Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are our MPs taking the job seriously?

Dear Mr. Tan,

I was shocked to read the following on the papers recently:
"The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill was not passed yesterday as fewer than a quarter of members were present in the House at the end of the debate. Mr Lui is expected to address the LTA's role in last December's train disruptions in Parliament today." Today 10 July 2012
How can there be fewer than 25% of the MPs be present in our Parliament at the end of a debate? A Parliament is in session and so many of them were absent or left midway? Less than 25% means 3 out of 4 MPs are absent. How effective is such a debate? And the session is an important one as it is with regard to the SMRT breakdown last year. Is it not ironic that so much time, effort and money were spent in a COI and yet when the issues were discussed and debated in Parliament less than 1 in 4 of our MPs were not even there!.
Do you find it healthy or even disturbing that there are so many MPs who were not present in Parliament? How can our MPs be expected to do their job when they are not even present in Parliament. There are so many of them who choose to attend to other supposedly more important matters. It is pretty sad. Regardless of what is been discussed in Parliament I think they are definitely important issues.


Anonymous said...

But the MPs do not break any laws by not attending Parliament sessions, right?

Just like if they don't attend their "meet the people" sessions, they also do not break any laws, right?

Is it correct?

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

MPs is paid part-time allowance. They work only part-time as they have full time job. So attendance is also part time i.e. sometime can make it, sometime cannot make it. To declare that PAP MPs are good enough to check on Government thus no need to have opposition to do it, is purely lip service i.e. Declared loudly during Hougang rally but when is over, just continue as usual or absence altogether. $15,000 a month for appearing occasionally during parliament sitting is just too much.... I wonder when LKY was the PM, how was the attendance like? Maybe they are just taking advantage of PM Lee when he is not in Sgp. When the Cat is away, all the mice start to come out and play...

Anonymous said...

Who were absent from PAP?
Who were absent from WP?
Who were absent NMPs?

We need names to hold these people accountable in GE 2016.

I'm sick and tired of part-time, multi-tasking MPs with short attention spans.
Holding multiple appointments.
Depriving other citizens of the appointments

And then claiming that they are the only ones with the necessary experience and track record.

Anonymous said...

The attendance record of all the MPs should be made publicly available.

Make it transparent and accountable for GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

Parliament sessions have become masak masak sessions? PAP what have you done again? Only the ones who had MPS on that evening can be excused.

Anonymous said...

The attendance records of parliamentary sessions is recorded, but usually not made public immediately or easily. After about 6 months, the parliamentary debates and sessions proceedings are published in Hansard. But usually only law students will refer to Hansard for their homework.

Since we are such a money-faced society i.e. no money means no dignity, if minister don't have multi-million dollar salary he cannot talk to CEOs etc etc. I suggest the monthly $15,000 be performance-based and not simply given to MPs.

The $15K to be paid in-arrears (i.e. not monthly and certainly not in advance). Deductions to be made based on quality of debates and speeches, contributions to discussions on national issues, quality & feasibility of suggestions, attendance of parliament, attendance of meet-the-people sessions, number of residents helped etc etc.

So if an MP doesn't do much of his duties, or he tidak apa most of them and any old how do, then that MP deserves $0.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Now it is fair to comment that we do not have "government" in Singapore , no ?
Deplorable! Then, again is there a Class Monitor of a sort ?

Anonymous said...

TODAY paper on 13 July 2012 "Where were the MPs at Monday's sitting?" by Chong Foo Sin.
It was reported in "LTA's role..."(July 10) that LTA Bill was not passed when the debate ended, as fewer than a quarter of members were present in Parliament.

It has been 4 days and there is no official reply on the above. Such news create negative impression on the authority on discipline and integrity of the Parliament. I would assume the Speaker of Parliament should reply to public and explain whether it is normal and if not, then what steps to be taken to ensure better attendance. If one is paid top $ [compared to other countries politicians], the tax payers' expect solid attitude and behaviour. If not, then why pay so much for a bad example setting MPs. This again show how slow the Government reaction to such negative report. Without a reply from them, does it means that it is a norm and such behaviour is perfectly acceptable. Parliament sitting schedule is planned many months ago thus there is no excuse to skip it. To make things worst, PM, himself is not even in town. Of course he has his deputy PM standing in but as a head of the Cabinet, but still, he should set the example or ensure more 75% of MPs attend such sitting. A total waste of money & time to have less than 25% MPs present in Parliament. Had it been our former PM LKY in charge, these MPs would not dare to skip parliament..... This is a total ZERO respect to Parliament and the Cabinet! I can recall many years ago LKY came out to educate the public that Cabinet Ministers and MPs are good people with honesty and integrity. He would not allow people to insult or show disrespect to them as they represents the people. So why is there no one from the Government coming out to set the record straight that such behaviour is or is not acceptable. Government sleeping on the job?

Anonymous said...

If they are not interested and show it. is high time to get rid of them.

yujuan said...

See this state of affairs in another light.
There is no loyalty among the PAP MPs. Poor Transport Minister, his PAP colleagues dun accord him the support and respect that he needs at this critical moment, leaving him alone to face the music.
Perhaps his superiors absented themselves to save face while he apologised alone on the Parliament stage. Other than "what do you think" as a weapon, the next best strategy is to stay away and keep quiet, when Govt can't provide answers. It's very embarrassing. So better throw Lui into the ocean for the common good of the Party.
Luckily for Lui, the sharks, meaning WP MPs or their NCMPs dun seem to be present too to attack him.
What a let down by WP. And Lui must offer thanks to the Gods.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the side effect of having 90% PAP in parliament regarless of gaining only 60% mandate is the result of less than 25% presence in parliament. This a first world parliament representating the voices of our people with so many absenteesm? The MPs are always here for you, indeed!!!!!

