27 June 2006

On the GRC System

June 27, 2006
GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM
Without good chance of winning at polls, they might not be willing to risk careers for politics

By Li Xueying

SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday gave a new take on the role of Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) in Singapore politics.

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?'
First, let's consider the title - GRCs make it easier to find top talent. Really? That can't be right. Surely the PAP must already know who you are - your background, your credentials, and so on - before they ask you to run for elections. That's completely irrespective of whether they want you to run in a GRC or a Single Member Constituency. So contrary to the title of the article, GRCs really have nothing to do with helping the PAP to find top talent.

So the issue is not with finding top talent, but with persuading top talent to join the PAP. Why does this difficulty exist? According to SM Goh, this is because:
'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."
A startling admission. I would have though that this is one of those Kinds of Truths Which Must Remain Unspoken. Here SM Goh is openly admitting that the GRC system artificially boosts the chances of the PAP's new candidates. Their election successes cannot be solely attributed to their talent, or their capability, or their rapport with the people or whatever. According to SM Goh, it is the GRC system that gives them "some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election".

Wow - what is SM Goh trying to do here, embarrass MM Lee? When the GRC system was first implemented, I remember MM Lee making all those grand statements in Parliament about how we must ensure that the minority races in Singapore must be protected, and adequately represented in Parliament, and that's why the GRC system is so essential etc. Funny, I really don't remember MM Lee saying anything like this:
"We want to make some huge changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore. The electoral system has to be altered so as to enable my political party, the PAP, to have an easier time recruiting younger and capable candidates. Without the GRC system to give them some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, they may not want to risk their careers to join my party."
But of course MM Lee didn't say it. Changing the Constitution of a nation so as to facilitate the recruitment strategies of one particular political party just doesn't sound right.

It's also very interesting to see that SM Goh says that his candidates would be risking their careers to enter politics. Bear in mind that if his candidates lose in the election, then basically all they have lost is their time & energy in 9 days of active election campaigning, and perhaps a lot of intensive preparatory work in the preceding two months. There is no risk to their careers. They simply go back to their day jobs after the elections are over. Their greatest loss is probably that they used up all their annual leave for the year.

What if SM Goh's candidates win, whether in an actual electoral contest or by walkover? Well, they become MPs. They do not have to give up their careers. They continue with their usual jobs (doctors, lawyers, businessmen, accountants etc), they are Members of Parliament on top of that (it's not a full-time job) and they are paid an additional - what is it now? - about $14,000 per month to compensate them for their trouble.

So where is the risk to their careers?

I have some thoughts on that, but first I'd like to hear what you readers have to say.

Technorati: ; .


Anonymous said...

It is an interesting comment coming from SM Goh. In fact, it is doubly interesting coming hot on the heels of his comment encouraging Mr Low and Mr Chiam to ask the government for the money budgetted to upgrade Hougang and Potong Pasir. Is he doing a Tan Soo Khoon now that he is in the twilight of his political carrer ?

Anyway, if potential PAP candidates need assurance of "pao jiak" thru the GRC system, I wonder what value are they bringing to our society. In fact, this epitomises the "KIASU" attitude pervasive in Singapore. This is definitely not a trait that our politicians be leading from the front.

I wonder what will happen should the oppositions win one or more GRCs ? Without such assurances of sure-win, will there be a decrease of candidates ? Or will the GRC system be "modified" further to continue to give PAP candidates similar kind of assurance ? In fact, I think 10-man GRC is already on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

All I can see is that PAP is trying very hard to hold on to/justify unfair tactics to win future elections.

This, despite being shown in the last election reality that upgrading was and will be a non-issue in future.

The people of Singapore wants GRCs thrown out of elections. We want MPs that command moral authority which can obly be gained from a contest.

All these crap only shows one pathetic fact - PAP is going down like an old dog who can't learn new tricks.

I have no respect for them.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, in fact, more often nowadays, I simply cannot see the logic in the things that these highly paid intellects say.

Don't know if it's the ageing process or that the matrix is losing me.

