Yeo & Beatrice Chia got nominated? (Maybe desperately to fill the quotas as someone mentioned).

    1) Jocelyn Yeo (former swimmer): Her dad was convicted for molesting.

    2) Beatrice Chia: Her husband, Mark was ex-husband of Vernetta Lopez.

    It might not matter to the public if they are just any ordinary people but in PAP politics, it Does.

    Who are the panel of judges for NMP?….It’s better for them to judge Singapore Idol instead.

  • KopitiamApek

    24) Gilbert Goh
    ///We dont need more elite just people with a heart to serve others. They must also have stay in HDB before and take buses/MRT to work.
    I always wonder how the elite can understand the aspiration and struggles of the common people?
    They dont even know the smell of a pink slip in the letter box asking for town council or phone bill payment!/////

    Ya, it is good they have walk the path to know. “You never know what it is like until you are in one’s shoe and walk around in it” as Atticus said in To Kill A Mockingbird.

    But I wonder Kenneth Jeyaratnam (the one currently being hero-worhipped on the other TOC topic), CSJ (the one now safely exiled in another country and taking pot shots at us stupid cowardly people who stayed behind), et al, also lived in HDB and take the bus etc?

  • joker

    Can the forumer help check NMP Joscelin Yeo. Is she one of the grand child of Wee Kim Wee?

  • Sha

    I agree with Gilbert.

    As a leader, you need to have a vision and perhaps, the interview could have done more justice by asking about the visions of the nominated people.

    His biggest achievement was to enter Oxford; I wonder how well he is able to relate to people.

  • What is the effect

    I also wonder, what would be the effect of all NMPs coming from Young PAP or PAP related background in terms of ….. well, i am sure u all know what i mean….

  • kingfisher

    Whoa! YPAP membership must have been ticket/passport to NMP post lah!

  • TIm

    What’s wrong with curiosity? you guys are making too big a fuss out of this.

  • pancake

    I think there’s comcerned that he joined NMP out of curiousity too. Or to further a personal agenda.

  • dfdfdsfdfd

    why he did not just want to run for real election and dnt be a nmp?

    or pap have not chose him yet for the real election?

  • Pacho


  • man against the tank

    just like a visa card…members do have privileges…

  • Mopo

    I think he told select committee he was an inactive member and they didnt think it was a problem. Low thia kiang is one of the members, wonder whether he opposed it.

    anyway, balji’s article is stupid and childish…to pick up on the word curious and hammer it. curiosity is a good thing like pple here said.

  • mice is nice

    good 1, now all jobseekers should also say the same when asked: “why do you want to join this company?”

  • Daniel

    You people worry too much. The new batch Pappies-appointed NMPs might just ask wonderful and practical questions.

    Question such as :
    - How come we don’t have street, road and MRT after LKY, GCT, HoJinx and Sissy Loong ?
    - HoJinx has graciously stepped down, shouldn’t we award her medals for her great contribution to Singapore reserves ? I mean if it is others running Temasek, we will have lost all our reserves. The fact that she only lost few billions in our reserves show how smart and business-savvy Hojinx is.
    - How come we only lost $58 billions by Temasek holding not $100 billions ? Doesn’t that mean Temasek still conservative and do well within its benchmark ?
    - How come our government is so kind to give rebates and progressive package ? Will that not develop crutch mentality for the citizens ? The citizens are not elite not us who will not develop complacency and crutch mentality. We are highly educated and worth every penny compare to the pathetic citizen.
    - How come the gahmen’s salary on the whole, including me, NMP’s salary, still not look as attractive as the private sector ? Can we peg it against the private sector just like our ministers ?
    - How come the citizen like to complain and whin about minister’pay and NMP’s pay ? Shouldn’t we come out law to arrest those who repeatedly question the garmen’s moral right and entitlement to unlimited paycheck ?
    - The MRT is still not packed like sardine, can we request government to allow more foreigners here to improve the GDP as well as to make each trip of MRT fully utilized ?
    - Most importantly, when is the gahmen’s next salary increase, and how much ? The more the better, least we get corrupted.

