20140316 WP must take its impressive performance to a higher level

I am not a member of any political party. The reason why I have been writing in support of the WP is because of its increased presence in Parliament, allowing inconvenient issues to be highlighted. When other opposition parties are elected into Parliament, they too will receive my support because I believe PAP policies have created a lot of unnecessary suffering for ordinary folks. It has refused to change and still seek to control and micro manage our lives. Its stubborn refusal to be open and accountable continues to worry many citizens. All its policies revolve around making profits at the expense of citizens’ well-being.

Candidates from other parties have their different strengths eg. Kenneth J in economics, Prof Tambyah in healthcare, etc. I especially like Nicole Seah (who doesn’t? ) who will be missed by many as her work commitment takes her to Thailand.

Without the power-perpetuating GRC system, Nicole would have deservedly become the youngest MP in Singapore’s history instead of someone else who has been a waste of tax dollars. The MP allowance would also have allowed Nicole to serve constituents full time and gain invaluable experience in parliament. But everything happens for a reason.

When Singaporeans cease being apathetic and analyse PAP’s policies, they will realise most policies are short term. This explains the severe shortage in housing, the hospital bed crunch, first world roads becoming third world, a broken down train system, insufficient university places for citizens, etc. The constant and perpetual tweaks are all signs of a broken system which needs urgent fixing.

It is a fact that Singaporeans are made to pay for every damn bloody thing we have but the PAP simply takes all the credit. Read articles by Roy Ngerng to understand how uncaring the PAP has been towards citizens.

Back to the WP. The fact is it has not only survived but reinvented itself and this speaks volumes of its members. To have won a GRC brought unbelievable happiness, not repentance, to many.

Singaporeans should not have too high an expectation because of a lopsided parliament, no thanks to the GRC system. Due to the PAP’s numerical superiority, flawed policies will continue to be implemented.

The PAP has also been abusing our politicised statutory boards to disparage the WP. The WP’s measured response has not allowed the PAP to distract it from its responsibility to its constituents and Singaporeans. The PAP is clutching at straws to prevent the opposition from making further political gains. Why?

– Since the loss of Aljuneid GRC, the WP has gained insights into PAP’s management of a TC, who contracts are awarded to, the profitable nature of a town council, control of public resources to gain political mileage, etc.

– The loss of a GRC meant the loss of lucrative contracts for some PAP supporters who are used to ‘the hand that feeds them’ for decades. Since the PAP will not be able to look after its supporters, there would be no reason for them to support the PAP in return.

– After the shocking revelation of AIM, there may be other skeletons in the cupboard. Or possibly cupboards of skeletons.

In July last year, a PAP minister had even accused WP MPs of being ‘untruthful’. link Action speaks louder than words and if Vivian Balakrishnan really meant what he had said, he would have reported those he had accused to the CPIB. Again, the WP is aware that all PAP eyes are watching them, so ‘would any unarmed criminal try to rob a police station’?

Sylvia Lim was just being realistic when she acknowledged the WP does not have the critical mass to take over and form a cabinet. link Even if it could, it would be better to work alongside the PAP to clear up the mess created by PAP’s flawed policies. Taking over the helm would mean taking ownership of PAP- created problems. The WP is more intelligent than the unflattering picture painted by the mainstream media

Without the WP, Singaporeans would not have known that:
– $400 million is spent annually to invite foreign students to study in Singapore. link A foreign student receive multiple times the amount of grant given to a citizen.
– The government does not keep track of foreigner grant defaulters. link This despite having awarded billions in tax dollars to foreigners since the Tuition Grant Scheme started in 1980.
– Town council software belonging to HDB residents could be sold to a PAP-affiliated $2 company at a fraction of its value.
– Our hospital bed crunch was severe. link (some operations had to be postponed link)
– LTA overshot its budget by $1.8 billion on a single project. link

Inconvenient questions are never asked by PAP MPs. Many respectable PAP MPs who did, such as Tan Soo Khoon, have left the party.

The next step the WP needs to take is to ask really tough questions. This is in line with the WP’s promise of moving towards a First World Parliament.
Questions have to lead to more transparency and accountability. The WP must highlight the following issues in parliament:

– CPF – where our CPF funds are invested and demand transparency from the government investment arm, GIC. Many citizens have lost trust in the PAP government ie. instead of returning OUR CPF money for OUR retirement, the PAP arbitrarily decided for CPF members OUR money must be placed with GIC. There is widespread speculation that our funds might have been lost due to share speculation.

– CPF Medisave – why are citizens denied the use of OUR Medisave funds to purchase hospital insurance riders when Medisave funds are in excess of $40,000? Why are our CPF funds being channeled into GIC for share speculation and not allowed to be used for our healthcare?

– Reserves – list the projects which our reserves have been used for. All 55 of them, including the individual amount used and the market value of each project. link

– HDB – the per unit cost of construction.

– Temasek Holdings, GIC, etc. – the remunerations of its board of directors must be disclosed to the public. The government should practice good corporate governance.

– Accountability – all failures must be removed from the system. No more repeated chances given to civil servants holding leadership positions while the rank and file employees are punished.

We pledge to “..build a democratic society, based on JUSTICE and equality…” rings hollow. The ISA was abused and has inflicted untold misery on citizens. Are we teaching generations of Singaporeans that justice can be sacrificed for the sake of economic progress?

The WP is in the best position to bring closure for tens of thousands of family members and friends of Singaporeans abused under the ISA. The country cannot move forward as one just because leaders say so.

Non replies in parliament must no longer be tolerated because this would mean a ‘farce world’ parliament. A first world parliament demands questions to be fully answered. The WP has been given this opportunity to prove itself to Singaporeans and I trust it will take its impressive performance to an even higher level.

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