Leon Perera: WP Working Within Flawed System To Bring About Democratic Progress

Just finished the debate in Parliament on filling the vacated NCMP seat. Most of the People’s Action Party members of the House were present for this particular debate. Over the past few days, when the House debated national issues and Parliamentary questions, the attendance often dipped to 30 or 40 (or less). Interesting priorities. Please read the text of the PAP’s amendment to our motion. It speaks volumes about their approach to politics and Parliamentary debate.

I was asked me why I accepted the NCMP position if I opposed the NCMP scheme as bad for Singapore in the longer-term. I believe the NCMP scheme serves the PAP’s interests by enabling it to ask voters to vote only for the PAP to entrench the current one party hyper-majority in Parliament. It is fully elected Opposition MPs who assure political balance. But, as Mr Low Thia Khiang explained (amidst occasional laughter from the PAP MPs), we need to work within a flawed system, one that keeps getting changed and “refreshed” by the ruling party.

Why do we do this? To do whatever we can to help build a democratic society. In the 1960s, the Barisan Sosialis left Parliament in protest at what they saw as unjust policies. We choose to stay and work within the system, in spite of its many unfair aspects and challenges. A democratic society has to be fought for, step by step and brick by brick.


Source: Leon Perera

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