    Your honour, with that kind of high-quality questions asked, no wonder the NMP’s scheme will ever be so successful ! And the questions asked are so much better than those of ex-NMP Siew !

  • Ganga

    Bugger replied in a letter to TODAY to defend his position and mildly attack Balji.

    “I am curious all the time”

    “…shortly after, on the same night, I verbally told Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Chairman of Young PAP of my intention to resign.

    Due to the fact that offices were already closed, and also a technical issue about the exact status of my membership (whether I was a member of the General Branch or of the Teck Ghee Branch), I was only able to email my resignation the very next morning on Wednesday.

    By no means was it cavalier, or whimsical; unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from doing so. I am curious about what may have happened, if they hadn’t, but on the other hand it was no bad thing that I got busy with civic groups instead; civic groups that initial curiosity led to eventual involvement (with).

    It is this same curiosity that I hope I will bring with me to Parliament as a Nominated Member, to question things as often, and as impartially and objectively as I can.”—I-am-curious-all-the-time

    He tried to first do damage control by saying he personally told Teo Ser Luck of his intention to resign and tried to get the resignation done the night of the interview. Then he says logistical problems such as not knowing which branch and already night time so cannot get it done in time. Sounds more like an appeal letter that offers lame excuses, IMHO.

    Then he goes on to write an essay about curiosity – defining it and adding quotation after quotation – before concluding that curiosity is a necessary human trait.

    Fella misses the point (intentionally?) that Balji’s critique is about the fact that any curiosity should have been to find out about Young PAP BEFORE joining and not join as a member only in name. A curious but sincere person would have terminated their membership once they realised they could not contribute – for whatever reasons. Same goes for the NMP position, you need to go in with a firm position yourself and not for pupilage purposes, otherwise the term of office (2 years) is just for learning – which is a waste of the seat and taxpayers’ money.

    I also noticed that for all his essay-writing skills, he did not elaborate on the ‘civic groups’ he ‘got busy with’ that prevented him from being actively involved in the Young PAP – one can only speculate that either there were none or they were hardly significant involvement.

    Overall, not a good impression as this newly minted NMP of questionable impartiality has preferred to defend his words and actions when shit hit the fan rather than be honest and forthcoming with the details.

  • Daniel

    This guy’s answer is so superficial. Why not he just be honest and tell us that he just want money in the bank and maybe we will understand.

  • lego

    Notice that this guy stresses his Oxford University degree. He wants to project the image that he is “smart”. I think he wants to command respect from people.

    Why wasn’t Mr Tan Kin Lian nominated??? Is PAP afraid that he may grill them in Parliament?? This NMP scheme is all a big wayang….to ensure that PAP stays in power.

  • tiredsingaporean

    #41) Daniel

    Daniel, this guy can’t even bluff professionally, wonder how he can even get himself into parliament to talk, maybe just trying to fill up those vacant seats only lah.

  • seebeng

    The select committee is composed almost of PAP. Who heads the committee? Why the PAP controlled media is silent over this important question that lingers in the minds of the people?

    The NMP scheme is anachronistic, going back to the British rule when successful local businessmen/cronies were appointed by their colonial masters to legislative councils/assemblies to check the surging tide from the people for freedom and democracy.

    Similarly, the PAP autocrats are trying their level best to postpone the yearning of the citizens for a open, forward looking, creative and innovative society. .

  • gemami

    It is understandable that NMPs are not the anti gahmen type, in the likes of Chee Soon Juan, Tang Liang Hong or JBJ. I think they would not even have passed the first screening”: Nothing surprising.

    The point is this: that being a part of the PAP (via its many tentacles) is the first step to passing the screening test.

    All in all, we should not even be discussing the NMPs. Who can say with certainty that having the NMPs is what the citizens want? I sincerely hope former NMPs like Jessie Phua and Siew Kum Hong can put this to the test by standing for the next election as independent candidates. This will be a good gauge to see what the citizens think of the NMPs and whether these NMPs have made a difference to their well-being that are worth crowing about. What’s the point of being paid to question the government if that is all they do in their years in office?

