Who Didn’t Speak in Parliament?

The opening session of the 12th Parliament has drawn to a close.

Much publicity has been given to those who spoke. But apparently only about 70 MP’s spoke, which means about 20 are unaccounted for.

Guess who are the ones who didn’t speak?

A partial list:

1. Lee Kuan Yew
2. Goh Chok Tong
3. Wong Kan Seng
4. Raymond Lim
5. Mah Bow Tan

I wonder if these ex-ministers can adjust to being on the back bench again. To ask them to speak again as a mere MP instead of as a Minister; to ask them to raise “suggestions” people’s “concerns” and be rebutted by Ministers instead of doing the rebutting; to ask them to be tabling questions for Parliamentary answer, instead of vetting answers prepared for them by civil servants.

I think it is too much for these ex-Ministers to reconcile themselves to their “new” normal.

Will they ever speak again, I wonder?


About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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8 Responses to Who Didn’t Speak in Parliament?

  1. Desmond says:

    Hmmm….Okay I shall comment here a little(not just directly related to the above post).

    Firstly,I believe that the author(whoever he or she might be,since it’s not stated) set up this blog in order to “see beyond PAP and “opposition” in Singapore politics”. But from the author and the other discussions here, it seems quite clear to me that the debate is still not beyond binary terms “PAP and opposition”.

    PAP formed and still is the government for almost 50 years. Right now we have a parliamentary democracy that has a parliament largely composed of them. I believe what most singaporeans fear is not the change of policies that will come about, but whether our civil system will continue to work even if the PAP does not form the government. The most important things about democracies are not just about freedom of speech, but whether the government can protect the citizens rights(freedom of speech,rights such as living standards,both material and mental wealth,safety,etc) through the use of the judicial system and the ministries. What most people fear, in the event that the PAP loses power, the civil service(aka the ministries),the statutory boards and the judicial system cannot run efficiently, because the PAP has been percieved(whether it’s true I do not know) to be have a lot of influence over these branches of the state. Ultimately speaking everyone still wants the state to run efficiently. (the policies are of different matter.)

    The thing mistaken about democracies is that people think that the elections that come about is a chance to create a “peaceful,mini revolution”. They are not. The elections only call about a change of policies, but do not actually touch the basis of the running of the state. In the most extreme cases, only minor tweaks will happen to the basis. For many countries it is the Constitution that is the “basis”.

    Now I see here that many of the commenters here have a tendency to call for a change of government in the next elections. The question is, which political party or persons are you willing to let win a majority in the Parliament? Or is one opting for a coalition government? Whatever the case, it is not a simple case of a “PAP government” or a “non-PAP” government.

    Next, for a democracy to work properly, we must not have only “Freedom of Speech”, but also “Freedom of Action”, in which one can fully enjoy and do what he or she likes, without diminishing the freedoms of others. Laws are set in place not to restrict one’s freedom, but to protect everyone’s right. The commonly known crimes such as (but not limited to) murder,theft,rape,arson are actions which diminishes one’s freedom and rights as a result other persons. The right to actions are important for a society to work because it can determines how well a society respond to changes.The essential thing is one cannot over-believe and rely on the vote to survive. Non-governmental organisations are therefore important. The society must be able to regulate some activities on their own while the government must be able to regulate those which the society cannot. If the government regulates most of the activities, then it has more power than it should have. Right now, the goverment allows most activities to be regulated by the society, but the problem is the society is still progressing and trying to regulate, so the government takes over some of the regulation and therefore “increases in power”. But in recent years, many sectors of the society (not economy) has actually been taken over by NGOs (non-governmental organisations), self-help groups and support groups, And this is actually a good sign. The most commonly mentioned countries which we say is “democratic”, such as the U.S, the U.K, and some european countries, has many such entities (NGOs and self-help groups) to regulate and solve problems,along with(parallel) and together with(team-up) the government. The society can thus function properly.

    Okay let’s have more discussions here.

  2. blue ray says:

    Why do we want to hear these “has-beens”? What gems of wisdom can they bring to the table,
    since they have obviously been put out to pasture? In fact the more senior ones can be said to be waiting to be put UNDER the pasture!

    • Political Writings says:

      There is a Hokkien expression which describes such people. It’s called JLB. If they’re not going to advance their voters’ interests in Parliament, then they should not be there in the first place.

      • JH says:

        Actually, I would amend your statement to “If they’re not going to advance their voters’ interests in Parliament, then the electorate shouldn’t have voted them in in the first place”. Follow-up question would be why the electorate voted them then.

  3. Jafri Basron says:

    These people are either shy, tongue tied or simply not worthy for them to speak up.

  4. million$ministar says:

    Uhm, have they been on the ground and how many MPS have they attended recently… Maybe that’s why they have nothing to suggest… Since they know nothing about people’s concerns…

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