The report “Lessons From The Class Of 2006” (November 13, 2010) by Miss Andrea Ong: while The Straits Times has highlighted the internal processes of change within the incumbent administration, it would be constructive to give the Opposition parties similar exposure and coverage. This would at least provide fair political representation in the media. More importantly, it would also serve as an affirmation of the Opposition candidates’ potential, credentials and commitment; and allow more Singaporeans to be more aware of their day-to-day work, experience and proposed workplans for the future.
As Non-Constituency Member-of-Parliament (NCMP) Miss Sylvia Lim aptly pointed out, “having a few elected opposition MPs would act as a greater check on the ruling party”. Tangible political counterbalances – credible and beneficial checks and balances –should come from within and without; from politicians within the incumbent administration, and from Opposition MPs to propel the country further.
Addressing on-the-ground concerns is a key responsibility of elected MPs, but it is not the only duty or role per se. The sense that I get from many existing People’s Action Party (PAP) politicians is that they are so eager to pander to residents – and voters correspondingly during elections – that they place little emphasis on macro national issues. The irony is: such focuses can at time have more significant consequences and ramifications instead of pedantically tackling seemingly miniscule concerns. What I look for in a MP – regardless of his political affiliation – is someone who does a fine balancing act of the aforementioned: maintaining a perceptive ear on the ground, while remaining sensitive to bigger issues and campaigning for their constituents’ rights on a much larger scale. Humility and the willingness to challenge the status quo are equally important traits.