"Opposition, don’t blame the establishment for your setbacks"
04:00 PM May 26, 2009
Letter from Lionel De Souza
I refer to the report, ‘Start with electoral boundaries’ (May 26).
Two pertinent matters in the report caught my interest. Firstly, I wish to quote what Nominated MP Siew Kum Hong said; “Though it may put the People’s Action Party (PAP) dominance at risk, the “sheer symbolism” of having smaller Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) and more Single Member Constituencies (SMC) will “go a long way towards convincing Singaporeans that the PAP is serious about political change.”
I regret to say that NMP Siew Kum Hong has gone off track by making such an assertion. On the contrary, GRCs are advantageous and the building blocks to better harmonious living amongst the different races, since a GRC must contain a certain number of minority race members. I am indeed flabbergasted by NMP Siew’s comments that by reducing the current 14 GRCs, and adding more SMCs to the current 9 SMCs, may put the PAP’s dominance at risk. What baloney, NMP Siew!
It is my opinion that demographics play an important consideration when demarcating GRCs boundaries. Moreover, as the either 5 or 6 Members of Parliament (MPs) that make up a GRC will be able to better serve the needs of their constituents, as at least one of the MPs in the group will belong to a minority racial community. Thus, I doubt that if there are less GRCs and more SMCs, this will put the PAP dominance at risk.
The PAP’s dominance may be at risk, only if the opposition can come up with a strong and credible candidature acceptable to the voters. But for the present and for some time to come, it is my guess that Singapore will not see an opposition that is strong and credible that Singaporeans can accept and trust.
Secondly, MP for Hougang, Mr. Low Thia Kiang called for the strengthening of external checks and balances in the political system, in the form of opposition. Since Singapore has yet to see a strong and united opposition and until this happens, I am sure that Singaporeans feel safe and secure with the PAP government. It is also imperative to note that neither the government nor any organisation has placed any stumbling blocks in the path of the opposition.
It is an undeniable fact that Parliamentary Elections and By-Elections in Singapore are conducted scrupulously and transparently, and opposition parties are aware of this. Hence, it is unfortunate that the opposition has been unable to garner the support of the masses to govern Singapore since 1959. So my worthy opposition don’t blame the establishment for your setbacks.