A strong mandate or a strong voice?

There have been recent calls by the ruling party for a strong mandate to tackle the current crisis and the challenges ahead. It is puzzling why a strong mandate is needed when a government’s performance is not directly related to the number of seats it controls in parliament. The disappointing performance in tackling the Covid-19 situation over the recent months clearly shows that a strong mandate does not assure a sterling performance. On the contrary, it can lead to complacency, arrogance and groupthink.

The ruling party already has a strong mandate which gives it a more than two-third majority presently. There has never been any obstruction to introducing new policies or passing new legislations over these years. Even controversial changes to the constitution regarding the elected Presidency were made without any hiccups.

So why is there a need to clamor for a strong mandate? One can only conclude that the leaders of the ruling party want no dissenting voices to question the way they govern or push through policies. This predicates on the believe that dissenting voices are bad and only they have the talents, ideas and answers to all the issues affecting our country. Perhaps they truly believe that they know what’s best for the people. However, this clearly can’t be the case.

On the contrary, what we need are strong alternative voices in parliament not only to serve as checks and balances but also to provide constructive ideas and approaches to solving our country’s looming problems. Strong alternative voices will put the government on its toes especially in areas that need transparency and accountability.

It has been painted that the country will go down if there are too many dissenting voices in parliament. Nothing can be further from the truth. We are now a developed and mature country. Our people are better educated and there are many capable people with their hearts in the right places to serve. They want our country to do well and our people to benefit from it.

It’s time to change our mindset and recognize alternative voices as constructive not destructive. They are for the betterment of Singapore. They come forward not to rock the boat but to help build a stronger vessel that can weather future storms.

If we adopt this mentality, the need for a strong mandate is irrelevant. Rather the need for strong collaboration between the differing voices in parliament is more pertinent. A collaborative approach will lead to more open and robust debates with free contest of ideas so necessary for good policy formulation. This is the political maturity that is lacking currently but is so necessary for the healthy development of our country.

The right environment must be set. An environment that encourages free competition without fear or inhibitions. Only this can bring out the best in us.

We deserve better.

 

Yuen Kin Pheng

 

* The author is a semi-retired business executive who likes to share his views on social, economic, business and political issues impacting our lives. Sharing also his passion for music. He blogs on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

yyy
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23 Responses to “A strong mandate or a strong voice?”

  • trublu:

    Oh,do you think THEY NEED your MANDATE?
    THEY SUKA SUKA SQUANDER RESERVES BUT REFUSE TO ASSIST JOBLESS sgs n retirees who still need to pay hefty gst ?

    Dk THEY ASK FOR YOUR MANDATE TO SPLASH $64 BILLION N MORE TO COME?

    FUNNY,THEY SAY THEY NEED OUR MANDATE?
    Since when?

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  • STRONG PEOPLE:

    We need STRONG PEOPLE WITH STOUT HEARTS!

    STRONG people can say NO NO NO to pofma!

    STRONG people can say NO NO NO we need to wear masks

    STRONG people can say NO NO NO we do not want migrant workers

    STRONG people can say don’t anyhow lump the numbers up between Sinkies and non-Sinkies in headcounting?

    Mentally STRONG people attracts other equally mentally STRONG people!

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  • Boh Kia See:

    The PAP knows that after the pandemic, the economy will accelerate the spiral downwards. Therefore their chances of being elected with a large majority will be limited–can’t even ensure that they will have the current majority.

    That is why they are going to call an election soon. But before that, there will be goodies to distribute to everyone to engender the feel good factor before calling for GE. What they give out will be taken back after the GE.

    We all know how the 4G “leaders” perform with the pandemic–want them to try their hand with the economy?

    If ever there is a time for citizens to take stock of their country and decide for the benefit of the country, it is now. The grocers and wet market stall owners need to be convinced that the country needs them to put their feelings aside and put the country first. That is their national duty.

    VTO–the PAP

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  • Neither. VTO!:

    VTO. VTO. VTO.

    “On the contrary, what we need are strong alternative voices in parliament not only to serve as checks and balances but also to provide constructive ideas and approaches to solving our country’s looming problems. Strong alternative voices will put the government on its toes especially in areas that need transparency and accountability.”

    Stop dreaming.

    Even with 49% of the MPs from alternative parties, the PAP will still ignore them all in Parliament.

    They will not be able to serve as checks and balances.
    They will not be able to put the gov on its toes.
    Their constructive ideas will be ignored, and never get aired in Parliament.

    Stop dreaming.

    The only way is a change of gov. All books will be open then.

    VTO. VTO. VTO.

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  • oxygen:

    IN THE REAL BUSINESS WORLD, GUNS AND ARMED THUGS were brought into the boardroom to “settle” disputed account or matter – just like this one.

