Apr 1, 2011

Tin Pei Ling and the Real Reason Why Singaporeans Are Annoyed

So I understand that the PAP is fielding one of its youngest candidates ever - a certain Tin Pei Ling, aged 27 - and that many Singaporean citizens are annoyed. There is a flurry of angry posts and comments on the Internet about how Pei Ling is surely too young, too immature or too inexperienced to be a Member of Parliament.


I do not know Pei Ling. Perhaps she is exceptionally talented and capable. Perhaps she is not. All I can say is that in a normal, healthy and genuine democracy, Pei Ling's youth, in itself, would not have caused such an outcry. Why not? Because:

(1) any adult citizen (barring the bankrupts, the insane and so on) has the right to put herself up for election, and;

(2) all other adult citizens have the right to vote against her, if they consider her to be inadequate for the job.

However, Singapore is not a normal, healthy and genuine democracy. And that is why there is a public outcry. People already know that most likely, Pei Ling will not contest on her own in a single-member constituency.

Instead the PAP will field Pei Ling in a GRC team, under the protection of one or two much more experienced PAP heavyweights. Pei Ling will mostly ride on their strengths, rather than her own ability, to sail safely into Parliament.

And once she gets in, the citizens of Singapore will be forced to live with her youth and lack of inexperience, for at least the next five years.

I pity this country.

Not because of Pei Ling's youth. But because of the GRC system. For two decades, it has been an avenue for the PAP to successfully shoo their weaker candidates into Parliament and shield them from the people's political choice.

And this country then has to live with the sad consequences.

108 comments:

HH said...

I totally agreed. GRC is killing our country. Personally I will not vote for the team if there is a sigle person I don't like in there. :)

Anonymous said...

GRC = Put all eggs in one basket
ONE GRC for Singapore is enough.

Anonymous said...

GRC is a brilliant tactical scheme
by the old man to self-perpetuate
power. How long can we stand to be
hood-winked?You can fool us once,
but to be continually fooled...
we are the truly bloody fools!
Our country is walking on a fine
line where the future can be
dangerously fractious when the old
man is no longer here to wield the
big stick.Can LHL has the same cunning smarts as his father?If true democracy is not imbued in
our system now, a latent implosion
in our social system is highly
plausible.Our middle-class is
already on a steep decline.

Anonymous said...

I share the same view. People's objection to her is a cry to prevent injury to themselves.

Anonymous said...

The GRC was originally created to ensure fair representation of the minority in a constituency.

But in reality, it has been use as a convenient way to usher in new candidates whom the establishment deemed 'cannot risk failure' because these candidates have been earmarked for higher positions in the government.

The 'Mah Bow Tan' lesson is still etched in their mind, and they cannot allow the same thing to happen to promising talents whom they spent countless of hours to convince them to switch career to join the government.

This is really what the GRC is being used for.

While I dont totally disagree with the argument above, I am totally against using the same method to usher in candidate like TPL, Dr Puthucheary and so on. They are just abusing the trust given by the people to them.

how sad.

Anonymous said...

She can't think, that's why she is good candidate.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, your post can be summed up with the following words.

The real reason why Singaporeans are annoyed is because there is no real democratic system in the country.

Anonymous said...

I get the impression that the main reason why Ministers and backbenchers do not resign when something blows up is that it would mess up the career progression and succession planning. The whole structure of PAP-ruled Singapore operates on an elaborate long-term plan that has little flexibility for problems like escaped detainees and floods where there should be none.

As far as the PAP is concerned the objective of politics is to keep things running smoothly, not to make a change.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_6x_5J78Rs

Anonymous said...

My gut feeling is that even if Tin Pei Ling is fielded in a SMC, she can still have a very high chance of winning, despite all the hue and cry over the internet.

Remember that in the Singapore context, huge anti PAP sentiments in whatever form on blogs or internet forums, just like huge opposition rallies, is no obvious barometer of election outcome.

PAP is a brand name that has already been positively etched deep in the minds and psyche of the majority of voters, and they will vote for party over individuals. And this is greatly due to majority are happy and satisfied, because they owe their rice bowls directly or indirectly to the PAP. Why? Because the govt is a major player in the economy!

The fact that the PAP, who is not known to fight losing battles, has chosen her speaks volumes about the huge confidence PAP has in the electorate voting for PAP.

I would even say that in the most pessimistic scenario for PAP, the outcome will even result in NCMPs. From the opposition candidates, of course.

Anonymous said...

Blame the oldman.
Besides sending credible strong opposition people to bankruptcy and jail, he got this brilliant idea of the GRCs when he realised
more and more citizens are supporting the other parties.
There are 1001 other ways if you want to minority representation in
Parliament.
He probably thought we are still stupid not to see the fake.
Why couldn't he fight on his records alone without resorting to
his scheming tactics

Anonymous said...

All is not lost. We can still play the pap at its own game. I understand that she may be slotted into the Marine Parade GRC under the cover of GCT presumably.

This is the time and occasion to call the pap's bluff.

Think, of what value has GCT been since stepping down as PM. Very little really. Let's examine some pertinent points.

