Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Are they worth the risk?

The Workers’ Party has staked their A Team with the promise of giving us a First World Parliament but would they even cause a ripple if they win 5 seats. Low Thia Khiang has missed a grand opportunity to show Singaporeans that he is serious about ruling the country. Immediately after the last elections in 2006, he should have set in motion plans to contest all seats in Parliament by recruiting and laying the groundwork for the next battle. Instead all the Workers’ Party can muster is 23 candidates including a star name for impact. Low wants to be the co-driver but he will still end up in the last bus with the backbenchers.

Low continually harps on moving goalposts and laments the creation of GRCs to handicap the Opposition. GRCs do ensure minority representation in multi-racial Singapore where the majority is Chinese. In order to be “First World” he should amass talent to form teams for all GRCs. Most times he does not seem to want to lead and would rather Sylvia Lim do the talking instead. If the WP is as serious as its manifesto in wanting a First World Parliament, it must have the numbers to contest and form the Government if successful. Alas, they have not and instead have appealed to voters in Aljunied to send them in to Parliament without a hint of plans for the constituency.

George Yeo has called it an “emotional dilemma” for the voters of Aljunied, do they sacrifice themselves and provide the Opposition voices in Parliament and risk the welfare of their estate (although things might not exactly fall apart in 5 years). What I do not understand is why residents can set aside the competent track record of the incumbents and state that they would need to listen to the other side before making up their mind. Does this means that all that the PAP team has done for them is forgotten and ignored – it would be logical if the PAP had done a bad job in Aljunied but they have not.

I was astonished to read in the papers that Low Thia Khiang cannot maintain a few car parks in Hougang and had to return them to the HDB, I fear for the many car parks in Aljunied (then again they should last 5 years). Worst still, Pritam Singh has stated that he needs to consult residents after the election on plans for the estate – damning proof that the WP has no plans for Aljunied and its ONLY aim to get into Parliament through their best chance GRC.

The Opposition continues to eye the reserves when proposing grand plans for Singaporeans. We may not have natural resources like oil or minerals but we do have reserves built up over years. If Singapore can continue to grow and prosper without dipping into the reserves, we should refrain from using them until it is necessary. There are the poor in Singapore but do we see homeless people sleeping in the CBD or Orchard Road, I’m sure we have sufficient aid agencies and avenues to help the needy.

The WP’s plan for low cost land unto lower cost HDB flats would demolish the home values of almost the entire population. What would our flats be worth in future and would we be able to monetize our flats for retirement? Gone also would be the upgraders dream of owning a private property – forget the sandwiched middle class, they would now be the pancaked class.

At the end of the day, while the PAP policies do not please everyone, it tries to accommodate and seeks what’s best for Singapore. The PAP has led us through numerous crises and continues to serve the interests of the people. I would rather raise issues by email to the MP or the Minister, newspaper forums and even through Stomp instead of waiting for Parliament to sit. In this connected age, genuine feedback should be the norm and fast and viable solutions a way of life.

Low had said he would refuse a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) seat if his team ended up as one of the top-performing losers, do not fret, I’m convinced Sylvia Lim will find him a job.

Low won his GRC but screwed his long time buddy Eric Tan out of his NCMP seat. Dropped like a bomb Eric was also quick to quit the party.

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