Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister - Ordinary Singaporean Looking for the Job of Nominated Member of Parliament

Prime Minister:

This note will probably come as something as a surprise to you but since I have escaped certain death twice this year; I figured that I might be being saved for something special. I have no idea what that special something is but since you are the key to one of the special things I would like to try and do, I thought I would draft a note to see how far I would get.

I am looking for a job in politics. Since I am not a member of the PAP, I can’t be a Member of Parliament nor do I wish to take the job since I have no desire to be everyone’s problem solver of last resort. I am however, looking to the possibility of being a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP.)

Why would anyone want to take this job? Well, I believe that I am qualified for the job and my presence in parliament would provide the government with a view from the ground that it would never be able to get through polls and grassroots feedback.

I am far from being a star that you can show off. You could say that in almost every way, my life has been something of a disappointment. However, I have had my moments of glory. In short, my life is probably the same story as your average working Singaporean. Like the majority of Singaporeans, I am struggling to make a living but somehow in that struggle, I have found a certain purpose in that very struggle.

You could call me a “failed entrepreneur.” I am the owner of a small public relations practice. I call myself failed in the sense that I haven’t made much money from this business. However, I can tell you that in the course of this business, I’ve learnt the lesson that the small man can stand up and have his day. As a one-man show, I have handled some of the biggest brands in the world. Amongst the clients I have serviced are GE Commercial Finance (Since sold to Standard Chartered Bank), Alcon, 3M and Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

As well serving big brands, I’ve also helped promote Singapore to the wider world. My proudest moment came when the Saudi Embassy, under former Ambassador, Dr Amin Kurdi hired me to coordinate the embassy’s efforts during Crown Prince Sultan’s visit to Singapore in 2006. As well as working for the Saudi Embassy, I also helped promote Saudi Culture through two projects with Saudi Aramco in 2004 and 2006.

However, life hasn’t been just about rubbing shoulders with the Excellencies and high flying civil servants to set the tone for Singapore. I count amongst my best friends, an immigrant from Nepal as well as a former prostitute who married a former prison convict. For brief period in 2004, I had to call Hotel 81 in Geylang Lorong 12 my home.

I am, as they say, not unfamiliar with the fact that Singapore has a gutter. As much as I have been part of Singapore’s sexy, I am also familiar with the underbelly that nobody wants to talk about. My familiarity with both sides of Singapore provides me with the unique view of Singapore as it really is rather than what any particular vested interest group may like you to think it is.

Having seen both sides of Singapore in the last decade, I remain a patriotic Singaporean. I am at time critical of certain things and I am at times grateful for things being the way that they are. I am one of the odd balls who moved back from the more “liberated” West because I believed Singapore was the place that I could do most for. Things haven’t exactly turned out the way I thought they would but on the balance of things, after a decade of being at home, it seems that I made a decent enough choice.

Like you, I am a Gunner from the 23rd Battalion Singapore Artillery. I have served National Service in a combat unit and in a combat vocation. I believe that there are things about Singapore that are worth defending and even though I am now past the age where I’m obliged to do it militarily, I’ll gladly to it in public service.

I am also what you could call a creature of the new media. I maintain a blog, which I started back in 2006. Much to my surprise, I have had over 17 thousand page views. I blog under my own name and every time I participate in online discussions, I use my real name. I believe very firmly that if you need to say something, you should be able to take the consequences. You are free to check out my blog, which I have since translated, thanks to Google into Chinese, Hindi, Malay, Vietnamese, Thai and Tamil. I believe I make positions clear, I have been critical of government but I pray that what criticisms I’ve made were constructive.

I need a job and I believe the job of NMP needs someone like me. I understand that a select committee will be formed to look into who gets one of the available slots. Since I don’t know anyone on the committee, I pray that you would do me the honour of putting my name forward and that I would be considered for this position. It would be an honour to serve in Parliament.

I hope I’ve been brief but informative enough in telling you why I believe I deserve this chance to serve my nation. If you or anyone in parliament needs to know more, do feel free to contact me so that I may have the privilege with telling you what you want to know.

References can be provided if required.

With Warmest Regards

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