Staking the higher ground

Now that the Singapore General Elections will be held on May 7th, the traditional political mudslinging has started in earnest. The first salvos was fired by the ruling party who, for the first time in a long time, will be losing many seats and are fearing the loss.

The ruling party has started attempts at character assassination of one of Worker’s Party’s candidates who has made his mark on the world and is now looking at contributing to Singapore. Chen Seow Mao.  Why do they do that? It has to be because the Minister Mentor has said repeatedly that no one would want to go into politics and public service unless they get paid exorbitantly. An d that if they do, they’d want to be under a PAP ticket so that they can be guaranteed victory. Because there has been no checks and balances in the parliament for so long, the ruling party did pretty much what they wanted with impunity. They’ve gerrymandered the constituencies and all of the re-drawing is done in secret and no justifications given. This is by a group of people who the current Prime Minister (who gets over S$4 million a year) had the cheek to say on Sunday April 17 at some party event:

“Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reminded his audience of these key points as he launched the ruling People’s Action Party manifesto during the Young PAP’s 25th Anniversary Rally held at the NTUC auditorium on Sunday morning. 
In his opening address to senior PAP cadre members, new General Election candidates as well as government Ministers, he said,

“Never forget we are servants of the people, not their masters. Always maintain a sense of humility and service.Never lord it over the people we are looking after and serving.” 

He added, “Be as strict with ourselves as we are with others, because that is the way for us to win respect and support… However many years you may be in power, however long you may have been an MP, remember the People’s Action Party, you are acting on behalf of the people.” Looking back over the last five years, PM Lee, who is also the party’s secretary-general, said the PAP had done well and “passed the examination.” “We don’t give ourselves our own report card, but I think if people asked me, I would say, we have passed the examination,” he said. “What we can do we have done, and in a practical outcome. I think it has helped many, many Singaporeans.” Touching on the wide-ranging 30-page manifesto, titled Securing our Future Together, PM Lee said “the PAP has always delivered” and that was why the people should “trust the PAP”.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, your statement has shown that you don’t practise what you preach. You say one thing to your “comrades” and do another. If we are indeed your masters and you claim to be our servants, you certainly do not seem to behave like that. Did you cross your fingers behind your back when you uttered those words, Hsien Loong?

If you do indeed believe what you said, and I will give you the benefit of doubt, let me challenge you to the following:

a) Reduce immediately all salaries of ministers to 1994 levels. Let’s then have a frank discussion with Singaporeans about what the increment should be.

b) Remove GRCs

c) Publish all the details of investments (failures, losses, gains) by Temasek Holdings and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.

d) Eliminate walkovers – every person who contests in a ward has to win a minimum 25% of votes in his/her favour before gaining a seat.

e) Publish how much is being paid out as pensions to retired MPs – what is the burden on tax payers?

f) Account for why Wong Kan Seng should not be held accountable for the Mas Selamat fiasco?

Can the Master ask the Servant to do it? My sense is that you will not do any of this. Doing so will mean admitting that the party’s rhetoric and action are incongruent – which is a classic enactment of the Emperor’s New Clothes. When you surround yourself with Yes-men and Yes-women and you get the people from princelings, SAF, unions and academia, you have the worst form of inbreeding and group-think. No one will succeed challenging your policies from the inside. Even your “youngest” candidate has been thoroughly discredited for showing that she is really nothing more than a Yes Woman.

I am really glad to see that the Worker’s Party has taken the higher moral ground and I must take my hats off to Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, Gerald Giam and the others who have steered the Worker’s Party down a path of reason, conviction and fair-play.

Come May 7th, I know who I am voting for. It is for  ABP – Anyone But PAP.

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