Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Singapore GE2015: A Must Read Before Voting

There is an article circulating online as a must read before voting. As the writer has given, in my opinion, a bias perspective, here is my rebuttal ...
I am a Singaporean voter. I want our policies to be thoroughly examined by different political parties in the Parliament.
I know all the candidates have different strengths, weaknesses and abilities but that is exactly the whole idea. A policy paper can be better scrutinized by different people with different perspectives, angles and insights. Ultimately, Singapore and Singaporeans benefit from better policies. Good policies can withstand scrutiny, no matter who came up with them.
I am a Singaporean voter too. I want policies to be first the result of public engagement and consultation; second, to be examined by citizens as well as all relevant groups and parties. Policies affecting my life should not be vetted and examined only by political parties because frankly parties have their vested interests and MPs do not have a monopoly over common-sense and wisdom. Singaporeans are empowered enough today to think for themselves and speak up for themselves.

I am a Singaporean voter. I want our anti-corruption department to be completely detached from the power of any government, regardless of political party.

The department should be a checks-and-balances asset for the people of Singapore. The anti-corruption department should report directly to the people and conduct regular and random checks on every single branch of the state and government to ensure nobody plays under the table. Nobody.
I am a Singaporean voter and I agree. The CPIB must continue to be independent and do its job fearlessly and impartially as , to be fair to CPIB, it has done for 60 years. That is why Ministers and senior civil servants have been charged and punished when they commit offences. No other country has done this as well as Singapore and the credit goes to Lee Kuan Yew.

I am a Singaporean voter. I want our civil service, army, police and judiciary systems to be independent from any politically-motivated decisions from any incumbent government.

I am a Singaporean voter. Your ideas are flawed and you obviously need a lesson in political science and law. In a democratic system, there are 3 bodies - Parliament which makes laws, the Judiciary which interprets the laws and enforces it, and finally the Executive which govern. This is the principle of the separation of powers The judiciary must be independent. Parliament should preferably be plural and not dominated by one party.The civil service is part of the Executive which is led by elected officials ie PM and Cabinet.  The civil service must carry out faithfully the programmes of whichever elected party that forms the Government but it must do so impartially.  
I dislike the practice of parachuting newly-resigned civil servants, army or police officers or judges into the political sphere weeks or days before elections. This presents a serious conflict of interests because these newly-converted politicians still hold networks of influence within their old jobs and that may present dilemmas in crucial decision-making. Imagine if we go to war and our generals hesitate to act because they are considering military decisions based on answering to ex-colleagues-turned-ministers on which electoral constituency to defend or retreat from. Wouldn't that be a disaster if they lost battle initiative due to such considerations?
I am a Singaporean voter and I agree. However your example about war and generals is really stupid because Singapore is just too small to be defended in a war constituency by constituency.
I am a Singaporean voter. I understand all policies cost valuable taxpayers' monies.

I am a Singaporean voter too and I agree with you. However trade-offs are not just about monies but also about choices affecting how we live and the options we have for the future. No country can have their cake and eat it without them or their next generation starving in the end.

I am not a rabbit. I don't eat carrots dangling in front of me. I am not a dog. I refuse to be tamed or intimidated by fear-mongering tactics. I am not a crazy person either. I don't intend to bankrupt Singapore or Singaporeans over poorly-planned policies. I am, however, keeping an open mind to alternative suggestions to current policies. I don't mind these alternatives be thoroughly debated in Parliament because there is always a chance to find moderation and suitability in them until these policies can meet the needs and wants of Singaporeans.

I am glad you are not a rabbit or a dog or a crazy person but an open-minded person willing to entertain alternative views. I hope that is how you will take my elaboration over your ideas. No offence intended, hopefully no offence taken. 

I am a Singaporean voter. I want my government to work for me, not against me and certainly not for themselves. I want my politicians to earn their keep, not sleep through in Parliament and just nod their heads in agreement to pass policies into bills which are not clearly understood by the people.

Governments are servants to the people. If they lord over their own voters, they are not governments. They are called tyrants. I understand the need for attractive pay to entice the best talents and minds into a government. However, I want such salaries to be pegged to real performance in their terms of office. This is called meritocracy. Any member of parliament who naps in parliamentary sessions should receive a pay cut for that month. No excuses. Any member of parliament who has contributed no constructive suggestions to any policies in a year should receive a pay cut for that year. Any member of parliament who broke the laws of Singapore should receive a demerit ceremony in public and serve the necessary sentence in whichever way deem fit by the people of Singapore.

I am a Singaporean voter too and I agree with you except for the part about punishment to be determined by the people – that sounds too much like trial by lynch mob. Regardless of popular sentiment, the rule of law must apply – dispassionately and impartially.
I am a Singaporean voter. I want Singapore to survive longer than any political squabble or contest.

If any political party claims that Singapore will collapse or be in ruins if they are voted out of power, that means we have built the country in the wrong way. All political parties face the possibility of total dissolution but as a Singaporean, I want Singapore to possess a robust system where it can survive any change of power from any political party. This means the civil service, army, police and judiciary system must remain apolitical if they understand such a national need beyond political competition.

I am a Singaporean voter and I agree. Singapore should not collapse because one party is voted out of power. Whether Singapore will collapse because this happens prematurely is the question that is pertinent today because even the serious people in the opposition itself admit they cannot yet form an alternative government.  
I am a Singaporean voter. Vote not for Singapore's past. Vote not for Singapore's present. Vote for Singapore's future.
I am a Singaporean voter too and I also want to vote for a good Singapore future. But ignoring the past and present is  shallow thinking and reckless.  We must always remember the past that led us here without being trapped in the past; we must always look with honesty and with a hand to the heart, at the good we have in the present without being blind to its imperfections. Then we reflect and decide what we believe is the best choice to make for the future  when we cast our vote on 11 Sep.

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