    No JC, NMP was never a good scheme for the people. It is only good for the government – to hoodwink us into believing that they care enough to listen to alternative views.

    ruka ; being curious and signing up with a political party is very much different from being curious and get selected to be an NMP. Wise people have taught us that “curiosity kills the cat”. Will his curiosity as an NMP kill the people? I worry.

  • john

    This dude is smart and knows where his bread is buttered. If he really
    want to contribute to the political discourse and development, why join
    the PAP? He should be an activist with WP or even better the SDP. He must have
    thought there must be some beneficts derived by joining the ruling party and also
    believe in their party politics. I don’t buy that he join out of curiosity.
    Perhaps,when he wasn’t invited for tea, the next best thing would be the
    backdoor NMP.

  • Yang

    Hello brothers / Sisters, just let him continue to do wayang in the parliament or call him to step down now. A show is a show in this scheme. So remember to vote for opposition in this coming election.

  • Harry

    It is now so obvious that the emperor will not want to listen to those who dare to tell him that he has no clothes on. So he banished those truthful and patriotic souls and surround himself with yes-man opportunists. Sad very sad indeed that the once mighty PAP has to stoop so low to cling onto power. They have not only lost their moral high ground, they are playing cheats.

  • Daniel

    tiredsingaporean ,

    “Daniel, this guy can’t even bluff professionally, wonder how he can even get himself into parliament to talk, maybe just trying to fill up those vacant seats only lah.”

    but then since when the PAP cronies and sycophant manages to bluff convincingly. The only time they can bluff pathetically is in the Kangaroo Times, aka Shitty Times. In the web, all their lies and bluff can expose easily and we doesn’t even need a university degree to expose them, let’s alone a Oxford one.

    “wonder how he can even get himself into parliament to talk,”

    Hmmm, since our clowns like to worship those from prestigious university, he will have no problem seeking attention. All he need to do is to follow Thio Su Mien’s footstep stating her credentials asserting why she deserves attention and respect.

    he can just say:
    “Just listen to me. I deserve to be heard and respect because I appear in Page 73 of some Oxford’s book. I am Oxford Alumni today, tomorrow and in history.”

  • smallvice585

    Where is his humility?

  • Doublespeak

    Actually why nobody question the motives of PN Balji who wrote this article? Not that I am defending Calvin what’s his name.

    Whatever reasons Calvin what’s his name joined YPAP we will never know. And that’s the point. It’s only conjecture. Balji’s article is also just his own conjecture.

    But he obviously wants to damage someone’s credibility, and I wonder why?

  • Ganga

    50) smallvice585 on July 13th, 2009 3.14 pm

    Where is his humility?

    Simple. Left (whatever little there was to begin with) behind at OXford lah!

  • mice is nice

    curious people who wish to be NMPs should not get a single cent from taxpayers. just give them 3 months to satisfy their curiousity & let a person who is more deserving take the seat.

  • Jason

    can anyone tell me who’s on the select committee? thanks.

  • i_am_also_curious

    This -I am just Curious- response by Calvin Cheng allows the public a sneak peak into his character.

    The public is not stupid. If a mistake had been made, come clean and admit it.

    We wonder whether the inactive young PAP affiliation brought him any benefits, tangible or otherwise?

    We wonder if he had used his inactive young PAP affiliation in any manner in business or personal dealings?

    You can’t brush everything off by saying, I am just curious.

  • Jason

    anyway you guys think Eunice Olsen will come into the next GE as a full-fledged candidate, joinining parliament as an ELECTED MP?

  • Mopo

    Yes. I think she will don white and be a PAP MP. If I am not wrong she may also be with the YPAP.

  • Doublespeak

    Excerpt taken from SKH’s blog
    The Members of the Special Select Committee were nominated by the Committee of Selection, with Speaker as ex-officio Chairman. The Committee comprised the following:

    Chairman: Mr Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker)

    Mrs Lim Hwee Hua
    Mr Low Thia Khiang
    Mr Mah Bow Tan
    Mr Masagos Zulkifli BMM
    Mr Michael Palmer
    Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong
    Mrs Josephine Teo

  • SM Tan

    Did Mr NMP ‘leading expert on fashion modeling in Asia’ edit his own wikipedia?

