This post like my posts on Aware and Botak Siew has nothing to do with food –directly. But since politics touches all aspects of our lives, the impending changes to how people get to sit in the Singapore Parliament could have some impact — even if indirectly on our food and eating habits!
So here are my three cents’ worth.
1) After watching n listening to Workers Party chairman Sylvia Lim speak on Channel News Asia on May 31, I’m impressed by her articulate, quietly persuasive voice. She’s come a long way from the days of hustings at the last GE when she sounded more defensive than intelligent. So, if a couple of years’ exposure in Parliament can improve her delivery and substance, then yay for the proposal to expand the NCMP numbers. That should improve the quality of leaders of a shadow or government in waiting, just in case the PAP nightmare of a freak election comes true.
2) Appearing in the same TV program was Ms Indranee Rajah, my MP whom incidentally I’ve never seen in person. Nor did I give her my vote, tho that’s not her fault but was due to there being no Opposition team standing against her PAP team with MM Lee Kuan Yew as anchor man. Which is a pity. I would like to feel that I gave her my vote; so that I can take ownership of my MP rather than that my MP is so only by default.
3) Stemming from (2), I hope that changes in the electoral rules to facilitate a guaranteed minimum number of Opposition voices in Parliament could also provide for no-contest seats to be validated by voters. It’s just like being sent the U-card by NTUC. It can’t work till I validate it with a transaction. So why not a validation-vote for no-contest MPs?
4) Would that add to the cost of running an election? Perhaps but that should be in the nation’s budget for an election. Money for the polls can’t n shldn’t be based on the assumption that many seats won’t be contested.
5) The bigger problem may be for the PAP, should voters having been assured of a PAP MP in their ward (because there was no contest) decide to have some fun and games and thumb their noses by spoiling their validation votes or not vote at all, instead of giving a ringing endorsement.
6) Still, while that may cause some harti susa for the ruling party, it won’t change the number of seats PAP wins thru no contest. That way, anti-PAP voters and the PAP can both have their cake. And those, like moi, who simply wish to endorse their walk-over MP would also have theirs.