Can Dr Tan Cheng Bock hold the government accountable when six Workers’ Party MPs have failed to do so?

Dr Tan Cheng Bock has said that he wants to enter Parliament again to hold the government accountable on issues such the country’s reserves and the Central Provident Fund.

It would suggest that there are currently no opposition Members of Parliament, when in fact there are six elected Workers’ Party MPs.

Have the WP MPs not done enough to provide checks and balances, to push for transparency and accountability, such that their presence have hardly been felt?

Or have they been held back by roadblocks, by the Speaker of Parliament, and their hands (not to mention their mouths) are tied?

It is clear that the government’s self-declared mantra of “ownself check ownself” is bunkum (to borrow a word from K Shanmugam).

It is also clear that government does not see itself as accountable to the current opposition MPs.

In fact, it took an editorial in Lianhe Zaobao criticising the government for complacency for 4G leader Heng Swee Keat to come out with a response. The government went to the extent of putting up a wordy commentary in  Lianhe Zaobao and The Straits Times to reject suggestions that it has slackened and gone soft.

In contrast, the government had hardly ever deemed it necessary to make any concerted response to criticism from the opposition.

Is it because the opposition had not rallied the ground enough, or made its case vigorously enough, for it to be taken seriously?

Can someone like Dr Tan Cheng Bock make a difference and provide the sort of opposition that has been sorely lacking?

The status quo needs to change. It is not a healthy situation to have the government respond to a newspaper editorial but not to the opposition who are supposed to be the voice of the people.

 

Augustine Low

* The author is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.

 

 

 

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27 Responses to “Can Dr Tan Cheng Bock hold the government accountable when six Workers’ Party MPs have failed to do so?”

  • Singapore Fooled Again N Again:

    Definitely not he himself but his team of candidates if they win GRC/GRCs and single wards and to combine forces with WP and any other opposition parties if they can get into Parliament. Combine forces to overcome the incumbent self-serving party

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    The Govt. is ACCOUNTABLE to the People PERIOD!!!

    The onus is upon the OPPOSITION to raise whatever necessary to assure the People that the GOVT is ACCOUNTABLE…anything less is BANKUM on the Opposition part…

    Should their Hands and Mouth be RENDER USELESS in Parliament…there are Public Forums to raise the issue or are they afraid that they will be Penalized for speaking out of line BECAUSE it is The TRUTH???

    Fear of being SUED as it had happened to JBJ & Dr.Chee plus poor INNOCENT Patriots are Reminders of the Fear Factor NOT only upon the people but Elected Oppositions as well??? Bloody Pathetic!!!

    The Bastard is DEAD and the present HighCourt Judges I TRULY BELIEVE is “NOT BEHOLDEN” to any Bastard but the People…and the Sham LEEGAL DOG??? put him out to pasture in the next GE lah!!!

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  • enuf-is-enuf:

    After JBJ we do not have any opposition in parliament, remember ! LTK declared that they are the ‘co-drivers’ and remained true throughout their presence in the house. They only brought up irrelevant issues just to wayang, and never the bread and butter issues closed to the peoples’ heart.
    They are arrogant, selfish and incompetent, lack the technical expertise to counter the ruling party. Unlike CSJ and others who can produce facts and figures
    If I have to choose between PAP or the wayang party, my vote will definitely go to PAP. The people had been short-changed by the WP (wayang party). I think and hope that the wayang party is history in the coming election.

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  • Bapak:

    Every time TCH asks, they will reply REJECT. Asks why? They will reply, Judgement Call. KNN.

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  • Mike:

    Good observation.

    It meant that WP is useless trying to be just a co-driver and not ready to take over and run the country.

    I despise the fact that WP accepted the NCMP post. It is nonetheless accepting a system designed to cage democracy.

    And probably WP will be totally wiped out coming election and I say “we deserve it”!

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  • Bapak:

    You are missing the big white elephant. Don’t encourage rapists to rape more. No fish, prawns also can. No prawns, red ants also can.

    enuf-is-enuf:
    After JBJ we do not have any opposition in parliament, remember ! LTK declared that they are the ‘co-drivers’ and remained true throughout their presence in the house. They only brought up irrelevant issues just to wayang, and never the bread and butter issues closed to the peoples’ heart.
    They are arrogant, selfish and incompetent, lack the technical expertise to counter the ruling party. Unlike CSJ and others who can produce facts and figures
    If I have to choose between PAP or the wayang party, my vote will definitely go to PAP. The people had been short-changed by the WP (wayang party). I think and hope that the wayang party is history in the coming election.