First of all, if they are already high flying civil servants, they can be re-employed? If they are any good, any company would take them lah. I heard HDB employees are retrenched and re-employed after collecting the retrenchment bonus. Unless the civil service recruitment guidelines stipulate that one must not have lost in an election previously. I know it's unspoken that they avoid employing opposition members. But PAP ones? Don't joke lah.

Then, sometime back, we were told that these high calibre MPs are actually capable of earning 100 times more in the private sector. Is SM telling us that these highly sought after indviduals will be unemployed after losing an election? Or that our job market is so bad, even such good people can't find willing companies to employ them?

I think the Ministers should talk less and work more. Show us their worth of peanuts and stop monkeying around.

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...

I think it's a sign of internal strife within the PAP. This is not the first time we've heard contradictory statements from PAP, interestingly most of them involving GCT. Makes one wonder whether he's being sarcastic when he makes those comments.

As to why there is internal dissent, we can only speculate. Power consolidation by LHL? Fallout from Mrs Goh's infamous comment on NKF? Gossip is so delicious.

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.

Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wayne said...

IT is interesting that the initial reason for minority representation of implementing the GRC has found a new twist- seeking young elites, who form the minority of the population, in Singapore to run Singapore.

Ostensibly, if you think about it, having such top talents to run Singapore in itself is very good. However, should Singapore be run simply as a company where board of directors are appointed for the good of the company? If so, even shareholders have votes in a company. Even shareholders can convene an Extraordinary General Meeting if they feel is neccesary. I would also think shareholders want varying levels of accountability.

Singapore Inc shareholders might not take changes in company philosophy easily or would they?

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me more like he's promising the admin officers a chance that they will become Ministers as long as they continue to work for them.

A bit of a carrot for his own team.

And a bit of a stick for those considering changing teams.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for his press secretary to explain what he really meant and how the press has misquoted/misunderstood him.

simplesandra said...

If that's true, just sort of sums up the character (or lackof) we have in Parliament, then. It's the equivalent of "play me or I walk" mentality you get from sporting prima donnas.

So much for Team Singapore. :)

Anonymous said...

After some analysis of what GCT said and the emerging popularity of the Opposition parties, this is what I predict in the next GE or the following GE after next......

GRCs will be scrap in replacement of ARCs (Area Representative Constituencies).....you will have 5 areas namely North, South, East, West and Central areas. Each area MUST have 20 members. Each area must have 5 Ethnic representative (i.e. 5 Chinese, 5 Malays, 5 Indians and 5 Others....and all must require certificate of true ethnicity).

Then 5 heavy weight Ministers will lead each area.....LKY (if still alive), GCT (if still alive), LHL, WKS and Prof J. Ministers will be evenly distributed among ARCs. Election deposit to be raised to $1M due to increasing oil prices.

CJ will hold the new created appointment during elections. The new appointment is called Elections Referee. He will yellow or red card anybody that speaks without license, threaten the ED, e.t.c. Those with more then 3 yellow cards or 1 red card will be suspended for campaigning for the next day and face a fine.

Finally, their excuse for the ARCs will be headline in the ST "More Singaporeans can Vote With New ARC System."

Mezzo said...

I would say something sensible and pragmatic, but the massive sense of spoilt-brat self-entitlement that's coming through is short-circuiting my ENTJ brain.

Then again, didn't our PM complain twice about having to fight elections, both in Australia and at the City Hall rally?

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...

The holy trinity seems to be taking their turns in churning out illogical/silly/obvious statements so that the bloggers can have a field day at it.

Internal strife in PAP is inevitable (it's there already). But the tragedy is that this will cost Singaporeans more than the MIW themselves.

As an investor and knowing that the Old one is not living any longer, I won't bet my money on Singapore in the near future. I have no confidence in the new generation of leaders that survive him.

MNCs will retreat when the old man leaves ... as we have not shown to be able to stand on our feet without him, even 2 PMs after him!

Even Malaysia fared better.

Anonymous said...

GCT's statements confirm the fact that those who decided to go into politics under the PAP banner are kiasu and kiasi and does not believe in a fair fight at the polls. Who wouldn't want to be on the side that is almost guranteed of winning? And yet the PAP has trouble recruiting candidates or getting "capable" people to step forward, and over the yrs has to resort to paying them more and more money and dangle incentives and carrots. Quite clearly many out there see the PAP system of politics as less than honourable and morally questionable.