It is well known that GCT owes his continued presence in the govt to LKY's need to remain in govt. If the younger GCT, is allowed to leave, LKY has NO EXCUSE for staying on in govt. So GCT was relegated from a seat warming PM (while the erstwhile wet behind the year LHL matures) to a crutch for LKY to lean on to retain his seat in govt.

What has GCT done during the past decade or so since becoming SM? Almost, sweet FA. We have him to thanks for name calling and labelling Singaporeans, QUITTERS (he had conveniently ignored the fact that his own daughter has quit the country when she married a foreigner). Goh's wife sneered at the average Singaporean by calling what $600K the convicted ex-NKF CEO received as mere PEANUTS.

In fact, by taking the Marine Parade GRC, the opposition would have achieved a watershed in Singapore politics. Basically, the entire pap GRC team made up of GCT, Tin,that SAF general, and the Fairprice CEO are really political light weights. The two neophytes will be still-born, so no loss actually, GCT does little but paid a lot and the Fairprice can continue to work at his real job. The rest in the GRC are just expendable collateral cost. but contrast this to the tremendous boost to the morale and effectiveness of the collective opposition. This is a proposition well worth our consideration!

Anonymous said...

SG ppl are mostly all talk no show. Keep complaining that the PAP is using all these petty tricks to hold onto power. And claimed the tricks is so obvious that it insulted the intellligent of the people.

1st i would like to say this. All political parties will do all these stuff to hold onto power. It like you and i trying to safeguard our rice bowl.

2nd, if you don like the candidate, don vote for them then.

Too many of us just keep saying we want real democracy and 1 party rule is bad for the future and when the time to vote, they still choose the very same party they have been complaining about.

Sry for the rant

Anonymous said...

The GRC system seems tailored to allow well connected MPs to enter Parliament, more than protecting minority candidates, and therein lies the problem.

In effect, voters in a constituency that largely supports the opposition are invariably always short changed, because even if they do not vote for the PAP candidate and rejected him or her, he or she still gets in to represent them, because based on aggregate basis, the group that win gets in. This is unlike the clear cut win or lose situation in a single ward constituency.

Further, what is there to prevent the whole Parliament being infested by a whole bunch of relatives, cronies, good friends etc in time to come. It then becomes more like a dictatorship, with absolute support coming from those people, thus making sure the throne is not shaken. As it is, we can see it moving in that direction already, discreetly and surely. Maybe I am naive to believe that it is not already in that situation.

Yes, I pity this country too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe to pave the way for the younger Lee's (sons of Lee Hsien Loong) to enter politics at an early age? So if one of the sons enters politics before 30, it wouldn't raise eyebrows?

Anonymous said...

I will vote for her. I will vote for PAP. Without PAP our country will probably be no better than Myanmar. Under their leadership our economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and can walk safely on the streets. The opposition is a joke seriously.

Ghost said...

Frankly I don’t care about her marriage, her gender or even her age. However the PAP has completely mishandled Tin Pei Ling's candidacy. They should have announced her marriage at Tin Peo Ling’s every first news conference. If they did that, it would have stopped the storm before it started.

Anonymous said...

For every Tin, there are thousands more qualified mature adults who can fill the highfalutin seat, serve the people gratefully( for 15k a month,why not?) and do it full time.

So I don't buy the argument that we need a youth to represent youth in parliament. A 40 or 50  year old man is still young enough to recall what it was like to be young..

One must also bear in mind that most crucial policies formulated  are inclusive so it makes no difference to them whether they are represented by ....kids or not. Furthermore, what can a handful young inexperience adults do to influence veteran minds when people's opinions don't matter to them?

Let's be real here. The issue is cronyism,arrogance and......waste.

There are plenty of opportunities for people like Tin to be useful without exalting her youthful importance.

Spare the rod of humility, spoil an entire generation of youth.

I think that's the message they are sending out.

harminder said...

I came to a different conclusion about her: the opposition parties seem quite strong this year, so the PAP may lose at least one GRC and a few SMCs. So, the question is- which PAP candidates are the "fall guys"? That is, which PAP candidates are standing in constituencies where the opposition is likely to win? Pei Ling may be one of them. It's a win-win for the PAP: if she does well, they can say she appealed to the youth vote,and if she does badly, they can blame her youth and inexperience.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, I share your pity for the country, but in a slightly different way. I pity the country because of:

- people who say they are compelled to vote against their desire

- people who say they have no choice

-people who complain about the system and yet continue to contribute to allow the system to carry on.

The GRC system is not killing the country, it's the people. I would love to see change, but you and I both know that it will not happen. This will be one occasion where I am happy to be proven wrong.

88th Constituency said...

As a PAP supporter, I am very disappointed that PM and the party leaders allowed a young selfish girl to pull wool over their eyes.

Yes, TPL has some leadership skills, communication skills, event management skills, etc. which makes her a suitable candidate for the party. However, it takes more than just these skills to make a good candidate.

A true dedicated candidate must be able to put the party before self. This means making the difficult decision to decline the invitation to serve as a candidate if one is not so ready, or if one has some undesirable background that may put the party in a bad light.