    He certainly brands himself very well, associating himself with ‘Cindy Crawford,Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bündchen amongst others’ in his wiki entry.

    He certainly takes a lot of credit for having ‘founded and managed agencies in up to ten cities, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Tokyo.[citation needed] And ‘During Cheng’s term, Elite opened agencies in Bombay, New Delhi, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Shanghai.[citation needed]‘

    Please note Mr NMP : Citation Needed!!!!

    Also, it was nominated for deletion on several occasions.

    Quoted ‘most are directory entries, press releases, and a few others which are irrelevant. Although the sources in the article recognise he is the head of Elite Asia, are all trivial mentions or rentaquotes. Most of the details in the
    article appear therefore to be unverifiable.’ Nice try Mr NMP.

    Quoted’He’s quoted once or twice in a few articles about Asian
    fashion. Getting quoted once in a while does not mean notability — there are lots of company heads out there who are not notable enough for Wikipedia.’Nice try Mr NMP.

    Note also that the contributors to Mr NMP’s wiki entries are also promoting his proteges Amber Chia and Elvin Ng.Who is Áricia Lam -a fashion co-ordinator and editor based in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong’ who has edited his wiki?

    He is probably a doyen of the Fashion Industry but his ‘curious’ attitude has made me equally curious about him.

  • mice is nice

    i think MSM should write a full page (or 2) article for the general public to satisfy our curiousity about Mr NMP.

    something like the way they did for Mr Ong Kah Chua!! :P

  • SM Tan

    The institution of the NMP has been thorughly damaged and should be torn to shreds.The question is how many past and present NMPs were party members before or during their term.Or how about this, after their terms?There were at least 30 NMPs since 1990.How many were party or ex-party members? Are NMPs associated with NTUC truly non-partisan?

    I hope the Singapore Press does ample coverage than just mere footnotes.We are still waiting unabatingly for the performance updates of our two mega Soverign Wealth funds.Proroguing bought them time.So enough of the distraction.

    The Select Committee should be questioned on their decision to nominate Mr NMP.Was it a curious decision? I am hardly surprised of their decision to nominate Mr NMP as 7/8 of them are PAP members.

    The concept of independent thought or non partisanship is unfathomable to the PAP.Its either you are with us or against us.Never mind if your inactive.Might as well convert our Pink IC’s into PAP membership cards and for those who want to opt out,convert it into Blue IC’s.

    This current slew of NMP candidates are poor to begin with.We do not know if they are impartial or non-partisan.Why don’t MediaCorp introduce a reality series where the public get to nominate for their NMP?Oh, I forgot, our MediaCorp reality series are staged.How would I know?Well ask the producers or the contestants.

    Imagine this, I am curious, I join the YPAP, spruce up my political CV and put myself up for NMP nomination to a select group of 8 whom 7 are my fellow cadre members.If I don’t get nominated which is highly unlikely as 7 are my fellow cadre, I can still remain as an inactive member and try my luck again as either a MP candidate or as an NMP in future.Either way I win.I always win even though I am inactive.Curiosity rocks.

    Looks like there will be a beeline of Curious Singaporeans rushing to join the PAP/YPAP to put themselves up as future NMP candidates as membership has been proven to have its privileges in this instance.That’s the beauty of curiosity.I look forward to more frivolousness.

    The 7 PAP members of the select committee can overturn any veto by Low Thia Kiang as he is and will always be a minority member.Why isn’t Chiam See Tong in the select committee to provide a bit more legitimacy or balance? I mean 6/8 is still a majority.The NMP scheme reeks.MP Hri Kumar even had the audacity to suggest the need for an Appointed Minister who should be free of constituency work.

    So ladies and gentlemen, get ready for this.We have NCMPs,NMPs, ‘curious’ NMPs and a new incarnation of the Singaporean Democratic system, the Appointed Minister who is free of constituency responsibility.

