Sunday, April 25, 2010

An accountable Parliament

General election may be held in Singapore during the next six to 12 months. It is important for Singaporeans to vote wisely for a candidate who can best represent their views in Parliament. It is preferable for the elected MP to be able to be a full time MP, as much time is needed to understand the views of the people and to initiate and  debate legislation in Parliament.

The candidate should be quite well educated but need not be a corporate leader. It is more important that the candidate should be sincere, competent (as an elected leader) and be willing to serve the people. There are at least two members of the current parliament that meets this description. We need to have more elected leaders of this type.

At election time, the mainstream media will focus on the negative aspects of some candidates. The voters should be aware of the bias of the media and understand that it takes a lot of personal sacrifice and courage for some candidates to stand for election to be a voice of the people in parliament. We should look at their positive aspects and be ready to give them a chance.

The above views are shared by the majority of the people who participated in a survey held a few motnhs ago. The results of this survey are shown here.

The aim is to have a Parliament that reflects the views of the people and to approve legislation and government policies that are good for the country and the people.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

Change is needed for a better future. The current PAP policies are outdated and do not reflect the current needs of Singapore. If there are no change to deal with the rising cost of living, we will be like Japan, 1 in 6 of the population is living in poverty.

Anonymous said...


Hope that you consider standing for election, either as an independent candidate or part of a GRC. I am certain you will win and be able to do something useful for all of us.

Anonymous said...

u are brave to make such comment. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

In his interview with Charlie Rose, he painted a beautiful picture of a young country, led by a group of competent leaders, where there's a "reservoir of trust" between the people and the government.

What a huge bunch of lies.

He mentioned the government's emphasis on babies and immigration.

What's the use of giving incentives to couples when the basic need of housing and retirement is being ignored?

We have opened our doors to Chinese and Indian nationals who are here to rob us of our jobs and homes.

They may be of the same races, but they are definitely not of the same culture and values. They are not people that Singaporeans would want to live with, if given a choice.

He mentioned that his father has created a country and government that can run on its own, even without him overseeing it.

Why then are we paying him a salary?

Right, I forgot -- we are paying him a salary to continue instilling fear in Singaporeans.

Our country is led by monkeys - blind and deaf to the welfare and needs of its own citizens.

Anonymous said...

My wife comes from one of the Asean countries that is due for election soon.

These politicians "fight" (literary, as well)to gain a seat because the "rewards" once you gain a seat is huge, not the salary.(I dont need to explain this)

As such, the general aim is not to serve the people but to line their pockets.

Contrast that with Singapore politics, gaining a seat here has minimal rewards in "terms of lining their pockets", as our corruption level is very low.

As such I believe, the opposition here in Singapore, main focus is to serve the people, I find that more honarable, as our 2 opposition MPs have shown.

Anonymous said...

I believe the GE will be held within 2 months.

Bryan Ti said...

Mr Tan, you mentioned about the mainstream media focusing on the negative aspects of some candidates. I assume that you are referring the Opposition candidates.

You also warned voters to be aware of the bias of the mainstream media.

I would like to ask you whether in your statement above, you are implying that the mainstream media has never given a fair perspective of the Opposition candidates.

Also, I would like to ask your opinion of the so-called alternative media and whether they have been biased as well.

Anonymous said...

The person thar fit the desciption is only Tan Kin Lian.

Please come me and see whether you can be voted in.

Don't just talk. Show to us that you have character and dignity.

Anonymous said...

The current Parliament has no guts to be independent minded.

In the case of Town Council lost $16-$18 million to Minibond collapsed. How did the professional advisors convinced the TC to invest in this product? The retail FAs confirmed that they were trained to sell the product as Bond of the reference entities and safe as FD. Was TC told that this is a very high risk product?

If TC was sold the same way as the retail investors, it goes to show that all FAs have been fooled by LB or MS [Pinnacle] or ML [Jubilee] or DBS [HN5]. So does it means that the creators have been hiding important information from the retail investors and not being honest during the training? Is this a good enough reason for MAS to investigate or probably they are just too scare of Ang Mo investment companies. Only have guts to punish small flies or local companies.

For the current MPs, I guess their objective is to ensure they do not anger the Ms else they will just end up like our good Ex-President Ong i.e. neglected and forgotten.

