The Online Citizen

Lets strive towards a First World Parliament: WP

May 09
17:50 2011

Press release by the Workers’ Party.

The Workers’ Party would like to thank all voters, members, friends, volunteers and supporters who have directly and indirectly helped us in our journey towards a First World Parliament in GE 2011!

Thank you, the voters of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC for giving us your support to vote our candidates into the 12th Parliament of the Republic of Singapore.

Thank you, the voters of East Coast GRC, Nee Soon GRC, Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Joo Chiat SMC, Punggol East SMC, and Sengkang West SMC for your support during GE 2011.

Thank you, members of the Workers’ Party for your selfless sacrifice, dedication and valued contribution all these years leading up to this historic moment.

Thank you, all citizens and netizens of Singapore who have come to support us during our 8 rallies during GE 2011 in person and in cyberspace.

Let us continue to strive together, as all citizens of Singapore, towards a First World Parliament.

The Workers’ Party
9 May 2011

 

  • Analyst

    Workers Party,

    Good job on winning Aljunied. Some things to note:

    1. Run Aljunied town council well, if not your track record will be smeared come the next election, and you will be kicked out.

    2. Continue to walk the ground in Aljunied. Remember, 45% did not vote for you. A small swing the next round, and you could be out.

    3. Be prepared for dirty tricks from PAP, making things difficult for Aljunied.

    4. Be prepared for gerrymandering to East Coast GRC. I forsee the PAP removing the HDB portfolio from MBT, lessening his unpopularity, thus making Tampines safer for them. Some of the safer bits of Tampines and Pasir-Ris Punggol could be gerrymandered to East Coast GRC to shore up that area. Eric Tan, the WP team leader in East Coast GRC is doing a good job, but to win East Coast, you need to send in a powerful candidate with excellent credentials to appeal to bolster the team and appeal to the rich in that area.

  • Resident of Nanyang Park Estate

    Dear WP

    My neighbours and I live in the private estate which was under the’care’ of Lim H H. At least 7 houses (of the 10 houses) on our road voted for you.

    We would appreciate it if you would visit estates like ours so that we know who our MPs are. The reason we did not vote for LHH was because she had only one walkabout about 8 years ago and nothing thereafter. We are not asking for much but being able to see our MP once in a while does make a big difference to us not feeling marginalised.

  • Waste

    WP stands for Worthless Party.

    Low Thia Kiang is ok, but the rest of the Aljunied team is questionable:

    1) Sylvia Lim – Talks too fast, incoherent, incomprehensible
    2) Chen Show Mao – For all his credentials, he doesn’t seem very bright
    3) Pritam Singh – Talk big and talk cock only
    4) Muhamad Faisal – Nobody knows what the hell he does; wasting time

  • Naive

    Congratulations to WP on its success to break the GRC stronghold. Congratulations also to Singapore Citizens at Aljunied & Hougang esp, that have taken up the pen to be mightier than the sword (or carrots)

    Yes, it has to be acknowledged that WP was the team that won and deserves accolade, there were several contributing factors that has contributed not in small feat to their performance in Aljunied.

    1) Pro Singapore, Pro Change & Pro Alterntive Voice Internet Community

    - while WP’s supporters were running the ground supporting the candidates, a voluntary force of political savvy, issues savvy and technologgy savvy Singaporeans (such as the author of this article, the good Andrew Loh) has taken the battle in a boundariless cyber world. This was a necessary element that have provided at times key information as well as the ‘passenger’s’ feedback to the co driver.

    2) Indirect effect of other opposition parties

    - with 82 out of 87 seats contested, almost all of the PAP engine (many of which have been in dri-clad for decades) to disperse and run thus cutting down on their own resources. This is especially clear with the Ministers who were too busy defending their own ward. Even DPM Teo Chee Hean were domesticated in his ward.

    3) ‘Oppositional’ friction within PAP

    - Lim Boon Heng’s confession of No Groupthink in PAP was perhaps an indication of friction within the PAP, possibly along liberal-conservative ideological lines (may be read through generational & religious affiliation lines). This friction may be explained from an almost bystander effect of former top echelon members of the PAP that have left the cabinet.

    4) Direct effects of Other Opposition Parties

    - The presence of a credible and proven capable slate of candidates in the form of former Civil Service scholars would have boosted the confidence of current civil service staff who are voters in Aljunied providing the impetus to give “change from outside” a chance and “gratitude is not servitude”. Chiam See Tong deserves a special mention for this, so would Chee Soon Juan to a lesser extent for learning his lesson well and taking necessary steps to change his tacts.

    5) A Gentleman fight by George Yeo and Team

    - George Yeo and Zainul Abideen, the diplomat as always had adopted to maintain a gentleman fight in the ward. Yes, the carrots were in place as with all other teams but what did not happen with George and Zainul were smear tactics and closet hiding of ‘honest mistakes’.

    6) possible Gender effect upon women candidates

    - Somehow, there seems to be a gender expectation upon female candidates where a right balance of confidence, independence, sensitivity, femininity, poise and intelligence affected their feminine pose. Somehow, the balance were somewhat seem to be off for LHH and more so for CP.

    7) Dilemma of choice between the last ‘Few Good Men’ and the emerging ‘ Justice League’

    - The fight in Aljunied can be likened to a mother of battles where the Best were contesting. In the white corner George Yeo and Team may have appeared to be the last Few Good Men, a minute semblance of the PAP of the old. However, despite a clean image, they were shouldering the sins of their party. In the other corner, a slate of legal educators may be likened to the emergence of a Justice League from amongst the Opposition force. Thus, for the fence sitters, it was almost a choice of the best of a declining force on one hand and the best of an emerging force on the other and the rationale mind opted for hope.

    8) Foundation laid by former opp MPs

    - enough said on this. Remember Dr Lee Siew Choh, David Marshall, Jufferie Mahmood, Tang Liang Hong, Francis Seow, JB Jeyaretnam

    If any, these points only add on to the analyses done by many including the author of this article. Highlighting the above serves to nudge WP to not feel that they had succeeded on their own accord. While WP has every right to shape the brand of politics the way they want, they cannot take the credit away from the environment that have made it possible for WP to hit the summit in GE2011, lest WP is going the PAP way on the express lane.

    9) On a final note, readapting a point made in an earlier post, one critical aspect that would require a sincere pursuit by all opposition parties including WP. To capture more GRCs and eventually for a shadow cabinet and next government, you will need to draw in or groom high public esteem minority candidates, especially Malay candidates. If PAP has made repeated claims that the Malay votes were strong with them, it is because the Malay voters too make evaluation of their potential representatives based on their quality; i.e. the quality of the Malay candidates contesting in both Opp Parties and PAP.

    Please do not confuse dissatisfaction of Malay cyber community against PAP Malay MPs as votes for the opposition. Those voices represent pent up unhappiness that their voices, the voices of the Malay community; many of whom still hold dearly the idea of Malay as an indigenous people yet are not represented enough by the present highly educated PAP Malay MPs. The same expectations would be posed upon Malay opposition candidates.

    In the years to come, the plight of the Indian community too will become a polarising factor that will cause opposition parties to lose votes. The Indian community is no longer a homogeneous Tamil speaking ethnic group. This perhaps is something that MP Elect Pritam Singh is well acquainted with.

    Issues like the SAP school, workplace discrimination, SM Enterprise retardation/underdevelopment and minority-rights promotion/protection would require strong candidates that can argue intelligently within the Nation Building framework.

    These points hopefully would be useful considerations for WP as it charts a passage towards a first world parliament hopefully with the ideal of pursuing a complete Singaporean identity.

    naiveanalyst (at) gmail (dot) com

  • political pundit

    Gerald Giam should be given a chance in Parliament as NCMP to get experience and exposure like what Sylvia Lim did.

    East Coast is good for taking if Gerald does a good job of raising issues in a responsible and credible manner.

  • Sure

    Looking at the decling votes for PAP the past 1 decades. The PAP cant denied they are losing their popularity and trust in them. A fact which they must admit. I knew some voters voted them because of fear and not because they like to vote for them.

    WP is an example of a good head start for a demoractic and responsible party for the rest of parties like NSP,SDP,SPP etc to follow. Give some some more time and i believe they can excel much better than the PAP.

    Looking towards a First World Parliament.

  • Magi

    While I rather frown upon some of Gerald Giam’s views on certain topics in 2007, I think he should become an NCMP. That was the way Sylvia worked her way in.

  • CostPoll

    New Poll on Living Cost and General Issues

    http://cost2011.iblogger.org/cost.php

  • jegathesan kennedy

    punggol grc supporter’s are waiting, for you at the next election.though alot of support’s at st 51 hougang , to our biggest disappointment we are under punggol grc,what a crab.

  • Han Solo

    Naive,
    Contributing factors are not as complex as you put it. Most who voted for the oppo were sold on alternative voices. The low team best carried out that mission but, what’s next?

    Alternative voice is just another sophisticated concept of talking co.ck. On co.ck talking, it depends on who your audience are and how easily are they swayed by rhetoric isn’t it?

    Bottom line is, this first world parliament is more fluff than substance at the moment.

    With so many alternative voices to suit one’s ear out there, there will be no end to the eternal struggle for right of representation at the expense of gullible voters.

    No, we don’t need alternative voices. We need an authoritative voice instead.

    The hard truth is, neither the PAP nor the WP, both are adamant in exerting their own brand of truths, can be the voice of authority that unites the people.

    Which leads to a house comprising of awkward strange bedfellows than enlightening.

  • iworkhardsometimes

    the victory proves that the electorate is willing to vote for opposition if presented with:

    1. credible strong branding

    2. electable candidates

    3. a good excuse to switch over

    4. strong grassroots activity

  • Ant

    @Han Solo

    By the implication what you are saying is we need a dictatorship is that what you want or a monarchy maybe.

    Also implying voters who voted in WP are ill informed just show how pompous you are.

    No matter what this is democracy live with it. Even with major screw up from the incumbent they still have more then two third in the house so be happy about it. Like you said 6 opposition talking c**k in parliament is not going to ruin your beloved party they will still pass/bulldoze policies and shove down our throats so deal with it then rant about the brave people of Aljunied

  • iworkhardsometimes

    some observations,

    1. GY’s kuey tio hot n nice – too complex, requires too much effort for an average man off the streets to understand and they don’t bother to find out once they don’t get it the next time round.

    2. SGX is in positive territory today, so the myth that opposition victory affects investor confidence is busted. (though might not be applicable if opposition wins real big)

    3. economic papers(like Tan Jee Say’s) and other complex ideologies are too complex to be understood by the man on the street, they only appeal to academics and the intelligentsia.

    the effort is commendable, but these proposals are easy to misrepresent and not that useful for winning election.

  • Han Solo

    Ant,
    Far from it, i am not an advocate for dictatorial govt. I believe in an enlightened govt supported by enlightened citizenry.

    Structurally, political parties are more dictatorial than enlightened.

    Our electoral system perpetuates party dominion.

    In an enlightened govt with enlightened citizenry, we will not have to risk losing good people because of whimsical voters.

    But such an enlightened govt cannot come without much sacrifice.

    We are still under party dominion – 2 party system is no exception.

  • iPUSHleekingyouwheelchair

    Han Solo

    No, we don’t need alternative voices. We need an authoritative voice instead.
    …………
    i believed you are livin in the wrong country..try korea..no not seoul..you don’t even know ow to pronouce the word seoul…
    try kim of north korea..where platform shoes are in fashion…

  • No one knows how many from each race voted for who

    If you tell me you know, it suggests that you may have seen all the votes.

    haha

    no one officially knows.

    In the next 5 years, how many new citizens can come in?

    Which of you dare to say New Citizens will vote for opposition more?

    haha

    They gave up their citizenship for this. Its not an easy decision. They must have liked they place and the system. Will they dare rock the boat? will they dare ask for change?

    Almost impossible. I reckon out of 1 million about 1 or 2 will vote for opposition.

    So, how to Strive for 1st world parliament?