Sgcynic said...

I recalled previously one of the PAP ministers (was it Lim Boon Heng? ) gave the following response to the observation that many MPs were absent from the House. Among the explanations thrown up was that some MPs were busy doing their research to beef up their arguments so as to have a more robust debate.

Duh, how to have a healthy "debate" when the other parties are not around to hear one's arguments? Now they finally end up with a session that cannot meet the quorum. Let's see how they explain that. Three quarters of the members are absent. Was this Parliament session called at last minute notice? So many MPs have matters more important than matters of the State? Time to cut the deadwood.

Anonymous said...

The entire slate of Opposition MPs was present for the entire sitting on 9 and 10 July. Ask the PAP MPs where were most of them during LTA Amendment bill on 9 July. In fact, not many of them was around during the COI ministerial statement. It seems like transport is not an important issue for most of the PAP MPs. I was observing at the gallery from days and so I can attest to the above.

Anonymous said...

Blame that 60+% morons that voted them in.

MJH said...

How about your pay is also delivered that way? Do not be unreasonable. So many subjective and qualitative conditions. Do you honestly think it is an equitible proposal for both parties?

MJH said...

How about your pay is also delivered that way? Do not be unreasonable. So many subjective and qualitative conditions. Do you honestly think it is an equitible proposal for both parties?

C H Yak said...

@"Time to cut the deadwood.">>>

U mean "poisonous mushrooms"? LOL.

Anonymous said...

"Among the explanations thrown up was that some MPs were busy doing their research to beef up their arguments so as to have a more robust debate."

If you are working full time, then it is only logical that you cannot find time to research your part time work interest. Paying someone else to do it using the $15,000 monthly allowance is also a possibility. Why make life so difficult for yourself? Why step on 2 boats at the same time? If you have no time for your part time work, then step down and give it to someone who can do it full time and happy with the $15,000 per month salary.

PAP Government, What you think? Correct or not? Looks like we have to wait for the bosses to return to answer all the above concerns.

What a joke, MP pon-ten Parliament! If this happen in School, sure get canning from Principal or Parents. Big adults still behave like that....

Anonymous said...

"Pimps turning houses in Jalan Suka into brothels, residents terrorised" reported today at It is a Open letter to PM with plea for help:-
a) written to my, SPF (for at least 5 years now)
b) I have written to URA
c) large crowd of foreign workers filled the streets, streetwalkers chat loudly.
d) Open-air illegal gambling still happens on weekends, peddlers selling contraband cigarettes still sell them freely.

May or may not be true but since it is on Asiaone forum, a reply from URA or relevant authority is expected. If it is true, I wonder why the part-time MP cannot help after receiving complaints for last 5 years? Too busy with full time job?

Anonymous said...

Moulmein-Kallang Town Council MP Mr. Edwin Tong Chun Fai is taking care of Jalan Suka. News has gone on national paper i.e. The New Paper published Resident Mr. Adam Goi grievances leading to a open letter to PM Lee. I wonder can 5 years of in-action solve the problem because of an open letter & national media interest? If the in-action is due to the attitude of "not happy, move loh" as Jalan Suka is part of Geylang thus Pimping, brothel, prostitution & illegal hawkering are expected then what is the $15,000 per month allowance for? Definitely not for clean, honest, caring talent expected of PAP MP. Or maybe too busy on full time job thus no time for resident complaints for last 5-10 years. Or maybe new to job, thus don't know until national paper report. Then my question is what is the GRC for? Sweeping "cannot solve problems" under the carpet until opposition takes over. There are 2 ministers and 1 mayor in this GRC. Very powerful on paper but is it NATO [No action talk only]. This GRC must speak out and clearified The New Paper report. My impression is that it is a negative report and it justify public concern of paying too much for nothing....

Anonymous said...

Parliament sitting extended twice

From Gan Kim Yong Government Whip

04:45 AM Jul 17, 2012

I refer to Mr Chong Foo Sin's letter "Where were the MPs at Monday's sitting?" (July 13).

A total of 87 Members of Parliament (MPs) attended the Parliament sitting on July 9. The remaining 12 MPs had obtained leave of absence from the Speaker.

The sitting lasted longer than normal; it was extended twice and beyond 7.30pm to allow the Transport Minister to answer queries on the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill.

As MPs were not given any prior notice of extensions, many had to leave to attend to official functions and constituency duties before the sitting was adjourned. The LTA Bill was therefore passed the following day.

We thank Mr Chong for his letter and wish to assure him and the public that all MPs take their Parliamentary duties seriously.

Anonymous said...

Good to see authority reply to heartlander, Mr. Chong's letter on the attendance in parliament.

The case of Jalan Sukan turning into MiniGeylang - "Moulmein-Kallang Town Council MP Mr. Edwin Tong Chun Fai is taking care of Jalan Suka"

MP Edwin is actually representing City Harvest Kong Kee while the rest of the accused engaged senior counsel. See, titled "City Harvest Church members hire legal heavyweights."

I wonder will the Moulmein-Kallang GRC reply to the resident Adam Goi's Open letter to PM Lee on his concerns e.g. written feedback for the last 5 years. See New Paper dated 16 July titled "Don't Suka-suka Pimp in My 'Hood". Hope the authority don't take the easy way out by only answer to easy questions. Hope MP Edwin, while busy with his milion dollars court case, still do his part time job properly by taking care of Adam Goi's open letter to PM Lee & not doing enough to prevent Jalan Sukan becoming a Mini-Geylang.....

Michael said...

Some issues may already been decided. Whether y are present or not present does not make a difference. So , what 's your decisions?

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