So, what's the point of being a MP when you are not serving the people who elected you but just making sure your Iron Rice Bowl is safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

dear Mr TKL,i follow yr blog & u r a gd man,u r sincere,at times opinionated but u speak yr mind,what is ye is ye & nay is nay,a man who honors what's said & stand by it..while views may differ,is not e difference that counts,is content of offer & acceptance,such is (political) maturity,such is honor & such is 'real man'of making,u r a gd man & in my heart,i can feel so, here's my pt,many say that u will perhaps stand election e coming one, go for it,but there is a gnawing ? in my mind, will u end up being in e system or maybe felt betray by e 'stupidity'of greater SE pple,who r apathy & realizing this 'blend'in e system of sweeter politic?go with e flow as they would say?Sir Thomas More once said,"i wuld rather die then to sell my soul.."how true!m western educated & we greater lot in SE are & also a great fan of European value,culture & history,of also Europen politics,greater England too & with at times e "shallow" of Asian value & politic,here in context of SE,r u sure is value to bet against e regime & fight for the apathy lot(of SE pple)?i admire yr guts,yr 'guetto'in e stomach,yr belief & yr stand for pple rights but odds r against e few good men,u r one & how sad for me,i wish to fight but m tired to see this regime,this island (of apathy pple)& while we echo e importance of education not in literate term alone,e value thereof, how many can be man like u,yr blog of voice for pple & to what agenda if any,is yr holding...if ever what is true therein,m ready to garner enugh support for yr crusade,e silent force at work & yes,my spirit is with you & i applaud works of a few gd men,but m sad,i cannot fight(openly)for e greater cause,i dot belief to succeed,for SE pple have far too long being 'leechers'of sweet politic,afterall more then 50%are link with jobs in one way or another with the govt!e so call 'public service'how to "win" but i wish to see change,real men that cares,belief in e course & fighter for e greater good for mankind,this is education,is belief & more so,e true of living,not in every little bickering but real issues,how true, Paliament in Singapore now is becoming a wayang,a joke,a platform for clowns & when Minister can say,"m deaf to criticism.."what else is there to expect frm this birth place,i have since ran away & exile but Mr Tan,trust me,if u r to your doing, even just for the sake of yr family,then country,like e chinese say,"first country,then family, then land then me..."my spirit is with u,God is with u & his thousand angels,& silently,yes, i shall garner votes for u, however, & hopefully, is not a walk over or rigging that eventually rip us of e win for democracy...vivala,TKL, u r a good man.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to Brian Ti,

The message given in the mainstream media has 1000 times the reach of the alternative media.

I let the public judge whether the mainstream media has been fair in their presentation of the election candidates.

Anonymous said...

I think we should choose MPs who are willing to sacrifice for the people.

(Anonymous 4.21pm) was saying that in other countries, politicians enter parliament to line up their pockets since the "rewards" to enter parliament are huge. Extending this principle of conflict of interest, I think that corporate leaders should not be in parliament as well. It is not a good thing if there is a possibility that a change of laws would benefit a politician-corporate leader.

The opposition members have no way of effecting changes in the government for their personal benefit, but this is hard to say for PAP MPs. The only reason why opposition MPs, some of whom make huge financial sacrifices, would run for elections is to serve the people.

Anonymous said...

Let me take you back about 30 plus years ago.

I was a young teenager watching the TV series "Charlie's Angels" at around 7.30pm when the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood was shattered by a loudspeaker blaring out pre-recorded campaign slogans.

I looked out of my window, and I saw a Volkswagen with a loudspeaker mounted on the roof. My dad told me it was Chiam See Tong on his hopeless campaign trail.

I remember telling myself that this twit was never going to win the elections in this clumsy manner. And then I went back to my TV set and my Farrah Fawcett fantasies.

Thirty plus years later, Mr Chiam is now considered an elder statesman of the opposition. Well respected and admired.

My point being that many of the opposition candidates are likely not going to be as smooth and slick as the PAP candidates. Just remember that they are not yet the finished article.

Hopefully, you will give them a chance by listening to them with an open mind. My excuse then was that I was a teenager and Chiam See Tong simply could not compete with Farrah Fawcett for my attention.

Bryan Ti said...

Mr Tan, thank you for your reply.

I agree the mainstream media has a much wider reach that the alternative media.