    Even when all-but-1 part of singapore voted, the result is still that majority wants the PAP to win, REGARDLESS of all their policies , fiascos, hard truth, cost of living, jobs, whatever.

    Its like nothing CAN Change these DIE HARD PAP supporters.

    These people won’t even want to let go of 1 tiny SMC except HG.

    The main reason why Singaporeans get to enjoy a 2 party system is because of HG and Aljunied People. Mainly the Teo Chew Nangs.

    Kudos to them.

    Notice the constant shifting of goal post:

    1. from 84 seats to 87. More PAP MPs now occupy the seats than ever in history.

    2. from Aljunied1 to Aljunied2.

    3. from 2.5 million to 3 to 4.5 million people. and then maybe to 6.5?

    The 2006 election cannot be compared to this election because the basis is not the same.

    a. 2006 many many walkovers. many many denied the chance to vote. UNDER-REPRESENTATION.

    b. 2011 all-but-1 are voted. UNDER-REPRESENTATION.

    While there seems to be more who want to vote out the PAP, we do not have a same situation to compare with.

    The next election also cannot be compared to now because again, the population size goal post will shift again.

    Seems like singaporeans will never get a fair REPRESENTATION.

    And they will continue to ACCEPT.

    No where but singapore you will see such funny thing.

  • sceptical

    Ok, now that you’ve taken a GRC together with your original SMC, can the 6 of you give us a glimpse of the qualities of first-world parliamentarians just to let us see how a first world parliament should be like? Surely, you must agree with me that it’s not the quantity (parliamentary votes) that counts, but it’s really the quality of the debates. Please raise the quality of debates, and voice out the issues and concerns of the people.

  • Han Solo

    You know why church works? You see them arguing?

    Same principle.

  • I was amazed that MBT, WKS, JTeo and THP won

    Is singapore not such a fun place? Its Amazing! singaporeans, you so cute you know?!!?

  • MrNoob123

    What about the issue of GRCs?

    Maybe this would work –

    http://noob123thoughtsonsingaporeanpolitics.blogspot.com/

  • Tks

    Mr Low TK was the only one in his victory speech at Hougang studium to thank the police, security guards and the civil servce staff working hard on the voting day. Several of my friends were very appreciated with his acknowqledge becuase they started to work in the polling station since 6am and only have their lunch break at 12pm.

  • Skeptic

    You can’t debate your way to agreement – most of the time.

    Andvwe know the incumbent policies are well thought out before roll g them out.

    So itt all boils down to number to get one’s way. PAP has the number so what is there to debate? They(oppies) can only disagree in parliament and divide populace.

  • dopplerganger

    The Prime Minister has said sombrely on TV, right after the elections, which I now recall to contain the gist:. that members of the Ruling Party should be more humble towards the public. That to me is put things mildly. Not only are members of the Ruling PAP Party arrogant, their friends and supporters in the private sector are able to commandeer State Institutions to do their bidding.For example Elite Law Firms call up the ISD to soften their targets so that these hapless people may give up attempting to obtain justice at the Courts. The AG prevents the progress of certain actions which will reveal unsavory behaviour of certain people.. Some Judges take the side of the Elite and powerful with alacrity. The common citizenry is thus pressed to the wall. it is as if the Government extends to include these elite lawyers who can harness the State Resources they need for competitive advantage and win their cases.
    I am well aware that to talk bad about the Police, Courts and especially judges is anathema to the Ruling Party. So many people have been destroyed because they dare to talk bad about judges and the legal system in Singapore.. I am not a fearless fool to stretch my neck out for the chopping block, but I reckon from the PM’s speech that he meant it: be humble and serve the people. It is no way to serve the citizenry when the Government and its elite cloud of connected folks present a monolithic structure to crush everyone in its path without heed of any notion of fair play.
    I happen to mention Law firms because they are the foremost mediators of societal issues and because of my own experience.
    I hope that an investigation be made by the PM to find out how rampant is the evil symbiotic relationship between the Elite and State institutions.. We the citizenry will not appreciate it much if the Ruling Party members become merely humble in demeanour but will crush any citizen illegally whenever such a one has the bad luck to cross an elite or his client in a conflict.
    The Arab uprisings may be due to the arrogant disdain their rulers and the monolithic elitist ruling class regard their own people, more than the abject poverty and hopelessness that is their lot.

    We hope too that the new opposition in Aljunied will remind the Ruling Party time and again to be humble, nay more than that, to curb the Elites foul play over State Institutions so that there is fair play.

  • Ant

    @ Han Solo

    I agree with you we need enlightened citizenry. The obstacle I see to this problem is the incumbent because of the uneven playing field and the impression created by the incumbent that alternative views are dangerous and being put down as unworkable, questioning the government means you are a trouble maker and if you are not in the debate process you are empathic. In such cases how does an enlighten citizenry come about.

    As for your example of church, i am quite troubled that religion should be mixed with politics. This is a dangerous path to take for an enlightened citizenry

  • Jackson

    I have an analogy.

    someone pushes me to the floor, i get up and wallop him. stupid of him to ask me why I wallop him, right?

    same thing. if pap lose a grc, people shouldn’t blame the opposition, instead should ask back pap the reason why.

  • Ant

    @Han Solo

    I am not saying my view is the only view but if you can convince I am willing to accept any view including PAP view.

    All I am asking for is that no one should be left behind (the poor, uneducated, the in firmed, the alternative, the slow). Policies which are Pro Singaporeans, Singaporean first and Singaporean are the true asset of Singapore. That’s all I ask for and that’s all everyone here at TOC ask for too. Is this too much to ask after 50 years of uninterrupted governance.

    In these election I felt like i was electing a estate manager rather then a Member of Parliament or policy makers that is really frustrating as many did not see beyond the estate manager and forgot the big picture of policy maker.

  • Han Solo

    Ant,
    Not to worry that i am mixing religion with state.

    The principle I mentioned is a logical process. We can’t resist the impending change without consequences.

    Let’s see whether the incumbent will come to the same light.

    I don’t need to add more than what’s necessary at this point.

    We are all carried by the tides of change – for good or bad.

  • Han Solo

    Ant,

    The principle is…get the house in order. All worries will be taken care of. Remember, you shall be enlightened?

    Have a good night.

  • Am I Right

    Congratulation on your victory Mr Low.But the way I saw you speaking in the national television that you are getting very arrogant.Please try to be humble.

  • Ant

    @Han Solo

    I am confused now are you making a punt for political change or do you just want to convert us.

    Whatever it is we agree to disagree that is true democracy

  • market2garden

    AP and AP Leaders
    Be prepared for GE2013/14
    GE2016 is wishful thinking after alternative party capturing 1 GRC.
    Give a second though you will understand my logic.

  • ALJUNIED SG

    ALJUNIED will be the best town in SINGAPORE,just you wait and see.

    we will have the KAMPONG SPIRIT relive again and again.

    more TRUE BLUE SINGAPOREANS will want to come and live in aljunied and hougang.

    As this is an OPPO WARD,FTs will not want to come and crowd out the singaporeans at aljunied and hougang.
    more and more singaporeans will want to buy their houses here.

    aljunied,you are the champions!

  • rotten PAPaya

    When I submitted my IC for verification to the election staff at the polling station, I noticed the staff deliberately put in the effort to solemly say out my name AND the SERIAL NUMBER on my polling card (e.g. “Wong Kan Seng, serial number 1234″).

    I can understand if he had to verify my name, but what’s the point in saying out the SERIAL NUMBER?

    When I visit a doctor, he’ll verbally verify my name but if at the same time he were to verbally mention my register number on his record, it’d be very strange.

    A verbal verification of my name is sufficient. To mention the serial is REDUNDANT. This is because my name and the serial number are printed on the same polling card anyway. And the serial number has no significant reference for me, it’s not my NRIC number.

    Was this some psychological trick to instil fear to intimidate voters to vote the ruling party???

    Could it be a deliberate effort to implant a sublimal message into the voter’s mind that the serial number will give him away???

  • discerned

    Hi Waste,
    I totally agree with you…
    1) Sylvia Lim – seems to be interested in what she does only… not personal also. Not impressive.
    2) Chen Show Mao – spent 30 years overseas and wife is US citizen… haiz. He is also not impressive.
    3) Pritam Singh – Thinks he know much… a lot of nonsense….
    4) Muhamad Faisal – Arrogant.

    Well prob they are voted in because LTK… they are just on board the bandwagon.. HAIZ

  • yeoman

    ALJUNIED is where the SINGAPORE SPIRIT is truly ALIVE and IN ACTION!

    the ALJUNIED ROAR will echo and reverberate on and on till ALL TRUE BLUE SINGAPOREANS are awaken.

    a ‘barrier’ to DEMOCRACY AND JUSTICE has been broken by the ALJUNIEDIANS of SINGAPORE AND HAS BECOME THE BEACON OF LIGHT to guide FUTURE GENERATIONS of SINGAPOREANS to come.

    GOD BLESS ALJUNIEDIANS AND SINGAPORE!

  • Karen Liu

    Singapore is a small country and a young nation. We do NOT need a first world parliament at this point, maybe ever. Don’t you see it? WP is just saying what you want to hear so that you’ll vote for them. Why so dense, my fellow citizens? What are WP’s real agenda/ plans?

    I hope that Singapore will never turn into a country where politicians from various parties try to outdo one another using all possible methods. That is just a waste of tax payers’ money, and it invariably slows down the country’s progress. For the uninitiated, parliaments with alternative voices around the world, including the US, UK, and many EU countries, are a collective mess.

    No, PAP is not perfect. Yes, you have every right to say that many ministers are arrogant. And so I am entitled to say that Low TK is every bit just as arrogant when he’s not putting up a show, as are you, everyone of you who are demanding apologies left right and center from PAP.

  • yeoman

    discerned,

    your bname suggests you to be a dsicerning chap but i truly wonder if you are thinking at all?

    have nay of these fellow singaporeans you mentioned LET DOWN countless of ordinary singaporeasn the way many of the MIWs do?

    did anyone maong these 5 honourable citizens lose BILLIONS OF OUR RESERVES?

    did anyone among these five loyal citizens who merely want to SERVE singaporeans and singapore PRFERRED TO SPENT ON YOG instead of helping the poor?

    DIDI ANYONE OF THEM agree to raise transport fares or GST or happily receive BIG FAT SAlARIESwhile lecturing poor singaporeasn to accept already meagre pay-checks that cannot catch up with THE HIGH COST OF LIVING?

    the list goes on and on but you and i cannto spare the time o how GOOD THESE FIVE ARE COMAPRED TO MOST OF THOSE WHO GET VOTED IN THIS GE,don’t you and won;t you agree with me?

    i like george yeo but this GE IS NOT ABOUT good ol’ ST GEORGE – he is a good chap nett nett and i respect him for what he tries to do for singapofe except one thing,signing FTAs that give our jobs away – but this GE is about YOU AND ME vs the FTs and a host of other concerens that affect ordinary singaporeans who have been impoverished and even made poverty-stricked,is not it?

  • fpc

    they forgot about the other opposition parties.

  • homemaker

    @rotten PAPaya

    You can get your doubts clarified in this post: http://harishpillay.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/my-6-hour-tour-of-duty-as-a-polling-agent/

    Reproduced the relevant information from the post here:

    “g) As the 2nd ED official tears out the ballot, he will read out the name and serial number of the voter (which is what is on the previously mailed out Polling Card). The reason for this is so that the polling agent (like myself), will be able to check a copy of the voters list that was provided to the SPP. What I did was to place a tick against the name/serial number. The rationale for calling out the name and serial number is to ensure that there are no attempts to vote twice or more by one person.”

    Happy for Singaporeans because we are one step forward towards true democracy, but sad for Singaporeans because dear old Mr Chiam was voted out.