Through all the comments that we have read about TPL, clearly she is deemed not to be ready and that her personal life is jeopardising the party’s credibility. She is making a mockery of the party.

From her photos and posing, we can tell that she is an attention seeker. Anybody who puts herself before the organisation, does not deserve to be a party candidate.

The issue now is that the party has made a grave mistake by fielding her now. If they withdraw her, it would definitely be wise and be a saving grace for the party. However, it would also show that the party fielded her under impulse. It would make the party look bad.

Seeing how TPL strives on the attention showered on her, she clearly will not be able to survive the loss of face if the party withdraws her. She may even take her life.

So what can the party do now?

1. Ask TPL to withdraw herself graciously.

2. Continue to field her, and lose some votes for Marine Parade GRC to the opposition.

3. Continue to field her, and risk losing big in Marine Parade GRC and losing SM Goh as well.

4. Keep her as an MP for only one term.

PAP has made the biggest mistake this time around. They should consult party loyalists about their candidates, instead of just letting the party leaders decide on the candidates by themselves.

Anonymous said...

OMG, MP KBW described TPL as "a big tree attracts the wind"...

http://news.omy.sg/News/Local%2BNews/Story/OMYStory201104011552-234137.html

Anonymous said...

PAP simply toying with our future. Leaders of the world for democracy, please help us - true native Singaporeans, being bullied by the PAP govenment!

yh said...

'For two decades, it has been an avenue for the PAP to successfully shoo their weaker candidates into Parliament and shield them from the people's political choice.'

Yes, weak candidates like Mah Bow Tan, who first screwed up by building too many flats. Then screwed up again by swinging to the other extreme and not build any flats. Then somehow thinks that his first screw-up is an excuse for his second.

Anonymous said...

GRC = Got Rotten Candidates?

Anonymous said...

Singaporean refused to give oppo a chance. Now this happen and all kow peh.

So now if oppo is willing to send a team to Marine Parade, will the people's now do the right thing?

Anonymous said...

'3. Continue to field her, and risk losing big in Marine Parade GRC and losing SM Goh as well.'

Maybe that's the intention.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Pei Ling many years ago and for one she is not a leader but a follower.

Secondly it's clear she is doing this out of personal validation rather than wanting to serve. Even in the past even she did something she wanted to score more Brownie points with the people around her. Nothing wrong with that but now that she is going to serve whom is she serving? Herself or her constituency. Hard work with an agenda for personal gain played in politics leads to a disaster and very soon people will treat her with contempt

Anonymous said...

Of course she is serving herself!

Look at the amount of money (15K) an MP makes. Based on her current relatively junior position, it may represent 4-5 times jump in pay.

After 4 years, she will have nearly $1m and that is at the age of 31.

Anonymous said...

Talking about minority representation, it's all a false smokescreen used by the cunning LKY to fool the people. For that matter, which elected MP will dare to say that he does not have to take the interests of the minorities at heart.

But just look at the hawker centres at Chinatown, why is it then that all the hawkers seem to be of one particular race only. Why the hawker's licence is not given to the other minority races ? And can one easily find a Malay or Indian resident in the TG Chinatown flats if the ethnic quota must be satisfied ?

LKY is just bluffing the people, period.

Parka said...

Age is a very poor criterion to judge a person.

There are lots of incredibly talented people way younger than imaginable - not necessarily referring to Tin Pei Ling - just saying.

Anonymous said...

I supposed people have to vote out the entire GRC where she's placed in.

Anonymous said...

Tin definitely has become a political issue. Apart from the fact that the people, at least in the new media, generally rejected  Tin for being too young, inexperience and even incompetent  to take on such an important role as  MP, they are even more furious that their rejection of Tin has been totally ignored and brushed aside by PAP.

PAP must understand that by keeping Tin at all costs, they are signallng to the people that they are the boss, not the people who voted them into power.

If so, Tin has become the battle of the will between PAP and the people.

Who is the boss,really? PAP or the people? 

Anonymous said...

Parka,

If age is not an issue, should a very talented 12 year old be allowed to be the principal of let say....NUS?

If not, where and how do we draw the line and why do we accept your creteria?

Anonymous said...

There goes our tax payers' money to support another puppet!!!

WLPT said...

Mr Wang. As always your analysis is very insightful. However I feel that there is more to this.

The GRC has been around for many years; and Singaporeans have always been unhappy about the way many young unknown public-sector scholars have been unshered into parliament via the backdoor. But why is there such a fuss when it comes to this young lady. Especially disgusting is the way many bloggers prejudge her based on her looks and dig into her personal life.

Anonymous said...

/// The GRC was originally created to ensure fair representation of the minority in a constituency. ///

You must be kidding if you believe this. It was a poor excuse.

The real reason was and is, as you alluded to, Mah Bow Tan. And I should add Ng Pock Too. The GRC was conceived after the much touted 6 As of Mah Bow Tan was defeated by the Cs (credits) of Chiam See Tong. And the potential ministerial material that was Pock Too was also defeated.

Remeber the front page of BT (that was later withdrawn)?

Mah Bows out,
Pock Too too.

Anonymous said...

We are not looking for people who can "get the job done"(very subjective because it depends who the boss is) because we know she can, being a good rote learner.

