The flaws of a uniquely-Singapore GRC system

When I talk to people in Taiwan or overseas about Singapore’s election and the GRC system, the response I get is always – this is weird. How can you vote for people in a group. Simply, the GRC is not normal. It is not democratic. The GRC system is a tool to cripple democratic institutions.

In Taiwan, and other true democracies, when people vote, they expect to know what the individual candidate that will work for them stands for. They want to know his or her policies. You simply cannot do that to a candidate who is parked under a group. When you are forced to vote for a group, then you are not voting in a democracy.

Voting for a group in a GRC is like a company telling you, if you want to buy product A, then you have to buy product B, C, D, and E. You might not know if these products are useful or if they can even do their jobs, but you are forced to buy them. You might even throw all these extra things away later, but you still have to waste money to buy them.

But is voting in an election like buying things in a supermarket? Is voting in an election a gamble at a casino?

Voting in an election is a serious issue because you are selecting one individual who will represent you, and one individual who will bring your concerns into parliament and fight for you.

But when people you are forced to vote for are then given a free pass into parliament, there is little reason why they need to speak up on you. If they are riding on the coattails of others to get into parliament, they were not tested, nor do they have a responsibility to bring your views into parliament.

The stories by the new PAP candidates about how they have gone through a long journey to become who they are and how they can empathize with us, the stories about how they say they will speak up for us, these stories are not new. These stories help them win elections, but we have already seen PAP candidates in 2011, 2015, and even further back who have used these stories.

But have things changed in Singapore? Elderly Singaporeans still cannot retire. And in fact, Singaporeans continue to pay for one of the most expensive out-of-pocket healthcare and universities in the world. Even fees Singaporeans pay for polytechnics are as expensive as universities in some other advanced countries.

We are giving free passes to people who say they will speak up for us, but in the end, the policies have remained largely the same under the PAP.

So, why are we giving them free passes?

On the other hand, there are some very good candidates from the opposition. Now, they too have stories of the hard work they have put in, and of the work they have done for others to help and support others, they too say they will speak up for Singaporeans.

In the past, we dared not vote for them in the last few elections. But have things become better because we feared?
Are we ready to vote for parties and candidates that not only say they want to help, but have actual ideas and solutions to do so?

I urge Singaporeans to take a look at the manifestos and policy proposals of the other major parties, like The Workers’ Party, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the Progress Singapore Party. Take a look at their proposals to improve the livelihoods of Singaporeans, and take a look at how they plan to get there. While PAP’s manifesto rehashes policies already in existence, these parties have proposed how to improve on and expand on current policies in Singapore.

Stop giving free passes to people who ride on the coattails of others to get into parliament. Stop voting for people who think they have trapped you with the GRC system, and make you think you have no choice but to vote for them. The system is devised in such a way to manipulate our fears, to make us think that we do not have a choice.

But you do have a choice.

The major parties have assembled their best candidates into the GRCs, the GRC system is stacked against them, and it is unfair. And to fight the system, the major parties have put in their best candidates.

While it might look like the candidates in the opposition are new, do you know that 33.3% of the PAP’s candidates are new too? Do you also know that about 40% of the candidates only entered politics in 2011 and 2015, many of whom have not spoken up much for Singaporeans? In total, do you know that the PAP is fielding more than 70% of candidates who are either new or only entered politics recently.

You are therefore faced with a PAP today with very little track record. In the past, we were told to vote for PAP because they have a “track record”. But this election, a majority of them have retired and what is left is a new PAP which has not proven itself.

Given that, this doesn’t make them any different from the opposition. In fact, candidates from the other major parties hail from international MNCs, have proven themselves doing social sector work and were/are also civil servants and academics.
So, you do have a choice. You do have a choice to vote for people who say they will speak up for you, and who will mean it – people who have done the work.

As The Workers’ Party slogan says, make your vote count this election.

Make this election one that will work for you – one where you can hold the candidates you vote for accountable. Make it one where you will not be threatened, but where you will have the power to hold those you elect into government listen to you.

 

Roy Ngerng

 

 

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14 Responses to “The flaws of a uniquely-Singapore GRC system”

  • Party rubber stamps:

    All we citizens get are MPs who serve the party. When they keep the estate clean, that’s counted as serving the people. We have been electing highly overpaid cleaners.

    If we pay cleaners $16,000 a month (MP pay), the cleaners and their friends/relatives will come in to keep the estate very clean.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    One driver and a few passengers.

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  • PAP a bunch of hypocrites:

    Straits Times: ‘Integrity is very important’: Heng Swee Keat on 10m population issue

    PAP should “walk its talk”. Where was PAP’s integrity on the AIM scandal?

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  • Santa Claus or Satan Claws:

    In some countries, when it comes to election time, one of the big flaws of the incumbent is:

    Before election, Santa Claus; distribute chicken wings.
    After election, Satan Claws; claw back whole chickens.

    Is it or isn’t it true that corrupt people can be easily brainwashed and bribed by corrupt politicians?

    How else would Money Politics be defined?

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  • REGIME CHNGE is the solution:

    Keep it simple. No need to waste listening to candidates.

