Friday, September 09, 2005

Mandate to SQUEEZE

The following is an article that I posted in Sammyboy Forum:

As stated in my interview with ST, we should recognize that voting is the most fundamental and direct effect on the way PAP government will treat us, the citizens.

Some forumites here (Sammyboy forum) have articulated very well on all the policies that have "SQUEEZED" us for the past four years after PAP has won the resounding victory of "MANDATE"... the "MANDATE" to do what? As some astute observers have put it right, SQUEEZING us!

On many occassions I have short conversations with Singaopreans on the street, they have just resigned to the fact that they have been "Sqeezed Dry" by the various policies and price hikes.

I have thought to myself, why should we allow the PAP government to squeeze us dry? And how could we get a better bargain in return? The answer lies in the sacred vote of all Singaporeans. You could only SQUEEZE PAP Government back for more benefits by depriving them the so call "MANDATE"! Once you gave them overwhelming "MANDATE" to rule, they could anything they want simply referring to the "MANDATE" they have obtained!

Prime examples are those freebies Singaporeans staying in opposition wards get. Even those living in PAP wards that are being "threaten" by opposition challenge on the ground, they enjoy lot more than other wards! i.e. their MPs are more hard working and they are willing to spend more resources on these wards. The recent "upgrading" in private estates in Aljunied GRC is one good example. Building of Yishun General Hospital is another.

No PAP MPs could ever help Singaporeans to "SQUEEZE" PAP government! No PAP MPs (at least in my knowing) have ever persue aggressively on the need of social welfare system in Singapore but why did PAP government suddenly come up with "COMCARE" or "WORKFARE" when they themselves have defended vigorously against the ills of social welfarism? This is basically because our Hougang MP Mr. Low TK has raised the need of a comprehensive social welfare system for those who are badly in need of it during times of distress and unemployment!

As for the Yishun General Hospital, it is only when Mr. Low raised again about the acute shortage of beds in Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the apparent mismanagement of overall strategy in providing enough hospital care to the rising population in the North that PAP government has to start to get their acts together!

Not to forget that PAP has always sing the rhetoric that there is no free lunch in this world but they are giving out free breakfast in Hougang and $1 shark fin soup in Potong Pasir!

Thus, these prime examples point to the reality on the ground: Nobody could ever squeeze PAP government enough to make them work harder and give more considerations to the needs of Singaporeans at large!

There are more things we could squeeze out of PAP. Only through a balanced and healthy political competition that the citizens could get the best deal out of this government.

We could only achieve the best equilibrium for Singaporeans through a competitive political system. Any monopoly will be lax, overpriced and insensitive to the needs of its customers. The same apply to the monopoly of power in politics.

To all Singaporeans: Please give us the mandate to help you squeeze more from PAP and NOT the mandate to PAP to squeeze you.

Goh Meng Seng


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The Morning Show Blog -- for daily updates from Kelsey: links mentioned on the show, Kelsey's thoughts on the day's events and stuff Kelsey thinks is important but too gross to mention on-air before lunch.
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Admin said...

I have customized this blog with some hands on modification on the standard template. Just try out some configurations and play around with the HTML. Still figuring out things on the way.

Goh Meng Seng

andrew said...

Hi Mr Goh,
I have read your blog in summary and found it interesting. I have also subscribed to "The Hammer" during the last GE in 2002 and have gain certain insights to the collective voice of the Workers' Party. Now, I am not a supporter of any political parties, be it the PAP, WP or any others. To know my persona better you may visit my blog, which you will see, contains more writings on my personal rants than national issues. I suspect most Singaporeans are like me, more interested in the mundane than lofty ideals in politics. I do, however, have some brief thoughts about politics and governance.
To your appeal for the electorate to give the Workers' Party mandate to "squeeze the PAP", isn't it the same as what the PAP is doing now, "squeezing" other political parties? Also, I do not think there are any guarantees that voting any party into power would change the situation which you have in Singapore, namely the unbridled power, through unchallenged legislation, which the Government has over its people. To put it in another way, I do not believe that any opposition that is voted into power (however unlikely the event) would repeal the Internal Security Act or any other legislation which gives the government unlimited powers. By nature, politicians & their words have to be treated with caution.
Now to these points I raised some may answer that the opposition parties are not here to take over the reins of power but, rather, to act as a check against the party in power. If that is the case, would you then advocate the long term objective of the Workers' Party to be one that is always in opposition? Wouldn't this be an admission that the ruling party has done a more-or-less competent job of governing the country. In any case, I do not see how voting an alternative party into Parliament would result in better checks on the government. The minority parties' voices will simply be silenced by the majority. 49% is still the minority. I forsee another Operation Coldstore in the event that a substantial number of opposition candidates do get elected.
Lastly, as you may have gathered from my thoughts above, I do not think any government should have too much a say in the everyday lives of people in the country. Not welfare, not education, not business & certainly not how many children we want to have. As far as I'm concerned any government in power should only be dealing with the following areas: external defence, public law-and-order and foreign relations. As a voter, I would cast my ballot for a party that advocates less interference in the daily man's life rather than for another that promises this-and-that.
Thank you for reading my comments, which are personal and not to be construed as an endorsement for any political party.

