Congratulations to Low Thia Kiang!

Congratulations Mr. Low Thia Kiang – you have indeed fought hard and won a battle in Hougang once again.

That’s the thing about a democracy: not everyone agrees with you and in this case, some 8000+ people did not choose you as their leader.1 However, we have got to respect the decision of a majority. This what what Hougang people believe, this is what they stand for and leaders of the Worker’s Party are the ones they want to manage their lives.

Many have been harping about the opposition putting pressure on the PAP to perform. Yet, the reverse is also true: PAP pressure has forced the Worker’s Party to respond and improve – we all believe that they will now truly pay attention to the estate of Hougang and not play a blame game. They can also in like faith, raise money, pursue projects and improve the estate – and this time, I am pretty certain they will tap on MND funding (which has always been available to them) to do so.

What bothers me is the direction the political mood in Singapore is heading. Attacks on individual supporters, harassment both on and offline, undue pressure from friends, colleagues and  business partners. Political parties look like they are degenerating into cults, with worshipers blindly paying allegiance and choosing their leaders merely by charisma, emotional persuasion and a lofty cause. Feed these sentiments with an imaginary enemy: tell them that this enemy is destroying their lives, restricting their freedom, lording over them and very soon, even the very photographs of the “enemy” become hateful to look upon.

I think it would be healthy to remind ourselves that an MP, is… well, a Member of Parliament. Apart from representing the people and looking after their lives, this is a job that requires them to make laws and policies. We are not voting in celebrities, rock stars and religious leaders (figuratively speaking of course, if such people can prove themselves worthy, why not?)

What about you? What are your thoughts about what a Member of Parliament does in Parliament?

Footnotes:

1This remark about 8k+ not voting for WP was not meant to be sarcastic. It is merely trying to point out the flaw of a voting system. It is a flaw, but is still the best solution. 40% of Singaporeans did not vote the PAP – that is a fact, this does not mean that their lives are any less important than the 60%. You will be able to use this argument both sides of the coin. A democracy and it’s voting mechanism is not perfect.

About the author

Benjamin Chiang

Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, labour issues and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com and occasionally on Yahoo!

The views expressed are his own.

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2 Comments

  • ~ I am not trying to be pessimistic, but…
    I personally believes in Evolution and Aversions; this nightmare is probably going to stay unless something positive is going to happen now.
    Chinese believes in the 60 years cycle of changes and the fear of history repeating itself as what happened in the 1950s onwards is indeed a long and sad journey that one has to take.
    One who is reading the I-Ching or Yi-Jing or has read and understood it may already have an insight of the possible changes yet to surface.

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