    :’(

  • murthy

    Dear WP,

    You have a tough job ahead of you. Can you capitalise on the momentum for change? Can you keep the people engaged over the next few months instead of letting the passion fizzle out? If you do, you will have a much stronger base the next time around. And you have to do all this whilst discharging your constituency and parliamentary duties better than the PAP MPs. It will take lots of energy. Hopefully you will be inspired by the thought that you are pioneering a shift in the political landscape of the country. Many people are behind you and those who are not will realise later the significance of what is happening. It will all be for the good of the country. If any evidence was needed that PAP cannot be trusted to act in the interests of the country, it is seen in how the PAP chose to gamble losing George Yeo whom they say is so important to Singapore. If he is that important they could easily have ensured he sailed into Parliament. Still, some have a blind faith in the PAP. Never mind Tin Pei Lin even!

  • Competition

    Han Solo 9 May 2011
    You know why church works? You see them arguing?

    Same principle.

    Do all churches in Singapore come under one pastor?

    Same principle, indeed.

  • Competition

    PAP has inroduced foreigners to compete with Singaporeans to work harder and cheaper.

    It is only logical for Singaporeans to vote in opposition MPs to compete with PAP MPs, so that they will work harder and better for us. If you are blind to see the positive impact that oppostion has on the PAP, you are simply not objective.

  • HappyHouse

    @ Han Solo

    Ya! We need a dictatorship, why bother with voices, we are zombies.

  • the most perceptive forumer

    If WP is the one in power, WP will also consider its own wards first and redraw election boundaries for sure. Let’s be clear about this – they’re as politicians just like PAP and other parties. It’s asking for more places in parliament to block legalisations and decisions. That’s what first world parliaments do best – block legalisations and decisions in the name of checks and balance. In the name of checks and balance, they promote populist policies (ie for votes) against painful (ie anything painful is not “for Singaporeans”) but longterm policies. Be very clear about this, that’s the meaning of check and balance in politics – struggle for popularity and power. It’s not same meaning as applied to dull technical auditors.

  • notalone

    Very well done!

    I wonder anyone from the PAP will ever tease at your slogan again?!

    Shiok!

  • jz

    @competition i like your analogy ;)

  • dopplerganger

    I refer to “Ant.”
    Yes in Singapore our Parliamentarians seem to be nothing but estate managers. And all that we are seen to care about is whether our lifts are upgraded, carparks sufficient, our walkways are sheltered and our landscaping are nice. This is because the Ruling Party has at one point some 15 or 20 years ago established the Town Council control over housing estates which effectively politicized each housing estate. Thus in every election you will hear the candidates talk about what they will do for you in terms of brick and mortar. Also the housing estate as a political arena makes it difficult for opposition groups newly elected to step into the shoes of the current Town Councillor, not because they are stupid but because estate management calls for continuity of management in terms of personnel, physical layout of buildings and other land improvements which cannot be obtained without actual previous hands- on experience but which is not governance. Thus the term , “Track Record” is banded about by the Ruling Party with pride. This is because in an estate, track record of good management is important and if you have not been here for any reasonable length of time you certainly shan’t have a track record.
    In this way the populace is sidetracked away from national issues of greater importance than mere renewal and rearrangement of brick and mortar. The idea of good governance is obliterated. Good governance would consider some of the following: Don’t you think that a correct concept of the level of foreign workers is of greater importance to the continuation of Singapore as we know it and for Singaporeans. Don’t you think that a very very high salary like what our Ministers are now paid destroys the compact of the governor with the governed. A societal compact is thus transformed into a commercial contract. As in all commercial contracts the profits are all that matters. Thus you have the deluge of foreigners explained by the blindness of the Ruling Party to the effects of this deluge on the existing population. No amount of expanding the infrastructure would lessen the alienation the original population feels about his country. Within the short time span of 5 years the country is now different with a different source population, one that has not shared its social and biological history. A contractor on a commercial contract cannot bother with the evolutionary biology of the existing population. All he cares about is the GNP which is a proxy for profit. I agree with “Ant” that governing a country is not the same as managing an estate. We have all been sidetracked into a limited view of governance which also is a view that assists the Ruling Party to focus on the infrastructure in terms of brick and mortar but leave out the abstract realities of Nationhood.

    We must restore the idea of what the Government is for in Singapore as in all countries. Wjhat it is not is mere estate management. The opposition in Aljunied should bring back to the Nation the normal idea of government if it hopes to serve beyond its 5 year term and even to win other GRCs. Because the incumbent will always be better at estate management, viz repair of spalling walls, term contract for falling windows, cracked toilet bowls etc. Soon the WP will be forced out because its level of planned maintenance of Aljunied is inferior to the PAPs. And that would be a sorry eventuality of a mistaken concept of governance. I leave you, gentlemen and ladies of the WP, with the question of ‘what constitutes government?’

  • Objective Indeed

    “PAP has inroduced foreigners to compete with Singaporeans to work harder and cheaper.

    It is only logical for Singaporeans to vote in opposition MPs to compete with PAP MPs, so that they will work harder and better for us. If you are blind to see the positive impact that oppostion has on the PAP, you are simply not objective.”

    What does “MPs working better,harder and faster” translate to in real terms? Cheaper housing? Cheaper transport? Cheaper utilities? Cheaper food? Cheaper medical services? Cheaper holidays? Double my wages without upgrading or becoming a rat in my company?And I can retire at age 50 with at least 1% of MM’s worth?

  • Objective indeed

    “I agree with “Ant” that governing a country is not the same as managing an estate. We have all been sidetracked into a limited view of governance which also is a view that assists the Ruling Party to focus on the infrastructure in terms of brick and mortar but leave out the abstract realities of Nationhood.”

    Can this abstract ideal put food on the table? Can this abstract ideal create jobs? Can this abstract ideal build reserves since we are not blessed with abundance of natural resources? Can this abstract ideal buy us the quality of life we see in some of these western nations?

  • alitheia

    After this GE, all MPs must engage, involve and empower residents to help look after and improve their estates.

    Let municipal committees be non-partisan and estate management should not be politicized.

  • @alitheia

    That is like asking you to open up your home toilet for public use. Or telling your kids not to distinguish between parents and strangers when showing filial obedience. Are you that “kampong spirited”?

  • Orchid by Jasmine

    Congrats to WP.

    Its natural to thank your die hard supporters who selflessly contributed most or much of their
    personal time to the Movement.

    WP is the political party in sg who championed for a first world parliament. WP has reached the 1st milestone. Long way to go.

    The people is your strength.

    “Workers’ party” is the party name.
    I hope WP show you can achieve something for workers. As of current lopsided situation, what can WP really achieve?

    Lets say you ask the unanswered questions. No answer? Done your part ?

    Jobs . How you gonna fight for jobs for us when you are not the union?

    We have put you into power and created 6 part time jobs worth a gm . Fight for us. Thats all we asking for. Majority singaporeans continue to ignore need for check n balance. You are all we have.

    Regards
    Proud citizen of a ‘city’ called hougang

  • dezwangaudd

    Nobody can stop Him from putting any of his servants into any kind of parliament. It’s proven many a time from time to time.

  • yuya

    Yah. Heard of postman, ordinary worker who got into parliament?

  • political pundit

    It is too early to say how WP will evolve to be their much vaunted First World Parliament. They have never had this many MPs in Parliament and how each plays a meaningful role has to be worked out.

    But having seen Gerald’s dialogue with Tharman, I think he can get a good discussion going on certain policies.

    It is important to remember that Parliament is unlike the rallies where you go for showmanship, taunts and stoke people’s emotions.

    A non-confrontational debate based on Singaporeans’ interest first, with mutual respect accorded to PAP ministers and MPs is the best way forward.

  • Get Real

    “Jobs . How you gonna fight for jobs for us when you are not the union?”

    Read today’s ST.

    Your idiotic political system whom most of you guys swallowed hook,line and sinker all your lives removed a good guy or someone who has been identified for the job.

    Goes without saying, the idiotic political system removed GY. Should we resurrect GY to take on other roles in government perhaps? Better not because under the currect political contest for PARTY power in the next election, the oppositions will tell the gullible voters to vote out ministers without fear, and champion stupid alternative voices, because these ministers can later be resurrected for other government or GLC related jobs. But would it be the same? A big shoe like GY is hard to fill when he is still in his prime.

    The way I see it, if you don’t get rid of the pseudo democratic system and get rid of party politics, you are going to really rock the boat.

    WP is still a party and as arrogant.

  • Ant

    @get real

    so what do you suggest? Dictatorship? Monarchy maybe?

    To say GY is the only person for the job makes me think you have swallowed hook, line and sinker to the incumbent rhetoric. So what does it say about you? We are a country of 5 million and going on to 6.5 million aren’t you ashamed that we can say there is only one GY?

    Again your argument is mere speculation that if this happen opposition will win more seats. We at TOC regulars have accepted the PAP win even though grudgingly as there were other minister who deserve the boot like MBT, WKS, VB but that is our opinion.

    So losing one GRC is not going to sink the ship like the doomsayers. Accept the people’s decision like us who have accepted the decision of the majority.

  • A Sporean

    Mr Chen Snow Mao should offer his service for FM to PM Lee. Chen can offer to do the job at 50% at 50% of the minster’s salary.

    PM will get a very capable FM cheaper, faster and betterer.

  • Ant

    A lot of people talk of confrontational debate.

    Debate is : a contention by words or arguments: as a : the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure b : a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides that is according to the dictionary

    The word confrontational debate does not exist it is word coined by the PAP please remember that. Debate is to a certain degree confrontational like any other debate as we are fighting for the hearts and minds of the people. What I am not sure is all sides in the debate will have the magnanimity to accept the argument of the other and implement into policies. As Asian we are very scared to lose face, will these creep in even if it is policy that would benefit the people? Will the PAP as the incumbent now be able to do that? That is the question.

    Remember Obama put Hillary in his cabinet even after adversarial presidential election will the PAP be able to put a person like Tan Jee Say as Finance minister because of his economics background? Or Chen for that matter as he has background in international trade and finance? That is what true democracy about not the party but what they can do for the people.

  • @ant

    PAP has found the formula to identify good people. Unfortunately, they are screwed by party politics and by our political system.

    Structurally, this government will continue to be assaulted, as you are very much aware, I am sure, being part of the Internet community.

    Hence, structurally unsound, this govt has no choice put to change… STRUCTURALLY.

    And your idea of debate cannot work in the …wrong setting.

  • SPP supporter

    @ Karen Liu
    “We do NOT need a first world parliament at this point, maybe ever.”
    What a dumb & odious suggestion. Why don’t you go live in North Korea as LeeKingYou wheelchair has suggested to anor forummer? i think they would provide u exactly the one party system which u love, yes no?

    “For the uninitiated, parliaments with alternative voices around the world, including the US, UK, and many EU countries, are a collective mess.”
    & FYI the UK & the EU are generally having a much better fertility rate than ours due to the holistic & suitable measures they introduce. how do you judge they are a collective mess, pray tell?

    “No, PAP is not perfect. Yes, you have every right to say that many ministers are arrogant. And so I am entitled to say that Low TK is every bit just as arrogant when he’s not putting up a show, as are you, everyone of you who are demanding apologies left right and center from PAP.”
    well, for ppl who over-spent S$300 mil of OUR MONEY in organising one YOG, i believe we deserve an apology, yes no?

    i can’t believe i have the misfortune of sharing the same surname as you. i think i should change mine, maybe to sylvia?

    @ Resident of Nanyang Park Estate
    Me in LHH’s area too! i’m really hoping Sylvia Lim will be assigned to the Serangoon part of Aljunied GRC – she’s my idol!

  • SPP supporter

    sorry correction for the above.

    should be “i can’t believe i have the misfortune of sharing the same name as you. i think i should change mine, maybe to sylvia?”

  • Ant

    Hi

    Yes it did have a formula a long time ago but some of the talent spotted recently by the PAP is downright mediocre or worst so what happened to all the good people?

    Challenging norms and fighting for the hearts and minds of people is not assault. It is just like locals fighting for jobs with foreigners it is who can get the job done.