    Explosive email rocks Java gold mine fight

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/explosive-email-rocks-java-gold-mine-fight-20130317-2g8uf.html

    The GRC-inducted PAPpypolitics are virgins of business world. Is that the reason why they are so BAPOK (Ah Kua) or girly shy of being called to transparency and challenge from opposing voice to improve the nation – something that is so natural in the business of BANGING TABLE AND SWEARING EXPLETIVES in heated boardroom exchanges.

    VOTERS SHOULD TURN UP MORE OPPOSITION TO OFFER ROBUST CHALLENGES in the political zoo dominated by the most expensive mostly useless decoration.

    Or we pressure them to discard the GRC contraption of a “better mousetrap” netting in politically-correct scholarly idiots in of no performance in crisis management in reality risking national survival.

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  • Siginna:

    This is the biggest BULL from the pinky!!!
    What happen if they win 51% of the votes. Is this not a majority! Does it means they have no mandate to govern. Does it mean they will not be able to govern? I think they will even govern better in order to win back more votes in the next election.
    Don’t be fooled by such rhetoric. The mandate the pinky wants is to change laws with competition, increase GST, more laws to tackle critism, bring in more foreign workers and given more citizenship to foreign talent. Why, because the people vote for it by giving them a stronger mandate!!!
    BEWARE.

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  • DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:Bastards:

    One people, one nation, ONE OPINION.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    These are the kind of SHARING that TRE needs to Enlighten with a critical mind constructively…not the ball carrying sharing with AGENDAS

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  • opposition dude:

    Agreed, it’s a good time to screw PAP over their strong mandate whenever a GE rolls around. Give them a real strong mandate by kicking out their useless overpaid ministers instead. We certainly do not need a useless 4G around whcih can’t do anything but talk shit all the time.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Besides National or Independence Day…most countries Honour their Heroes and their DEAD setting aside a special DAY… especially during WW2 & The Evil Japanese Occupation where many Sacrifice and Died for their Country and Love Ones…

    “A Memorial ICON is just that a MEMORY”…

    what we need is a DAY to Honour & Remember… a day in August preferably B4 the 9th to REMEMBER & HONOUR when the Japanese SURRENDER… AND co-inside with the Gates of Hell opening and a bast**d will crawl out looking for food and worthless Hell Notes and see how a Nation Honour their Heroes & War Dead and he crawling like a cockroach begging as the poor souls did during the OCCUPATION (Karma & Retribution)…

    Was such an Important Day avoided because a LEEder works for the Japanese during the Evil OCCUPATION???

    “THINK”

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    patriot of TUMASIK:
    Besides National or Independence Day…most countries Honour their Heroes and their DEAD setting aside a special DAY… especially during WW2 & The Evil Japanese Occupation where many Sacrifice and Died for their Country and Love Ones…

    “A Memorial ICON is just that a MEMORY”…

    what we need is a DAY to Honour & Remember… a day in August preferably B4 the 9th to REMEMBER & HONOUR when the Japanese SURRENDER… AND co-inside with the Gates of Hell opening and a bast**d will crawl out looking for food and worthless Hell Notes and see how a Nation Honour their Heroes & War Dead and he crawling like a cockroach begging as the poor souls did during the OCCUPATION (Karma & Retribution)…

    Was such an Important Day avoided because a LEEder works for the Japanese during the Evil OCCUPATION???

    “THINK”

    Sorry leh!!! this post was supposed to be in Simon’s contribution on National Day celebration

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  • Tremendous:

    After so many years and tears, if the village isn’t believing in a strong voice, it hasn’t grown up.

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  • Yayacock said it takes a virus:

    Every GE, pappies ask for strong mandate.

    After that, what’s happened? Loads of failures and lapses. Higher and higher costs living, mrt breakdowns, loss of jobs especially pmets, data breaches,… Now disastrous handling of pandemic.

    Yes, time for a mandate to kick these useless bums out!

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  • Wham Bam ThankYou Ma’am:

    STRONG MANDATE

    Five more years to make your life (more) hell (than it already is) for you 95% peasants & serfs.

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  • Kim Cube:

    First Kim of NKorea also wanted a strong Mandate.
    Hitler at first wanted a strong mandate; then stranglehold through removal of Hindenburg.
    Then… then….they do not want to leave; Kim created his own mandate and gave to son, grandson.
    Learn from history, or else you are condemned to repeat it.
    How many successful states do you know that has so-called strong mandate—it does not work!

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  • billionaires:

    After spending so much on public cleaning,our oads and public spaces are getting from bad to worse over rhe last 15 years.
    Wondering how much of taxpayer money spent on paying cleaning contractors.
    The contractors apparently doing a con job.
    Blame home-owners for breeding mosquitoes but our longkangs all filled with debris and litter more and more so than before 15 years ago.

