Wednesday, June 28, 2006

GRC: The Whole Truth Finally

Dear friends,

Now finally the truth is out about the GRC's actual roles.

It is a shame that PAP is unable to attract candidates based on ideology and idealism . So no one will sacrifice anything for the nation?

In stark contrast we see the people in the other political parties who have passion and enthusiasm. Although they have nothing to gain, they continue on, year after year, motivated only by the notion that what they are doing is right!

Unfortunately their efforts may not amount to anything concrete as their desire to serve the nation would be obstructed by the ruling establishment who are in control of the government machinery and the nation's purse-strings and would very likely use all manners of rules and regulations ( albeit legally) to prevent them from attaining their aims of social justice and true unfettered democracy.

The PAP is saying in our face, we are using the GRC to our advantage; we use government monies to get PAP votes etc. We can do it and have done it. You can do nothing about it!

Let me quote from Professor Linda Lim ( see post below : Singapore, Place or nation?)
who said, “In the same manner, it is when I enter public service even though it pays a fraction of what I could earn in the private sector, that I can claim to be primarily interested in the public good and national welfare and to have a passion for public service.”


Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan

Straits Times June 27, 2006
GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM
Without good chance of winning at polls, they might not be willing to risk careers for politics
By Li Xueying

SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday gave a new take on the role of Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) in Singapore politics.

Their role is not just to ensure minorities are adequately represented in Parliament, he said. They also contribute to Singapore's political stability, by 'helping us to recruit younger and capable candidates with the potential to become ministers'.

'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,' Mr Goh said at an event marking the appointment of members to the South East Community Development Council (CDC).

'Why should they when they are on the way up in the civil service, the SAF, and in the professions or the corporate world?

'But he was quick to add that GRCs themselves do not guarantee victory.

'A minister wins only because he has won the people's trust and the Government has delivered good results for the people. If a minister performed poorly, it could result in his losing the GRC to an opposing team with a strong leader,' he said, in what appears to be an oblique reference to comments made against GRCs in the general election held this May.

Since GRCs were introduced in 1988, critics and the opposition have attacked them, saying they allow rookie People's Action Party (PAP) candidates to get into Parliament on the coat tails of heavyweight candidates in their team.

Also, they do not lend themselves to a level playing field, they add, as the opposition struggles to find the specified minority-race candidates.

Mr Goh carried four new faces into Parliament in the six-man Marine Parade GRC team, which was unchallenged at the 2006 polls.

(The rest of article truncated)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

PAP running out of reasons to justify GRC concept.

What SM Goh gave was a reason. But whether the reason is acceptable, ethical, correct and clean remains debatable.

In my view, after giving some thought, SM Goh's reason is crap.

It goes against the spirit of public service, sincerity to serve and promote the kiasuism mentality of Singaporeans.

100% must win then willing to stand?

Everyone knows in life, there is no such thing as 100% warranty and 100%guarantee.

I thought government always encourage Singaporeans to be more daring,take risk and be entrepeneurial ?

How come this Risk Theory does not apply to PAP MPs ?

Are PAP personnel that risk averse? Then what right do PAP MPs have in asking Singaporeans to take risks and bite the bullet all the time ?

It is time PAP bite the bullet themselves and rise up to the new challenges in the changing business and political climate which PAP themselves always urge Singaporeans.

I would urge PAP to win by the book for once. Show Singaporeans and the world PAP can win by the book and win fairly.

PAP should not always hide behinds cloaks & daggers to win. It makes them weak,complacent and fat.

When negotiating with other countries, will the PAP MPs be allowed to hide behind GRCs and be protected?

PAP must stop this mentality.

Now if I as a normal unthinking Singaporean citizen can think this thoughts, why can't our educated Singaporean journalists think of this point and write in their papers ?

I am disgusted SM Goh can talk like this. If Parliament ratio was PAP 45 : AP 39, would SM Goh dare to spout such nonsense? He is hiding behind PAP's dominant majority in Parliament.

If SM Goh was in the private sector, and he said these kind of words, he would have been laughed at.

He is promoting a bunch of kiasu and greedy guys into Parliament and he actually endorse such mentality and behaviour.

I am frightened at the thought I have such a man for Senior Minister.

I fear for Singapore.

Anonymous said...

What SM Goh actually really mean is to discourage successful professionals from joining alternative parties (AP).

Actually, to break PAP's monopoly and cycle is very simple.

Just gather a fellowship of 84 successful professionals which is not hard to find in Singapore and put them in Worker's Party.

Wallah, we will have a different election from yester years.

But will these successful professionals take the "risk" given the kind of Singaporeans produce year in year out under 40 years of PAP rule are so pragmatic and stoic?


SM Goh is actually refering to these successful professionals and sending them a signal or begging them not to join alternative parties or the "boat will be rocked".