    PAP membership is like the golden calf.We see many opportunists in Singaporean society but to see it creep into politics is sad.

    Mr NMP,his ilk and the Select Committee have further damaged the institution of the NMP scheme, a uniquely Singaporean tool of deinstitutionalizing the role of a multi party system or any semblance of true democracy.

  • score point

    61) SM Tan on July 13th, 2009 8.19 pm

    But i think 1st world singaporeans base on trust.
    A 5 letter word and more.

  • saysay

    Hi ErnesUrn/Zachary

    SKH blew his chance by supporting old AWARE. Should have been an arbitrator.
    then instead. Also the uncertainly about whether he spoke the truth about not being legal advisor and still sitting in the front row..and then claiming that he is there in his personal capacity and not as NMP..not forgetting meeting some foreigners…and . Then using his blogs for others to say nice things about him and make police report on bloggers If not for all these controversial stuff may be okay. It is not how he spoke in Parliament but an NMP’s effectiveness and bringing results. ..we know the saying empty minds make the most noise.
    As for Calvin he has some explaining to do…

  • POV

    Can I just point out that Mr. Cheng was won an award from the World Economic Forum, which probably has stricter criteria than our own kangaroo Selcect Committee?

  • mice is nice

    hi POV,

    hmmm, but how does that translate to the new role as an NMP? qualification alone cannot make up for the lack of apititude in other areas, especially for such a high profile post.

  • Watchman

    ** Steps to Dictator. Adolf Hitler **

    Summary. After he became Chancellor in January 1933, Hitler transformed his democratic position into dictatorial power. Calling an election – and taking advantage of the Reichstag fire – he got the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act. Then, using the power this gave him to make his own laws, he set up the Gestapo, banned Trade Unions and opposition parties and (on the Night of the Long Knives, July 1934) removed even the opposition within the Nazi Party. When Hindenburg died, Hitler declared himself Fuhrer.

    1 Reichstag Fire – 27 Feb 1933
    The Reichstag (the German Parliament) burned down. A Dutch Communist named van der Lubbe was caught red-handed with matches and fire-lighting materials. Hitler used it as an excuse to arrest many of his Communist opponents, and as a major platform in his election campaign of March 1933. The fire was so convenient that many people at the time claimed that the Nazis had burned it down, and then just blamed the Communists. Modern historians, however, tend to believe that van der Lubbe did cause the fire, and that Hitler just took advantage of it.

    2 General Election – 5 March 1933
    Hitler held a general election, appealing to the German people to give him a clear mandate. Only 44% of the people voted Nazi, which did not give him a majority in the Reichstag, so Hitler arrested the 81 Communist deputies (which did give him a majority). Goering become Speaker of the Reichstag.

    3 Enabling Act – 23 March 1933
    The Reichstag voted to give Hitler the power to make his own laws. Nazi stormtroopers stopped opposition deputies going in, and beat up anyone who dared to speak against it. The Enabling Act made Hitler the dictator of Germany, with power to do anything he liked – legally.

    4 Local government – 26 April 1933
    The Nazis took over local government and the police. The Nazis started to replace anti-Nazi teachers and University professors. Hitler set up the Gestapo (the secret police) and encouraged Germans to report opponents and ‘grumblers’. Tens of thousands of Jews, Communists, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, alcoholics and prostitutes were arrested and sent to concentration camps for ‘crimes’ as small as writing anti-Nazi graffiti, possessing a banned book, or saying that business was bad.

    5 Trade Unions banned – 2 May 1933
    The Trade Unions offices were closed, their money confiscated, and their leaders put in prison. In their place, Hitler put the German Labour Front which reduced workers’ pay and took away the right to strike.

    6 Political Parties banned – 14 July 1933
    The Law against the Formation of Parties declared the Nazi Party the only political party in Germany. All other parties were banned, and their leaders were put in prison.

