Sunday, November 11, 2007

I need to be Liu Xiang to jump over your high hurdles

To quote MCYS Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan from the Straits Times article:

“I would rather have high political hurdles, so that anybody who seriously enters the contest is a good, strong, honest person, willing to pay the price and able to withstand the scrutiny of the public.”

Oh my, I am so attracted to the term “high political hurdles”. It really reminds me of Liu Xiang, the Chinese world and Olympic record holder in 110m hurdles. The PAP has set many “hurdles” for the oppositions to jump over over the years, all the way to Parliament.

The GRC system is one. Although I do agree it is difficult to elect minority MPs into the Parliament because I think the majority Chinese will naturally vote for a fellow Chinese even if both the candidates are of same calibre, it is ridiculous to increase the size of a GRC from a 3-member in 1984 to the current 5 or 6-member GRC. I do not understand the rationale behind the setting of this “high political hurdle” when the percentage of minorities in our society stands at around 25%. Shouldn’t 4-member GRCs be enough to ensure the representation of all races in our Parliament to be proportionally similar to that of Singapore’s population even when we take into consideration of SMCs which are historically contested by Chinese?

Next, election deposits are forever increasing to match about 8% of the total annual salary of a MP in the preceding year. While it is important that we set reasonably high election deposits to prevent “clowns” or “monkeys” from contesting to cheapen the election process, there is really no need to make it so high (S$13,500) for a SMC and an unbelievable total of S$81,000 for a 6-member GRC. How would “willing to pay the price” make one a good candidate? Must we judge a person’s worth first (his ability to foot the election deposit) before we consider if he is compassionate enough to represent us?

There are many other things which I need to rant on the topic of “high political hurdles” but it is getting really late and I do need my precious sleep while I count my sheeps in my dreams. Fear not, I will not set too high a hurdle for them to jump over while I count my worthy sheeps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But these high political hurdles cannot guarantee that a leader would not "buy" voters and "fix" opposition.

Is this a good, strong, honest person?