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  • Pipers:

    When the online media’s “today” chose to front page for him and his party, guess what? I’ll vote for Ravi to be 10 folds safer and correct.

    I suspect elaborated “Drama” for vote splitting. Old CB is not eloquent in any debate. Not hardliner, mild-liner, or even soft-liner against PaYpAy….. had never heard any!

    Remote operated Drone? Yes / No?

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  • Elections is about winning!!!:

    Elections is about winning for form the next govt.
    No use win 1 seat or 1 GRC and make noise in the house.
    If it so simple WP would have done it.

    Ah bock, contest, win and form the next govt. It’s the only way to open the Pandora Box.
    Everyone can’t wait to see the worms crawling out.

    PAP must be VTO. Full Stop!!!

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  • N.Jungne:

    The hidden hand is in the PA (Pundek). Dissolved the Pundek Association and will be back to normal

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  • LAN Tut Kang LTK:

    Mike:
    Good observation.

    It meant that WP is useless trying to be just a co-driver and not ready to take over and run the country.

    I despise the fact that WP accepted the NCMP post. It is nonetheless accepting a system designed to cage democracy.

    And probably WP will be totally wiped out coming election and I say “we deserve it”!

    If we dont punish an incompetent wp , they will continue to take our tax money and enjoy the easiest opposition job in the world in terms of getting the highest salary for part time work. WP is redundant because EVERY issue is raised by bloggers and activists and our Hong Lim death squad already.
    It’s a crime against humanity and social justice to continue feeding these our hard earned tax dollars . It’s better if we spend this money on homeless dogs.

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  • We need a strong coalition:

    By himself, of course a big NO.
    Only as a strong coalition.
    Remember UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.
    The same applies to us citizens..be united n VTO.

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  • Old man rolling in his graven:

    Bapak:
    Every time TCH asks, they will reply REJECT. Asks why? They will reply, Judgement Call. KNN.

    Talking about ‘reject’, old man used to be staunch advocate and enforcer of quality control. And he wanted Sg to emulate Japan for its QCC quality control circles in governance and production.

    However if QC is now applied to the current crop of papig miws, majority will quickly be discarded as REJECTS.

    Yes VTO to help Sg achieve quality.

    What do you think?

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  • Boh Kia See:

    There is no way anyone TCB included that will be able to hold the PAP accountable and answerable to the people. It is simply not in their DNA.

    Therefore the only way is to VTO the PAP–and then hold them accountable for their actions while in Government. Then we can hear what was behind all that scheming and plotting. Why Tumasick CEO’s pay is secret, what about the Ministers’ total wages. What is public is only a small portion of the Ministers pay. What are the other components?

    You will not know any of those “secrets” by sitting in the opposition benches.

    The PAP knows about control and knows it well. So the opposition parties should get together to formulate strategies to achieve the end result–which is to VTO the PAP. Opposition parties with leaders who have a heart for Singapore and Singaporeans are our greatest hope.

    CSJ has been vilified; jailed and pilloried yet did not utter a bad word against the PAP. He quietly set out his vision for Singapore and what he considers to be solutions for Singapore’s future. These are the people that should be in Parliament. People who have a heart and vision for Singapore. (I do not belong to any political party).

    So there is one objective and one only and that is to get rid of the PAP.

    VTO the PAP–we can do better.

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  • True facts:

    True The white must be vto.

    Time for change.

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  • A misguided question:

    It is misguided to ask whether Bock or WP or Chee can hold the government accountable. Why?

    Just look across the causeway. Najib sacked all government officials who dared to investigate him. The ONLY way to hold him accountable was to vote him out. Even the strong opposition parties could not hold him accountable, until the opposition became the government.

    If Singaporeans want to hold the PAP accountable, they have to vote them out. There is no other way.

    If 70% prefer to sleep, then there is no way.

    The real question is whether Bock/Yang can wake up the sleeping voters. So far, we know that Lau/Chee/KJ/Chiam/JBJ did not manage to wake them up.

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  • Pay Auntil Pok:

    Of course what Dr Tan meant is it’s his LEADERSHIP!

    If people would stop being kiasi, kiasu and stupid and vote for more oppositions, he’d lead a team of opposition members into parliament and rightfully hold the gahmen accountable.

