Being a member of any of
Seriously, it’s a miracle when the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has to actually go to the polls to confirm its electoral mandate. A good many of
The poor old opposition is often left struggling for a bit of attention. If you compare elections to a sporting contest,
To be fair to the PAP, the successive governments it has produced have delivered the economic goodies and in
The pathetic state of Singapore's opposition has reached a stage where, the PAP has even contemplated ordering some of its members to masquerade as an opposition and the Prime Minister has been compelled to asses the two elected and single nominated members of parliament as not being very good (One speaks less than he used to, another is a little more cautious and the final one is dismissed as a passionate nit-picker).What can the opposition parties do about this dire state of affairs?
For a start, there is a serious need to get people who are serious about winning elections, and that means finding unity. As things stand, the opposition consist of a series of egos that seem to despise each other as much as they do the government. In
The other thing that the opposition needs to do is to come up with some ideas. This is easier said than done. The PAP has done a fabulous job in government and it’s hard to disagree with a group of people who have this annoying habit of getting it right all the time.
Having said that, the PAP does not get it right all the time and in this, the opposition has failed quite miserably in its job to hold the government to account. Is it that difficult to do your research and ask questions in parliament and in front of the media? Sure, the PAP will be inclined to use bully-boy tactics (just think of MM Lee’s complacency remarks) but bullies are surprisingly cowardly when people refuse to be intimidated by them.
Think of the following:
Mas Selamat’s Escape
- What happened to the security system in the prison? We’ve pumped millions into anti-terrorism facilities and one man with a limp has obviously gotten the better of all our investments.
- Why is the Committee of Inquiry taking so long to reveal its findings? Normal commercial supermarkets have installed CC TV’s and have the facility to trace incidents within minutes. Surely, a high-technology prison should have even better facilities?
- How did
’s leading terrorist have so much freedom of movement within the prison? Singapore
Tanker Collides with Navy Spy Ship
- What happened to all the radar technology on the ship? Sure, we’ve found the watch officer negligent, but surely a ship filled with the latest radar technologies should have had other fail safe systems?
Exercise Swift Lion – Death of two NSFs
- How did a faulty fuse make its way into the ammunition?
- We’ve been told that the suppliers in the
and USA were at fault. But why don’t we have final checks on our end? We spend five-percent of our GDP on defence; we must surely have the ability to check the quality of the equipment we receive from foreign suppliers? China
- Is the ammunition being used by our military of the highest standard?
In ten-years I’ve managed to find three incidences where tough questions should have been asked. Where was the opposition when these incidents happened? To be fair to the opposition, it seems easier not to ask questions because they may leave themselves open to accusations that they re unpatriotic and distracting the government from its job. But has the government answered the questions to the best of its ability? We’ll never know until the opposition loses its fear of being beaten down and continues asking the questions until they are answered to everyone’s satisfaction. Governments are elected to do a job and oppositions are elected to make sure they do it.