27 June 2006

Goh Chok Tong admits that GRCs are meant to skew

So that "capable" new candidates get an easy ride into office. GRCs are not only meant to ensure minority race representation but such distortions of fair elections are good for Singapore. Here is another attempt to paint true democracy as bad for us. Full essay.


SneeringTree said...

This is absolutely disgusting. I have not the words to say how offensive SM Goh sounds.

What sort of people are we bringing in that cannot fight their own battles?

What sort of country is this?

I am honestly worried about Singapore. Is there no hope? Is there no shred of decency left in any of the PAP MPs?

Rightist said...

PAP sensed that the political tide is shifting away from them with a better educated electorate. Previously, they use deceptive reasons to implement GRCs. Now that the wolves had been revealed, they are resorting to unjust justification to defend themselves. Spare Singaporeans all the lame excuses, please! My hunch is that PAP's holiday will be cut short come 2011.

Anonymous said...

I attended some PAP rallies during GE just to get an idea of some of these PAP "talents". So-called top guns like Lui Tuck Yew, Lim Bee Hwa and Lee Yi Shan are plainly weak. They may have stellar paper credentials but what i saw and heard was disappointing. They appear clumsy and do not inspire or instill confidence at all. The spontaneity and sincerity is badly lacking. They should have just stuck to their day jobs.

Anonymous said...

His revealation of the reasons for having GRCs only serve to put opposition party candidates in a better light. Sylvia Lim might not have won the elections but she has won many hearts for doing it all on her own merit. By this, she is so much more worthy of office and respect than the 2 newbies cited in the article who support the way new candidates are introduced into the "system." *snort*

Button said...

I really feel SAD for PAP!! Why are they still trying to confuse us into believing that PAP = Govt and Govt = PAP?!!

Such a release only reconfirmed my belief in the Oppositions. They r NOT gutless!! They r real crusaders (and Sylvia was willing to risk losing her lecturing job!) and they r motivated!!

Come to think of it, if the leaders in PAP don't even have faith in these new MPs, did we misplaced our faith when we voted for them?

Anonymous said...

PAP running out of reasons to justify GRC concept.

What SM Goh gave was a reason. But whether the reason is acceptable, ethical, correct and clean remains debatable.

In my view, after giving some thought, SM Goh's reason is crap.

It goes against the spirit of public service, sincerity to serve and promote the kiasuism mentality of Singaporeans.

100% must win then willing to stand?

Everyone knows in life, there is no such thing as 100% warranty and 100%guarantee.

I thought government always encourage Singaporeans to be more daring,take risk and be entrepeneurial ?

How come this Risk Theory does not apply to PAP MPs ?

Are PAP personnel that risk averse? Then what right do PAP MPs have in asking Singaporeans to take risks and bite the bullet all the time ?

It is time PAP bite the bullet themselves and rise up to the new challenges in the changing business and political climate which PAP themselves always urge Singaporeans.

I would urge PAP to win by the book for once. Show Singaporeans and the world PAP can win by the book and win fairly.

PAP should not always hide behinds cloaks & daggers to win. It makes them weak,complacent and fat.

When negotiating with other countries, will the PAP MPs be allowed to hide behind GRCs and be protected?

PAP must stop this mentality.

Now if I as a normal unthinking Singaporean citizen can think this thoughts, why can't our educated Singaporean journalists think of this point and write in their papers ?

I am disgusted SM Goh can talk like this. If Parliament ratio was PAP 45 : AP 39, would SM Goh dare to spout such nonsense? He is hiding behind PAP's dominant majority in Parliament.

If SM Goh was in the private sector, and he said these kind of words, he would have been laughed at.

He is promoting a bunch of kiasu and greedy guys into Parliament and he actually endorse such mentality and behaviour.

I am frightened at the thought I have such a man for Senior Minister.

I fear for Singapore.

Anonymous said...

What SM Goh actually really mean is to discourage successful professionals from joining alternative parties (AP).

Actually, to break PAP's monopoly and cycle is very simple.

