PAP Candidate for Aljunied GRC Victor Lye made a controversial Facebook post on Wednesday (20 May). He shared an experience on how a young resident had asked him if he was paid to do such community work. In the latter part of his post, he took the imperative to share about how the “best losers” are paid by virtue of them being Non-Constituency Member of Parliaments (NCMPs).
The alleged response from the resident was that the PAP “lost by the smallest margin (of less than one percent). Yet, opposition losers gets (sic) paid and sit in Parliament while you still walk the ground with no pay and no Parliament seat? Better you join opposition!" The resident also asked him if Lye was “crazy” for enduring such conditions for free.
But is this really the case that the NCMPs are collecting salaries without doing anything?
Brief checks on Facebook pages of the current NCMPs - Dennis Tan, Leon Perera, and Daniel Goh – show that they have been active walking the ground at a frequency that is no lesser than Lye himself. These NCMPs have also contributed to the quality and diversity of Parliamentary debates. For example, the Oxford-educated Perera has suggest a time gap before civil servants are allowed to enter politics.
This incident is not a one-off incident, with Lye having made several political low-blows against his political opponents.
In Feb 2015, Lye shared his experience on how he had visited Hougang and sharp leaves had result in children being “cut”. Shortly before the elections, the Aljunied team had also distributed flyers in the middle of the night to residents warning them about the alleged mismanagement by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.
Not only does this behaviour seems to be ingrained in the PAP brand of DNA, it is also divisive to Singapore and Singaporeans as a whole.
When Loh Thia Khiang was elected as MP in 1991, the only bursary available was Education Fund of the Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC) under the Hougang Community Centre. However, the Adviser to the CCC was the unelected PAP candidate, who said he would no longer be giving out bursaries to these families. Low was “concerned and disturbed” at such a practice.
Despite having to face other challenges as a newly elected MP then, he believed that children from struggling families should not be left struggling on their own. While he initially assisted some constituents from his own personal resources, he was keen in finding a longerterm solution and set up the Hougang Constituency Education Trust to assist these residents.
Some 22 years later during the Punggol East by-election, Dr. Koh Poh Koon was quoted as saying that it is a “fallacy to believe that you can have the best of both worlds – choose a person to make a statement, but hope that the other person who is voted out is going to have all the resources, all the authority to get the work done for you.”
A similar tone was also echoed by Murali during the Bukit Batok by-election.
Already, our neighbours under the new Pakatan Harapan coalition has shown that such divisive politics are not to be tolerated when they decided to disburse oil royalties directly to the state government rather than through federal government agencies. If they can take the lead, then it is perhaps a clear signal that such divisive politics no longer have a place in this world.