Well, your guess is as good as mine. But since the guessing game has already started, why don’t I join in the game too?
My guess is that the culling will not take into consideration length of a People’s Action Party Member of Parliament’s service. Because if length of tenure is a criterion then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who has contested all the elections since independence won’t have been allowed to serve so long!
Also, when an MP quits contesting elections, it doesn’t mean that he has no more contribution to make to Singapore. Especially when it isn’t a case of “you go!” but one where the MP has had enough and tells the party, “enough no more, tis not so sweet as it was before”.
See where some ex-MPs and Ministers are today: Dr Tony Tan, now chairman of Sinagpore Press Holdings and deputy chairman of Government Investment Corporation; Mr S Dhanabalan, chairman of Temasek Holdings; Mr Lim Chee Onn, who was for many years CEO and then chairman of Keppel Corp and now currently the ship-builder’s senior adviser.
Also, Dr Lee Boon Yang, an MP and ex-minister who will call it a day at the next General Election, has recently replaced Mr Liim as non-executive chairman of KepCorp.
At this stage, what one can say for sure is that there will definitely be four new faces contesting under the PAP banner at the next GE. This is because there will be four vacancies. Apart from Dr Lee, Mr Yeo Cheow Tong has also said he won’t be contesting. And Dr Ong Chit Chung and Dr S Balaji have died.
This apart, why should anyone else have to go to make way for newcomers?
Who says the 84 elected seats in Parliament are numbers that can’t be increased?
The population in Singapore is now 5.08 million. True, not all are citizens and among citizens, not all are of voting age.
Yet, whatever their capacity to vote, all 5.08 million need looking after.
Are 82 elected MPs enough to look after this large number, considering that our MPs are very hands-on with their weekly MPS or meet-the-people sessions?
Maybe it’s time to raise the number of elected seats?
If that happens, the PAP may not have need to eliminate existing MPs to make way for new blood. In any case not as many as happened in past GEs!