    NEA AND THE OTHER AGENCIES WHO OUTSOURCE MUST LOOK MORE INTO DUE DILIGENCE N NOT WASTE PUBLIC FUNDS.

    Still got the cheeks to blame sgs for littering when own cleaning contractors not dping honest work?

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  • Yew All Know sinkies:

    Of course we say we want more democratic Singapore.

    But the reality undebunkable by us all is the fact that Singaporeans gonna give PAP a record majority I estimate 71%-89%.

    So, it’s not PAP is so great. It’s made missteps after missteps. It’s no longer as glorious and untainted as LKY era.

    But there is just one issue . Daft 70%.

    This is incurable even by covid vaccine.

    This is the flaw in democracy, when yew have a farked up 70%

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  • Dafts Proven:

    The 70% have proven themselves this covid pandemic by their response and attitudes towards the Mask Advisory and U-turn that they have yet discerned is a Fiasco at the magnitude if 30k infected pair of lungs.

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  • ManOfWar:

    LKY once quoted out of convenience from the most influential book in the world or universe but without completing the imperative.
    Bread though essential but if you get the supreme voice wrong you shall face destruction of familiar structures and lives, devaluation and devolution.

    No one is spared, not even the rich.

    And the cycle of destruction will repeat if you continue to seek after “voices”…in your head or someone’s head in someone’s house of authority to rule over all.

    The man of Sin is a man of war, destruction and deaths.

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  • WakeupSG:

    Some companies have decided to return the Government’s Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payments and decline future payouts, while others are donating the money to charity, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Sunday (May 10) evening.

    A total of 32 companies have returned the payout, and will not take future payouts. Meanwhile, 29 companies that received last month’s payout have also decided to decline future payouts, said the Finance Ministry in a separate statement.

    “We have received $35 million, which would be used for future payouts,” it said.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/some-companies-are-returning-donating-jobs-support-scheme-payouts-heng-swee-keat

    YKP: On the contrary, it can lead to complacency, arrogance and groupthink.

    NOT ONLY THESE, THE RETURN OF JSS PAYMENT BY CO. WHICH AMOUNT TO $35 MILLION GIVEN ON MANDATE PLATFORM BY FM H$K SHOWS NON-PRUDENCE AS HE DISHED OUT JSS ON A BLANKET BASIS!

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  • TKL's doppelganger Tan Kim Lan:

    There are two TYPES of ‘names’ you look out for, here in TRE.
    First, the type that foretell of a “GOOD read and enlightenment”.

    Second, the type you AVOID reading BEYOND their names.
    Examples: Contributors like TKL, GMS.

    AND then those “REGULAR” commenters, ranting the same old garbage with nothing insightful, Really SIAN… leh. Do you really think anyone bothers to read beyond your NAMES, unless? Like what Simon says, THINK.
    Write something that is of true value and benefits ALL, yourself and others.

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  • MarBowling:

    To Mai Hum, the 69.9% MANDATE his PAPIGS got in GE2015 is inadequate. This MF wants a 79.9% or Better Still A Mother of All STRONG MANDATES of 89.9%! With such a STRONG 89.9% MANDATE, he CAN “DO WHATEVER I WANT” such as:

    Increase the GST from 7 to 10% instead of the proposed 9%!
    Throw ANYONE in jail for wanting to know the obscene salary of his wifey Holee Jinx.
    Appoint himself as the AM(Almighty Minister)when Heng Sweet Cake becomes the 4th PeeM.
    Appoint his Son, Li Horny as the DPM to Heng, sidelining Talk-Too-Much Minister HK Chan aka Bugs Bunny Chan.
    Increase the salaries of his ALL World Class Ministers by another 30-50%.
    Announce that his ULTIMATE Population Target is 10 NOT 6.9 million.
    Announce that upon T5 completion, his ULTIMATE Dream is the Building of T6.
    Announce MORE upon squatting in his position as AM!

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  • SaveSG:

    Finally, according to the businessman, financial aid needs to go directly into households, where it’s needed the most, to provide safety amid intense and prolonged economic turbulence. “We are going to see more individuals falling off the economic cliff. We need to give them the safety net so that they can survive the storm ahead of us.” —/TISG

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/%e2%80%9cdo-4g-leaders-have-what-it-takes-to-lead-us-into-the-future%e2%80%9d/ar-BB14FqBo

    STRONG MANDATE PLATFORM UNDER THE DOMINANT PAP WILL BE BIZ AS USUAL! WHY FM HSK COVID CRISIS SUPPORT BUDGET (WE CAN CALL IT Household Safety pacKage) FAIL TO GO DIRECTLY INTO HOUSEHOLDS WHERE IT IS NEEDED MOST TO PROVIDE SAFETY!

    WE NEED STRONGER ALTERNATIVE VOICES IN PARLIAMENT TO SAVE POST-PANDEMIC SG!

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