It is very easy for these successful professionals to join alternative parties but PAP keep implanting the "Illusionary Fear" and "Risky" environment into them.

In the end, GRCs are meant to keep these successful professionals from joining alternative parties because GRCs increase the risk of winning any election.

GRCs are also meant to test the strength of the fellowship.

GRCs are usually won not by candidates themselves but by the unity of the candidates in the GRC team.

Imagine a PAP GRC team subject to strict hierarchies and rank VS a loose bunch of professionals teaming up for the first time under an AP banner for a GRC.

Who will win in the end?

No matter how successful the professionals of the AP team in their own fields, without the unity and cohesion required, they will still falter in the last lap.

For this scenario, PAP has the upper hand because of their tradition and history and PAP knows this.

PAP will use all methods and barriers to prevent them from losing even if electorate has no more faith in them.

A win is a win so no matter how ugly the win is, PAP do not care.

If PAP cannot get the man they want, PAP would make sure neither does AP get the man.

This is the ugliness of Singapore poltiics.

For APs to succeed in GRCs, they must get successful professionals like James Gomez, Tan Hui Hua, Brendon Siow, Eric Tan, Slyvia Lim etc who can do the job but willing to follow at the same time.

I hope smart and thinking professionals will not fall for SM Goh's tricks.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that PAP is unable to attract candidates based on ideology and idealism . So no one will sacrifice anything for the nation?

In stark contrast we see the people in the other political parties who have passion and enthusiasm. Although they have nothing to gain, they continue on, year after year, motivated only by the notion that what they are doing is right!

-----------------------------------
Well said! One merely needs to look at the likes of the oppositionists to see that there are no shortage of people out there who hold higher ideals in life than those self-serving money-faced PAP automatons and clones. PAP has long ago lost the moral authority to lead my country. I have hope for Singapore and S'poreans, but PAP must go!

Anonymous said...

PAP looks worried and frightened now.

First Lee Kuan Yew say can support opposition but cannot change government

Now, Goh Chok Tong also say the same thing.

Last time, both said THERE IS NO NEED FOR OPPOSITION !!!

Even an Ah Beng or Cha Kway Tiao man in their shoes will say the same thing.

It is all about protecting self-interest and their own iron rice bowl and riches, not protecting Singapore.

They keep using the excuse of foreign investors. Even foreign investors wants a choice too when negotiating with governments, not to mention civil servants, people and unionists.

PAP sound as if Singapore will not be attractive to foreign investments once Worker's Party form the government.

PAP make it sound like Singapore will turn into East Timor overnight and Singaporeans becoming unruly bloodhounds if PAP lose power.

What scare tactics and nonsense is this !?

If the PAP government did its job and introduce the correct economic fundamentals and systems while in power, foreign investors will still invest in Singapore even if PAP lose power.

PAP is not Singapore and vice-versa.

Foreign investors is investing in Singapore as a country and not investing in PAP as a political party.

If PAP's theory is correct, then investment in countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US should be very low because they change governments every election year and considered politically unstable.

Countries like China, North Korea, Vietnam and Myanmar should be a heaven for foreign investors because they are the same ruling party for decades,not years and considered very politically stable.

WHAT RUBBISH !?!

Maybe this argument can work 30 years ago when Singaporeans are uneducated but now Singaporeans can think. Besides we have living examples of successful democracies and successful economies cohabiting side by side. Mind you, we are talking about the richest nations in the world.

Countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US have scandals but it never seriously rock the economy or markets because they have a sound system and trust which Singapore do not have.

Singapore have one NKF scandal and it almost cause the charity industry to collapse overnight because of lack of trust, transparency, laws, system and opposition (TT Durai ruled like PAP). It shows how weak the systems in Singapore are.

Singapore had a power loss cause by Conoco Philips for exactly the same reasons as NKF. (because of lack of transparency, laws, system and opposition)

If the same NKF incident happen on PAP and there is not a ready strong Worker's Party to take over, my god, PAP will drag down Singapore as well. Our CPF, Reserves, Assets etc might have been plundered then but it will be too late.

PAP can collapse but please leave Singapore alone.

This is why Worker's Party must grow, grow and grow and be strong enough to form the next government. Singaporeans then can buy some insurance for themselves.

I have worked with foreign investors and most agree they do not care whether PAP remains as government. As long as the civil service, business laws, rules and regulations are in place, they will still invest in Singapore.

In fact, foreign investors prefer Singapore to open up politically so that they have a choice too because they do not want to be held ransom by only PAP. They prefer to negotiate with more than one choice.

Furthermore, foreign investors prefer PAP to start creating safekeeping systems to keep Singapore running even if PAP collapse. In fact many investors did not invest in Singapore because of the one-party system.They do not want an Indonesia consequence.