Those who are willing to contribute to society and do good will naturally step forward and do not need any persuading or carrots to entice them. It is very clear the PAP are attracting the wrong people into public office.

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...

Well, GCT has spoken of the Truth That Shall Not Be Spoken.

Is it a Freudian slip?

Or is it just derived from sheer arrogance / confidence that PAP has it good for the next 5 years and simply can go back to do whatever it is their MPs, ministers, SMs, MMs and what not's do - before the next GE?

Without, of course, having to answer to its electorate.

Anonymous said...

The GRC system was introduced in 1988 after a shocking drop in PAP share of valid votes in GE1984. What is more shocking, perhaps to LKY, was that his potential minister Mah Bow Tan, with supposedly better academic qualifications, lost to someone with poorer academic results Chiam See Tong.

LKY knew he had to ensure his potential ministers make it to Parliamnent on their first try and thus you have the GRC system.

Upon closer look, the 1988 election was premature. The Polling Day for GE1984 was on 22 Dec. Suppose Parliament convenes in January 1985, elections were not due till April 1990. Looks like LKY is impatient to try out his new conception.

I really feel it's more for the PAP's sake rather than ensuring adequate minority representation in Parliamnent that the GRC is created for.

Anonymous said...

hmm...no one likes to be branded a loser. Its not so much the loss to their personal incomes, but rather the "loss of face" that is at the heart of the issue. A cursory glance at our top leaders is sufficient to provide a clue as to Singapore's political leaders take on losing.

Anonymous said...

There's really not much risk to one's professional career if one is selected to run on a PAP ticket.

Let's look at the risks for the different types of PAP candidates, categorised in this manner:

Has private sector job, slated for MPship only
- Win: Keep private sector job plus become MP with allowances
- Lose: Keep private sector job

Has private sector job, slated for instant Ministership
- Win: ministerial post (with pay on par or higher than private sector job), resign from private sector
- Lose: Keep private sector job

Has govt job, slated for MPship only:
- Win: Become MP with allowances, resign from govt job (and offered job in a GLC)
- Lose: Go back to govt job

Has govt job, slated for instant Ministership
- Win: ministerial post (with pay higher than govt job), resign from govt job
- Lose: Go back to govt job (and promoted for standing as candidate)

So you can see, the only carrer risk that one could think of applies only to those with high-paying private sector jobs and slated for ministership. But then, our world class ministerial pay is supposed to take care of this category.

Afternote: Hank Paulson, Goldman Sach's CEO with an annual pay package of US$40 million, has accepted Bush's nomination of US Treasury Secretary which pays about US$200,000.

Now that's what I call career risk.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that the MIW, in pushing entrepreneurialship, are encouraging Singaporeans to get out of their comfort zone and start taking risks, while they adopt for themselves the low risk-high rewards path. Double headed snakes, if we ever saw one.

The Negative Man said...

What sort of 'talent' is going to run our nation in the future ? I shudder to think that our leaders are people who are afraid to take risks, people who weigh their own wellbeing over the interests of Singapore, and people who need monetary encouragement to not be enticed by the private sector.

Anonymous said...

Actually using GRC to create a "sure win election", so as to find talent is quite reasonable, Mr Wang.

A person may be talented in his original field of work and has the right education but may not be "suitable" for politics.

You sometimes will not know how suitable a person is before seeing how he worked in the GRC.

There are quite a few examples of "one term PAP MPs" before they were dropped for the next general election.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooor, so I see ... Not only must you give them the world's highest ministerial salaries to COMPENSATE them for the RISK, you also must use GRC to make sure that there is NO RISK of losing!

Anonymous said...

i thought we are supposed to be living in a democratic country. what SM Goh said doesn't sound very democratic. what can we do about it? vote for opposition? really?

Anonymous said...

we are being raped in this democratic country and there is nothing we can do about it.

vote for opposition party? the elections are just over and the PAP is still in power.

let us continue to be raped for a few more years before the opposition party is "strong" enough to win.

three cheers for democracy

this bull is naive.

Anonymous said...

like what marcus aurelius said, the only thing at risk when these talents run for election is a possible loss of face.

