Friday, April 08, 2011

On Second Thoughts

Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang pitch about buying political insurance now resonates with me. The present government is good, but it is not perfect. Some policies are not debated enough in Parliament nowadays. Many PAP members make the obligatory speeches, especially near election time. Truth be told I am hearing from some 'new' MPs in Parliament in the last few months. I didn't know they were MPs, to start off with. I couldn't place their names at all, much less their faces. It is said that faces are easier to remember, but.... Sylvia Lim, only a losing finalist and thus not a duly elected MP, has been far more visible. And even when they speak, they don't offer fresh perspectives, and tend to sing the same tune as the government. Their speeches do not inspire and make you sit up. In fact their speeches are so bland that I wonder why Mediacorp even bother to broadcast their speeches on TV.

And yes, they are yes-men and yes-women. Take the proposal to reduce GST, as proposed by Mr Low Thia Khiang. If there were a Tan Cheng Bock or a Tan Soo Khoon, it could have been different. I am sure they will bring something new to the debate. But the current generation of PAP MPs? I suppose they assume that Mr Tharman, with his array of statistics, can only be right. Where is the debate? The cut and thrust that once fired up Mr Lee Kuan Yew and  which helped to engage with the electorate and carry them into and through unchartered waters. There are still uncharted waters in the future, as the PM always reminds us, but who can carry us through them? The A-team? 'A' in the classroom only or 'C' on the ground too - the ability to Carry the ground on their own steam?

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