PAP MPs to be dropped at next GE?

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!

6 thoughts on “PAP MPs to be dropped at next GE?

  1. This is the age old question of “How many people do you need to change a lightbulb?” It depends.
    Like all things in life, there is a balance between what is a parliarment for 84 representatives vs 840 representatives. It’s about costs as much as manageability. For me, Singapore is the same whether it is Tuas or Changi or Woodlands. As much as I think there should be only 1 GRC of 84 representatives but that would be too radical. I think history aside, Singapore want to be seen as being open and democratic thus at the same time having totally zero opposition is bad for Singapore. But back to the question of guessing which MP needs to retire, it might be everyone’s cup of tea and some for health reasons and others, the 5 year term is sufficiently demanding for the family despite being resolute during tea parties. Change is always good and change is always needed. But a change too big and sudden will be too shocking.

  2. Uncle Keng, we aren’t talking abt changing a lite bulb but abt running a country worth perhaps several trillions of $ in all types of assets. Also, I wasn’t thinking of increasing the MP count massively. Perhaps up to 100, say, not counting yr NMPs n NCMPs. Btw, for one who had previously appeared very neo-liberal in yr response to my posts, yr latest comment sounds somewhat neo-con. Wonder y? Something to do with upcoming GE or yr recent visit to SG? tatadada 😛

  3. Auntie Lucia, the conversation reminds me of a scene in one of Uncle Jack Neo’s movie where the principal was saying “We are talking about teaching not catching fishing”. 🙂 It will be an endless debate without any fruitful outcome to argue about who runs Singapore. In business, they say everyone is in Sales – from the receptionist to the CEO. Similarly it’s everyone in Singapore who runs the country. Again, you can argue that this is not a private enterprise but running the country. But I love analogies, it makes a difficult concept easier to understand 🙂

    The summation of intellectual feedback and individuals from the man in the street, civil servants and political party members all help mould the direction where Singapore is heading. It is also true that without MP, there will be no Ministers and the closer you are to the decision makers, the greater is your influence. Key decisions are made not by the man in the street and definitely not by the MP. I suspect the running the country lies with a select group of Ministers and Perm Secretaries. Hypothetically, and God forbade, should the entire 84 members disappear overnight, there will be yet be another 84 from 2.5 million Singapreans who will step up to the role but the country doesn’t stop overnight. The military might lend itself well in such an emergency to instil order but Military men are not politicians. An interim team could possibly be formed with a recall of back benchers and some Singaporean CEOs with equivalent ministerial calibre. By then, the call of duty would be Country before Self. The Singapore stock market will hypothetically dip but no one is indispensible. We will fall, pick ourselves up and move on. The strength of the Singapore system lies in a total system which could auto-pilot for a while but needs a leader at the top. No matter how autopilot things are, the airplane still needs a pilot to chart the course.

    That all said, an MP definitely is an important part of the big jigsaw puzzle and in no way am I belittling the sacrifice and contribution made by individuals who have been and are prepared to take on this role. Life is really nicer when you view things from afar ( literally ) Don’t guess too much. I rather you tell me the 1st prize 4D numbers of any draw or as they say in the US, powerball numbers 🙂

  4. Uncle Keng, u mean something fm the Theatre of the Absurd? Haha! Let me b very clear then. I thank u for yr mini course on how the structure of elected political power works in S’pore. Guess it’s no different fm elsewhere. In the UK people call the inner cabal “the Kitchen Cabinet”, esp in the days where Cheri Blair wielded gt power over her hubby’s thinking.

    Coming back to the 100 MPs suggestion: I think the current 84 aren’t enough to handle the sudden leap in population numbers in S’pore. So let a 100 MPs bloom. Let a 1000 Opp Parties contend 😀

    Have a good Sunday.

  5. Pingback: More MPs? Remember u read it here first! « FOOD fuels me to talk…

  6. Pingback: More MPs: it’s moi who said it first « FOOD fuels me to talk…

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