Minimum nine opposition MPs from now on

PM Lee Hsien Loong announced significant changes to parliamentary arrangements on 27 May 2009. There will be a minimum of nine opposition MPs in future instread of the current three. Are these changes positive? What could have made him want to do it? Full essay.

5 Responses to “Minimum nine opposition MPs from now on”


  1. 1 Naomi 28 May 2009 at 02:10

    There is no point in increasing alternative voices in Parliament, as the PAP has consistently demonstrated a disregard for such alternative voices. Arguments made by Opposition MPs, regardless of merit, are invariably rubbished and rebutted by PAP MPs, often in a contemptuous and arrogant manner.

    While sggestions by NMPs are treated more with more civility, they are also usually ignored. There is no evidence that any of the arguments made by NMPs have changed the mind of the Government in areas where it has made up its mind. A simple test would suffice: How many legislative bills were substantially revised after parliamentary debate due to criticisms? I know of none. Generally, once the Government has drafted a bill, it becoming the law is a fait accompli, no matter what the alternative voices in Parliament have to say.

    We do not even need to go into the issue of voting – not only are the voting rights of NMPs and NCMPs restricted, but even 18 “Nay” votes will be futile in the face of the PAP’s parliamentary hegemony.

    In sum, political change will not be effected simply by increasing the number of alternative voices in Parliament. As long as the PAP continues believing that is has all the answers, and anyone who thinks differently is just too stupid and ignorant to know better, there will be no change in the type of laws enacted. The NMPs and NCMPs can talk until they are blue in the face, but the Government will still do whatever it had already decided to do. The parliamentary debates are just for show.

  2. 2 Mark 16:9–20 28 May 2009 at 09:37

    “If so, to whom should we credit these small steps to greater liberalisation?”

    I understand this is a rhetorical device and people who read your stuff regularly know who to credit. But at least in the comments (for the benefit of the *others*), be explicit – and reveal.

  3. 3 I love LIM Swee Say 28 May 2009 at 12:05

    It makes a mockery of electral democracy.. Demcracy in its original form should be safeguarded and retained. Our electoral system has been tempered beyond recognition.

    What should be done is to undo all that have been tempered with all these years. Lets return to the original system before 1970; no more no less.

  4. 4 quzy 28 May 2009 at 23:31

    I think it might have to do with the recent incidents in which PAP MPs brought more trouble to the PAP reputation than any good. I can’t remember names, but the incidents suffice – he whose daughter uttered “Get out of my elite, uncaring face!”; he who was so cold to constituents that one set fire on him; she who was so uncaring that a retarded boy threw a chair at a glass door and got arrested; she who is now creating chaos in the table tennis association; etc…

    The inner circle of the Party should realise that these free-loaders from walkovers and GRCs are becoming more like liabilities. They don’t contribute to legislation debate or voting since they’re under the whip, neither do they contribute to the tough work of policy studies and making in the Ministries, yet they cost high both in expenditure and Party image – basically expensive seat fillers.

    So by reducing the number of PAP MPs by a little, they shed some of these black sheep, bring them on their toes a little more, and most of all, bring up the impression of a move towards more openness and democracy. So many birds killed with one stone.

  5. 5 Platinum337 29 May 2009 at 00:17

    I don’t quite support this idea because our dear PM will have to spend another 200%(from 3 to 9) more efforts to “FIX” the opposition. He is already busy enough that he needs assistance from 1 MM, 1 SM, 2 DPM and 2 PM office ministers. If this idea comes true then he will need 3 MM, 3 SM, 6 DPM and 6 PM office ministers!


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