I believe that the MSM have offerred more airtime and paper-space to the Opposition to reach the public than anytime in the past.

Thus far we have seen exclusive MSM profile articles and interviews covering a few Opposition members eg. Tony Tan and Hazel Poa, Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Chee Soon Juan. They have also been covering views by the Opposition parties
on their own election plans, feeback on the budget and even their walkabouts in the contituencies.

I also agree that the public should judge for themselves whether the mainstream media has been fair to both ends of the political spectrum.

But since you made a point about the MSM's focus on negative aspects and bias, I was just querying whether you would want to substantiate to those conclusions.

I was also asking whether you would want to offer your views on the quality of the alternative media.

(I have done so in my FB and would be willing to share them)

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to Bryan Ti

There must be several hundred blogs, i.e. the alternative media. They are managed by individuals without resources to do extensive research.

In spite of the limited resources, I believe that many of the blogs do try their best to be objective. They tend to air the views of the politicians from the alternative parties - mainly because these politicians are ignored by the mainstream media.

For the MSM interviews that you have mentioned, there were some complaints that the reports have a negative slant for some of the interviewees. I am not able to verify it.

When the general election appears, I expect the negative slant to be more prominent. It has happened in the past elections.

But, I hope that you are right and that this time round the situation will change and that all the candidates will be fairly treated. This will be good for Singapore. We have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed with Mr Tan Kin Lian's comments about Singapore needs GOOD candidates to represent its people in the Parliament.

My observation after many years, and that's also same as many Singaporeans feeling i believe, aired thru various alternative media. (becos the mainstream media's forum only accepts neutral or Good comments) is that, Singapore seems to be losing outspoken people's representatives in parliament as in Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong's era.
The minsiters are atr best, 50% really excellent calibre in that we could "see" them workign hard for Singapore's future over many years. But, the remaining ones seem to be just So-so, only "good" at giving reasons after reasons. as if the blames are to be born by Singaporeans alone.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the alternative media are full of all sorts of "cursing" and frustrations.
Going forward, Singapore needs strong visonary leadership like Lee Kuan Yew (many might not agree with me) and Goh Chok Tong with better calibre minsiterial team.
Mr Tan is correct that highly educated candidates are not necessary good nation leadership.
If we continue to choose ministerial calibre with candidates who are only GOOD at giving reasons, then I think Singapore will end up a nation just equally GOOD at blowing its own trumpets.

Really missed the era with brilliant leadership who can make good judgment and have the courage to move ahead without keep talking about "Singaporeans must change this and change that..."
Becos, at the end of the day, when real crisis strike us, singaporeans should have the full confidence to rely on a team of excellent leadership to lead all of us to overcome great odds.

Serving the nation is a great honour and those who are given the privilege to lead must live up to the highest standard of political leadership. That hasn't change in nations' history even we are in high-tech era.
Just hope that both Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong lives longer with good health.

Anonymous said...

There are idealistic qualities that are expected of a MP.
Many of our services have become institutions and that is because MPs who wear different hats have steered them to be so.

Yet, I believe we need a different view that can be expressed in parliarment. The MP that can debate with clarity and not rumble on in a circuitious way.

Who will that be?

Anonymous said...

It is always funny to see uncles at coffeeshops complaining loudly about pap and the government.

Yet when you ask them who they vote for, they say pap.

A lot of singaporeans like to complain about the PAP, but in the end, they cant even name a single opposition party or candidate and they end up voting for PAP.

Compared to countries like the US/UK where EVERYONE knows who the main candidates are, what each party stands for, their views on certain issues, etc, Singapore is pathetic.

It is even more funny when the PAP has to make excuses as to why they own almost all seats in parliament.

"We are a small country, if we dont do this we cannot make it" <---Please explain why Luxembourg has the highest GPD:Capita ratio in the world then? Seeing as how Luxembourg is smaller than Singapore.

"Opposition parties cannot make it, we need to rule or country will collapse" <---Not even Zimbabwe or North Korea dares to make these kind of statements, yet PAP members can say this with such a straight face...

Anonymous said...

The baby boomers are probably in their middle age or older. The MB saga, the Hong Kong SEC fight for justice for the MB victims, the authority unfair treatment of middle age and old victims tends to turn off the baby boomers.

