Thursday, July 07, 2016

Politicians and Good Governance

We all know Good Governance cannot be taken for granted. Beside having a good, competent, clean, effective and efficient civil service, we also need politicians to become the political leaders who will lead and give the right directions for the civil service and country to move forward.

On the surface, we demand high morality, competent, knowledgeable, not only intelligent but WISE people with a certain level of empathy to be our political leaders. Even with such political leadership, we still need a system of institutions designed with a clear separation of powers so that REAL Democratic Checks and Balances could be effected.

One of the strong narrative of PAP which has ruled Singapore over 50 years, is its ability to find good, clean, competent people with high morality to become its MPs and Ministers. They claim to have high standards when it comes to selection of their candidates for each and every General Elections. They would immediately remove any MP or Minister once character flaws or other critical flaws were found in their slate of candidates.

In maintaining their "Whiter than White" narrative, they have removed two MPs, one of them who was the Speaker of Parliament, immediately after they were found to have extra-marital affairs.

However, morality is more than having indiscretion in their personal relationship. For example, would you consider people who abuse their workers or domestic helpers immoral? Would you consider a person using all means to get other people into trouble just because he doesn't like them, as immoral? Or someone who helps a big bad guy to bully others who are from the vulnerable groups, knowing that he is really the bad guy but did it for money's sake, as immoral?

Immoral issues may not be "illegal" but it just doesn't appear to be just or right to our own conscience. You can do things in all legitimate way but lacks the morality conscience.

In politics, it is simply not easy to find anyone with unrighteous mind, morally principled and yet, competent and effective. Thus, most of the time, political parties including PAP, may just compromise on the quality on the morality of the person they chose.

Lawyers are presumably the "Natural" candidates to become Politicians because the most important role of a politician is law-making. And lawyers are presumed to be people who have high values in upholding justice, social justice or otherwise, and should be highly principled when it come Human Rights and Civil Rights issues. They are normally seen to be fighters and defenders of Justice, Rule of Law, Human Rights and of course SOCIAL Justice. And lawyers are supposed to have the necessary oratory skills which politicians depended heavily upon to win votes.

Thus, in modern history of politics, there were lots of lawyers who become politicians, some become GREAT politicians like Gandhi. In Singapore's context, we also have numerous politicians both in PAP and opposition camp, who are lawyers. 

However, not ALL lawyers are "good" lawyers with conscience.Some would defend the crooks, rich and powerful for their wrong doings or even help these people to bully other people, just for the extremely high fees these people would pay them.

But we would expect lawyers who chose to become politicians to walk the righteous path of defending the weak, fighting the unjust and upholding the justice, including social justice, without fear nor favor.

It would be pretty challenging for lawyer-politician to strike that delicate balance between their profession and their political work. There are "political incorrect" cases which they should avoid even if they are monetarily rewarding.

Despite of the general cynicism of lawyers are most of the time "liars", they will have to be mindful that they do not lie or do anything which may be legitimate but morally wrong or against basic human conscience.

Avoiding controversial case is normally the first rule that lawyer-politician should adhere to. However we have witnessed PAP lawyer-MPs sometimes get themselves into controversial cases. It is true that by the spirit of justice, even crooks have their rights to legal representation. But sometimes it is the manner which the lawyer conduct their defence that would reflect badly for themselves. Furthermore, as a politician who is supposed to uphold social justice, helping the weak and vulnerable, it would NOT augur well if the lawyer-politician chose to defend crooks to avoid punishment from law for their bad deeds.

 My late brother David, had the chance to study law and become lawyer while he was young. But he declined the offer and forgo his opportunity to university education because he felt that if he became a lawyer, he might have do something against his own good conscience in future. Of course, he didn't choose to become politician either but that shows the kind of dilemma a morally upright person like my late brother may have about legal practice.

This should be even more so for those lawyer-politician because you cannot promise Good Governance when you are sly, dirty and use unethical methods to help crooks to get away from justice or simply bully others. The inherent contradictions are just too glaring to ignore.

So far, I have not heard or seen PAP setting up a Code of Conscience and Moral Conduct to its MPs which may link to their professional jobs outside politics. And after witnessing some of the things they do in their professional life, it makes me wonder how "Good Governance" could be achieved by PAP with the bunch of people it has.



Goh Meng Seng

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

For majority of voters, voting in an election is most of the time making a choice between the lesser of 2 evils, since no political party is perfect.

Too bad, in GE2015 and also BB BE2016, and notwithstanding what Goh Meng Seng or other opposition politicians think, PAP is still regarded as the lesser evil by majority voters as compared to the opposition.

So how to make the opposition be seen by majority voters as the lesser evil is something for Goh Meng Seng and other opposition politicians to ponder over, and also to succeed in being so. Or else please close shop.

Anonymous said...

A party is only as good as its people who runs it. Good help is hard to find. Since the last GE,PM Lee and the country has not had conducive serious help in bringing the country to a slightly better level.

Most his ministers did was use small entertainments to hide behind big, serious and real issues.

Were there much changes in lightening the daily stresses in families, instead of kept throwing out Rubik cube policies to the general public

Some were voting for reasons only known to themselves eg having foreign spouses and were in the process to apply for residency for fear of rejection even they were reassured that their votes were secret. They were afraid to take a chance.

