Friday, April 01, 2011

Youth in the Box

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.


Anonymous said...

I guess you just contradicted yourself by saying "What's wrong being 27 and standing for national elections".

She's 27, yes, but very likely to be riding someone else's coattails to get into parliament. That's what has frustrated the online community.

If she has any conviction, then go run for a SMC. I'm sure most of the people (I for one) will shut up.

Sam said...

Strongly agree with anon@12.52pm
PAP is thumbing the nose at us. They are sending a novice into parliament, charge us $15,000 a month and telling us there's nothing we can do about it. If she's as mature as they claim, she'll recognise the traversty and ask to stand in a SMC. Or donate 90% of the MP allowance to the people she claims to want to help i.e. poor and elderly. After all, she still has the Ernst & Young senior paycheck.

Anonymous said...

I agreed with the 2 of them.!!

Epilogos said...

We are saying "give me a person with the qualities...that deserves a seat in Parliament". I think age is not and should not be the issue here. Right now, Ms Tin is unproven, beyond her work as a volunteer. The problem is that Ms Tin is not distinguished enough to make her age a non-issue.

Not all twenty-somethings are unproven. I hope it doesn't stop young people with the right qualities from participating in the nation's politics, Opposition or PAP.

Epilogos said...

I do agree that the GRC system does shield new aspiring MPs from being rejected at the ballot box even if the electorate thinks they do not deserve the position.

Bruce Banner said...

how do you know she is a brave woman?

It does not take much bravery to run in a GRC which is headed by a SM in a sure win situation.

I would consider her a brave person if she ran in a SMC