Just gather a fellowship of 84 successful professionals which is not hard to find in Singapore and put them in Worker's Party.

Wallah, we will have a different election from yester years.

But will these successful professionals take the "risk" given the kind of Singaporeans produce year in year out under 40 years of PAP rule are so pragmatic and stoic?

SM Goh is actually refering to these successful professionals and sending them a signal or begging them not to join alternative parties or the "boat will be rocked".

It is very easy for these successful professionals to join alternative parties but PAP keep implanting the "Illusionary Fear" and "Risky" environment into them.

In the end, GRCs are meant to keep these successful professionals from joining alternative parties because GRCs increase the risk of winning any election.

GRCs are also meant to test the strength of the fellowship.

GRCs are usually won not by candidates themselves but by the unity of the candidates in the GRC team.

Imagine a PAP GRC team subject to strict hierarchies and rank VS a loose bunch of professionals teaming up for the first time under an AP banner for a GRC.

Who will win in the end?

No matter how successful the professionals of the AP team in their own fields, without the unity and cohesion required, they will still falter in the last lap.

For this scenario, PAP has the upper hand because of their tradition and history and PAP knows this.

PAP will use all methods and barriers to prevent them from losing even if electorate has no more faith in them.

A win is a win so no matter how ugly the win is, PAP do not care.

If PAP cannot get the man they want, PAP would make sure neither does AP get the man.

This is the ugliness of Singapore poltiics.

For APs to succeed in GRCs, they must get successful professionals like James Gomez, Tan Hui Hua, Brendon Siow, Eric Tan, Slyvia Lim etc who can do the job but willing to follow at the same time.

I hope smart and thinking professionals will not fall for SM Goh's tricks.

Anonymous said...

In Sun Yat Sen's words:

" The constitution is repeatedly rape and rape by the very people that came into power through the constitution to protect the constitution. "

Anonymous said...

How about writing to Straits Times Forum to protest and ridicule this statement by SM Goh and that new PAP MP who is former CEO of IE

( I really dunno his name)

Anonymous said...

Their role is not just to ensure minorities are adequately represented in Parliament, he said. They also contribute to Singapore's political stability, by 'helping us to recruit younger and capable candidates with the potential to become ministers'.

'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,' Mr Goh said at an event marking the appointment of members to the South East Community Development Council (CDC).

'Why should they when they are on the way up in the civil service, the SAF, and in the professions or the corporate world?'

I agree with SM Goh....

Why Should We Give Up Our Life, Studies and Career To Serve National Service when we are on the way up and out ????

Anonymous said...

PAP looks worried and frightened now.

First Lee Kuan Yew say can support opposition but cannot change government

Now, Goh Chok Tong also say the same thing.

Last time, both said THERE IS NO NEED FOR OPPOSITION !!!

Even an Ah Beng or Cha Kway Tiao man in their shoes will say the same thing.

It is all about protecting self-interest and their own iron rice bowl and riches, not protecting Singapore.

They keep using the excuse of foreign investors. Even foreign investors wants a choice too when negotiating with governments, not to mention civil servants, people and unionists.

PAP sound as if Singapore will not be attractive to foreign investments once Worker's Party form the government.

PAP make it sound like Singapore will turn into East Timor overnight and Singaporeans becoming unruly bloodhounds if PAP lose power.

What scare tactics and nonsense is this !?

If the PAP government did its job and introduce the correct economic fundamentals and systems while in power, foreign investors will still invest in Singapore even if PAP lose power.

PAP is not Singapore and vice-versa.

Foreign investors is investing in Singapore as a country and not investing in PAP as a political party.

If PAP's theory is correct, then investment in countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US should be very low because they change governments every election year and considered politically unstable.

Countries like China, North Korea, Vietnam and Myanmar should be a heaven for foreign investors because they are the same ruling party for decades,not years and considered very politically stable.


Maybe this argument can work 30 years ago when Singaporeans are uneducated but now Singaporeans can think. Besides we have living examples of successful democracies and successful economies cohabiting side by side. Mind you, we are talking about the richest nations in the world.

Countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Australia and US have scandals but it never seriously rock the economy or markets because they have a sound system and trust which Singapore do not have.

Singapore have one NKF scandal and it almost cause the charity industry to collapse overnight because of lack of trust, transparency, laws, system and opposition (TT Durai ruled like PAP). It shows how weak the systems in Singapore are.

Singapore had a power loss cause by Conoco Philips for exactly the same reasons as NKF. (because of lack of transparency, laws, system and opposition)

If the same NKF incident happen on PAP and there is not a ready strong Worker's Party to take over, my god, PAP will drag down Singapore as well. Our CPF, Reserves, Assets etc might have been plundered then but it will be too late.

PAP can collapse but please leave Singapore alone.

This is why Worker's Party must grow, grow and grow and be strong enough to form the next government. Singaporeans then can buy some insurance for themselves.

I have worked with foreign investors and most agree they do not care whether PAP remains as government. As long as the civil service, business laws, rules and regulations are in place, they will still invest in Singapore.

In fact, foreign investors prefer Singapore to open up politically so that they have a choice too because they do not want to be held ransom by only PAP. They prefer to negotiate with more than one choice.

Furthermore, foreign investors prefer PAP to start creating safekeeping systems to keep Singapore running even if PAP collapse. In fact many investors did not invest in Singapore because of the one-party system.They do not want an Indonesia consequence.

Indonesia consequence: Indonesia was chaotic for awhile after Suharto collapse because Suharto did not do his duty of preparing Indonesia for life without him while in power. But Suharto did prepare very well life for himself without Indonesia. Indonesia has now stabilised and may grow from here.

Moral of the story: PAP should start preparing Singapore for life without PAP or without the Lees. This is PAP's duty when in power.

It is PAP's moral obligation to Singaporeans so as to lessen the impact of PAP's demise to Singapore. PAP should start separating itself from unions, businesses and grassroots organisations.

Presently, foreign investors have to deal with GLCs all the time and they complain our business climate is not as competitive and liberal as Hong Kong. GLCs stifle thier investment chances in Singapore.It may boost foreign investment instead if PAP no longer remain the government.

If PAP collapse, Singaporeans may see positive changes they never ever thought of they could experience before.

Anonymous said...

Agree, for all those top money we pay for 40 years to those ministers, Singapore must have a more resilient and stronger political system.

Our present system now is too fragile to withstand even a blow of the wind.

Anonymous said...

It has always been and it will always be.

chris said...

You are right. I cannot prove you wrong. None of the 82 PAP MPs can prove you wrong.

For a moment after the elections, I thought PAP will really self reflect. They did more than that. Looking at their recent statements, they reflected and self justified!

nofearSingapore said...

GRC: The Whole Truth Finally

Dear friends,

Now finally the truth is out about the GRC's actual roles.

It is a shame that PAP is unable to attract candidates based on ideology and idealism . So no one will sacrifice anything for the nation?

In stark contrast we see the people in the other political parties who have passion and enthusiasm. Although they have nothing to gain, they continue on, year after year, motivated only by the notion that what they are doing is right!

Unfortunately their efforts may not amount to anything concrete as their desire to serve the nation would be obstructed by the ruling establishment who are in control of the government machinery and the nation's purse-strings and would very likely use all manners of rules and regulations ( albeit legally) to prevent them from attaining their aims of social justice and true unfettered democracy.

The PAP is saying in our face, we are using the GRC to our advantage; we use government monies to get PAP votes etc. We can do it and have done it. You can do nothing about it!

Let me quote from Professor Linda Lim ( see post below : Singapore, Place or nation?)
who said, “In the same manner, it is when I enter public service even though it pays a fraction of what I could earn in the private sector, that I can claim to be primarily interested in the public good and national welfare and to have a passion for public service.”

Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan
The above commentary is from my blog http://nofearsingapore.blogspot.com

lowtide said...

I'm really surprised that SM Goh has came out to publicly 'sabo' his own party.