The youngsters who read widely, uses internet vigorously and probably make up their mind through much internet discussion and reading.

Will PAP still holds on to >60% margin?

I don't think so.

The middle age people losing their jobs to foreigners [like me] and foreigners who are in middle management prefer to employ their own country man. Then the local Ministers blame us, the baby boomers who supported them all these years for being lazy, choosy and spoilt. These same Ministers expect us to fight it out with the foreign workers for low income job while asking us to spent quality time with the family. It just does not make sense.

Where are our jobs? I thought Govt is suppose to help their own citizens. With 1.25 millions foreigners, why should these middle management foreigners want to employ middle age local PMET? High cost, high potential medical bills etc are their reasons to convince top mgt not to. All they need to do write some reasons on the paper work and get their own foreign friends in. Who is the suckers in the end?

Us, the Singaporeans who voted in the Ministers who than use the winning margin to increase their salary and at the same time gave the reason of increase to attract local minister talent. I don't see lots of new talents in the present government. They are very much the same people in the last election. Does this also means that those new ministers after salary increase, came in because of money instead of service?

Somehow, I feel that this election is very different from the last.

I don't believe in MAS.
I don't believe in the Govt.
I cannot stand their attitude.
I hate their foreign policies.
I hate their out-of-the-world salary.

Finally, I am still out-of-job. Hope a few Minister will join me after the election.

I still think President Obama is a great example of putting country ahead of self i.e. money is secondary. PAP should learn from him.

Anonymous said...

I will vote wisely if I am even given an opportunity to vote. Let's hope there will be no walkover.

Anonymous said...

GE held within 2 months? This is good news. We need to implement changes asap inorder to protect the majority of citizens that do not earn a huge salary.

Anonymous said...

Alot of Singaporeans are very spoilt. They may not want to get out of their comfort zone. You can see these ppl shopping at Orchard Road every weekend. The rest who are ready for change should make up their mind & stick to it to vote for the opposition.

Anonymous said...

Those who are in their 30s had better vote against the current leadership. If not, the next time you hit your 40s & lose your job, you will not find a job again.

Anonymous said...

We must implement changes immediately so our fellow citizens who are currently jobless, homeless, who had problem feeding their families or the means to provide an education for their young, etc can get help fast before they continue to suffer. Let's strive to build a more caring & compassionate society not only for the unfortunate but for all.

Anonymous said...

Our leaders must regconize that the economy should be made for the people & not the other way round.

Anonymous said...

"Our leaders must regconize that the economy should be made for the people & not the other way round."

The current govt always realize many of their responsibilities when election is near. As you can see now, adjustments are being made to gain votes. You will see them asking for Ministers' salary increase not before the election but after.
The votes gaining tactics have started.

a) Economy recovery [using reserve]
b) Reduce foreign workers.
c) increase NMP from 6-9
d) reaching out to unemployed PMETS

The ultimate aim is to keep opposition in the NMP area and increase the 66.6% margin. People only remember that last month before the election. As long as no mistakes are make during that period and Straits Times continue to put out happy PAP faces on all their newspaper daily, that will do the job.

I guess by then, I will still the same unemployed PMET before and after the election.

With the big screwup of MAS, I still hope SM Goh and MD Heng will disappear and fade away.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, this current batch of leaders - if we can even call them leaders - have lost their moral authority. Where is the accountability over the massive losses in our nation's reserves? Where is their sense of responsibility to Singaporeans ? Where are their bloody manners in the way they talk to Singaporeans ? Tighted fisted on us but obscenely generous unto themselves ? Chiam ST, Low TK, Sylvia Lim have my utmost respect because they serve the people honestly and sincerely, despite the limited resources they have and the obstacles they face. As for the rest in parliament, the less said the better.

Anonymous said...

Many Singaporean are against immigration and felt that the immigrants took their jobs. Lets be realistic, in order to have economic growth every year, we need a growing population. Since we are not producing enough, we have to import.

One of the reason that Singapore is a popular destination for MNC to set up headquarter here is our pro business immigration policy. MNC has to relocate people here to staff the headquarter and it is easy to obtain employment pass for the expat, as compared with other countries. These MNC injected money into the economy and generate jobs for the local.

I hope my fellow Singaporean can see the big picture on immigration and foreigners in Singapore.

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