What's wrong being 27 and standing for national elections? Singaporeans are biased and can be sexist too. Many people are casting doubts on Ms Tin Pei Ling's qualification for standing as a PAP candidate for elections, slated to be held either this month or in May 2011. Many say she is too young and thus lacking the bearing of a law maker and representative of the people. People forget that one of the important roles of an MP is to think on the national scale, propose measures to do something better or institute suitable controls via laws to facilitate activities for the country. Sadly, in Singapore, MPs are more often viewed as glorified social workers, whose job is to write letters, petition government departments for this convenience and that 'want', and, occasionally do some walkabouts for the publicity. It would be even sadder if MPs themselves view their role in this limited, parochial manner. But so far, that's the impression I get from a majority of little-known sitting-MPs who turn up to speak in Parliament only near election time.
But lets not judge a person by her youth. It has been pointed out that Mr Tan Soo Khoon, a former PAP MP, was also 27 when he entered Parliament. Actually, Ms Tin, age-wise, is in good company. Britain's four-time PM, William Gladstone, whose political life spanned over 60 years, first entered Parliament when he was only 23 years old. The similarity, for now, ends there. If she is elected, she will be judged sooner rather than later, with all manner of yardsticks thrown at her. Then only can we know the measure of this brave woman.