We all know that the GRC system is created to give the PAP an unfair advantage, but hey, now he is admitting it?

It's definitely a shot in his own foot by Gohfather. I'm sure the APs will use this article and shoot the PAP using it.

You've just scored another own goal, PAP.

However, sadly, some unthinking singaporeans will still nod their heads in agreement to what our Dear SM Goh has said.

Or will they not now?

ice331 said...

like molly meek said in her blog .. this is an open secret and thus wasnt very appalled by gct admission.

however, i am disturbed by the other mp, who stood behind the line giving out more flimy justification.

how are we to rely on them to perform the self check and balance function championed by the pap?

they will not dare rock the boat lest their future and monetary reward are jeopardised.

Anonymous said...

"I am not a yesman"

I remarked elsewhere


that I found the recent election boring, and one reason was the repetition of certain statements by different people on the government side. One statement, though not repeated as often, was particularly irritating: I am not a yesman. The statement, expressed in various ways, was repeated by a number of the new candidates for parliament when they were introduced to the journalists. I dont mean to say I disbelieve them; I have no doubt, when circumstances make it appropriate, they would offer criticisms and alternative ideas - I would do that too, though I have less chance than they of entering "appropriate circumstance", since I am less likely to meet important people and be asked for advice.

The problem with the statement is: nobody would ever say "I am a yesman"; since you cannot say anything else, making the statement itself has little meaning, almost like saying "I am a human" or "I believe the earth is round". This sort of statement is sometimes useful as a rhetorical construct, e.g., "I am human" is usually used to start a defense of some moral failing, and to begin his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, Jimmy Carter said "I am Jimmy Carter; I am running for President", to be followed by more meaningful statements explaining more specific ideas and attitudes. But if you follow it by statements like "In the past I was not a yesman; I believe being a yesman is not a good thing; therefore I will not be a yesman in the future", then the meaninglessness is being compounded.

When someone makes a statement for the public to hear/read, which takes some effort since our attention gets so many distractions, but we end up with no receipt of information, we get irritated. Of course, a lot of political speeches are not meant to transfer information, but to create a psychological connection: I am taking the trouble to talk to you; I want you to like me. This kind of content requires a lot of effort to compose and deliver, and some politicians are much better at this than others. Someone who has just been plucked out of a non-political job would usually not be able to deliver such content successfully, especially as the speechwriter might not yet know the person well enough to fit the words to the style of delivery.

In the mean time

I am so glad you are reading my blog; I wrote it specially for readers just like youself...

I welcome feedback; your frank and honest opinion will do so much to improve our...

Your call is important to us; please hold and someone will speak to you shortly...

Anonymous said...

was this Lee the same guy who was in trouble when he was in the stat board? i cannot quite remember for what but i think it was for some money issue or was it something else? can anyone remember?

Rightist said...

Perhaps, their mediocrity is the very reason they are invited in. Those who are really good, who will stray from the norm, will be a danger to PAP itself.

Alan Tan said...

The vast majority of Singaporeans are enjoying a standard of living many countries around us can only envy and ironically at the same have large sum of mortgages to pay. They are fearful of either one or both disrupted. PAP has created a whole system to reinforce this fear to hold on to power. Last election proved once again that PAP has a strangle hold on the vast majority of Singaporean inspite of creditable AP candidates and presentation. Some hope things will change come 2011, fat hope. Things will only change after the Singapore economy collapse with large scale unemployment and HDB lessees unable to pay their mortgages. Any crisis lesser than this will have no significant impact on PAP's rule, just some loud grumblings soon forgotten, at most PAP lose some votes. PAP leadership is not so stupid, they can analyse too but they also have no option. What you want them to do? Engineer their own demise? PAP is too good at its own self-preservation so much so that the long term survival of the nation is compromised.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't like to but I have to agree with Alan on this. There is a Chinese saying "民以食為天", PAP has a proven track record that they can provide the basic needs (and more) for its people. It will take a serious crisis to rock the foundation of PAP hold to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

SM Goh is not the only one from the ruling party who has so blatantly and openly said so.