MPs, if we insist on their services, must possess great discernment and are wise( head full of knowledge is not good enough). We also want them mature and full of life experiences - soulful. They should be like a ' father figure' to the people they are lending their ears to.

Sorry, young adults lack those qualities that can only come through "aging" like mellowed wine.

Anonymous said...

She is neither ministerial caliber nor grassroot type. I wonder why put her at all. Will the PAP grassroots even support her?

Anonymous said...

GRC is used to tighten the control of the country. They could have devided the whole singapore on 8 or 9 GRCs to be headed by each minister. However, this gamble is too big to play as once they lose one, they would probably give away 9 to 10 seats to the opposition.

Knowing that Singaporeans would not let the potential ministers candidate down, they would put them under the umbrealla of GRC to guarantee their entry. Personally, i labell them as 'appointed' rather than 'voted' .

Uniquely Singapore!!!

Anonymous said...

On TPL's comments about education! Perhaps she needs to watch Aljazeera rather than mainstream media to get a more balanced view before airing her view!
http://www.youtube.com/user/sporenewsalternative#p/a/f/0/BygOYrP722Y

Anonymous said...

So when a 'No' from us, will truly be a 'No'?

I for one, also don't know what to say...

SMS said...

Family Tree - who is she related to?

noname said...

@Anonymous posted on April 1, 2011 2:26PM.

What the hell you know about voting in Singapore? People in Singapore are not what you think as "vote for PAP and still complain about them". The fact is with the many SME and GRC for a SMALL island, there are many PAP walk-overs? The fact is many of us did not get to vote! Please be clear about the facts before you open your big foul mouth and say bad about us Singaporeans.

Raelynn said...

if she has been working at the grassroots level for a long time, why havent we heard anything good/neutral about her from the grassroots level/laymen level?

Anonymous said...

///Parka said...
Age is a very poor criterion to judge a person.///

You are right. It all depends on the job or role at hand. If it is about playing marbles n NINTENDO, i take a young person anytime not a 62 yr old retiree.

For an MP having to represent the interest of a broad group of people crossing different age groups, jobs and lives' experience, i guess most people already know the answer.

kelly said...

What annoys me is that for the past 4 years, nothing about her achievements in grassroots is ever reported. How to vote her based on what PAP says?

Anonymous said...

"What annoys me is that for the past 4 years, nothing about her achievements in grassroots is ever reported. How to vote her based on what PAP says?"
Anon April 4, 2011 4:04 AM

Actually, maybe the situation is like this.

No matter what, the PAP wants to have a candidate below 30. Something like a quota system.

So there you are, she is the one, the best available candidate.

Notice I say best available candidate, not best candidate.

Lenscrazed said...

Fact is, I feel too that Tin Pei Ling is far too inexperienced, immature and lacks credibility based on what the public has seen of her thus far. She seems a complete different mold from what a usual PAP candidate is expected to behave and project. However, that could be a risk that the party is willing to take in an effort to reach out to the younger voters.

Herein lies the issue though. In the face of choosing the incumbent political party with one unfavorable candidate, versus the opposition parties that usually field relative unknowns and unproven quality, which party will Singaporeans vote for? Knowing my countrymen, they will go for the "safer" choice.

You are right, the GRC system is unfair and benefits PAP, as it gives them the upper hand to bring in new blood all too easily. Question is, what better alternatives are there?

Anonymous said...

"Question is, what better alternatives are there?"
Lenzcrazed April 4, 2011 1:10 PM

Oh, for those who are suffering under PAP, try to find out how not to suffer. Or even better how to live well. Or failing so, emigrate to a better place.

I think it is not dificult or impossible to do that.

Because 66% of voters know how to do it.

Foreigners know how to do it. New citizens know how to do it. They emigrate to a better place called Singapore.

In other words you create a better alternative for yourself under the GRC system.

Just like animals hibernate during the harsh winter. They can't change the harsh winter for sure.

Raelynn said...

dear kelly,

my point exactly. if these new candidates are so involved at the grassroots level for so many years, surely there must be a photo or a write up of events that they are involved in put up at community clubs or something. but the thing is, we aint seeing any!

Anonymous said...

This is not meant in any way to put down grassroot leaders' effort. I went to MeetPeople session and a 10-12 yr old kid (her parent was taking down IC details) gave me a queue number. When this kid gets to 27, does it mean that she had served 15 yrs at grassroot level. I am not putting anyone down; just sharing an experience.

Anonymous said...

Cannot just rely on grassroots experience to choose candidates lah.

So many ordinary Joes and Janes are doing grassroots work. How to choose?

And how many high flyers are also active in grassroots work?

And between high flyers and ordinary Joes and Janes, and you are party leader, and if both types say "Yes, I agree to be candidate", who would you choose?

Anonymous said...

A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a parliament. If any candidate has not been voted into parliament and walks in as an MP, then it will be a "sham election"

TPL and company must not be allowed into parliament if they have not been endorsed by the voters.

[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_of_Parliament

[2]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_election

Anonymous said...