    Can’t blame the WP totally if people think that there’s no transparency or accountability. It’s the stupidity of those who voted for this gahmen that resulted in the present situation.

    Dr Tan is a man who commands respect from people of all walks of life, all races and all ages. He’d definitely be able to unite all opposition parties and help many of them gain votes.

    Imagine, if many more opposition members become MP in the coming GE, we’d definitely see a very, very different parliament from the present pathetic almost empty or fully white scene during parliament sittings. If the MIW were to be halved, do you think they’d still dare to ignore or simply give brief answers to opposition MPs’ questions?

    Dr Tan’s re-entry into parliament would definitely make a difference. It’d surely be the last we hear of the nonsensical “ownself check ownself” once and for all.

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  • PAP & OPPO:

    Who’s dishing out bunkum and who’s regurgitating balderdash?

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Don’t forget the aim now is to take back the country for the people. We just need oppositions, any opposition, to do that for the people. We have no choice now.

    It’s PAP or the People. Oppositions are the tools to win for the People. It doesn’t matter be it WP, PSP, SDP or any other party, just win back the country first for the People.

    After the country is back to the People, the People can choose the better persons through SMC, one-on-one election. That’s how election should be and must be. This way the elected person works for the constituents not the party.

    That’s how election is in every democratic country!! WTF this GRC, putting useless people in Parliament, working for the party only.

    So vote AGAINST the PAP is voting for the People!!

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  • One Party No Accountability:

    PAP must be reduced to minority in parliament then accountability can be effectively extracted from a coalition government.

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  • Kick out all the clowns:

    First kick that court jester lim bee wah out …
    Did you all watch that cringing parliament episode re stray cats?
    All cackling like a bunch of school kids.. so cringe worthy!
    That woman cant even speak properly. How in heavens did she get this mp job?!!

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  • Dorothy:

    Workers Party is just a wayang party with their performances so far way below average. Opposition supporters should now re-reconsider giving them the votes again in the next election. We should remove all of them out of parliament in the next GE and give our votes to Dr. Tan & Co., Dr. Chee & Co. and other opposition members etc…We need better and stronger voices in parliament to handle the self serving white pigs.

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  • Chee:

    Very insightful piece

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  • Chloe:

    Not bunkum, good discussion and debate points! If everyone agrees,then it’s bunkum.

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  • Bystander:

    Let 2 GRCs fall into TCB’s hands, it would be a scenario worth watching how PAP reacts big time.
    See any Reject or judgement or other responses.
    Better still Uncle Bok able to form next Govt. Who knows the over the hill Goh Chok Tong may defect and join him to govern.
    Yes, we have to start on a clean slate, status quo cannot prevail.

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  • Mayilavosky:

    At the advanced age of 78

    Really wonder if one could hold his soul and body together?

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  • Bonkers:

    He will make a big difference garnering more opposition parties as coalition, we need more to counter bad policies.

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    This could be harder than you think given gerrymandering and voters indulgence like ‘Merdeka Generation Package’ and the tendency of the electorate to go for the person with ‘brand’ but not ‘brain’. Nothing facilitates malfeasance better than incompetence. What’s depressing is that this analysis is based on what we know, and doesn’t take into account what has yet to emerge.

    So the question becomes: what systemic changes need to be made to allow a society like ours to be ready for taking effective remedial action to hold the government accountable? Perhaps Singaporeans should remember that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our nation are the voters of this country.” And perhaps Singaporeans should reflect also: “Every country has the government it deserves”.

    Unless this government is challenged by a candidate whose allegiance is solidly with the masses of these ordinary people, we may see a repeat of 2015 in 2019 – and even beyond. Ultimately a government that only knows how to say no and degenerates into little more than a cookie jar for alluring the gullible and greedy is doomed to fail.

    It appears to me that we will be entering recession territory just in time for the 2019 election. Interest rates are up, housing stats are down and auto sales are stagnating. We have trade wars and Europe is staggering under Brexit. Our stock market is shrinking. We are entering the perfect storm for an economic Armageddon. This is not a recipe for a robust economy. Both ways, Singapore and especially the bottom half of the economic population will pay the price.

    We are seeing unmistakable signs of institutional collapse, tempting one to reminisce that LKY could likely be a ‘saint’. Perhaps it’s not yet too late to right the ship, but there is no more time for mere dalliance. A time of reckoning is at hand.

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