    JUST VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION. YOU CANNOT GO WRIONG. JUST THROW OUT THE PAP AND ALL WILL BE WELL.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Stratis Times: Singapore GE2020: WP chief Pritam Singh says there is room for fair comment on population numbers

    Singaporeans should remember when they cast their vote on July 10 that there is definitely “room” for Opposition MPs in Parliament to force it to be more open, transparent and responsive to the needs of ALL Singaporeans.

    Competition is ALWAYS good even in politics because results in strong institutions that makes the lives of ALL citizens better. There is NO “DOWNSIDE” ONLY “UPSIDE” to having a SIGNIFICANT opposition (at least 40%) in Parliament.

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  • nizhemoshou:

    Roy, are you able to vote without coming back. ? Hope you still can if you cant come back. Every vote count only if it is for oppo.

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  • Dun Bluff Mi U Tink I 2pid?:

    Look at the new PAPpies candidates riding on the coattails of the so-called anchor ministers Sex-in-small-spaces Teo, Cotton-Comes-from-Sheep, Collecting-cardboard-is-an-exercise Tan, etc.. Who the hell they are? They are entirely new!

    Even the earlier batch has retired after collecting millions. Woody Goh, Si-Gui-Kia Flower Aunty, $8 heart bypass, etc..

    Looking at the performance of the 4G in this Covid crisis I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. They failed big time yet still demand million dollar salaries for lousy performance. They did not apologise to the Singaporeans for putting lives at risk yet Sex-in-small-spaces Teo said she did not come across any foreign worker who demanded an apology.

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  • GRC:

    Not sure GRC scheme is a good scheme..
    Every MP should stand on their own 2 feet…
    They need to fight and prove themselves on their own…
    Better go back to the SMC scheme for all….Need to put the best team up for the difficult and dangerous world ahead…

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  • trublu:

    Sg is a tiny red dot n the claimed usefulness of GRC is flawed.

    We have LIMITED RESOURCE N TALENTS N WE MUST PROTECT WHATEVER *DIVERSITY* we have among our SMALL POPULACE.
    GROUP-THINKING IS NOT DIVERSE N IT STIFLES CREATIVITY MUCH LACKING IN GOVT!

    VOTE FOR REAL DIVERSITY.
    DONT VOTE FOR MONOPOLY AS ALL FORMS OF monopolies are bad for *consumers*.
    In this case,sgs have NO BENEFIT OF CHOICE if they give PAP a super majority.

    Lets vite for at lwast 40 pct of all seats for our ALTERNATIVE VOUCES!

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  • oxygen:

    @ Roy, HIDING INSIDE THE ROTTEN HOLLOW LOGS of GRC contraption are loads of RUBBISH-TALKING deadwoods and it continues to funnel in a lot of nodding cows and deaf earthworms inductees.

    ALL INDUCTEES ARE AS LOUD AS MUTE on PAPpypolitics meltdown/backdown on 10 million population aspiration controversy of its own invention of public seduction teasing in the past.

    NO MOUTH IN THE WORLD SPEAKS OF ANY SUBJECT IF THAT DOES NOT EXIST IN HIS/HER MIND.

    PAPpynomics dug their own graveyard of its proven failed population recycling economics and walked/fallen into it.

    Residing inside the GRC bunkers has many talking walking corpses can’t even talk sense or reality – VOTERS CAN SEE THAT.

    ONE SENIOR PAPpy, without cringing shame, even saw public office experience as a journey of “redeeming” for their past (may I ask if this is character inadequacies or incompetency or what else???) and if so, voters and LEEjiapore future reduced to mere guinea pigs for failed or failing policy experimentation???

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  • oxygen:

    THE GRC CONTRAPTION IS REALLY PAPpy’s CIRCUIT BREAKER – it shelter the inductees from public scrutiny of future-relevant vision, direction focus and specific action plans troubling this nation (even politically-correct journalists direct questions to party giants instead of the freshie virgin appendages inductees).

    Once arrived in the shelter of PAPpypolitic safe bunkers, they can sleep on the jobs learning the habits of and behaving just like their mentors because not enough alternative voices inside the house of the most expensive but mostly useless decorations to wake them up from their slumber.

    THAT IS WHY PAPpypolitics desperately seeking to extinguish alternative voices using even POFMA pimp as its next contraption of circuit breaker.

    YOU CAN SEE EXACTLY THE SAME CATERPILLAR MENTALITY OF PAST PAPpypolitic history.If anyone watches caterpillar on shrubs branches, one lead hungry caterpillar (randomly rotational and stupid as it might be) crawl up a small branch eating up the leaves, the rest follow blindly, oblivious to the surrounding exposed dangers of no leaves hiding all of them after they are well-fed – just waiting for the next hungry passing bird nearby to have them for juicy dinner.

    IT IS ALL UNTHINKING BEHAVIOUR – never mind the saintly motherhood preaching of promising election political manifesto.

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  • GRC Not ideal:

    The GRC is not ideal..
    Not the best way to ensure the best get into Parliament especially when the incapable one can still get in through it.

    Better to change all to SMC.Each MP should stand on their own 2 feet to defeat his competitor.The best man should prove themselves and WIN.

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  • MP duty:

    Still think the MP main job should not be Estate Mgr..Better to leave it to the professional.
    Better concentrate on how to improve the lives of the people and solve their real problem…Give good ideas and make serious effort to help our people with decent jobs to survive in this super expensive City.
    Help solve the HDB and CPF issues ..that left so many Seniors cash poor for retirements.

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