Friday, April 15, 2011

NCMP system: Suggestions for improving it

Dear Friends,

If the PAP is serious about institutionalising the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) system and not just use it as a ploy to slow down the growth of a multi-party democracy, significant improvements must be made.

If not, it will always be just a charade ( or wayang). I have written to the traditional media ( what we call MSM-mainstream media) about this and am awaiting its publication ( or not).

What do you think? Any chance in hell of getting any of it adopted? No?

Anyway- no harm trying. Rome was not built in a day.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan

The letter to the Forum Editor: (Published here in Today Newspaper)

Dear Editor,

Re: Tweaking the NCMP system

The Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme has been with us since 1984.

Depending on which side of the partisan fence one is on, it is either an example of pragmatic and innovative enhancement to our political system or a ploy to prevent the emergence of a viable multi-party parliament.

To many neutrals, the fact that Ms Sylvia Lim has become a household name is proof enough that the scheme is not altogether bad. Or at least like Ms Lim said of the system, the PAP was “trying to make a bad situation better”.

I hope that the NCMP system can be further tweaked to take into consideration the following premises that

1. it is honorable to seek public office and

2. talent (not withstanding which party they arise from) should be harnessed and retained in our parliament so that constructive debate can produce the best policies for Singapore.

The NCMP should:

1. Have full voting rights including voting on constitutional amendments, Supply or Supplementary Bills, Money Bills, or motions of no confidence in the government. There should be no differentiation from other MP’s other than that the NCMP is not in charge of a geographic district ( but on the other hand looks after the whole of Singapore).

2. Have same entitlements as other MP's eg allowances/ remunerations.

3. Be selected from best runner-up's of top 9 ( or whatever figure agreed by parliament) electoral contests irrespective of parties ie even PAP candidates can be NCMP's. ( minimum condition of winning at least 15% of votes as per present criteria)

4. Be eligible for all government front-bench office. ie NCMP's from ruling party or independents can be appointed Cabinet Ministers

These changes will ensure that many more people have the opportunity to play a greater role in our system including being part of the decision-making body of the government ( ie Cabinet).

This should shed once and for all the “second-class” and “loser” labels that are often stuck onto our present NCMP’s.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


Anonymous said...

Tan Ku Ku if you want PAP to adopt your suggestions. Why should PAP adopt your suggestions when it offers NO benefit to her?

It is NOT the duty of PAP to help the Opposition to gain seat or power!!

Anonymous said...

Me am very sure that none of the Alternative Party Members wish to be NCMP.

First, there is dignity and honour or simply put at least self respect involve.

Secondly, Dr Huang's proposals put the NCMP almost at par with the elected member, like the First Commenter; me too does not see it acceptable to PAP. Even if PAP accepts, the best losers in elections should not accept the Proposal for it affects and distorts the sentiments of the voters.

Pardon me, as me likens Dr Huang's proposal as giving the loser as much reward as the winner deserves. It should not be.

By the way, any politician has got many ways to share his and her view and idea with all others, not necessary only in Parliament.

To get into Parliament is for one to be recognized and be accepted as a person with authority NOT JUST TO DEBATE AND APPROVE DECISIONS IN THE CABINET. A fully elected member should have the Right to make proposal AS WELL AS HOLDING OFFICE AT MINISTERIAL LEVEL.

NCMP Scheme should be scrapped so that voters will be less compromising in their votings.


nofearSingapore said...

anon 6.15:
yes i have waited more than 50 years and i will wait some more if i need to. PAP may not adopt any of my suggestions but at least we can try to think out of the box for better solutions- not for PAP but for Sg. If we have better answers but the PAP ignore them time and again- then they will be shown for what they are... self-serving megalomaniacs who do not have the interest of Sg and Singaporeans at heart.

patriot: The NCMP is now looked upon as second-hand MP as its status ( by its low allowance/ voting restriction)is different from other MP's. If we change that by letting the NCMP have same status ( in almost all ways) and change our mindset that the NCMP is just another elected member, this would be like some other parliaments that elect members by various methods. some of their MP's by first-past-the-post, others ( in the same parliament) by party list and others by Proportional representation. And we are talking about the same one parliament. Hence, in the new hybrid Sg parliament, 86 MP's direct first-past-post, 9 NCMP's ( best runner-up's ) etc. Just because something was conceived by the PAP does not make it bad ( even if PAP may/may not have ulterior motives). In the same way- we hate it when the PAP rejects everythig proposed by non-PAP politicians.We don't have to be like them and behave so lowly!

Brandon Ngo said...

You don't make any sense, even though you are have a doctorate (Maybe in science, not philosophy?) NCMP is a consolation prize for candidates that don't get elected.

If you don't get elected, at least you get a voice. Better than waiting 5 more years for the next election.

Also, voters don't vote because they want an alternative voice. That is what the internet wants to believe, but only maybe 50,000 people think so? A recent ST survey says 0.97% of our population believes in the need for an alternative voice.