    You are observant to point out that the PAP is structurally unsound it is true as their system is similar to the Vatican system of the bishops choosing the Pope and the Pope chooses the Bishops. It is a self serving system.

    You are right my idea of debate will not work unless the parties have the maturity to accept others view rather then shooting down other views as noise or brushing it off as unworkable. As the incumbent now, will the PAP bring this maturity now to parliament? You must remember that the PAP were the ones who had the policy of destroying oppositions not the other way round whereby the opposition were out to destroy the PAP.

    In the tumultuous years of nation building PAP dominance was created by destroying the opposition this is baggage they carry and will carry into the future.

    As for the political system we inherited, it is not craved in stone political system changes, people change, wounds would be healed. People will start seeing that politics is in their hands and not in any party. This will give US the edge over any party.

  • Sengkang

    Wind of change…I think some of the PAP MP will be grateful what WP and opposition parties in helping them gain chance for “more say” within their party. I don’t believe that all MP in PAP is a group of blindly followers, they understand well some critical issue face by the Singaporean and just could not help as the “wind” is not on their side. After 2011 election, a new political landscape evolves so as PAP. However, if we still don’t see PAP MP stand up and speak for the Singaporean, then I hope no more crying and apology in the next General Election

  • Analyst

    @Karen Liu

    “We do NOT need a first world parliament at this point, maybe ever”

    - Are you saying the PAP is always right?1st world parliament can only be achieved when credible opposition candidates take up 1/3 of seats. Without 1/3 opposition, constitutional amendments can be abused to the advantage of the PAP, just like when the GRC system was introduced. One party system suits China, which has a huge population and needs a firm, strategic direction to take the country out of poverty. Actually, India should follow China. However, Singapore is different, with a mature economy. Singapore’s populace is sufficiently educated such that they don’t need any one party to tell them what’s right or wrong, what they should or should not be doing. The PAP certainly does not represent all sections of the community, hence, the need for other forms of representation. 6 seats is only a small start. We may not live to see the opposition take 1/3 of seats, but no single party should monopolize power forever, no matter how brilliant they are.

    “And so I am entitled to say that Low TK is every bit just as arrogant when he’s not putting up a show, as are you, everyone of you who are demanding apologies left right and center from PAP”

    - If you were the first to breakthrough a system that is often shifted to your opponent’s advantage,against all the odds, you have every right to be proud about it. If Low Thia Kiang were really as arrogant as you think he is, he will not win Hougang for 4 consecutive terms. Nobody is demanding apologies from the PAP. All we’re asking is for them to review and amend some of their policies.

  • Kway Chup

    If anyone tells you George Yeo can be easily replaced,or his loss is not a major loss for Sg…. and this person managed to get more than half the town to believe him, please let me know because I want to hire him to sell “kohyo”.

  • Ant

    I see many post here which are angry because GY lost in the elections.

    Firstly how do you know this was a vote against GY? Bear with me, GY is not standing as GY in the elections, he is representing the PAP party. This election would have been lost because of was the party stood for. With statements like “repent” being thrown around and threats of becoming ‘slums’. This was clearly a vote against PAP and not GY.

    So if you want to blame someone blame the party not the electorate.

  • ABrandNewDay

    I am very happy that WP got voted in. They have shown humility and a keen awareness of the peoples’ pulse. I am glad that people like Chen Show Mao who has incredible real-world credentials is stepping up to serve, which is evidence of his sincerity and desire to see real change; not simply to “oppose the PAP” according to LKY.

    PAP won’t have all the answers and the same goes for WP. We need all the good people we can find. The loss of GY is a loss for the whole country, not just for PAP.

    I do hope that MP & ministers will serve the country 1st, and party interests will not hinder that.

  • @ant

    Once you have accepted that it is indeed unsound, the rests of your argument against other areas is useless until you correct the structure.

    Now what system is fairer?

    I leave it to you intelligent people to mull over.

  • steve jobless

    don’t make a fool of yourself in parliament

  • KP-Man

    @Kway Chup,
    Day 3 without GY. Has Singapore imploded yet?

  • shalom

    I personally believe in setting up a system where people can give their best working within the system. It is not about very high salaries beyond ones’ actual needs, but more about dedication to serve,to care and to love unselfishly. PAP leaders must really wake up from their lost bearing of focusing on high salary rewards.

  • By-election

    Does PAP truly believe GY is so important? In 1992, by-election was held in order to bring in TCH. Hold a by-election in a MP GRC now, replace TPL by GY. Don’t blame the voters.

  • Ant

    Please read carefully debate per se in not unsound for democracy, I am questioning the maturity and acceptance of your so called enemy in parliament. It is like a rugby match will they after trying to tear each other heads off be sporting enough to shake hands with the winner or be able to accept that loser had made them perform even better then usual. That is the crux of the matter. We do not see that maturity in PAP because any alternative view is deemed against them. Why not see alternative view as for the people and accept it if it is good enough?

    This one upmanship is definitely not good for debate or the country.

  • Flushing

    “Once you have accepted that it is indeed unsound, the rests of your argument against other areas is useless until you correct the structure.”

    “Now what system is fairer?”

    - Who created the system? The PAP.
    - Who made the system unsound? The PAP
    - Who is going to change the system? The PAP or the people?
    - If the PAP is going to change the system, for whose advantage will they change the systm? Themselves or the people?

  • By-election

    Kway Chup,

    You said “If anyone tells you George Yeo can be easily replaced,or his loss is not a major loss for Sg…. and this person managed to get more than half the town to believe him, please let me know because I want to hire him to sell “kohyo”.”

    LKY said no big deal if GY lost. I believe him, and more than 54% of Aljunied reseidents believe him too.

    So please hire him to sell “kohyo”.

  • Nah-ifs

    KP-Man

    It is not apparent now. A person of clout honed through years of dedication can move…mountains. There are many things which are not apparent to ordinary folks.

  • @by-election

    LKY is frustrated by his own genius.

  • KP-Man

    @Nah-ifs,
    And for all we know, whoever takes over GY’s position MAY be a better person in the job; it is not apparent now, etc, etc. There is danger in believing that a person in a particular role is indispensable and irreplaceable. Notions like these create megalomaniacs, and its apparent who our current megalomaniacs are (the ones we created decades ago!). GY’s losing the elections may lead him to bigger and better things, because, like you said:
    “There are many things which are not apparent to ordinary folks.”

  • Nameless

    That’s the reason why I don’t waste time elaborating.

  • ideas

    Just 1 thought for you to think about!!!

    GY did not get the lowest vote in his GRC, according to the papers, LHH got less than 40% in her area, she is the weakest link in Alijunied GRC, blame her and the GRC system for GY lost and not WP!!!

  • citizpolawareness

    Should there be a WP convention or joint convention?

  • dopplerganger

    In Singapore our Parliamentarians seem to be nothing but estate managers. And all that we are seen to care about is whether our lifts are upgraded, carparks sufficient, our walkways are sheltered and our landscaping are nice. This is because the Ruling Party has at one point some 15 or 20 years ago established the Town Council control over housing estates which effectively politicized each housing estate. Thus in every election you will hear the candidates talk about what they will do for you in terms of brick and mortar. Also the housing estate as a political arena makes it difficult for opposition groups newly elected to step into the shoes of the current Town Councillor, not because they are stupid but because estate management calls for continuity of management in terms of personnel, physical layout of buildings and other land improvements which cannot be obtained without actual previous hands- on experience. Despite its ubiquity in our lives, estate management is not governing a country. Yet the term “Track Record” is banded about by the Ruling Party with pride. This is because in an estate, track record of good management is important indeed and if you have not been here for any reasonable length of time you certainly shan’t have a track record.
    In this way the populace is sidetracked away from national issues of greater importance than mere renewal and rearrangement of brick and mortar. The idea of good governance is obliterated. Good governance would consider some of the following: Don’t you think that a correct concept of the level of foreign workers is of greater importance to the continuation of Singapore as we know it and for Singaporeans. Don’t you think that a very very high salary like what our Ministers are now paid destroys the compact of the governor with the governed. A societal compact is thus transformed into a commercial contract. As in all commercial contracts the profits are all that matters. Thus you have the deluge of foreigners on the existing population completed disregarded. No amount of expanding the infrastructure would lessen the alienation the original population feels about his country. Within the short time span of 5 years the country is now different with a different source population, one that has not shared its social and biological history. A contractor on a commercial contract cannot bother with the evolutionary biology of the existing population. All he cares about is the GNP which is a proxy for profit. Governing a country is not the same as managing an estate. We have all been sidetracked into a limited view of governance which also is a view that assists the Ruling Party to focus on the infrastructure in terms of brick and mortar but leave out the abstract realities of Nationhood. Other functions of governing a country include regulating its fiscal policies, searching for economic advantage of new sources of livelihood and wealth for its people, societal well being in terms of promoting the family unit, religious freedom, human happiness and Human Rights and a host of problems facing the nation from time to time in its effort to exist as a nation amongst nations. Certainly this is not all estate management!

    We must therefore restore the idea of what Government is for in Singapore as it is in all countries of the world. What it is not is mere estate management. The opposition in Aljunied should bring back to the Nation the normal idea of government if it hopes to serve beyond its 5 year term and even to win other GRCs. Because the incumbent will always be better at estate management, viz repair of spalling walls, term contract for falling windows, cracked toilet bowls etc. This is because it takes time to be familiar with the defects of any estate. Only the incumbent has that kind of time.The WP will be forced out because its level of planned maintenance of Aljunied will be judged falsely or truly to be in its first five years to be inferior to the PAPs. And that would be a sorry eventuality of a mistaken concept of governance. I leave you, gentlemen and ladies of the WP, with the question of ‘what constitutes government?’Take this true view of the governing of a country to Parliament and pave the way for a multiparty Singapore.

    Like the formation of the concept of the GRC, the concept of the Town Council areal control being a unit of political Singapore is pernicious to democracy
    ( defined in the best way) and free elections in Singapore. They are designed to keep the country in perpetual thrall to the Ruling Party . WP we rely on you to rescue us out of this hole.

  • noony

    @dopplerganger,
    if the concept of the GRC is designed to keep the country in perpetual thrall to the Rulling Party, then why did Worker’s Party manage to get 6 elected seats in parliament and why do they allow the minimum 9 opposition members in Parliament, an increase from 5 years ago? Does this not show that the system frees up for more voices in Parliament? imagine if there were no GRC system…it would be a great deal harder for the opposition to get as many seats in Parliament as now. true the GRC system has its flaws such as the loss of deserving ministers like GY, but it does have it’s benefits too as stated above.

  • alitheia

    to whoever who wrote:

    “That is like asking you to open up your home toilet for public use. Or telling your kids not to distinguish between parents and strangers when showing filial obedience. Are you that “kampong spirited”?

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Your analogy is flawed: you’re confused over what is public and what is private/personal.

    2. Municipal issues are often
    non-political. It’s better therefore for estate-management to be above politicking and to be non-partisan. Community and neighbourhood leaders should work with whoever the elected MPs may be. This also allows the community to have continuity and consistency in planning and operations. Kampong or community spirit is also a good thing and should be fostered.

    3. It’s good for all MPs to engage their constituents more and to encourage active participation to help improve things at the municipal level – as envisaged in the Singapore 21 vision. It is now painfully clear how important it is to actually do this, rather than just leave as nice sounding statements.

    4. De-politicizing municipal issues also helps MPs to be more active in shaping policies at the national level. This will help in refining and enacting better national policies.

  • thinking soul

    4. De-politicizing municipal issues also helps MPs to be more active in shaping policies at the national level. This will help in refining and enacting better national policies.

    you expect people like TPL to shape national policies? i don’t even think a Sylvia, Pritam and Manap can do the job convincingly and there are many unsuitable people in parliament too.

    leave it to the pro. what does that mean?

  • alitheia

    to thinking soul:

    MPs are in parliament as representatives of the people.

    An MP helps refine a policy by weighing it’s pros and cons, looking at possible impact on Singaporeans, of whom his constituents are a part.