There is another issue. Why the rush by the government bigwigs to defend Ms Tin. After all she has been well Scrutinized and evaluated or so we are told by the PAP. If that is indeed the case then they should have found someone with "fire in her belly" (to paraphrase a quote by a well know personalty. If we have MPs that cannot withstand a bit of criticism then what would happen in a real national emergency? Something seems to be very wrong with the selection process.

Anonymous said...

Government bigwigs defending Ms Tin is just a matter of course.

It doesn't mean Ms Tin has no fire in the belly. It doesn't mean she will not win. Far from it.

The PAP, being what they are and their beliefs, must have good reasons for choosing her, despite all the adverse netizen reactions.

Adverse netizen, or what not reactions, just like huge opposition rallies, are no obvious indicators of election outcome.

If you are Singaporean and live here long enough, unless you are daft, you should have known better about Singapore politics.

Anonymous said...

What if Lily Neo and TPL are in the same GRC team?
I know most voters would like to keep the former and boot out the latter.
If we are given such a dilemma, my advice is to vote out the whole team even if a Lily Neo has to been voted out.
And when they discover many of their high potential blue-eyed candidates are defeated, they will know their GRC deceit is coming back to bite them.
That is the only way they will revert back to the SMCs electoral sytem

Anonymous said...

"And when they discover many of their high potential blue-eyed candidates are defeated, they will know their GRC deceit is coming back to bite them."
Anon April 5, 2011 12:34 AM

You hope lah.

Anonymous said...

"What if Lily Neo and TPL are in the same GRC team? I know most voters would like to keep the former and boot out the latter."




Only daft Sporeans will want to keep both. There are one or 2 pap MPs who may appear to be kinder than the rest, but truth is all of them are still under the top command who sets out policies that hurt Spore and Sporeans.

Anonymous said...

If the PAP were to field me, an ordinary Joe, I am confident I will even win in an SMC, not to say TPL.

And assured of a 5 figure monthly income for at least 4 or 5 years, as long as I don't die or convicted of a crime.

lobo76 said...

well, if we need youth to represent the youth, we surely need a middle income to rep them, and a single to rep those, and we'll pick a cardboard collecting old lady to rep the poor at the same time.

Anonymous said...

As many already said, we can never find out the shortcomings of weak candidates with the GRC system. The weak ones just serve one or two terms, just like the Malay newsreader on channel 5, many years ago, without the voters being any wiser as to why he entered politics for such a short spell of a single term.

Just choosing candidates based on their grassroot involvement tells us nothing much, other than he or she had been a loyal part of the PAP machinery and can tow the line. I honestly doubt Tin can handle netizens, given that this is supposed to be her forte.

Many PAP candidates seems to come mainly from three sources - The Arm Forces, The NTUC and PAP grassroot. Is there any relation between this and the narrow regimented 'yes minister' thinking of the MPs that were ushered into Parliament?

Up till now, I do not remember seeing or hearing a single PAP MP, over the years, having the guts to voice disagreement with the views of the grandmaster. None whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

"Many PAP candidates seems to come mainly from three sources - The Arm Forces, The NTUC and PAP grassroot......Up till now, I do not remember seeing or hearing a single PAP MP, over the years, having the guts to voice disagreement with the views of the grandmaster."
Anon April 5, 2011 11:59 AM

Doesn't matter what sources, guts or no guts, agree or disagree, netizens like or don't like, as long as 66% of voters supported them is what really matters.

Agree or not?

Anonymous said...

Agree, since it does not matter and Singaporeans like it.

Even if they field lizards and cockroaches, 66% will still vote for them.

That is why I, too, pity this country.

Jammie said...

what do you think of 23 years old Alex Tan of SPP, and 27 years old Raymond Lim of NSP ?

they too, are (will be) fielded under the armpit of more senior opposition candidates ?

Anonymous said...

"what do you think of 23 years old Alex Tan of SPP, and 27 years old Raymond Lim of NSP ?"
Jammie April 5, 2011 4:59 PM

Nothing to think about, even if they are only 21 years old, as they are unlikely to win.

And PAP's Tin Pei Ling is expected to win, that's why a lot to think about.

And PAP will win big again, and therefore even a lot more to think about.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Is there a provision in the country's constitution which protects the integrity of its election process?

For one, I don't even know if Singapore has a constitution. LOL. My past 50 years in Singapore has been lived in vain.

I only learnt about a country's constitution when reading up for the Australian citizenship test.


I pity Singaporeans. I know for sure, if Gillard were to propose a GRC in Austrlia, she is political fodder the next day.

How can one be proud of being a Singaporean when to the world, they are so pitiful?

Anonymous said...

By the way, I would think this Tin Tin character presents an excellent opportunity to retrench some useless MPs. To put it nicely, downsizing the government. Look at the 5-6 MPs in the GRC, everyone is dispensable. None is holding a real portfolio in the cabinet. The cabinet doesn't need them. And they don't visit the residents nor clean up their corridors. Why the fear to vote them out?
Because the value of their flat will go down? Don't tell me Singaporeans are that daft?

Anonymous said...

We will soon have 87 MPs for an area of only 700 sq km.

In other countries for such an area size, maybe less than 10 MPs, even if it is urban area.