    7 Night of the Long Knives – 30 June 1934
    The SA were the thugs who Hitler had used to help him come to power. They had defended his meetings, and attacked opponents. By 1934 there were more than a million of them. Historians have often wondered why Hitler turned on the SA. But Hitler was in power in 1934, and there was no opposition left – the SA were an embarrassment, not an advantage. Also, Rohm, the leader of the SA, was talking about a Socialist revolution and about taking over the army. On the night of 30 June 1934 – codeword ‘Hummingbird – Hitler ordered the SS to kill more than 400 SA men.

    8 Führer – 19 August 1934
    When Hindenburg died, Hitler took over the office of President and leader of the army (the soldiers had to swear to die for Adolf Hitler personally). Hitler called himself ‘Fuhrer’.

  • whenpolisworebrowns

    [i]On the same day, 6 July, the list of new NMPs was approved.

    He resigned from the Young PAP on 9 July – after his name was approved.

    pau chiak
    guranteed eaten
    buy toto also cannot buy after 6.01pm after the results
    if liked that
    why bothered to go oxford?
    might as well
    buy a degree from africa from nelson mandala countryman….

  • Gilbert Goh

    Actually the NMP scheme is a political sham.

    This only happen in Singaporean and not anywhere in the world. Why?

    Because the PAP has being dominating politics since day 1 and they need to show the world that they are giving others a chance to speak up. PAP MPs have no space and luxury to speak up matters that MATTER.

    If our PAP MPs have being doing ther job well enough we dont need NMPs to do theirs.

    I say do away with the NMP scheme and allow MPs – either PAP or otherwise to speak up in PArliament. Or else ,the whole political system looks like a ploy.

  • Albino Hum Junior

    Guys, it may be achievable to share some info with readers about this process of selection and or the people involved and their background, at the end of the day, i do not see what else can be achieved out of this as singaporeans ACCEPT, in my opinion, one way or another.

    Many singaporeans I know of do not even mention anything about TC investments, mini bons issue, investment losses and budget among others.

    What can we deduce out of this situation?

    A culture of Apathy. This is my view only.

  • Albino Hum Junior

    Hi Gilbert,

    I say do away with the NMP scheme and allow MPs – either PAP or otherwise to speak up in PArliament. Or else ,the whole political system looks like a ploy.

    maybe this can happen when opposition make significant progress if not take over?

    I not sure. just a wild guess based on limited brain cells.

  • Jonah

    the story of Curious Calvin…. skin the cat, period.

  • truth hurts

    Indeed the NMP scheme is a sham, so is the election system and the manner of representation by the ruling party MPs.

    What does it tell us about the people responsible for this sham ?
    Take your pick……… many -ve adjectives in the dictionary to choose.

  • socrates

    It is too early to judge him.

  • Yan

    Like some readers who commented before, I see nothing wrong with having curiosity. In fact he is quite honest and straightforward rather than saying the expected (y’know, passion, contribution, and all bs). But yes, he still needs to prove himself. I do think this article is rubbish and TOC needs to edit more carefully next time.

  • mike

    no matter what pap is trying to do win swingers, it is still healthy for democracy system to have real opposition party on board not what or whom you choose to be.

    it is an insult the what they claimed sg is democracy or should i called ‘democracy in its own way’?

  • Daniel

    “If our PAP MPs have being doing ther job well enough we dont need NMPs to do theirs.”

    It is obvious that the main function of PAP Mps are there to cast whatever vote to whatever policies their master serve to the dish. Nevermind that there are few MPs that really perform the job if more than 80% are just partisan and are there to cast the majority vote to please their utmost Emperor.

    We have seen how pathetic those partisan MPs speak in parliament trying to find way to make their master’s stupid policies look like angel, and their argument are totally moronic out of this world. World-class kangaroo, what’s more the world most expensive pathetic kangaroos in the world.

  • Just Hum

    i could not blame a person from seeking career advancement by doing what it takes to achieve what he wants. But I feel concerned about how is it possible to ensure that NMPs will be non-partisan if they have been associated with it before.

    In private sector, people can do what they need to advance and earn a good living that they dream of.

    But when it comes to public service jobs as serious and important as a MP (NMP), I feel that the job must be given to people who can be totally unbiased to any political party.