    All our MPs can do this. All of them must. Even TPL can – if she is willing to learn, and she must.

  • alitheia

    oh yes, I forgot to add that the vision for active citizenship in Singapore 21 goes beyond the municipal level – and in fact to the national level.

    Let me quote Mr Goh Chok Tong:

    “Singapore 21 is about a Home for a People, not a hotel. A Home where we feel comfortable with ourselves, where we look after one another, where everyone makes the country succeed. Our vision for Singapore is not houses of brick and mortar, but homes with hearts and dreams. People who feel confident and secure. People who believe in Singapore and its future. Let’s work together to make Ours the Best Home, for ourselves and our children.” (excerpt from Mr Goh’s speech in Parliament, June 5th, 1997)

  • cart-horse

    WP is putting the cart before the horse.

    We don’t need a first world parliament. We need first world citizens who can analyze objectively what’re the issues facing Singapore and what’s good for Singapore in the long term.

    If we don’t have first world citizens who can think objectively, our parliament will never be first world however many alternative voices we have inside. It’ll just be mayhem with stalled legalisations and blocked motions.

    Take heed. Be a first world citizen first. Educate your fellow Singaporeans to be first world citizens too. For the love of Singapore, we need first world citizens.

  • cart-horse

    So, never put the cart before the horse.

    A first world parliament needs first world citizens first and foremost, not alternative voices.

    With first world citizens, the alternative voices will naturally fall into place.

  • first world citizens

    Indeed we need to have first world citizens.

    GE2011 has shown that we have only 40% first world citizens.

  • alitheia

    to cart-horse:

    Singapore is nearly 50 years old as an independent nation. Our democratic tradition is nearly 60 if you reckon from our first general elections in 1955.

    50-60 years, which is nearly 2 generations, is adequate time for political maturation.

    But our path to political maturity was painfully slow. Some would say that we regressed several times.

    GE 2011 with more credible political alternatives is necessary to help us grow up again.

    I agree that there’s a lot of catching up to do. We need to be more well-informed, educated and enlightened.

    This is precisely why there is a need for greater transparency and accountability.

  • dopplerganger

    The time has come to examine the legality of Parliament voting to pay itself such magnificent salaries for Parliamentarians. The significant circumstance was that the move to pay itself those salaries was made possible because there were no effective countervailing voice to represent the consent of the citizenry. The WP has members who have wide and deep legal experience. Now that they have come to sit in Parliament, this matter of phantasmagoric salaries has got to be examined and put before an International body for adjudication as to legality. If not legal, then just like the ravaging CEOs of banks, the Parliamentarians must be asked to return their illegal remunerations to the Singapore taxpayer.

    There is a groundswell of the citizenry who are keeping their eye on this issue.This is the singlemost issue that would render Parliament as presently constituted null and void. If the ridiculously high salaries remain in place it is an affront to the intelligence of Singaporeans at its most fundamental level. It then cannot be expected that Parl;iament works for the benefit of the citizenry and not for the enrichment of the Parliamentarians themselves. It negates Parliament itself as Parliament becomes non representatiove of the citizenry.

  • cart-horse

    to first world citizens:

    Your mockng retort verifies that we are still very far away from the ideals of first world citizens. I rest my case.

  • alitheia

    to cart-horse:

    Apart from the “mocking retort” from 1st world citizens, you have not quite substantiated your case.

    You must first define what you mean by “first world citizens” – besides the rather cursory qualification of being able to “think objectively”. For example, is a strong sense of ethics and compassion an important criterion? How about a commitment to fundamental human rights, political accountability and transparency?

    Then, after defining and substantiating your assertion, you will still need to explain how we can, as a society, best nurture “first world citizens”. For example, what conditions will favour such a development and what are the factors that will engender such favourable conditions. Is freedom of speech important? How about an independent and free press/media?

    The reply by 1st World Citizens, is not totally invalid. The opposition, by and large, did raise issues in a largely objective fashion and I would suggest that a significant majority in the 40% who voted opposition made their choice in a similarly objective fashion (which is your preferred yardstick). So it could be argued, using your own logic, that GE 2011 have showed that we have had a promising start as an objective first world citizenry.

    Based on previous the results of the 2006 GE, I believe many of those who decided to choose the opposition this time round did so with the interests of Singapore as the paramount consideration. They are neither out and out pro-opposition nor die-hard anti-PAP. This again, augurs well for Singapore.

  • http://www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com The Pariah

    Funny how the PAP advocates healthy competition for everybody BUT themselves! Cheaper, Better, Faster, remember?

    Yet when it comes to the Parliament, PAP doesn’t want any competition from any other political party.

    And this is despite PAP’s perennial mantra that they don’t claim to have a monopoly of wisdom and best ideas.

    Is this evidence of PAP HYPOCRISY of the highest order or what?

    Think, Singaporeans, Think!

  • http://www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com The Pariah

    My fellow Singaporeans ……

    First World Electorate ==> First World Parliament

    First World Parliament ==> First World Government

    Pls do your part in active citizenry –

    DON’T just read but read analytically, contextualize it and reflect, evaluate.

    DON’T just rely on one source of info, cross-check from other sources, validate.

    Trust but verify, eh?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    PAP supporters are typical examples of mockng retort, hence they are still very far away from the ideals of first world citizens.

    You know you have lost the case, that’s why you choose to rest the case.

  • cart-horse

    First world citizens:

    Your replies make good examples of my case. That’s why I can rest my case comfortably.

    I said we need first world citizens before the ideals of first world parliament. If not, “first world parliament” is just a bunch of empty ideals.

    I certainly didn’t say certain supporters are first world citizens. You’re just driving a wedge by stirring emotions. Obviously, you don’t believe in first world citizens. You prefer abstract slogans and throwing virtual punches in a shouting match.

    Alitheia:

    My case is simple. First world citizens are independent thinking and objective individuals who can approach issues by finding out about their background, including the complex inter-relations and realworld limitations. They don’t rely on hearsay and simplistic ideals and appeals, especially emotional. Why is that important? Because alternative voices and free press are largely agenda driven, and not people driven. Their underlying aim is to secure power or to drive circulation.

    You’re also saying the current system needs more emphasis on ethics, compassion, accountability, transparency, the free press and personal expression. Yes, the Singapore system needs to evolve away from the yesteryears’ style of frenetic policy churning, towards a system with more engagement and buying in. So, you’re right in that sense, but I’m saying citizens also should learn to be more first world in their analysis too, rather than taking certain ideals at face value. Indeed, these broad liberal ideals, in their pristine forms, are very attractive both emotionally and intellectually. But first world citizens must remind themselves that realities are always different from ideals. If not tempered by hardnose first world citizens, will Singapore still survive the effects and maintain its viability, much less debate about these ideals in economic comfort?

    In the elections, these ideals are thrown up. Being ideals, they naturally have an easy appeal. You can argue that most decisions are rational. That’s your view, but what I see here is more of the emotional appeal of ideals coupled with a government too focused on policy churning rather than buying in. Eventually, we need first world citizens to discern ideals from practice, and between needs and wants. Maybe this is a first step towards developing these discernment. Let’s see how things go.

  • alitheia

    @cart-horse,

    Reading your post, the image and words of the Vulcan Mr Spock of Star Trek keep coming to mind.

    If you are calling for a more well-informed, rational and enlightened citizenry, then I have no disagreement on that.

    But you see, to expect an entire electorate to be coolly dispassionate, analytical, astute, discerning – like Vulcans – is utopian and wishful thinking as well.

    Furthermore, you have made some illogical connections: that emotions always addles the brain or that they lead invariably to bad decisions. That is simply not true. You may have a rather low opinion of those not like yourself, but trust me, the uncles and aunties who may not be as educated as you are, can be as wise as you are. I just spoke to a 60-something Teochew ahchek from Hougang this morning at a coffee shop – a total stranger. His political analysis is as sharp as any I’ve heard during the GE.

    And so, your brain-heart dichotomy is a false bifurcation. Furthermore, both the head and the heart matter. The head can tell you how to overcome a challenge, but it is the heart that carries you through the challenge.

    The heart is also a unifying force.

    The “all head no heart” approach is the very thing that lies at centre of what’s gone wrong with our nation.

    Maybe you can envisage a Singapore where everyone is a Spock-like Vulcan. But I’ll tell you this: Singapore wouldn’t be where it is if we had all been Spock-like Vulcans. For all its flaws, Singapore was built with some heart. One other thing, having “all head and no heart” Singaporeans won’t be able to bring Singapore forward. Most will calculate the odds and if the odds become too heavy, they won’t have the heart to stay and soldier on.

  • Tan Ah Beng

    Looks like it’s time to “过河拆桥”. Sitting back to watch the show to see how many 桥 will be 拆。:)

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    Using PAP word, you are a liar.

    You said you rest the case, but here you are again.

    Will first world citizens vote for PAP who gerrymendering?

    Will first world citizens vote for PAP, who unshamely use tax payers money to fund upgrading only for constiuency that are won by PAP?

    Will first world citizens vote for PAP, who do not accord the same rights of MPs to the opposition MPs?

    Will first world citizens vote for PAP, who use gutter politics?

    The list goes on …………

  • first world citizens

    alitheia,

    Agreed with you that “”Most will calculate the odds and if the odds become too heavy, they won’t have the heart to stay and soldier on.”"

    The SARs that happened in Singapore and the nuclear leak in Japan are best testimony to your statement.

  • first world citizens

    Conclusion : Since there are so many reasons why first world citizens won’t vote for PAP, there are only about 40% first world citizens in Singapore.

  • Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Daily SG 10 May 2011

  • cart-horse

    first world citizens,

    That’s why I say you’re far from first world. You speak in very simplistic terms. They serve themselves, you serve the people. They are corrupted, you have ideals. They are bad, you are good. So, vote them out, vote yourself in. When someone speaks like that, you know there’s something wrong with their sense of reality.

    You talk like whom you support are all cherubic angels hailing a higher cause. Let’s be brutally honest here. These people are politicians. They not only jostle for power in the national arena. They jostle for power within their own ranks. They posture for power through saintly slogans like this first world parliament or party renewal or influence peddling within their organisations. Some well-respected members are casualties of these power plays, like CST and JBJ.

    Of course, you can offer all sorts of explanations for their actions, but to me, this is just the nature of politics, inter or intra parties. I don’t believe that WP won’t favour a WP-affiliated to a non-partisan person in important positions whether in the non-partisan town council or the contractors, much less a PAP-affiliated person. If there’s a queue to be filled, the order will be determined accordingly.

    First world citizens aren’t so naive. Likewise, it’s useless to goad me that I have no right to reply because I’ve already “rest my case”. That’s a naive form of argument.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You justify the wrong doings to politics. But you can’t name anything wrong that WP has done. Just simply call it “”something wrong with their sense of reality.”"

    You do not have a self-respect. You are not a righteous man. You do not have a sense of juestice. But yet you want to believe everyone to be like you, otherwise you call them naive. ROFL.

    Please note that it is PAP way of concluding you are a LIAR, not me.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You behave exactly like those evil men when got caugth red-handed for breaking the law, refuse to repent. Instead, you will justify your illegal actions by saying “”anyone in your shoe will do the same thing”".

    May God bless your soul.

  • alitheia

    @cart-horse:

    Politicians are human beings. And like all human beings, they are no saints or angels. That’s why checks and balances are necessary. Imperfect as opposing politicians may be, the one thing they can be counted on to do is to check and balance each other.

    Look, not all voters can become enlightened, just as not all politicians can be upright. Democracy is far from a perfect political system, but all other systems are even worse and more susceptible to abuse of power.

    Your idea of first world citizens forging a first world democratic system is good but it is an utopian ideal.

    Furthermore, your reasoning is linear – horse before cart. But in reality, if you want a more enlightened citizenry, you need also to have some form of opposition. The more credible the opposition, the more accountable the system. The more accountable and transparent the system, the more informed and engaged the electorate will be. So, to use a phrase Mr Goh CT liked very much: it’s about establishing a “virtuous cycle”.