But 700 sq km Singapore is not only a city but also a country by itself.

Maybe they need 87 MPs so as to have a big pool of talents to choose the best and brightest to be ministers, to deserve the millions of dollars in salary.

But sometimes in reality they have to choose the best and brightest AVAILABLE lah, and that includes Tin Pei Ling.

But despite Singaporeans being annoyed with this, the majority of voters have no choice but also to choose the best available lah. Correct or not?

Because that's life, not just in politics but also other areas too.

Anonymous said...

PAP created the no choice situation for the daft Singaporeans.

Very soon, everyone will have no choice but to die in JB or Batam, because they can't afford the "affordable" hospital charges.

Tin Pei Ling exists because PAP does not allow other choices for Singapore. Not because there is no one else available.

Anonymous said...

"Tin Pei Ling exists because PAP does not allow other choices for Singapore. Not because there is no one else available."
Anon April 6, 2011 10:12 AM

Available is 2 way lah. If PAP want them but they don't want PAP, so not available for PAP lah. Or they want PAP but PAP don't want them also means not available what.

Same thing for the opposition lah.

But you must still have MP what. So you have to make a choice what. Correct or not?

Anonymous said...

PAP wants daft followers. Daft followers join PAP.

PAP kills others who are not daft and do not follow.

Singapore ends up with only daft followers.

Is there a choice?!

Anonymous said...

"None is holding a real portfolio in the cabinet. The cabinet doesn't need them"

Putting things in better perspective, do we need so many ministers in the PM's office? The answer from them is definitely yes, because they need them to hold the hands of the PM.

Are they dispensable. Yes, absolutely, if you ask any logical person. One unashamedly admitted he is doing nothing but collecting millions. Another does nothing, talks rubbish and likes to score own goals, especially before an election. The few others are just living their retirement, at public expense, inside the PMs office.

Anonymous said...

Dear readers,

Watch GOPALAN NAIR's talk on freedom of speech in :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glJb7RbV79Y

Pls bear with him for the initial part, the second half of the video is more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Someone in a much earlier column commented that if Pei ling is put together with Mr Goh Chok Tong, we can afford to lose both of them and whoever is included in that team.
I agree, and I sincerely believe it is a fair statement. I don't see much contribution from Mr Goh as an SM. He has been spouting nonsensical statements over the past years and more so lately. He states ministerrs in future shouldn't last more than 2 terms, to be contradicted by the PM.
Last election, he thinks he can corrupt Potong Pasir and Hougang residents by bribing them with multi-million dollar upgrading works.
I am glad he received his 'Slaps' when the voting results came out.
I don't see our Straits Times commenting much about his bribery attempt.

Anonymous said...

"Last election he thinks he can corrupt Potong Pasir and Hougang residents by bribing them with multi million dollar upgrading works"

Hahaha, so, Potong Pasir and Hougang residents are incorruptible. So much for the claims that people will be corrupt if you do not pay them well. A corrupt person will always be corrupt no matter how much he is paid.

There are many unproven truths in Singapore politics that are repeated over and over again till it becomes the 'hard truths'.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are practical people ... All the emotions stir-up during election is good, just like the love between couples. However, when come to casting vote, then it is like marriage ... must look at bread, cannot just look at love. Opposition parties need to raise their game (the old game plan of merely stirring Anti-PAP is obviously not working) and start showing Singaporeans that they can also deliver bread.

Anonymous said...

"Opposition parties need to raise their game (the old game plan of merely stirring Anti-PAP is obviously not working) and start showing Singaporeans that they can also deliver bread."
Anon April 7, 2011 1:23 AM

What are you talking about?

Is the opposition the government?

Can they deliver budget goodies like the government?

Can they provide jobs and livelihood like the government?

If you want to criticise the opposition, although it is a valid point, it is also a silly point to use. It cuts no ice with voters.

Just like saying if you want to reach point A to point B in Singapore, you should fly there.

Anonymous said...

By the time Lim Chin Siong was thirty, his political career was over - finished off by you-know-who. Age certainly shouldn't be the all-dominant factor in determining whether a candidate is good or not. But it is not really about age in this case. Lim Chin Siong was a young man capable of rallying 'the masses' through his own charisma. He could lead a mass political movement at an age younger than Tin's today. Can you even begin to compare Tin Pei Ling to him? She does not meet the mark, the standard expected of an elected official.

Anonymous said...

That was precisely the reason why Lim Chin Siong had to be removed. The same goes for Ong Eng Guan and later Francis Seow.

These are the ones capable of outshining you know who, and they definitely had to be destroyed.

Some rise fighting others fairly and squarely, ie on merit. But some rise by putting down others, by hook or by crook.

Anonymous said...

Is it in your interest to vote for PAP?

http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/02/27/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-1/

http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/03/04/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-2/

http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/04/05/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-3/

Anonymous said...

If I vote PAP, things may not change for the better. But there is still hope that things can change for the better because they will be the government.

If I vote opposition, things will definitely not change for the better. Because the opposition cannot even deny PAP 2/3 majority, let alone form the government. So they cannot do anything, let alone do good things.

Conclusion:

I will vote for PAP.