No one wants to run on the PAP ticket and still lose.Imagine how the people look at you. Prime example was that female minister of PAP though to be fair she did not lose in her first election.

But seriously, what I am concerned about is not whether that there is internal strife in the PAP party. I am more concerned is the lack of outcry among the general public about this admission abt the true nature of the GRC. I hope that the next few days will prove me wrong but looks like I am going to be right.

I fear that perhaps the PAP has calculated that the people of Spore know that is the true purpose of the GRC system hence admitting it will not harm them politically at all.

Probably the speech about PM Lee buying votes and dealing with opposition and the subsequent lack of public outburst has given the PAP belief that they can get away with most things hence this admission.

Though there could be a subsequent apology from teh PM office just like that case.

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...

This description in Cantonese just about sums up PAP's arrogance and behaviour...

Jackson Tan said...

Of course there is a great risk to the PAP candidates' careers if they lose! If they lost to the Opposition in the elections, the defeat may break their ego and crush their fighting spirit. Their reputation will be tarnished and they will be the laughingstocks in their social circle of executives.

We certainly cannot allow such blasphemy to befall upon our beloved talents. Remember, we're training them to be our tough and fearless leaders! They cannot be subjected to such torture!

Anonymous said...

this really sucks ... and they should have a referendum on this, especially if they decide to change the GRC composition.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

After 40 years of PAP rule, there are somethings that are too obvious and blatant truth.

What Singaporeans are today is the result to an extent cause by climate,environment and culture.

But what perpetuates these climate, culture and environment these 40 years ? The PAP style.

Until PAP goes, it is very difficult for Singapore culture, style, environment and climate to change.

What PAP wants is to remain in power at all costs. PAP is willing to sacrifice social benefits of majority to keep in power the PAP minority.

The trade-off is very clear. It all starts from politics.

Singaporeans perceptions will change 360 degrees once a new party comes into power. It does not mean Worker's Party only.

Singapore is tired and needs a change of fresh air. We forever cannot carry on with this mentality of fear, kiasuism and "protect own backside".

Singapore are there in money and economic terms, all we need is maintainance.

But we are still zero and infant in terms of political progress and social progress because progress in these areas defeats PAP's objectives.

PAP has done their job for 40 years, it is time for them to take a back seat. It is time to let Worker's Party do theirs.

From laws, climate, environment, business, people, society to culture etc, we need to see changes. PAP will not compromise their position nor the media.

When you do for 40 years, your company will also ask you to go in the end. This is the natural cycle of events.

You must remember, PAP has admitted running Singapore like a company instead of a nation.

A company has no place for social interests because it is regarded as a cost.

This is why PAP are always finding ways to offload the senior citizens of Singapore. Senior citizens are regarded as costs and not anything else in PAP ledger.

Anonymous said...

Since you are a senior citizen, you should know by now you are an employee of a company and not a citizen of Singapore.

PAP has repeatedly say Singapore is run like a company and not a nation. Singapore Inc.

Every citizen is seen as a digit and employee in Singapore Inc.

The characteristics of a nation and company are very different.

If you work in companies before, you should know all that matters is profit and losses.

Singaporeans and especially senior citizens are considered a cost and not revenue in PAP's eyes.

Every policy in Singapore is geared towards profit & loss concept. This includes public transport.

As long as Singaporeans can afford, MRT will go all out to raise charges and get maximum profit.

This Singapore is a company and not a nation. You can forget about social benefits that you so often see in Australia, Europe and US etc.

It is a burden and sin to grow old in Singapore.

Jackson Tan said...

Now to think of it, could it be that Goh Chok Tong is trying to be the Lee Teng-hui of Singapore?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans who join the PAP do not have to risk their careers. In retrospect, it is Singaporeans joining the opposition who has to face this risk.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, he is contradicting LKY.

Hence, GCT is following the footstep of our respectable Ong Tengcheong. He realised he has been a follower for too long. It's time for him to make his own stand; to be a real man.

Yea, GCT!!!

Agagooga said...


Anonymous said...

3 thoughts:

PAP has jumped the shark.

There is an even better way to 'find' talent - scrap elections!

