Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why Bukit Batok needs a by-election: Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

We extend our condolences to the family of the late Dr. Ong Chit Chung. He has served his constituency of Bukit Batok diligently and with honor.

However the untimely demise of Dr. Ong has left a vacuum in the office of the MP of Bukit Batok-one that his successor will find difficult to fill.

Like Dr. Ong, the next MP of Bukit Batok must have the mandate of the constituents or else his or her work would lack legitimacy. Legitimacy is absolutely crucial in a challenging economic climate where tough but necessary decisions need be taken even at the ward level. An elected MP’s moral authority would more likely than not help him shepherd his residents through the stormy days ahead. An unelected political appointee would have to answer residents who say, “ Why must I listen to you? Did I elect you?”

To leave the seat vacant and to share Dr. Ong’s present responsibilities amongst the neighboring PAP MP’s would also be a mistake. It belittles Dr. Ong’s hard work and sends the unintended message that his work is not important and that life carries on even without an MP at Bukit Batok!

For the sake of the residents of Bukit Batok, a by-election should be held soon!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

Link: 1. Article 14's post
2. Lush garden's post

PS: Published in Straits Times and My Paper


tewniaseng said...

If pap is a gentleman, it should accept JBJ's challenge to hold a by election.Bt Batok can be carved into a SMC just for this election. Reform Party will put in a strong candidate,to challenge pap.We can see this kiasuism in pap.SMC keep reducing in numbers.All pap newbies hide under GRC.Useless govt.

Anonymous said...

The PAP govt said a by election is not needed. Goes to show there is no need for so many MPs, 84 now, in parliament.

nofearSingapore said...

Tew: It is not just whether PAP is gentlemen or not or whether PAP wants to accept JBJ’s challenge.

It is also that Bt Batok people deserves an elected MP. We cannot assume that just because GRC voted for PAP that Bt Batok automatically accept any PAP unelected man. Maybe they only love Dr. Ong and now that he has passed on, they want someone from another party?

Even if they want another PAP man, they should show it in the ballot box. If not, on what authority does anyone in Bt Batok ask the residents to do anything ( esply if involves sacrifices)?

Whether PAP is afraid of losing or not is totally irrelevant! Yes I don’t like GRC too!

Anonymous said...

My guess is that a by-election will not be held. The PAP knows that this is not a good time to test the ground, because the various negative issues lately will definitely work against them.

As they have said that a by-election is not needed, I would not bet on them changing their minds.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon 1pm:
We should remind the govt that even if it is not convenient to hold a by-election, it is still the right thing to do. I will nag them till they respond!
Which ruling govt likes by-elections? Just because they lost to JBJ in a by-election at Anson, does not mean they can ignore the people's rights!

What if a single seat MP dies? What if 2 MP's of GRC leaves politics ( for whatever reason)? Yes the constitution is silent on this because it is so &%^* obvious what is expected! You think in the UK, the govt dares to hide behind such reasoning? No way!

TewNiaSeng said...

In 1988,SDP under Mr Kwan Yue Keng lost to Dr Ong in Bukit Batok SMC.SDP obtained 44.1% of the votes.IN 1991, SDP under Kwan again lost to Dr Ong in Bt Batok but this time SDP obtained 48.2% of the valid votes.Looks like the old SDP was a force which the PAP fears.In 1997 Bt Batok was merged into a GRC.Talking about SMC, in 1988 there were 42,in 1991 there were 21, reduce by half, and in 1997 it reduced further to 9 SMC,and remains in 2001 and 2006.Nobody knows what will happen in 2011 ?

Anonymous said...

So, looking at the late Dr Ong's ward before they merged it into a GRC, the margin of victory looks quite unconvincing for the PAP over the years as a single ward. Which is why the PAP would definitely be reluctant to have a by-election now by taking out Bukit Batok again as a SMC, and putting a new face probably against the old war-horse, JBJ.

AllTheWay said...

Holding a by-election is the right thing to do for the citizens living in Bukit Batok. They deserve a choice.
BUT, when have this govt believe they should "do the right thing" when it is against their interest.

Plea for economic assistance
Plea for minimum wage for the lowest earners
Plea for reduction in gst
Plea to not overpay themselves
Plea to improve our transport sys
Plea to make it more affordable
Plea to improve the job market for low-skill workers

Well folks, we can see that it does not change anything.
BUT they must plea for our votes in 2011.
We should give these politicians as little votes and make them work their butts off before they can regain those precious votes they took for granted.

Anonymous said...

Tan Ku Ku => wait long long.

It will never happen because the PAP is notorious to play "cheat" when come to erection!!

SHIMURE said...

At this moment, there is a vacancy caused by mandate of heaven. It was unexpected for Dr Ong to pass away. It is sad that a MP died.

I agree that Bukit Batok should have a by election.

The reason for this is to have a mandate of the residents there to exercise their choice.

In the PAP speeches by any of the ministers, they would stress that they have the mandate of the people to govern. What better way to prove that they have a mandate then the use of a by election?

If they would put any tom dick or harry in the position. Would it be for sure that there is no need for any future elections?
What has happened to our so called democracy? In which an elected position would be given to any official without any elections?

Once the People's Action party stood for action by the people for the people. Now.... we see for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Aiyah, even the current "elected" multi-million $ president is NOT elected by referendum as per constitution. Will PAP cares how they look if they don't open up this empty MP seat for a by-election?

The only way to change this is to kick PAP out of their "majority" support hog-wash in the next GE.

Anonymous said...

Here is a sad day for democracy as it is not going to happen no matter what. Reminds me of the protection given to the incumbent in last Presidential voting.
The PAP will not dare to take the risk even if there is no real groundswell of frustration.