Though the PM is his father's son, he could only do good work so much. Like both camps there are some that are so fascinating like mouthing at the scapegoats.

Could some of LSL subordinates stop treating us like political footballs to score brownie points .

Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Goh Meng Seng, you have to realise that if a political party cannot win elections, they will have no power.

And if they have no power, they cannot change anything for the better, even if the ruling party has poor governance. In other words, the ruling party can afford to have poor governance, to have screw ups, be it MRT trains, lifts or even in vital areas like healthcare.

And in the Singapore context, power can only be attained by winning elections, not through FB, blogging, rallies, street protests or what not.

So is PPP, and under your able leadership, ready and confident to win at the next election to start having power? And don't be like another SDP.

Anonymous said...

mogui ziji de ren.

baohu gui ziji de mo ren.

jiba moqui yeh ziji de ren.




弱肉强食







弱肉强食




弱肉强食

Anonymous said...

There were a group of grads. They applied for their BTO when they joined the workforce. Due to TDSR they could only qualify for a 3-Room. Now years later, their collection of keys both their salary have increased by 80%. The sad news is they will have to be stuck with their small confine unit for 5 years.
Rogue policies!! Impressed we not with the aftershocks.

Anonymous said...

Not Green With Envy.:) Who cares if anyone can afford multiple cars, houses, big small etc,etc.

Handbags
Cost $30 or $3000, the amount of money inside is the same.

Watches
Cost $30 or $3000, they both tell the same time.

Cars
Cost $70000 or $500000 they have four wheels and take us to our destinations.

Houses
300sq ft. or 30000sq. ft. the loneliness is the same.

Airplanes
Economy, Business or First Class, plane goes, all go all go it.

True happiness is not what one can afford but contentment.:)
Inferiority must not be measured by able to afford.:)
Its all over whole world, there will always be the haves and haves not. It just a reality.:)
Its just the way sh$t is.
So do not blame the Goman that they are blotched.:(
As long as one is greedy, only they themselves can stop their own sufferings.:)




Anonymous said...

Be alert....3 or 4 guys from Singapore may visit your home claiming that they are from a water company, and are here to install shower caps, to save water. They might also claim to be from Eskom, here to change lightbulbs for free! They have been spotted in several areas of Singapore. Please do not let them in, they are robbers. , you might save a life. Make sure the front door is locked at all times.

Anonymous said...

We are deploying huge resources and sums of money for join ventures with The Wolves of 1XXB. Some languages of politics are overly botched?? By air only half hour to KL.

Anonymous said...

Economy is in the snake pit but majority white, good character with dignity are like mad dogs who kept barking at the wrong trees. We need real game- changers not politicians whose skills are mangoes and durians. Naturally we do not need leaders who good at playing tick-tack-toes. And most of all we need to rid off those who is running a PR company by good at giving devious, persuasive and generic text-book answers.
What we need are real actions to put back the economy. Something that is fruition not going through the motions methodology. How clueless can the useless be that more business will be folding up and much much more bankruptcies are on the way. Are they even aware that families are suffering?
White-collar crimes on the rise, but turn blind eyes till the become news just like Sim Lim!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"...more business will be folding up and much much more bankruptcies are on the way. Are they even aware that families are suffering?"
1:16 PM

Really ah, so serious? Was it as serious as on 11 Sep 2015, or more?

Anonymous said...

A handful of sadist people here!

Pok Kai said...

(This is self confidence in its peak 😂😂)

An uneducated father with his educated son went on a camping trip. They set-up their tent and fell asleep.
Some hours later, the father woke up his son.
Father- Look up to the sky and tell me what you see.
Son- I see millions of stars.
Father- And what does that tell you?
Son- Astronomically, it tells that there are millions of galaxies and planets.
Father slaps the son hard and says- "Idiot, someone has stolen our tent"

MORAL:
Too much education can spoil our common sense. 😄😄


😅😅😅

Pok Kai said...

This one is classic !!

A snake's last words to a man who wanted to kill it : "Go ahead and kill me, you coward. You're just jealous because I can scare your wife and you cannot..!!!!" 😅😅😅
😅😅😅😅😅😅
😅😅😅😅😅😅

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


Practice what you preached and lead by example. Who owns the land and new HDB? Reduce the price of land and the new BTOs and the rest will automatically follow? Simple logic. Don't put excuses prices are not coming down all because of your own doing.

Anonymous said...

Sharing..........
Last night, after dinner, I was taking a walk on the road. When I walked past a

convenient store I thought of going in to buy something. Then I realised that I

didn't have money with me. So I phoned my family to bring some money to me.


While waiting for my money, I saw an old man burning joss paper by the road side.

I went to have a chat with him.


"What are you doing here ? " I asked him

"I m sending money to my family " he said.

Then he asked me, " What are you doing here ?"

" I m waiting for my family to send money to me. "

On hearing this, his face turned pale and he ran away quickly.

I shouted to him, " Hey, don't run ! I am just waiting for my family to send money to me !"

Suddenly, all the people burning joss paper nearby also ran away.



Anonymous said...

A; Bad news, Mr." raise car park fees" is 2nd for finance?
B; Good news wat. 2nd thought, our finance will raise?

Anonymous said...

If you want to test a man's character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln