14 May 2006

Letters to ST

Change mindset about role of opposition MPs. They're not trouble-makers

I refer to a statement made by Tampines GRC MP Miss Irene Ng at a rally in the recent elections in which she said an opposition MP created trouble and questioned 'in Parliament, what does the opposition do for you?'

I was shocked at the generalisations about the opposition from a PAP MP. Nevertheless, what Miss Ng said may reflect what many Singaporeans deem the opposition to be.

Being used to the capable rule of PAP-only governments since independence, we tend to think that the PAP MPs are the only ones who can contribute to Singapore's development and we sometimes forget the true role of the opposition.

It has become a mindset that the opposition MPs are merely trouble-makers and they cannot contribute meaninfully to the debates in Parliament.

While the opposition isn't perfect, nor is the government. That is why we need representatives from both sides to reflect the diverse views of our heterogenous society.

To say that the opposition is 'out to make trouble' and that it cannot contribute to politics undermines the multiple-party democratic system that we have.

If they are 'out to make trouble' and do not make any contributions, there is no reason for opposition MPs such as Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang to be re-elected for several terms. Trust the ability of the voters to be discerning.

In 1991, opposition candidate Cheo Chai Chen triumphed in Nee Soon Central but because he did not contribute substantially in Parliament, he was defeated in 1997 by the PAP's Mr Ong Ah Heng.

Yet the Singapore Democratic Alliance and Workers' Party chiefs were re-elected with improved majorities in the recent general election. This shows that the opposition MPs too can be credible and they can contribute in politics.

To be a mature society, we Singaporeans should not view the opposition as trouble-makers but instead see them as equally credible representatives of the people who serve as a check-and-balance for the government in Parliament.

If we continue to have the wrong mindset about the opposition, we may stifle what may truly be best for our society.

I hope Miss Ng realises that her views on the opposition would not hold if we are to have a First World government or parliament, and that over the next few years the opposition MPs will further prove themselves to be a credible source of representation for Singapore.

Michael Wee Hong Shen

It is funny that good letters like this, this and this do not make it to the print version, but crap like this and this always do. Maybe the ST is more sneaky than we thought.


Secret Police said...

Straits Times is to control and shape public opinions.

soci said...


Matilah_Singapura said...


anonymous said...

Can somebody come up with a petition to make Irene Ng to make an apology for saying opposition parties are trouble makers! Or she should be condemned to leave the party, for saying things without substantial grounds.

Michael Wee said...

Hey, I'm the writer of the quoted letter. Thanks for the nice words.

Heh, talk about the ST being sneaky, I'm glad that at least they edited my letter minimally, though I have seen other cases of very heavy editing.

Anyway, the same letter's been published in today's edition of TODAY (15th May) so hopefully it'll garner more response. (http://www.todayonline.com/articles/118443.asp for the online version)

Anonymous said...

Irene NG is a nasty piece of work, sneeky, a failed journalist hated by her media colleagues, yet scraped up off the floor to represent the PAP. Middle forties, not marriede and still living at home, theree must be something wrong with the lady.

pleinelune said...

Middle forties, not marriede and still living at home, theree must be something wrong with the lady.

If you are going to be judging her, judge her based on her track record, not her marial status. I am no fan of hers either, but please try to be objective when criticising someone or something.

Anonymous said...

pleinelune, I have been totally objective; poor journalistic record, unpopular with collegues.
MP; the woman has never once come up with any reasonable ideas. She is only famous for the quotes on her disliking any opposition.
there is nothing to say, however, her married status must tell a story into the character itself. But maybe a Singapore brain is unable to work out what I have been saying.
A personal life or lack of it is always mirrored in the persons business life.
Still at the end of the day, she can always return to the Straits Times and write a bit more drivel.

Anonymous said...

Irene NG has every right to run her own life, after all she is a child of Singapore's culture.
But why did she leave journalism to enter politics.
The lady is just a middle of the road ex hack and now a bottom of the rung MP.

Matilah_Singapura said...

What's wrong with being a trouble maker?

Lee Kuan Yew was a trouble maker. That's how he got into power. He still is a trouble maker, which keeps him in power!

...lest we forget!

The Rolling Stones have been making trouble for as long as the PAP has. The difference is:


The Rolling Stones ROCK.

Paid Peanut Crumbs said...

She is lucky to be in GRC. If she goes into SMC, she'd likely be voted out before she can even say "You troublemaker."