The citizens desrve the government they 'voted' for.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


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 is from my blog

Anonymous said...

Well... let me see... if MIW candidates are soooooo reluctant to stand for elections, maybe we really shouldn't vote for them?

Maybe we should vote for someone who takes very REAL risk like a) kena investigated and arrested by police, IRA, ISA; b) kena sue for defamation until bankrupt and character assasinated by official press until 1 cent also not worth and c) deposit kena cheong kong because SG'reans egg them on to talk very loudly but when it comes down to the crunch, abandons the guy on election day.

These are people who have the moral courage and civic minded to do what they think is right for society, inspite of low self benefit and high risk to ones well-being.

Even if I may not agree with them on certain things, at least I respect them.

MIW, MIW, if your candidates only come to work for you based on a low-risk, high self benefit scheme, then I truely wonder, regardless of their qualifications and their powderful CVs, are their interests aligned with that our our nation's? I truely fear for the party being viable in the long term given how you've somehow managed to screw your own image in the eyes of the public. No one can join MIW without risk being associated with the words "runner" and "dog".

If MIW really wants to attract true talent who have their heart on the country, I have 3 recommendations for them:

A) Do away with the scare tactics - SG'reans are increasingly sick of them (even though i personnally think many SG'reans in general are self-centred, small-minded cowards and this tactic works)

B) Do away with the "Know-it-all" and "Know whats best for you" mentality because the world has changed faster than you can manage and you need to listen to the ground. Time to dump the communist-era cult-status leader image.

C) Be accountable for your actions. SG'reans are sick of your "B**S***" excuses and cover-ups and secrecy. When you come clean, we will decide whether we still respect you. Until you come clean, we cannot but despise you.

Anonymous said...

SM Goh can sprout such crap because he fucking hell can get away with it because Singaporeans are mass-castrated eunuchs who after being gang-raped by a pack of wolves will turn their butts to the eagerly salivating hyenas witnessing the spectacle inviting them to fuck them even more.

ps: since the GRC system is good for singapore's stability, why not change the constitution to make them 40 man GRCs. We can have two constituencies, East GRC and West GRC.

Anonymous said...

When there's a very strong opposition party, it poses as a threat to PAP. And when this strong opposition party loses, i believe PAP would put a black mark on the opposition candidates which might indirectly cause these candidates to have difficulties finding jobs if they're unemployed. Or even cause them to lose their jobs simply because of stigma. It is easy for a government to put down any particular person or people by the means of media. So, say if it's the PAP who has lost, I believe the opposition party would have done the same thing. Thus, being on the losing side, candidates would fear losing their jobs, respect etc. In conclusion, I believe SM Goh was taking into account of the possibility that PAP might lose. and so what he's implementing in his statement, " Without good chance of winning at polls, they might not be willing to risk careers for politics" is that PAP stands a good chance to win, so interested Singaporeans should have no worries over losing their jobs or not being able to find jobs because the possibility of PAP losing is very low and so, black marks on them would be low too. However, this poses another problem. If Singaporeans are only willing to participate in PAP cos it seems to always be in the glorious side, then what kind of candidates would we have? I doubt they have the country as their first priority, but rather, just being on the winning side. So what kind of party would that be then?

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but all the questions, theories and assertions here as to what these comments by SM mean or signify lead one to wonder why, why does he not simply open himself to questioning, a la MM's pre-election soiree with some young Singapore journalists, with a view to making his meaning clear? (Assuming that was a genuine debate).

OR have real debate in Parliament without the Whip applied. If they are half good, and in the absence of a real opposition, they should have no need for dorothy dixers. (Does everyone know Dorothy Dix was an agony aunt who wrote her _own_ questions?)

After all, with such a lack of a level playing field for any credible opposition to work in, the PAP can say pretty much what it likes (even to the point of putting foot in mouth) with impunity.

IF government candidates - both established 'heavy-weights' and virgin make-weights - are indeed worth their salt, they should be capable (and again, without an opposition to hound them) of parrying earnest, intelligent and thoughtful questions with equally intelligent answers. Of course, willingness to face foreign correspondents would ice the cake and totally prove the pudding, but, well it is not only the Opposition that must crawl before it walks.