24 April 2011 (Sunday)
To ST Forum Editor
The Workers’ Party (WP) does not see the need to model our ‘First World Parliament’ theme after any country (‘The inconvenient truth about WP’s campaign slogan’, Apr 23).
The simple truth is a First World government cannot exist without a First World parliament to check and balance its policy making process. And a First World parliament cannot exist where the ruling party is really 100 per cent in control. This is our fundamental belief.
We welcome Ms Indranee Rajah’s tireless attempt to engage the Workers’ Party on our campaign slogan. Such engagement has the makings of a First World parliament.
On Polling Day, Singaporeans will have to decide if they want to see such debates in Parliament undertaken by Elected Opposition MPs whom the PAP fears or Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) whom the PAP wants to promote.
When the ruling party consistently tightens its grip on power using the GRC system and gerrymandering, we know whose future the party is really trying to protect. With a majority of 82 out of 84 seats in the last Parliament, the PAP does not need to fight for our future. It will simply define our future. That is the hard and inconvenient truth without a First World parliament.
Although the PAP is touting the NCMP scheme as the best way to engage the ruling party, Singaporeans must ultimately decide. As the saying goes, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
The NCMP scheme is no insurance. Would Ms Rajah debate WP if we were only interested in the 9 NCMP seats which are guaranteed in the first place? The PAP should not short-change Singaporeans this way.
The PAP, with its overwhelming majority, has the audacity to even define the type and number of Opposition members Singaporeans should have in Parliament. In this aspect, WP differs from the ruling party because we believe the composition of a First World parliament should be decided by our educated and mature electorate.
PNG ENG HUAT
Executive Council Member
The Workers’ Party