    I think this Calvin need to prove himself. If he can be as good as SKH, I can still be proud of him as NMP.


  • saysay

    Hi Just Hum

    Calvin and all the other NMPs have to prove themselves not by words but by deed.
    Give them a chance. Calvin’s reply to Today is okay..quite sincere and upfront.
    Please dont model SKH please dont!!

  • gemami

    Hi Gilbert,

    I have not been able to agree with you for a long time but here is one occasion where you are spot-on. The NMP scheme is a sham and a political ploy!

    The most important question a citizen has to ask, in any democracy, is this: “Why do I possess the power to vote?” The power of the vote we possess, is so that we can use it, to place our choice on the politician we have chosen to represent our interests. By taking away, or, devaluing the power of our vote, through schemes like the NMP scheme, we are effectively handing this power over to the government to make the choice for us. We are then deprived of our freedom to choose our representative. This has to be the biggest factor why the NMP scheme is a sham.

    Some may argue that we still get to go to the polls to use the power of our vote. Yes, this is true (for those who get to vote). However, the presence of the NMPs acting as opposition voices then becomes an unfair tool, being often-time used by the ruling PAP, to convey the message to the electorate, that alternative views are already constitutionally provided for in parliament through the NMP and NCMP schemes. This is the political ploy.

    You are also correct in your observation that if our elected MPs are doing their job well enough, as we would expect them to, since we took the trouble to give them our vote, then there is no need for anyone, whom we have no chance of giving our opinions on, let alone vote for, to become our representative. When this happens, then the system of one man, one vote is no longer a democratic system. It is dictatorial. It must be uniquely Singapore to have a dictatorial democracy.

  • Just Hum

    78) saysay on July 14th, 2009 9.55 pm
    \Hi Just Hum

    Calvin and all the other NMPs have to prove themselves not by words but by deed.
    Give them a chance. Calvin’s reply to Today is okay..quite sincere and upfront.
    Please dont model SKH please dont!!\

    what if all who grad from ivy league ‘out of curiosity’ were invited or happen to have signed up as YPAP member?

    In the 1st place when one sign up for that, he should have a reason for doing so.

    It would be more comforting to know if some of these would attempt to balance the situation by joining say WP as members.

    So, what happens if in a parl, only 1 party ? what kind of debate can we expect?

  • Jonah

    what’s wrong with curiosity???

    Curious Calvin and his gang still don’t get it, izzit?

    basically, we’re NOT looking for a researcher-type with an inquisitive spirit here.

    we want people with a heart to serve the people of Singapore. not somebody who is curious to find out things about Singapore etc… did Curious Calvin as strenously argue that he wanted to serve Singaporeans as he did to defend his curiosity streak?

  • PAP’s scheme

    PAP is using NMP to train his future candidates, this is not a fair play, but what is new ??

  • A Tan

    Come on, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

    It is not as though he PAP cadre. He only Young PAP. Hey, if Hang Everyone Lionel De Sousa, can be in Young PAP, anyone can be member.

  • http://blog budamax1952

    #79 gemami /// The NMP scheme is a sham and a political ploy ///;;; Now that gemami has proven, with his elegant and persuasive arguments, that the NMP scheme, without a shadow of a doubt, is a sham and a political ploy, there is something odd that have struck me;;;Right there snug in the middle of the list of the “Members of the Special Select Committee” is Low Thia Khiang, Secretary-General of the Worker’s Party of Singapore;;This is extremely fishy;;;Now there are a few questions specifically for Low Thia Khiang;;;;;;Mister Low Thia Khiang, are you not aware that the NMP scheme is a sham and polical ploy by the PAPies??? Are you so dense that you are not aware of the implications if you become part of this sham process?? Would JBJ have done what you did?Are you taking the people for a ride?With what you are doing are you not playing into the hand of the PAPies?;;;Mr Low you can trick all of the people sometime, some of the all the time, but don’t forget that you cannot trick all the people all the time!!!

  • Eureka

    I bet Calvin Cheng is a member of PinkDotSG, he look so gay lol

  • MicMac