Indonesia consequence: Indonesia was chaotic for awhile after Suharto collapse because Suharto did not do his duty of preparing Indonesia for life without him while in power. But Suharto did prepare very well life for himself without Indonesia. Indonesia has now stabilised and may grow from here.

Moral of the story: PAP should start preparing Singapore for life without PAP or without the Lees. This is PAP's duty when in power.

It is PAP's moral obligation to Singaporeans so as to lessen the impact of PAP's demise to Singapore. PAP should start separating itself from unions, businesses and grassroots organisations.

Presently, foreign investors have to deal with GLCs all the time and they complain our business climate is not as competitive and liberal as Hong Kong. GLCs stifle thier investment chances in Singapore.It may boost foreign investment instead if PAP no longer remain the government.

If PAP collapse, Singaporeans may see positive changes they never ever thought of they could experience before.

Anonymous said...

Agree, for all those top money we pay for 40 years to those ministers, Singapore must have a more resilient and stronger political system.

Our present system now is too fragile to withstand even a blow of the wind.

Anonymous said...

In Sun Yat Sen's words:

" The constitution is repeatedly rape and rape by the very people that came into power through the constitution to protect the constitution. "

Anonymous said...

Post your link to

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/

yawning bread and i-speak.

Give some time for your blog to grow.

Everyone needs to start from somewhere including Worker's Party

Meanwhile continue posting.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi can anyone help me?
How to link my blog to etc etc as suggested by the last reader?
Thanks. Me not so net-savvy!
Dr. Huang

Anonymous said...

How about writing to Straits Times Forum to protest and ridicule this statement by SM Goh and that new PAP MP who is former CEO of IE

( I really dunno his name)

Anonymous said...

Their role is not just to ensure minorities are adequately represented in Parliament, he said. They also contribute to Singapore's political stability, by 'helping us to recruit younger and capable candidates with the potential to become ministers'.

'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,' Mr Goh said at an event marking the appointment of members to the South East Community Development Council (CDC).

'Why should they when they are on the way up in the civil service, the SAF, and in the professions or the corporate world?'
==================================

I agree with SM Goh....

Why Should We Give Up Our Life, Studies and Career To Serve National Service when we are on the way up and out ????

nofearSingapore said...

Hi all anon's ( I am overwhelmed by your response.
I will find a way to start a post with your comments!
I know that all of you are true-blooded S'poreans! None of us are trouble-makers! We just want social justice and equality. We are not stupid and still want out orderliness and peaceful racial harmony. What we don't want is the hubris ( ie overbearing arrogance) of the PAP. We don't need to re-invent the wheel. We accept tacitly that the PAP has done well. But we can do it better even if they level the playing field for all. More S'poreans will then step forward. More ideas ( if harnessed properly) is better than less right? Thank you for your response.
Dr. Huang

Anonymous said...

Hello Doc,

no need to be too formal with your response in here...

you are not ST Forum.....

Just keep your letters to ST Forum going....

Show Singaporeans, you can write against government without anything happening to you.......

Good luck

nofearSingapore said...

Hi,
Ya watch me. If I am still around then you guys can carry on.
If I get locked up by ISD/IRAS or get struck off by SMC, then you know what to do. Shut down all blogs, delete all files, go to JB and a plane will meet you guys at Senai according to our Plan B!
Ha ha
Dr. Huang

Anonymous said...

No Doc,

I hope you can show Singaporeans that we can agree to disagree with the government without harming our own prospects in any form.

Show Singaporeans we can win by the book.

Show PAP how is it like to win by the book which PAP will not do.

Show everyone Singapore has room for civilised disagreements and rebellion.

Hopefully, Singaporeans by looking at you will wake up somehow and stop fearing nothingness.

Structurally unemployed said...

When I was a young boy learning chinese, there was a passage entitled: Lan yu chong shu 滥竽充数。It was something about a non musician hiding in an orchestra but looked great. I don't know much about the political profession but I don't know anyone here that seems to be able to rouse me.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi structurally unemployed,
I agree with you that our politicians do not give the impression that they have passion or enthusiaism for the job. They appear like technocrats just doing a job.

Before the elections, I hear rumours that so and so has been "forced" to join up as a PAP candidate. If it is true it goes to show that most of the MP's passion for the work is suspect.
Anyway, I think the govt also are very suspicious of idealistic people as they tend to "really" believe in causes and one of these days, the interest of the ruling party and the idealists may not be the same, and this will lead to dissonance and trouble.

The idealists may then quit their party and lobby their causes from outside the party or worse, join other parties!!

However, I must admit that Tharman Shanmugaratnam has impressed me with his willingness to think out of the box for his Education portfolio. But he is not popular with the Chinese cultural and literacy people.
Dr. Huang