Like the saying:

Between the choice of 2 evils, choose the lesser of the 2.

Anonymous said...

The conclusion is, and I quote Mr Wang - I pity this country!

Anonymous said...

Because the opps can't form the 2/3 majority, it is the reason why you should vote for the opps.

This will give PAP the impetus to change for the better. It would not do it on its own will, like if you let them win all the seats.

This is a simple game of power.

Don't be a daft Singaporean. Only when the two teams are equally strong, the voter needs to think harder. In Singapore's case, you can't go wrong voting for the opps. In fact, the only way to make PAP better.

Anonymous said...

A total of 87 seats.

To deny PAP 2/3 majority the opposition need to win at least 30 seats.

From 2 seats to 30 seats? Oh my God!

Unless the law is changed to:

For every one vote for opposition, X 15 for final tally!

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans have that dead men mentality, like a terminally ill cancer patient, giving up all hope.

Even before the opposition can win just one more seat, they have that defeatist attitude and they will pour cold water and tell others to just give up.

If this is the kind of upbringing that we have here, I fear for our survival.

Would we tell the army to give up even before firing the first shot, just because the odds are against us? I believe we would, now. Why spend all that money on defence?

I really pity this country. God help us!

Anonymous said...

Yes it is really a cancer type of situation, but it applies to the opposition. They will be terminally weak and sometimes very sick with relapse but, unlike cancer, they will not die, politically speaking.

Anonymous said...

"WP's Low may not contest a GRC
Victory not guaranteed, he says
By Andrea Ong
Opposition leader Low Thia Khiang on Friday said a victory would not be guaranteed even if he was helming the team in the GRC battle.

OPPOSITION leader Low Thia Khiang has dropped the strongest hint yet that he will remain in Hougang instead of contesting a GRC in the coming polls.

He said in an interview published on Friday in Shin Min Daily News that a victory is not guaranteed even if he was helming the team in the GRC battle.

Asked if he would personally lead a team to increase the party's chances of winning a GRC, the Workers' Party chief said: 'Do you think that's guaranteed even if I go to a GRC? Does it mean voters will definitely vote for me? It may not be the case, right?'"


You see lah. The opposition strongman is not even confident of winning a GRC, let alone denying PAP 2/3 majority.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that was ever in doubt. If any opposition is "confident" of winning an election, I would say that they are foolish.

Odds are extremely stacked against the opposition, and the PAP holds most of the cards. That's what Singaporeans need to be concerned about.

As the old saying goes, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

PAP versus Opposition is a little bit like Gaddafi versus Rebels. We know what the odds are like, but at the same time we know who's the dictator.

Anonymous said...

But for the libyan rebels, they have Western military power to support them!

For our opposition, having the odds set against them is one thing.

The biggest and most critical thing is that even the majority of voters don't support them.

So what will make majority of voters support the opposition?

Very simple. Just a few things. They are:

1. Be united as one. Currently too many "Indian Chiefs and not enough Indians".

2. Have enough "star" candidates and get them to contest Tanjong Pagar, Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade GRCs.

3. Contest all seats and announce that they are ready to form the government.

I guarantee the day this happens, not only me but 66% too would vote for opposition!

But if opposition is as it is, and also behave as it is, then of course the outcome will also be as it is!

Yau-ming's blog!! said...

Offhand, I think the GRC system - voting for 3 candidates instead of one is a good idea provided the mix right. Not all politicians are eloquent, visionary, charismatic, far-sighted, pragmatic, socially conscious, technically minded, etc.. So its good if you get a triune system where one politician is gifted in one set of skills, and the other two gifted in other areas. I'd actually like to see more (PAP) politicians drawn from the non-English speaking backgrounds, i.e., working classes.

Anonymous said...

" I'd actually like to see more (PAP) politicians drawn from the non-English speaking backgrounds, i.e., working classes."

Too many of them lah, so very hard to choose, right or not? Unless tikam, tikam (draw lots) lah.

Some more, if they are earning only a few $K per month at their present jobs, MP $15K per month allowance is like a monthly windfall for them, right or not?

Some more it is job security for them at least for 4 or 5 years. If they know how to save, can even be millionaires at end of term.

Now if you are employer and want to recruit a staff for a $15K per month job, would you take in someone whose present salary is only $2 or $3K per month, will you?

Anonymous said...

"Now if you are employer and want to recruit a staff for a $15K per month job, would you take in someone whose present salary is only $2 or $3K per month, will you?"

As an employer, you decide the pay. For an MP's $15K, it is given whether you like it or not. The amount is already being decided and you have to pick someone who you think deserves it to represent your interest.

If a high income earner can do that, fine. If not, so what if he holds a string of Phds or a well known high flier in his own right only good for his own interest.

Anonymous said...

"Too many of them lah, so very hard to choose, right or not? Unless tikam, tikam (draw lots) lah."

In some countries, a position may be hotly contested by 10 to 20 candidates (no such thing as no talent). Candidates are not "discouraged" by some selective arbitrary standards (aka obstacles) geared to benefit some particular group(s). The people get to decide who is to represent them.

Anonymous said...

