13 May 2009

Parliament now faces "gay test"

A new set of Nominated Members of Parliament are to be selected. Will Siew Kum Hong get a second term after submitting the "Repeal 377A" petition in 2007? Will there be gay NMPs? Full essay.


Doublespeak said...

Just for fun, my guess:

They will reappoint Siew but not appoint Loretta Chen or George Hwang.

In worst case scenario, all these three will be out.

Hope I am wrong.

Chee Wai Lee said...

I'd like to say that I feel Mr. Siew did way more than simply speak out on many issues in Parliament.

On his blog, he showed us the process, the research he had to conduct and the work he had to put in so he could address an issue.

What he showed me, at least, is that being a good MP (imho) took much time and effort. It is really a full-time job ... not something you can do well while holding 10 directorships ... :P

Anonymous said...

I must say Siew had been an excellent NMP. A voice for the lesser mortals in parliament. Real value for money.

It was reported in ST today that Thio Li Ann was nominated by the education community. So it would be interesting to see if any of them is selected for a second term.

In view of the current tense situation between the liberals and the conservatives, it wouldn't surprise me if neither of them get selected. Neither will Beatrice or Loretta.

Besides, Siew had been a pain in the PAP's butt. Knowing how unforgiving the PAP is, they can't wait to get rid of him anyway.

abhtg said...

I think Doublespeak has got it here and your friends have got it a little wrong.

Actually, there is no real reason why the powers that be should not keep Mr Siew on. He is a known quantity, has limited clout, and is far from a rabble rouser. So - he's a suitable candidate to be the "lone dissenter" for a while yet. I'd give him another term.

V said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the updates. While you have shown Mr Siew's quantity of questions asked, it would be interesting to analyse the quality as well. As we know, quantity may not = quality.

But I'm speaking from ignorance of what goes on inside these lengthy parliamentary debates. As for the NMPs who asked only 20-odd questions, maybe they are more focused and because they asked questions within their area of expertise, the level of debate is raised?

I root for Audrey Wong! :P

Alan Wong said...

I think PAP would have carry out their own risk analysis and will possibly appoint Siew for a 2nd term. It's only one more term and I'm sure PAP would not like to have their image further dented by not appointing Siew. People will then speculate that PAP is too vindictive and this may be a backlash for middle fence voters to vote for the opposition since election is approaching.

PAP also cannot possibly ignore the fact that Siew is immensely popular with a large cross-section of Singaporeans and it may bolster PAP's image if he is re-elected. Also PAP is currently facing a public image crisis with all the recent bad publicity about its MPs being involved in several incidents indicating their total lack of compassion & public emphathy towards those desperate and destitue Singaporeans.

PAP may be worried of a backlash especially if Siew is courted by the opposition parties to stand for election. That would definitely be last thing that PAP will hope for.

As to whether any other pro-gay candidate will be appointed, I don't think it is going to make any difference as the Govt stand is already very clear. So what is the big deal if none of them is appointed ?

Doublespeak said...

To Alan Wong, 14 May, 2009 23:04

"So what is the big deal if none of them is appointed ?"

I think it will be a big deal. Knowingly letting someone who is out to be an NMP is a very strong signal that can be given by the govt.

And I think just because someone is gay doesn't mean they are "pro-gay candidates".

Also, what does the term "pro-gay" mean? Just like what "promoting homosexuality" would mean, I guess.

I think we should differentiate the use of pro-equality with pro-gay.

Also "I don't think it is going to make any difference as the Govt stand is already very clear. "

I question this "clear stand" of the govt.

All the while they have been sitting on the fence (except for the suspension of CSE), trying not to disturb the vague status quo, whatever that is.

Wong Kan Seng said, no difference before or after the AWARE saga.

How meaningful is it, really? Beating around the same old bush...

Anonymous said...

To poster #6:

"As to whether any other pro-gay candidate will be appointed, I don't think it is going to make any difference as the Govt stand is already very clear. So what is the big deal if none of them is appointed ?"

While you do have a point, I feel that this development is still a historic one for Singapore. Imagine that: two queer names and one more queer friendly one apply to be nominated to sit in Parliament.

I think that the congratulations goes to all of us who have been at the forefront of advocacy on the queer issues. The experience in other countries has shown that queer activism typically throws up queer and queer friendly politicians.

And queer politics in Singapore has been a stark departure from politics as it is usually conducted in Singapore: it has been nothing short of democratic.

Sure, if not this time round, the path is being cleared for the next time definitely!

In the meantime, to Siew Kum Hong, Loretta Chen, Beatrice Chia (you were my sister's student, btw) and George Hwang:


Anonymous said...

Dear all,

You might be interested in this article:


Yawning Bread Sampler said...

I have rejected two comments on the grounds that they are defamatory. The two postings, by someone with the nick "justfacts", allege that certain politicians and others are "on the take", in other words corrupt. Other than citing something from hardwarezone, the comments do not provide any supporting evidence whatsoever. Yawning Bread will not tolerate wild accusations that besmirch others, whichever side of the political fence one is on.

bsd said...

I think both Siew and Thio will be re-nominated.

Chen & Hwang unlikely. Chia perhaps.

The govt has to be seen to be 'fair' to both sides of the current rekindled homosexuality debate.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Today again I had to reject two comments. One of them is by "justfacts" again, making exactly the same allegations which in my opinion are defamatory. Repeating the allegations when he/she knows I rejected yesterday's comments suggests maliciousness in wanting to spread the allegations. The other rejected today is by someone with the nick of "Zenfino". His own comments sound neutral but he quote extensively from other allegations which IMO are defamatory.