"NMP vs Minister, NCMP - Wed, Apr 28, 2010The Straits Times
Changes to the electoral system were hotly debated in Parliament yesterday."
This is a very significant change in Singapore where the incumbent PAP government is introducing up to 9 NCMPs (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) in the parliament.
NCMPs are the politicians who lost in their respective general election (GE) but with the highest number of votes garnered. If ALL the PAP candidates win their GE, then these 9 NCMPs will be solely from the opposition parties. Currently there is only 1 NCMP and 2 elected opposition MPs in the parliament out of more than 70.
Lessons for me are:
1. it is a watershed decision. The skeptics said that this is a gimmick to ensure that voters vote the PAP candidates in knowing that the opposition candidates with the highest votes will still be in the parliament to 'check on' the powerful incumbents. This concern is irrelevant to me. As long as there are more opposition voices in the parliament that ask good questions for the people, it is an improvement to the almost always 'yes' vote to any policies changes!;
2. it is a chance for the opposition candidates, if they did not win at the GE, to get a chance to show Singaporeans what they are capable of doing in the parliament - to be impartial, to be courageous, to be diligent, and to champion to causes of the people, and to get some answers to vexing questions that the people may have for the government! It cannot be a bad thing even if they get in as NCMPs!;
3. Singapore government had done a great job to provide a relative stable and secured place where most things worked and public servants are conscious of their responsibilities to be clean and uncorrupted, though recent influx of migrants who tried their home country's way of influencing the people executing the laws showed that some civil servants took the baits!, there are always room for improvement. This is especially so when the government holds itself to be world class and drawing big compensation package that more ordinary Singaporeans will take a lifetime to accumulate.
So, let this experimentation begin. Let's track it for the next 6-year to assess if it will induce a permanent change in the political way of Singapore - for the better!