"The people get to decide who is to represent them"

Not without getting rid of the GRC system! It is a skewed system, and not fair to voters, who may not want certain candidates to be elected as MPs to represent them, but have to live with the consequence of being in a GRC.

I can safely say that if Hougang or Potong Pasir were to be absorbed into a GRC, Low Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong would never have a chance. It is that obvious. They would be dragged down by their own weaker candidates.

But if all were single ward contest, the representation of MPs will probably be more realistically matched or at least closer to the percentage of votes cast for each party. Certainly not 83 MPs out of 85 and with only 66% of votes garnered.

Just how many of those PAP MPs that went into Parliament by the backdoor can realistically get in by themselves, if they were to stand in single ward constituencies is now a question that can never be answered. But obviously not every one of them can make it on their own merit, I am quite sure.

But this is all water under the bridge now, and we can never get out of a system that we did not choose to have, but thrust upon us agreeable or not.

Anonymous said...

" It is a skewed system, and not fair to voters, who may not want certain candidates to be elected as MPs to represent them, but have to live with the consequence of being in a GRC."
Anon 11:09 PM

The thing is these reasons are not strong enough to make 66% vote against PAP! Even though it is completely within their power to do so!

Will the day come when majority voters hate the GRC system so much until they even want to vote out PAP just due to this? Unlikely, right?

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, someone is attempting to get the Wee Shu Min "get out of my elite uncaring face" page deleted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wee_Shu_Min_elitism_scandal

The proposer says it is "not notable". How can it be not notable?!

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Anonymous said...

PAP is what it is today because of the will (or the lack of will) of the Singaporean majority. It takes 2 hands to clap. PAP is a giant monopoly political power evolving into a cleverly disguised imperialism. You cannot inject will into will-less individuals merely by telling them they will hurt Singapore in the long run because spineless people tend to be short term oriented as well. My advice if you are intelligent able and got the means...apply for citizenship elsewhere. Let birds of a feather flock together. Then come back as foreign talent.

Anonymous said...

I have a close friend who is a PAP cadre and he had close contact with TPL. Even he was disgusted! Some of the words he used to describe her were 'childish', 'attention-seeking' etc. He said he did not understand why SM Goh was so supportive of her. I am annoyed because she is going to get into parliament, not from her own merit but on the coat-tails of somebody else. We have all seen people like her in our work place. I am annoyed because people like that always seem to get what they want. I have similar thoughts about the other illustrious PAP candidate from HSBC. I am just plain annoyed.

Raelynn said...

i never quite understood why hdb flats cannot be strata title.

Anonymous said...

What is strata title?

I thought either leasehold (99 yrs) or freehold?

Anonymous said...

While http://www.temasekreview.com cannot be accessed,

to get around the problem in the meantime,

try to access temasek review without difficulty through

http://www.temasekreview.com/category/top-story/

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 11.25 for highlighting the problem of trying to access TR. Sorry, Mr Wang for going off tangent.

Raelynn said...

im not very sure if my understanding of strata title is the same as the legal definition, i'm sure mr wang is in a better position to explain. the wiki article is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strata_title

if i'm not mistaken, condominiums follow the strata title method of ownership. but i'm not sure if this necessarily means if it is a better way for residents to have a say on upgrading their blocks and enbloc-ing or whether such a method gives them more independent power away from hdb, like not having to worry that even after all the money that they pay, the flat is still actually considered government/hdb property rather than really your own property.

7-8 said...

I think that when people talk about Tin Peiling, they mention either the Kate Spade, her apparent lack of maturity, and the fact that she will be elected into parliament just because of the GRC system and not because people voted her in.

What gets lost in the hubbub is the question: why did she get nominated by PAP in the first place? The conventional explanation is “She’s there to reach out to generation Y”. That may well be true, in spite of the fact that she singularly failed in that. We can all agree that Nicole Seah is doing a much better job in this regard.

Well the crux of the issue was brought home to me because I realized, through the Sim Ann issue that civil servants are not allowed to stand for elections.

People don’t always put the pieces together. Her husband is the principal private secretary to the PM, the 3rd highest ranking guy in the PMO, after the head of civil service and the perm sec of the PMO. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR HIM TO STAND FOR ELECTIONS. No matter, his wife can stand for elections instead.

To be sure, any impropriety in this will always be overshadowed by how the (now former) CEO of Temasek is married to the Prime Minister himself. But I can imagine what her real purpose is. She’s a spy for the PMO. She’s there to report to the PMO what people in parliament are discussing in private. She’s there to breach the wall between the civil service and the legislature.

I think that the opposition may not have raised this because there are so many other better ways to whack her directly instead of saying something you could get sued for saying. But for me this is the real issue of Tin Peiling.

Anonymous said...

They will become a victim of their own doing thinking that GRC is untouchable ! To give $15000 just to say yes, any idiot on the road can do it. If They lose Marine Parade, there is only 1 person to be blamed ! All my friends in Marine Parade GRC will be supporting opposition b'cos of TPL. Good luck PAP !

Eva said...

I feel like being treated as an idiot to put TPL in my grc...
My anger in comic:
http://www.eva.sg/2011/05/011-tpl-singapore-special.html