Updated on 29 May 2014, 11:23am
Original thread started on 28 May 2014, 7:16pm
At the Parliament Debate on the President’s Address yesterday (28 May), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong emphasized that politics should be about Singaporeans’ lives and Singapore’s future.
Stressing that it is vital for Singapore to get its politics right, Mr Lee said that constructive politics will help the country scale new heights, but “wrong politics will doom it”.
Mr Lee laid out his views on the five qualities of constructive politics.The first quality was developing effective policies which improve the lives of Singaporeans. He noted that this would involve making difficult trade-offs, but persuading and leading people to get thing done.
[Askmelah: From 2006-2013, do we have a constructive politics? if yes, why have so many things gone seriously wrong??? Was the ex and current MPs failed to speak up?]
Secondly, putting forward capable individuals of integrity and character to be Ministers and Members of Parliament is also important. Mr Lee said, “Institutions are important, yes. But equally critical is the quality of the ministers and the MPs and of those who aspire to be ministers and MPs.”
[Askmelah: see the above. Somehow Askmelah finds there are a bunch of ball-carry MPs and Ministers (Askmelah is very tempted to name them but I won’t you priobably know who they are) who are very high profile. Thaman, Khaw Boon Wan, Lily Neo, Denis Phua, Seng Han Tong, Sam Tan are some of the good few ones left. The really really good one who are more critical of the Government policies have been retired while they were able to serve immensely e.g. Tan Soo Khoon, Tan Cheng Bock, Chan Soo Sen and soon Inderjit Singh]
Another quality of constructive politics is having a robust and open debate to ensure that proposals are thoroughly scrutinised, to identify the strengths and weaknesses, and come up with the ideas and solutions.
Mr Lee also added that politicians must also be subject to scrutiny, but “not through anonymous innuendos and insinuation, especially online, that deter good people from entering politics”. Instead, scrutiny should be conducted “responsibly, through open, direct raising of pertinent questions, and establishing the truth, to prevent incompetent, dishonest or self-serving people from getting into positions of responsibility”.
[Blogger Roy Ngerng is not anonymous, raising a good issue of public interest, unfortunately cross the line and see what he got himself into? Askmelah is also seeing more and more good opposition MPs which spoke for the people like Lee Li Lian, Gerald Giam and Png Eng Huat. On the contrary, the PAP are unable to attract good MPs except many career seeking scholars and ex-Government or Governmenet-link GLC officials making up the current cohort of PAP leaders (the so-called “Elites”) many of which are out of touch with the people.]
Lastly, constructive politics should rally people around a common cause. Mr Lee said, “If we end up with factional politics, each group pushing for single issues…or dividing society in pursuit of political advantage, then our politics would have failed Singapore”.
Source: “Right politics vital to ensure that policies work: PM” (The Straits Times, 29 May)Read PM’s full speech in Parliament, and share your views on constructive politics and the five qualities PM has identified.