Monday, June 05, 2006

About the Institute of Policy Studies’ post-GE survey and what’s next

The Institute of Policy Study post-election survey has confirmed what I have long suspected.
It is that I am indeed part of an overwhelming majority who feel that “fairness of government policy” and the desire for “checks and balances” are important. I can safely say now that mine are the views of a typical Singaporean and not those of the “radical English-educated intelligentsia” as previously thought. We are not a minority that can be ignored on the excuse that we are a lunatic fringe.

We want fairness and different views
According to the survey more than 80% of respondents felt that “Fairness of government policy”, “Need for different views in Parliament”, “Need (for) checks and balances in Parliament” were essential to them in the recent polls. They indicated that these were "very important" or "important" to them.

Don't use upgrading as a carrot
In this same survey, “Upgrading” was considered unimportant as an influence for the way they voted as only 30% indicated it as "very important" or "important". The findings clearly show that to use “upgrading” as a carrot is insulting to Singaporeans in general and the voters in Hougang and Potong Pasir in particular. This tactic should be dead and finally buried.

Be fair to Hougang/Potong Pasir: provide funds
It is my sincere hope that the authorities will honor the wishes of the electorates in these two constituencies. Funds should be made available to them for upgrading on an objective “needs-basis”. As mentioned by many ad nauseam, the voters of Hougang and PP pay the same tax as everyone else and should thus be treated fairly. Also,it would not do to have any eye-sores or slums in our midst in view of impending exciting developments such as the Integrated Resorts.

The MP's should be grassroot advisors
Low Thia Kiang and Chiam See Tong, as rightfully elected MP’s should be appointed advisors to the grassroot organizations which are, after all, supposedly “apolitical” and funded from the national coffers. Any grassroot leaders who find it detestable and odious to serve a non-PAP MP have the right to resign,of course. There is no compulsion and it is voluntary, even if it is to serve the people.

The route to an open and responsible democracy will not necessarily be smooth but will definitely be a journey worth attempting.

S C Huang

(an extract of this article has been published in the forum section of The Straits Times 6th June 2006 as "Give opposition MP's and wards their dues")

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