Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

On "By-Election" And "Good Politics".

Many Singaporeans may not be aware or conscious of it.  On 5th July 2013 Singapore's Court of Appeal had ruled "that Article 49 of the Constitution of Singapore does not give the Prime Minister an unfettered discretion in the calling of an election to fill a casual vacancy of an elected MP.  He must do so within a reasonable time.  If the vacancy is left unfilled for an unnecessarily prolonged period that would give rise to a seious risk of disenfranchising the residents of that constituency.  There is thus a need to balance the rights of the voters in a Parliamentary system of government and the discretion vested in the Prime Minister to decide when to call for a by-election to fill a vacancy."  It is worth noting that since 31.10.1981 there were 3 such vacancies that were left vacant for an unprecedented time of as much as 2 years.  The landmark ruling resulted from a court filing by a Hougang resident on how Article 49 is to be interpreted when  a  Workers' Party MP vacated the seat on his resignation from the Party.  It is also worth noting that the Hougang By-Election was called within 3 months of its vacancy while the Ponggol East By-Election was called within 1 month.

The Ruling Party now propagandizes the concept of  3Cs of "Good Politics" - clean, constructive and continuous.  Such concept cannot hold water when we have:

1) Behind-the-queue estates upgrading for Opposition Wards.  Let us not forget that citizens in such ward also fullfill their citizenship duties like doing Naitonal Service, paying their taxes, etc. It would appear a Permanent Resident residing in a PAP ward which has up-grading will be more equal than a citizen residing in an Opposition ward.

2) Adviser to the grassroot organisations is a losing PAP candidate and not the winning Opposition candidate. 

3) A compliant mainstream media which churns the Ruling Party's propaganda.  Worse, there are editorial staff with an unhealthy agenda of painting all opposing and competing views in a bad light.  Any Opposition Parties' slip-ups, mistakes, goofs are pounced on with evil delight!

No comments: