I read this Straits Times Forum letter today and was both outraged and incredulous at the same time. It took up the biggest headline in the printed edition:
Opposition’s scholar candidates a worry
AS AN older citizen, I am uncomfortable about the presence of former government scholarship holders in the opposition.
To me, it seems as if they are abandoning their parents who paid for their excellent education.
Yes, one could argue that these candidates were in fact supported by taxpayers and will now serve all Singaporeans, and not only the People’s Action Party. But, are they really sincere about helping Singapore achieve a better society by joining the opposition?
Can they effectively check the Government or will they create more fighting or quarrelling like the parliamentary sessions in Taiwan?
Aren’t there enough ways of giving feedback to the Government? I can contact my Members of Parliament any time; I don’t even have to make an appointment and can e-mail them when I need help.
It takes time to know these scholar opposition candidates and I wonder if I should risk the four to five years it will take to know such a candidate’s ability, and compromise national progress.
A better answer for me is not to vote them in for this General Election and see if they continue contributing.
I would even apply my answer to the Workers’ Party’s star candidate, Mr Chen Show Mao. I would like to see if he really relocates his family to Singapore, as he has told the press he would, if he fails to win the election.
A candidate like Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim is too academic for an average voter like me. She makes good speeches but rarely champions a voter’s bread-and-butter needs.
A good MP to me must not only act as a check on the Government, but also serve the ground and offer effective solutions to the Government.
I would prefer a few good opposition MPs than many who are merely interested in the glamour of being in the opposition in Parliament.
Ho Lei Gi (Madam)
I would like to ask Madam Ho, and anyone who dares to subscribe to her ludicrous beliefs.
– What’s your logic here? You should be more worried about the fact that former Gahmen scholars have found a reason to go over to the other side. It speaks more of their former employers/benefactors than of their personal agendas.
– The fact that these guys are former scholars means they can’t be too stupid and have thought through their decisions.
– Does anyone join politics so they can engage in fisticuffs like the Taiwanese MPs (in the past)?
– Sylvia Lim too academic for you? Have you watched Parliament lately and watch both PAP and Opposition MPs speak? These days, you can’t get into office unless you are some high flying…err…scholar. Ask the former Chief Of Army, who speaks a language too academic for us to understand (or not to cringe at).
– Like you, I’d prefer to have EVERY MP who is good, rather than any one merely interested in the glamour of being in Parliament (not just the Opposition, mind you.)
Perhaps I’m too young to understand the older citizens’ faith in the incumbent party.
But I’m not too young to tell you that every scholar owes nothing to his sponsor after the bond is done. If we’ve finished the bond, the contract is done and it’s up to the company to retain us with good people management.
It’s silly to think that any scholar should have undying loyalty to the company that paid for his education. You think the Gahmen even remembers half of the thousands of scholars it has funded over the years?
I’m not just disappointed at the contents of this letter, I’m disappointed it was even published.
SPH has so many scholars (please exclude the rest of us alumni who have mostly left with the completion of our bonds), so what happened here?