Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Drawing the Lines and Strengthening the Core Values

I had a meeting with a friend and naturally, the friend was concerned about my position on WP and its Town Council saga. This friend wasn't really a WP supporter at all but more concerned about the impact and repercussion my party and I would suffer if I kept my position and openly criticise WP.

I told my friend that I am reading Hitler's book, My Struggle and his argument against parliamentary Democracy is quite challenging to me, someone who have strong belief in Democracy. Hitler argued that politicians in the parliamentary Democracy spent most of their time in trying to appease the mass, instead of doing the right things. The mass, to Hitler, were mostly people who lack the knowledge, wisdom and intelligence. Thus, in the end, Democracy would end up with a bunch of actors trying to play to the gallery of "fools".

While in modern context, most people have decent education and with internet, information flow is fast and swift but the situation isn't that much different from the past. It seems that even when people are equipped with all these, most people are still more emotional than logically Thinking when it comes to politics. This works both ways towards the ruling PAP as well as opposition.

Ultimately, politicians or political players are more interested to play to the gallery and do or say whatever things that appease the voters while keeping mum on things which may be right but would most probably agitate the voters and thus, making them losing votes in the end.

On top of that, I have one baggage of WP. LTK is deemed to be my mentor in my early involvement in politics. The Chinese believe, once a mentor, always a father, (一日为师,终生为父)and I would be seen ungrateful if I attacked him and his party.

It makes me think hard and the story of how the Qing Emperor, Dao Guang (道光) convinced Li Zexu (林则徐) to take up the role as special envoy to end opium trade in China. Dao Guang arrested Lin Zexu's teacher and mentor, who happened to be the Emperor Dao Guang's teacher and mentor as well, for indulging in smoking opium. It was a crime for court official to smoke opium.  The teacher was remorseful and told Lin Zexu that the reason Emperor did this was to show his resolve in stopping the opium trade.

In Chinese, it is termed as "大义灭亲",  placing righteousness above family loyalty.

All in all, what matters are principles and values I hold dearly, whatever else, come and go like the smoke in the wind. I have repeatedly said that I may not trust PAP at all but neither do I trust WP under the current leadership. I may be against PAP but that doesn't mean I am an ally of WP.

This is especially so, by words of LTK (walking his own path as he considered other opposition parties as not partners walking on the same path 道不同不相为谋 ) and actions of WP under his leadership during the last GE, have shown that WP does not consider others as its allies.

Most of the other opposition parties would only choose to keep quiet over many things which they do not agree with WP, for the very fear of losing votes, but I will not.

I do not want to end up like what Hitler has said about the politicians in a parliamentary Democracy, an actor who is only plying for votes instead of speaking up for the right things.

I may lose a lot of votes by doing this in the short term, but I will make this a strong foundation for PPP in the long term. A party that will not compromise on its integrity and role as the guardian of public interests as one of the primarily core values of its political struggle.

PPP believes in the balance and separation of 5 powers but keeping quiet and choosing not to speak up for fear of any repercussion, be it from the ruling party, WP, WP supporters or otherwise, is NOT an option at all. Speaking up with the righteous mind when we see something not right for the country or public interests  being compromised, is the only way to uphold the values of the party.

While some of my own party members are fearful that by making such a stance would make us "look bad" or worse, "lose votes", I would have to convince them that for every vote that we get, we must get it from the right cause, instead by means of cowardice and scheming political acts. If voters do not trust us, then it is only right for them not to vote us.

This may take a long time for us to win any seats, if any at all, but integrity of our belief should not be compromised.

So my clear message to all opposition supporters and voters, please do not expect us to keep quiet if we saw something which doesn't work for Singapore's interests or public interests. We chose to come into politics for that purpose, to safeguard Singapore's public interests and well being, not to be actors of political wayang shows.

And regardless of whether it is the ruling party PAP or WP or anyone else who is seen to be doing things which compromise Singapore's interests, we will speak up without fear nor favour.

In our belief of Balance, Separation of 5 Powers, we need to cultivate people with backbones made of steel in all aspects; i.e. The Legislative, Executive, Judiciary, civil service, newspapers reporters and editors, CPIB, PSC, citizenry and all. And we take upon us to start with speaking up with our backbones straighten and do the right things instead of just playing the right music merely to win votes.

So let the lines be drawn clearly. We will not tolerate anyone, be it from ruling party PAP or WP or even our own party members, to do things that compromise Singapore's public interests and well being.  Those in power, or entrusted with power, no matter how big or limited it is, should be kept in checked, regardless of whether it is White or Blue or otherwise.

Goh Meng Seng

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think what really matters is how voters see the parties, be it PAP, WP, SDP or PPP, etc

And after GE 2015, the pecking order in terms of % votes is this.

SDA, SPP (in tie)
PPP (led by Goh Meng Seng, NUS grad)
SFP (led by Tan Jee Say, Oxford U grad)
RP (led by Kenneth, Cambridge U grad)

So although PPP is among the last in the pecking order, at least your party performed better than those led by grads from the more prestigious Oxbridge universities. And this is an achievement by itself, despite the % votes being in the low 20s.

So try harder to improve it next round. OK WP's Mr low can be ruled out, but how about talking to SDP's Dr Chee about working together next GE for that?