  • cart-horse

    first world citizens,

    I’m referring to your own sense of reality as a supporter. You’ve this very simplistic slogan “they’re evil, we’re good”. Is that the basis of your vote, for “good” to trump over “evil”?

    You’re righteous, because you think this world is evil versus good. I’m not righteous because I don’t think it’s so simple. Fair?

    In the more liberal countries, where they have a few parties with sufficient clout and finances, they can tussle freely in the courts, solicit from commercial organisations using favours, gain lobby groups by peddling influences. These parties and the press are actually more driven by own agenda and own gain, than by the people themselves. That’s a fact of life.

    Let’s ponder about a typical day in future when your favourite party has enough clout and finances to exert more influence.

    alitheia,

    I’m not really idealist. I’m objective and rather apolitical. I just believe Singapore needs to be pragmatic to succeed or even survive because our greatest competition is without, not within.

    I hope check and balance can be achieved with this in mind. That’s what I mean.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse:

    We must examine what we mean by success and survival as a nation.

    Every country is subjected to competitive pressures wrought by global capitalism – so we are not alone in our insecurity and our effort to secure a place in the sun.

    But it’s also important to realize that the global economy has become dysfunctional.
    It is destructive in its greed and unjust.

    The challenge and responsibility of governments today is to mitigate against these dysfunctions, not to partake in them.

    There is a difference between dysfunctional growth and good growth. If we choose to grow in a dysfunctional way, we will eventually pay a very heavy price. The final costs and losses will far outweigh supposed gains made by short-term opportunism. But if we choose wisely, we will grow in a more balanced way. Even though it may be more slowly, we will continue to survive and progress.

    Be careful of subscribing to ‘pragmatism’ as a guiding philosophy. It can be used to justify a lot of wrong things. Examine your assumptions over ‘pragmatism’, competition, survival and success.

    I bid you to mull objectively over what I’ve said.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You are not righteous because you accept gerrymendering, gutter politics, inequality, etc as part of politics. The real vitims of politics are Lim Chin Siong, Chia Tye Poh, Teo Soh Lung etc, those politicians whom are arrested under ISA. Worst, you even call people who fight againist injustice, inequality as “”something wrong with their sense of reality.”” Do not mock at righteous man.

    Let’s call a spade a spade. Do not simply say all parties bahave the same, just based on your “”forecast”". One day, if WP turns bad, we will say it is bad, NOT now. For now, PAP is bad, we say it is bad. When PAP turn good in the future, we will say it is good and we will not say it is bad because it will become bad again. Do you understand my simple reasoning?

    PM LHL has made positive step in transforming/reforming PAP into a more righteous party. Hope you will also become a righteous man in the near future.

    May God bless your soul.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    Pragmatism is not about making a clear choice between a distinctly good outcome and another obviously bad outcome. Life is not so clear cut like that.

    It’s about making a difficult choice between two unknowns each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The endgame is to have a good outcome that benefits as many people as possible and as long(term) as possible.

    I’m as pragmatic as you are. It’s just that we have different conclusions about Singapore’s predicament in the world.

    First world citizens,

    The problem here is the blanket label of “good” and “bad”. I won’t use such a blanket label as the basis for my vote because it’s too simple. But I won’t contest this basis. It’s the individual’s choice.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse,

    Life is uncertain and will always be. So, the question we confront will be: how do we decide; what values should guide us in our decisions?

    I believe pragmatism should be guided by higher values. Values like compassion, justice, equality are important because they are fundamental to who we are as human beings. When a society fails to uphold these values, it will sow the seeds of callousness, injustice and inequality. These will build up over time and redressing them become ever more difficult. That is why so many countries end up getting sucked into fractious and violent politics.

    I am not sure what different conclusions you may have about Singapore’s predicament. Perhaps it’s about economic growth.

    If so, then I believe that as Singaporeans, we have to make a decision – what is the price we are willing to pay to enjoy the good material life?

    Indeed, we have to take a step back and ask ourselves: what is the good life?

    My view is that we have made a Faustian trade and we cannot go on prostituting ourselves for Mammon.

  • first world citizens

    alitheia,

    Values like compassion, justice, equality are important because they are fundamental to who we are as human beings. When a society fails to uphold these values, it will sow the seeds of callousness, injustice and inequality.

    Well said. Kudo to you.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    I agree our system isn’t perfect or even nearly optimal, though common Singaporeans are arguably much better off than a sizeable number of people everywhere else. Despite all the imperfections, I won’t go so far to say that basic values aren’t being upheld here. That’s one thing.

    In any case, decisions must be guided by BOTH values and pragmatism. Both are essential. Values are perfect ideals, but it’s not pragmatic to expect zero imperfections, especially in big undertakings such as running a country.

    For example, we want the government to show more compassion for the needy, but honestly, is the government a good medium to show compassion, given the bureaucratic red tapes of “big government”? I thought compassion is a personal attribute. If we can’t readily donate or volunteer by ourselves, how easy will it be for us to willingly part with money destined for charity aka social welfare in the form of taxes?

    I’d say we need workable solutions, not perfect solutions. The only place to find people with perfect solutions is in job resumes. I believe we all take resumes with a pinch of salt.

    Values and pragmatism must work together.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse,

    Yes, there is no perfect system, but it is important to not abdicate our duty to prevent a system from becoming even more imperfect.

    It is not that our society has never upheld values. But I would say that these values are upheld in a patchy and even convenient way, subsumed to the overarching yardstick of pragmatism. We have confused means and ends.

    Compassion is a personal and also a societal choice. The failure to exercise it on the societal level cannot be explained away by bureaucratic red-tape. It is precisely because of the possibility of societal indifference that a system needs to commit and re-dedicate itself to compassion and other values. There is a reason why leaders are called ministers – for to minister is to serve. There is a reason why public employees are called civil servants or public servants.

    Herein lies a paradox – that inasmuch as values like compassion, justice and equality are fundamental to who we are as human beings, we humans are also fully capable of being callous, unjust and exploitative when we are in the position to behave so. Put another way, when things are going well for a person, it is easy for him to forget. It is only when he has drawn the short end of the stick will it be clear to him how important it is that society be not devoid of compassion, justice and equality.

    So, yes values and pragmatism must work together – with values always guiding our pragmatic choices as we search for solutions.

    And yes, Singapore is still a very good place compared to many other places. But as a society, it is spiritually and intellectually poor. Our pragmatism has given rise to docility and conformity, lack of imagination and creativity, an aversion to risk. If we persist on that path, we will become weaker and poorer materially as well in the long-run.

    The good news is that it needn’t continue to be that way.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    You’ve set noble aspirations for the government. But I contend your suggestion that the government can effectively work on guiding or even setting the values for an entire society.

    I seriously doubt any party can do that, whether it’s the incumbent or the alternative. You’ll be very disappointed if you place your hopes on any political party for this.

    Here as is anywhere, the government is a big machinery with huge hands. It doesn’t have small dexterious fingers to manage delicate touches for different cases. At most, it can help very general cases.

    State welfarism has proven to be a futile and wasteful exercise elsewhere. We’ve also witnessed the excesses and deficiencies of other exercises like the radical Cultural Revolution and our more mundane courtesy campaign. Is this a problem specific to just the incumbents only? Or a general problem with state runned campaigns? We should relook at our expectations for the government and re-evaluate our assumptions about how much is the government’s part and how much is our own.

    The government has fat fingers. We have more nimble fingers in our activists and volunteers. It’s better to put the correct fingers to the correct tasks.

  • horse-cart

    alitheia,

    As another illustration, look at the many biased and misinformed online postings and even articles both in this forum and elsewhere.

    No doubt there are imperfections in the system, but you don’t have to counter imperfections with more display of imperfections. Certainly, that goes against your ideals.

    We can say that confrontational politics has indeed brought equality, justice and compassion to a new level.

    If one’s looking for ideals, then the search shouldn’t be done within politics.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse or horse-cart,

    Sigh…am not asking a government to legislate compassion. Just to set the moral example and to do what it can to help make our society more compassionate.
    Whether the government has fat fingers or not, let me say that the fingers are fat when it comes to giving. But the fingers are extremely dexterous and nimble when it comes to taking. As for activists and volunteers – sigh…not many are really noble.

    I am not so naive as to bank all my hopes on a political party. But I expect political parties to live up to their ideals and to their promises. Indeed as a voter, I will hold them to these.

    We must refrain from citing external events like the Cultural Revolution unless we understand what truly was involved in that horrific phase in modern Chinese history.

    Am not asking for a welfare system. Nor am I advocating confrontational politics. I am advocating a government that is accountable, transparent, responsible and responsive. I want a government that is caring and humane. These are not noble aspirations. They are basic expectations if we want to think of Singapore as a first world country.

    Scrutinizing government policies without fear or favour is vital in ensuring accountability. This must happen in parliament and out of parliament – by the media and by the people. In the present Singapore context, the only way this can be done is for the opposition and those PAP MPs who still have integrity, to question and do their their duty in parliament. We cannot expect a compliant media to do the scrutinizing. They all know which side of their bread is buttered. And if the media is silent and fails to inform the public, then people will not know enough to even ask the right questions.

    Finally, on the postings. Yes, people can pose all sorts of views – informed or uninformed. But we need to learn how to see beyond what is written. Oftentimes, an uninformed view is still prompted by a very real sense of frustration, anger and resentment. We deny such feelings to our own detriment and peril.

    You are cynical about politics – saying it has no place for ideals. It is easy to be cynical but it is sad, and it is wrong.

    Neither you nor I nor anybody else has a monopoly on wisdom. But let’s not keep making the same mistake as a society – of being all head and very little heart.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    The fingers are fat in both giving and taking. If the bureaucratic giant is more flexible and responsive, people won’t be arguing about compassion (giving) and GST (taking). All governments suffer from giantism.

    Our activists and volunteers aren’t noble? That’s sad as a society. So, the government is expected to take an active role in promoting compassion from activism to volunteerism?

    Their ideals are like their job resume. Just take it with a pinch of salt, because many things take more than a political or governmental solution. We need less of government for certain things, not more.

    I don’t think those posts and articles are genuine voices of frustration. I see them more as works of provocatuers.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse,

    I shall begin with views we may hold in common:

    - that it’s better for government to be smaller rather than bigger (and ours is over-dominant and over-domineering);

    - that it is good to promote voluntarism and philanthropy if we want a more compassionate society.

    That said, my view is that even a trimmer, leaner government must do what it can to engender a fairer and kinder society. It does this by being a good role model and upholding values. In practical terms, that means always looking at how policies will impact on justice, equality, fundamental human rights. It means staying connected with the common people in order to know what the problems on the ground are. It’s not merely a problem of an unwieldy bureaucracy and faulty feedback, but a problem of loss of conviction and commitment; a problem of forgetfulness.

    On activists: if you were referring to PAP activists and the RC, CCC and PA type, then I can safely say that many Singaporeans are not impressed by these people.

    On forum posters – well, as much as you see them through your subjective negative lens as mischief-makers, you must be willing to concede that they too see things through their subjective lenses. My point is that it is foolish to dismiss people’s feelings – even though they may seem stupid to us. It’s good to take stock and to understand; even better to address these negative feelings early, ideally by looking into grievances and righting whatever wrongs may have done – even the inadvertent ones. For the PAP to be caught unawares by how deeply unhappy and resentful many Singaporeans are was a sad reflection of how disconnected the government has become.

    But we have probably digressed far too much from the initial topic. So allow me to pull us back: to the question of whether it is good to have a credible opposition presence in parliament. My view is still “yes” – for reasons already explained.

    We will probably disagree still on certain things. That is actually good because that is how life is – people are different. That is why it is healthy for a society to reflect and to try to accommodate and attend to different needs. That is why the monolithic approach we are used to – one that frowns upon differing or dissenting views – is not healthy nor enlightened. That is why we need, amongst other things, a parliament that is more representative of Singapore society.

