Photo of Law Minister K Shanmugam from AFP

I express my opinions as a Singapore citizen and I will be straight talking.

I refer to the ultimatum issued by Grace Fu, leader of the House, to Sylvia Lim to apologise to the House for suggesting that this pap government has floated “test balloons” before the Budget 2018 announcement and then backed down on an immediate GST hike due to negative public reactions. Sylvia Lim is a fully elected Member of Parliament riding on the back of a mandate from her electorates. She isn’t somebody who sits in parliament courtesy of the pap government’s generosity or toying with the constitution etc.

Being a MP, she has a sacred role to play, to be a voice for her residents, to bring their concerns, their worries and their fears etc to parliament and she has played that role exceedingly well without fear or favour.

The announcement that GST will be increased has indeed created genuine concerns and worries among our citizens and that well paid pap ministers may not fully understand or empathise as much but the concerns and worries among our poorer citizens are real although they may not be able to articulate or express themselves too well going forward with the GST hike, the extra financial burdens imposed on the lower income earners will be heavy and permanent.

What Sylvia Lim said in parliament about the GST test balloons etc are exactly the suspicions of many Singaporeans too, including her electorates. She merely echoed their concerns in parliament. I ask what is wrong with that? Or do her electorates prefer her to merely collect her fat MP allowances months after months and shy away from saying things that might upset the pap ministers? I support Sylvia Lim and I think that she should not apologise for being real and honest. She has brain, she has conscience and she has spine. I cannot say the same of the many today’s pap MPs. If Singaporeans can elect more MPs like Sylvia Lim into our parliament, it will be their good fortune and blessings.

Our Parliament must forever remain a respectable and dignified place where elected politicans can discuss and debate freely matters of the state. It must never, never be allowed to degenerate into a place where MPs have to look over their shoulders or are afraid to speak up freely for their residents for whatever reasons or agendas. Petty and gutter politics must have no place in our Parliament. To me, demanding a fellow MP to apologise for bringing her residents’ concerns and suspicions to parliament is petty politics. No less. Our Parliament can be, should be and must be a better and a more dignified place that all Singaporeans can be proud of.

In conclusion, I will just say this to my fellow citizens and I hope that they can understand it better because although Singaporeans are largely an educated lots, they are far from being street smart. Bullying can happen to anybody and it can also happen anywhere. It can happen in schools, inside army camps and at work places etc and when I say bullying can happen anywhere, I mean, anywhere.

What happened in parliament to Sylvia was downright bullying by immature adults who have no class or finesse to debate on any issues that have merits or otherwise. Such people should not come forward to serve the public and demand unwarranted out of the world pay packages.


Source: Comment on States Times Review Facebook Page