Admin said...

Dear Andrew,

PAP squeezing opposition parties for their own agenda of gripping on monopoly of power. WP squeezing PAP is for more benefits to Singaporeans at large, not for its own monopoly of power. These are two very different thing altogether, how could you lump them up like this?

At this stage of political development, there is no way for any alternative parties to take power even if you would like it that way. There are alot of factors that result such situation but to say that it is because PAP is just too good would be an overstatement.

The aim of WP is NOT just being opposition forever. The reporters have asked something like that too but no, this is not our ultimate aim. For any political party, its aim is to provide a competitive and credible front to become the ruling party one day. However to jump the step and say we could become the ruling party Now or 5 years later is unrealistic and irresponsible. Even a child needs time to grow up to become an adult! Alternative politics have been neglected by most "elites" and hard hit by the ruling party for decades, we need time to rebuild it and for the sake of Singaopre's future healthy political development, what needs to be done have to be done, STEP BY STEP.

I do not profess to speak for other political parties but I could safely say that if one day WP became the ruling party, IT WILL DEMOLISH ISA. Period. PAP had fought against similar law back in colonial time but ironically, became the "master" of such law eventually when it became ruling party. WP WILL NOT BECOME ANOTHER PAP.

If in my life time WP ever become the ruling party, I will personally make sure that all those UNFAIR rules that prevent healthy development of political competition will be all eradicated. It is not merely my promise but my MISSION in life.

And to achieve my Mission in Life, I am definitely not contented to have WP restricted to the "opposition" role of checks and balances. If I could not achieve my Mission in my lifetime, I would make sure the party's future generations of leadership would continue to carry on the fight to change all these.

I would say your skepticism of politics is justified in certain sense as PAP has become one fine example that had gone back against its initial idealism and political aims. It has changed from a party that advocate democracy, freedom of speech, political debates and discourses to one autocratic rule that suppressed political competition. Hopefully it could change in this new era to one that is willing to take the challenge of more political competition. It has changed from one that believed in Democratic Socialism to one that embrace capitalism to ultra -capitalism.

I would say that I agree with you that a government shouldn't socially engineered citizens' life but for social welfare, I believe that for any society, there will always be a percentage of citizens that need help to keep them live decently with dignity. We cannot just shy away from this cruel reality just by ignoring the REAL HAPPENING on the ground and pretend that as a society and a Nation, we could allow some of our fellow citizens to suffer in the darkness of hopelessness.

It is not about meddling in citizens' life but rather social humanity that I advocate the government or rather, the society to provide for the disadvantaged and marginalized ones among us.

I thank you for your expression of your true real views but unfortunately, I cannot see eye to eye to some of your views here. Just my frank 2 cents worth.

Goh Meng Seng

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Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Goh Meng Seng,

I think that barring any major disaster, PAP will not lose it's mandate and that it will still hold most of the seats after any elections. This is because Singaporeans are mainly materialistic and will vote for those who give themost benefits which unfortunately, the opposition is not in a position to give.

The only trump card is if Singaporeans have reached a stage in which they are so disillusioned that they will vote for the opposition regardless of consequences..

After all is said and done, i do hope that WP will do well in the coming elections.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr goh,

It's true many singaporeans prefer material comforts over political participation .

things may not always be that way if our vey survival is at stake in the near future

Anonymous said...

I am so disillusioned... i will vote for the alternate party's candidate even if he/she is an old person wearing singlet and slippers, with a old rollup newspaper in between his armpit.

I do this to show the PAP (which is a political party, and not the government, its just that they hold the majority in parliment), they cannot do whatever they want without "really" consulting the people.

I do this to show the ruling party that politicians, MP, etc are voted in to serve the people. Not the other way round, where i see tons to people bootlicking their "glorious" leader.

I do this to show the ruling party that not voting for them will not cause our wives and daughter to work as maids in foreign countries.