  • http://Website(optional) cart-horse

    I say we must maintain a rational mind with a healthy dose of skepticism.

    Compassion, ie welfare for the needy – we seem very used to asking the government to do things on our behalf. What’s wrong with our own compassion? After all the passionate speeches, it looks like we ultimately just only want to outsource our own compassion to the government. Strangely enough, despite the frustrations, there seems an implicit trust that the government or rather the bureaucratic civil service can manage our donations (indirectly through compulsory taxes on us) efficiently and effectively for each case sheet with a human touch. On the one hand, we want less government so there’s more free hand for ourselves. Yet, on the flip side, we want the government to take the lead in compassion and even influence social values.

    The naysayers in forums and other sites have been demonising all things incumbent and hailing all things otherwise. Is the reality so simplistic? Are they really accurate and honest in their allegations? But why is the incumbent still in power with such overwhelming negativity? There’s some very strange imbalance here. For the love of Singapore, the rest has better stand to be heard too and to point out inaccuracies and exaggerations as need be. This is for check and balance.

    Opposition presence is fine as long as governance and policy debates doesn’t degenerate into political joustling. For me, that’s inevitable – party politics is confrontational. Let’s have this healthy dose of skepticism. This is also for check and balance.

    Let’s be rational about what politics is. But if things come to a head in future, we must learn to live with a government burdened by politicking. Ironically, the first thing to learn is to start taking responsibility for our own welfare instead of asking the government. If the government is mired in wrangling and given to short-term populist decisions (eg overly protectionists), we must watch our own competitiveness and employability/viability.

    For the real first world parliament, we need first world citizens who can reasonably put emotions aside to ponder what’re the real challenges facing Singapore. For the so-called first world parliament, we need first world citizens who are ready to depend less on the government and hopefully make things happen for themselves.

    Let’s have some skepticism. This is for check and balance.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse or horse-cart,

    Your logic is to have first world citizens then first world parliament. Same logic will means, to have first world parliament then first world government.

    Your definition of first world citizen is one who puts justise and equality aside. So to you, our National Pledge is nonsense.

    Your definition of first world citizen is one who does not expect “the government to take the lead in compassion and even influence social values”. PM LHL said “Securing our future together”. So to you, PM LHL posture for power through saintly slogans.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse,

    We have our respective views. That’s that.

    There are far more substantive issues that need addressing in our society.

    You have your part to play in shaping our society. I shall also do my part – even though they are in just very small ways.

  • first world citizens

    To fellow Singaporeans,

    I am not a great man, neither is cart-horse. Unlike cart-horse, I have never thoght I am a great man hence I don’t define what are the criteria to be first world citizens.

    Our great man, former DPM S. Rajaratnam has defined what constitue first world citizens in our National Pledge. Sadly, many Singaporeans who believe shameless people like cart-horse who use politics as an excuse to justify inequality and unjustice. Cart-horse even call those people who follow the National Pledge as simplistic.

    With first world citizens (defined by former DPM Rajaratnam), we will elect first world MPs into the first world parliament, and first world government will be formed.

  • 151004

    first world citizens knows what they want for the country, the environment and themselves. they are educated, knowledgeable, well informed, responsible and are able to accept the implications of their actions. they are not afraid of intimidation, and are willing to speak out on decisions and policies that affects the country, community and self. They have high degree of integrity, they are unselfish, and they are willing to sacrifice when necessary for the common good as they understand that there is no policy that makes everyone happy.

    the list of attributes can goes on and on. what attributes are relevant will depends on the definition of first world citizen. this is an important step towards first world parliament/government.

    in a democratic society, since the citizens elect their leaders, the type of leaders elected will reflect the state of mind of their citizens. we are first world parliament/government only when we have first world citizens. first world citizens elect first world people representatives. simply put, what you eat is what you are. we are close, but not there yet.

  • first world citizens

    151004,

    1) Who are you?

    2) Are equality and justice important attributes?

    3) How to make Singaporeans attain your “first world citizens” attributes?

  • 151004

    first world citizens,

    normally i do not reply but since i am still on the same webpage…

    1) i am a singaporean

    2) if you think that these two attributes are important, please add these in. first world citizens participates and are inclusive, so go ahead and ammend it. other people will re-ammend it, that’s democracy. it is not a one man view, it is the view of the entire entity. however, the more you add, the more you find that few will qualify to be first world citizen. so it has to stop somewhere; else it becomes an aspiration of perfection that is unattainable. then you are asking for a saint to elect a saint. but, we still need to try and inch towards perfection.

    3) educate and encourage the people to be an independent, responsible and critical thinker, and let them access to information are two important areas for people to make wise decisions. younger generations do not take things shaft down their throat, not because they are from mars, but because they are better educated, they think independently and they are better informed.

  • We are Singaporeans

    151004,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

  • first world citizens

    We are Singaporeans aka first world citizens.

    Sorry for using the wrong moniker.

  • cart-horse

    first world citizens,

    First world citizens will assess issues objectively for the common good, not on emotions. You know what? Hitler came to power in an election.

    First world citizens know that reality will never be perfect.

    If you truly take to the ideals of democracy, you won’t say I’m shameless for my views.

  • first world citizens

    The National Pledge (written by former DPM S. Rajaratnam) is recited by all Singaporeans. Hence it forms the basis attributes of first world citizens that can not be removed. Any other attributes can be added or removed based on evolution of the concept of first world citizens.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    PM Lee pledges a just and fair society. So you are saying he lies?

    Quote from 151004 “in a democratic society, since the citizens elect their leaders, the type of leaders elected will reflect the state of mind of their citizens”.

    Not perfect is not the same as accept inequality and unjustice.

    Quote from alitheia “Values like compassion, justice, equality are important because they are fundamental to who we are as human beings. When a society fails to uphold these values, it will sow the seeds of callousness, injustice and inequality”

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    In your definition, are PAP supporters first world citizens?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    I know because of the unjustice and inequality displayed by Hitler towards other countries, it has brought disaster to Germany. Hence, it reinforce the important of voting in a leader who has the 2 most important attributes, ie justice and equality.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    Of course I know reality will never be perfect. That’s why though 40% Singaporeans voted opposition parties, but only 6 opposition MPs out of 87 MPs are in the parliament.

  • cart-horse

    first world citizens,

    You’re quite good. You can make all these unrelated inferences from disjointed bits and pieces from another’s postings, articles and even speeches.

    That’s a typical way of creating misinformation. First world citizens should guard against this ploy of stirring emotions.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    Don’t be evasive!

    Did you lie or PM LHL lie (pledges a just and fair society) ?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You are liar!

    Both 151004 and alitheia comment on the first world citizens, but you call them unrelated.

    You said fair and just does not exist in reality, but PM LHL pledges a just and fair society.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You are a shameless liar without sense of justice and equality. You have no self respect and you are not righteous.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    I am proud not to be called first world citizen by your definition.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse:

    I had wanted to take leave on this particular discussion board but felt I must correct something you posted – which I think is important.

    You were wrong to cite Hitler’s rise to power to support your case.

    Hitler may have been elected but are you aware that before his election; he had tried to seize power in an undemocratic fashion through what is known in history as the Beer Hall Putsch?

    And are you also aware that after he became Chancellor, Hitler and his Nazi Party systematically destroyed all opposition, destroyed democratic institutions to set up a Fascist state? All dissent was silenced! Germany became a one-party state maintained through intimidation of dissenters and propagandizing of the masses. Fear and lies! It was a Reich that trampled over values for the goal of domination – by subjugating and destroying non-Germanic peoples.

    That was how Hitler was able to push Germany and the whole world into a calamitous war. Hitler never cared for the German people. They were just instruments for his lust for power. When Germany was near collapse, Hitler was willing to drag the entire nation down into the flames with him.

    Therefore, it was not because of a flaw in democracy that gave us Hitler and WW2. Rather, it was a fatal backstabbing of democracy by Hitler and his gang that gave us the nightmare that was WW2.

    If you are aware of these facts of history, then citing Hitler to support your case was insidious and very very wrong. It was despicable misinformation on your part.

    But if you were not aware, then please, have the humility to accept that your views and your arguments here are subjective and may in fact err in critical areas of understanding and reasoning.

    The answer to the dangers of a tyrant is therefore a democracy that supports opposing views, pledges to the upholding of values, commits itself to checks and balances and sets itself against one-party dominance and authoritarianism.

  • first world citizens

    alitheia,

    Thank you very much for your education on Hitler. I humbily state that I have much to learn from you.

  • alitheia

    first world citizens,

    We all have much to learn and much to do.

    You have rightly pointed out that we need to uphold our National pledge. I agree with you that this is most important.

    Anyone can see that there will be many many challenges ahead for us and our children. It will never be smooth sailing. Such is life, but the important thing is for us do our best.
    The greatest good for the greatest number – in a moral and ethical way.

    If we employ questionable means – even if it is for a worthy end, then the dubious means will taint and pervert even the most noble of ends; and we will always pay a much heavier price later on – if not us, then our children. Therein lies the danger of pragmatism as a guiding philosophy. Pragmatism can easily be justified with soulless words like “we live in the real world”. And because it is easy to paint the real world as a flawed world, it would not be difficult to degenerate into cynicism and from there, it is a treacherous slide down to perdition.

    If we succeed, let our success be a worthy one – achieved in an honorable way. And even if we fail to hit our targets, we still have the values to hold us together, to try again and to keep trying as a nation. That is key to our long-term survival. If we want Singapore to last for the next 100 years, our best chance of doing so is not to forsake what is right and good.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    Thank you for the clarification. I understand that Hitler rose through political manouevres and cunning dealings.

    But the fact is his NSDAP won the most seats in 1932 (almost a decade after his failed putsch in 1923). Even though it’s not the majority to grant him Chancellor immediately, but that position gave him the initial advantage and bargaining power to begin securing the position of Chancellor. Thereafter, it was just history.

    I feel you and first world citizens are thinking pragmatism is the sworn nemesis of principles.

    The Weimar enshrined certain principles in its constitution that indirectly led to the chaos and weaknesses in the its democratic system. These conditions gave Hitler the chance to gain an advantage through the system. At that time, the prevailing moods and circumstances in the Weimar didn’t favour certain principles.

    So, was it certain principles that failed democracy in the Weimar? Would a more pragmatic constitution made more sense for Weimar and avoided Hitler? Admittedly, it’s hard to judge then.

  • 151004

    information, information, information.
    brainwashed them by giving them certain information, condition them the way you want and you have power over them.

    information, information, information.
    expose them to the rich diversity of the world, let them explore and no power can take them.

    self-convincing is the most endearing, self questioning is the most beginning.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse:

    I had a hunch you would come back on that angle.

    Ok, let me use your argument about the importance of First world citizens.

    Tell me – was Germany not one of the most cultured of European nations? Did the Germans not pride themselves for their intellectual and rational achievements?

    How then could a barbaric Hitler and his Nazi thugs have risen to power in Germany – a country of cultured Germans?

    Yes, a substantial number of the German people voted Hitler into power – to their eternal regret. History records how Hitler and his gang exploited the provision of Emergency Powers allowed for in the Weimar Constitution. This was the flaw and a fatal one that went against the grain of democracy. You might note that this loophole has been removed from later constitutions of Germany. That is telling.

    Whatever one might say, a robust democracy is still the best safeguard against tyranny. The fact remains that checks and balances are crucial to the survival of a democracy.

    How can we prevent future elected leaders from exploiting loopholes and twisting the system? Be like the cultured Germans of the Weimar? Will that do?

    Ok – you don’t like the WP’s slogan, but aren’t you nit-picking? Yes it’s awkward and somewhat amorphous but it is simply about having a more representative parliament and a desire to make the government more transparent, accountable, responsible and responsive. What is so bad about that?

    Is that not also a pragmatic thing?

    Look at my postings – did I ever paint pragmatism as the sworn nemesis of principles? Surely you exaggerate. I am just as concerned about what is cart and what is horse in this equation. Using your metaphor, Principles/Values=Horse; Pragmatism=Cart.

    I cannot help but wonder – what exactly are you contending? And why do you have such a dim view of your fellow Singaporeans? And why do you presume that your intellect is superior and evidently more important than their feelings?

    What is your vision of Singapore then? A modern version of Plato’s Republic? And who will be the Philosopher-King, pray-tell?

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    In those periods, the Germans weren’t like what you think. They weren’t cultured and learned. They were poor, divided and facing hyperinflation because of a weak government and weak leaders who didn’t have time to tackle the real issues as most of their efforts and time were spent on political survival and power struggles.

    The society didn’t take to democracy well. Their Kaizer was forced into exile. The ill-devised democratic system was the result of the verdict from Versailles, along with war reparations.

    Their parliament was fractious and weak with more than ten parties arguing each other because of proportional representation. Among all these, the communists, the Nazis, the monarchists, and a few others aimed to take down everyone else by “participating” in parliaments.

    The president and army needed to exercise exceptional powers because the parliament was too weak to do anything. Chancellors faced divisive alliances within the parliament, and fell easily one by one.

    Hitler was a great emotive rouser and gained the most seats though not the majority. With this advantageous position, Hitler became the Chancellor through pacts and alliances. The rest and the president thought he could be controlled easily. But history showed they were disastrously wrong.

    I’m not pessimist with a dim view of people. I’m just more realist than idealist. It’s not all so rosy. There’s two sides to this actually. So, both should be presented.

    If in future, the government is immobilised by certain people in the name of “check and balance”, at least Singaporeans can be prepared to fend for themselves economically with little government initiatives. That’s the reality.

    Maybe you feel confident to vouch for WP, but can you do the same for certain others?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You warned againist voting in righteous people who provide check and balance. Yet you have full trust that the unfair and unjust government will not turn into another “”Hitler”". You have twisted logic.

    You insisted that in reality, all politicians are evil, yet you do not believe in check and balance. You contradict yourself.

    You don’t dare to answer my question :
    Did you lie or PM LHL lie (pledges a just and fair society) ?

    I have discovered another of your bad character, ie you have no courage.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse:

    I beg to differ with your view on cultured Germany. But I shall leave you to contemplate what you would do – if you have the chance – to prevent a Herr Hitler from becoming Der Fuhrer.

    Am I vouching for the WP? Again you misrepresent. I’m advocating an accountable government. An accountable government need not be an immobilized government. And really, 81 PAP MPs are by no means immobilized.

    Let me conclude though with a concurrence – we reap what we sow. I say we sow what is right and good for a society that is just and fair – as PM Lee has pledged.

  • http://Website(optional) cart-horse

    first world citizens,

    First world citizens won’t disparage another for their views. They won’t resort to rabble rousing by painting the others as wrongdoing devils and themselves as righteous angels. All I said is that I’m a realist who thinks the world isn’t so simple and yet you treat me like a sinner because you absolutely want to see me prostrate before the ideals of your supposed perfect way of life. That’s not check and balance. It’s pure intolerance.

    alitheia,

    Post-WWI Germany was difficult times for the people. In times like that, you need strong leaders, but the system didn’t help, especially the part about proportional representation. That splintered the rest against the rabble rousing NSDAP.

    Killings and disorders was rife with a reasonable chunk due to Nazi influences. You may cringe at this, but if Hitler and his ring leaders had been neutralised early in their troublemaking, there might be a little less trouble. There were more than 10 failed atttempts on Hitler but all these happened after he was Chancellor. But I doubt taking Hitler out of the picture earlier would’ve changed the troubled situation of Germany, whether politically or socially.

    I think accountability ie check and balance requires an objective thinking citizenry. Political competition may not help as seen in Germany’s case if the citizenry is not objective enough to see issues clearly but easily given to emotional influence from whichever party who chooses to whip that up.

  • alitheia

    cart-horse:

    The best people to answer your question on Germany would be the German people.

    Look at their Grundgesetz or Basic Law that was enacted after 1949 and ratified after German reunification. The key feature is a full and unequivocal commitment to human rights. Look at how the German polity also moved to strengthened the judiciary. Notice too how political parties can be abolished if they violate democratic principles enshrined in the Basic Law.

    The German people – after the nightmare of Hitler – opted to strengthen democracy.

    I am just as against demagogues as anyone else. But calling for accountability is not demagoguery – not by a long shot. Asking for greater checks and balances is not stirring or whipping up the mob.

    A strong government is not one that rules by dictat but with accountability and responsibility.

    Human beings – even the most enlightened first world citizens – are not Vulcans or Saints. We will always be fallible – susceptible to intimidation, bribery, selfishness, poor judgement etc.

    Politicians – even the most enlightened ones – are rarely Mahatmas and we cannot afford to naively think that any will be.

    In such imperfection, we owe it to ourselves and our children to establish a system that safeguards against both the mob and the autocrat. This is the democratic system of checks and balances, of an independent judiciary, an independent media, of civil society.

    Despite our small size; despite our lack in so many areas, Singapore is in a good position to be a shining example of democracy. Indeed, I would posit that greater democratization will in fact be good for our economy and for building stronger economic foundations.
    The answer is not less, but more democracy.

  • cart-horse

    alitheia,

    Rest assured, I’m not insinuating about you. Your comments are ok.

    I feel the Allieds are more benign towards Germany after WWII and that played a part in the healing. I believe, apart from the Germans, they had a small part in Germany’s modern system.

    Objective scepticism is a sign of maturity in citizens. It’s the best and ultimate check beyond the system. As Singaporeans, whichever side we tend, it’s a mark of our love to Singapore and our children to put ideas and remarks in perspective when they are blown over proportion.

  • first world citizen

    cart-horse,

    Are Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Mr. Goh Chok Tong and PM Lee Hsien Loong first world citizens?

    Did you lie or PM LHL lie (pledges a just and fair society)?

    If you answer the above 2 questions, I will stop disparage (your word, not me) you. But do you have the courage?

  • first world citizens

    Fellow Singaporeans,

    Quote cart-horse “A first world parliament needs first world citizens first and foremost”.

    Quote from 151004 “in a democratic society, since the citizens elect their leaders, the type of leaders elected will reflect the state of mind of their citizens”.

    Quote from alitheia “Let me conclude though with a concurrence – we reap what we sow. I say we sow what is right and good for a society that is just and fair – as PM Lee has pledged.”

    Obviously, it is illogical for cart-horse to say that in reality, first world citizens are not fair and just. Simply put, it is self fulfilling prophecy example!

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    Your example of Hitler has the same logic as the YPAP Cheo Ming Shen, who said Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is equivalent of Nelson Mandela to Singaporeans.

    Cheo Ming Shen = cart-horse?

  • cart-horse

    first world,

    I don’t understand what your obsession is about. I’ve my views and you’ve your ideas. We have different opinions about how things can be done, what’s viable and what the priorities are. I’ve put forth mine, and you’ve also said yours. There’re obviously some disagreements here and there. But that’s it.

    Instead of settling on that, you choose to call me a liar and a coward. Now, you’re even trying to make wild guesses about me. What’s that about? Are you going to stalk me? Well, you can go ahead to confront whoever you think I am if you want, since it doesn’t really affect me. Whatever feud you had with anybody is between the two of you. But pardon me being frank here, the way I see it you’re basically harassing someone.

    You (say you) honour equality. What is the essence of equality between the two of us? I’m entitled to my views, right? Without having to suffer your harrassment, right? Instead of that, you’re behaving otherwise by using harsh labels and threats of harrassment. So, in the end, do you really honour ideals of the pledge yourself, specifically equality?

    If you can’t honour equality between two individuals in a private discussion, I wonder how you can even talk about equality among the population with all sorts of opinions.

    Anyway, that’s reality. People disagree. And when they do, you can practise your ideals of equality by respecting this disagreement.

    Do you understand what I’m saying?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    What are your answers?

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    I like to call a spade a spade. You are a liar and a coward. You are typical evil man when confronted with evidences of wrong doings, you will blame everyone except yourself.

    A wild guess is a wild guess. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Infamous inequality speech from BG Yeo “You must make distinctions – what is high, what is low, what is above, what is below – and then within this, we can have a debate, we can have a discussion,”

  • cart-horse

    first world,

    Now, are you in a quandary between ideals and reality now?

    Ideals can guide us in the broader schemes but there’re always pragmatic decisions to be made in practice. Where is the line? That’s reality.

    I applaud your fervent wish to honour your ideals like equality. But sad to say, you’ve already unknowingly drawn a very unreasonable line mentally. And you disparage and intend to harass me based on that imaginary line in your mind.

    Come on, what I said is fair and moderate. I don’t think anyone will say that my ideas are too radical like nudism or anarchist. I’m just saying we must be realistic and objective.

    So, aren’t you drawing the line too near your side of the spectrum? Is your line too “unequal”? Are you going to criminalise all those on the other side of your mental line?

    Ideals are perfect. Reality isn’t. How much do you accept of each? What are the considerations and consequences in relation to our limitations? They’ll collide at some point and you’ll need to draw the line. That’s pragmatism.

  • cart-horse

    first world,

    You can quote as many sentences as you like, but you’re just quoting out of context.

    Firstly, out of historical context, example the audience that the sentence was actually meant for, the occasion, the mood, the circumstances.

    Second, out of the present context now. What has all your different quotes sprinkled here and there has to do with what we’re talking here?

    Obviously, you’re out to harass, to take down opponents. Not to discuss. That’s how the Weimar parliament failed. Every group is trying to take down the rest. They weren’t discussing issues in the interests of the people. They just want to trip the others and make them fall.

    Please examine how well you’re practising the pledge. Take a close look. You’ve actually drawn many lines yourself. As I highlighted, the lines seems to defeat the very ideal you’re trying to practise.

  • first world citzens

    cart-horse,

    Are Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Mr. Goh Chok Tong and PM Lee Hsien Loong first world citizens?

    Did you lie or PM LHL lie (pledges a just and fair society)?

    If asking you question is considered inequal to you, I don’t know what to say.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    You are so one-sided in your argument. All my quotes (including quoting you!) are considered by you as out of context. Whereas your quoting of “Hitler” case is not. ROFL.

  • cart-horse

    first world,

    Ok. You want me to answer 2 specific questions.

    It’s only fair to speak for myself.

    Similarly, I’ll only speak for myself. I put my heart in the pledge. But that doesn’t mean I must lie to say that there’ll be no difficult situations where I must exercise judgement.

    For example, should I tolerate you seemingly try to identify and so to harass me just for our differences in views? At some point, I must draw a line. I hope you understand this dilemma.

    Well, I’m very sure you aren’t happy with the answers. But please don’t take that out on anyone you imagine that I am. Please exercise your due judgement in this personal conflict of yours between ideal and practice.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    Hahahahaha ………..

    You call that answers?

    You put your heart in the pledge without believing justice and equality exist in reality. Hahaha ……….

    Thanks for your joke.

  • first world citizens

    Q1 : Are Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Mr. Goh Chok Tong and PM Lee Hsien Loong first world citizens?

    Cart-horse said “First world citizens won’t disparage another for their views. They won’t resort to rabble rousing by painting the others as wrongdoing devils and themselves as righteous angels.”

    Q2 : Did cart-horse lie or PM LHL lie (pledges a just and fair society)?

    Cart-horse does not believe just and fair exist in reality.

  • cart-horse

    first world,

    It’s ok. You can pretend. That’s fine with me. I know that you know what I’m saying.

    Most importantly, other reasonable people know what I’m saying. Alitheia knows enough to carry a great discussion.

    Just try your best to honour the pledge. Be mindful of the lines you’ve drawn unconsciously. You’re not perfect, though you try, but just don’t harass people because you are intolerant of their views. That’s defeating the very ideal you’re advocating.

    Good luck.

  • first world citizens

    cart-horse,

    I will never pretend like you did pretend to answer my questions.

    Good luck.

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