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Lee Hsien Loong: NCMPs have virtually the ‘same say’ as elected MPs

Posted by singaporege2011 on May 2, 2011

PAP candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC Lee Hsien Loong has expressed his bewilderment at the widespread public scepticism of his NCMP scheme which was decried by many as a ‘wayang’ to entrench the PAP in power.

Speaking at a PAP press conference today, Mr Lee claimed that a “NCMP has virtually the same say in parliament as any other MP.”:

“I don’t understand why you don’t think NCMPs are not real. They campaigned and were voted in; they can debate any issue and introduce Bills. The only thing they can’t do is vote on Constitutional amendments, money bills and confidence votes. They can participate in 95 per cent of parliamentary debates,”

Mr Lee increased the number of NCMPs from one to nine in the coming election to assauge the growing desire of Singaporeans to have more ‘alternative voices’ in parliament and to dilute growing support for the opposition.

“NMPs (Nominated Members of Parliament) have introduced legislation. NMPs and NCMPs have moved motions to debate in Parliament (most recently in by-elections). They have every right to ask any question they want on any issue, including Constitutional amendments and Budget questions,” he added.

While NCMPs can debate and table motions, they have limited voting rights and cannot influence national policies. Furthermore, without a constituency of their own, NCMPs cannot build up a support base to challenge the PAP’s political hegemony in the future.

The NCMP scheme is nothing more but a PAP ploy to curb the growth of the opposition in Singapore.

Unless the PAP is denied its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament, it will continue to ram down unpopular policies down the throats of Singaporeans and having nine NCMPs to make some ‘noise’ now and then will not help.

One Response to “Lee Hsien Loong: NCMPs have virtually the ‘same say’ as elected MPs”

  1. syafiq06 said

    This is precisely the main problem of Singapore that the ruling party is able and allowed to manipulate and amend the Constitution to its advantage. In fact, damage to the Constitution has been done for introducing the GRC, NCMP, NMP, and many more injustice changes. So Singaporeans must understand the implication of their votes.

    There are few scenarios that Singaporeans must understand in this GE2011:

    1. More voices but no change – To have less than 1/3 opposition seats in parliament will not change anything already done, e.g. cost of living, FTs, property prices, etc except that opposition MPs can make more noises and suggestions that PAP in majority may not listen. There is also a risk that PAP back in power will find ways to suppress all oppositions so that there will not be any chance of voting like in this GE2011.

    2. Partial change – To have more than 1/3 and less than 2/3 opposition seats will be likely to change some already done as above but will not change the Constitution that allows GRC, NMP, NCMP, and election boundary redrawing. PAP will still be in power or sharing power with oppositions. This may be harder for PAP in power to diminish the oppositions.

    3. Complete change – To have more than 2/3 opposition seats means the alternative party will be the government and PAP the opposition. This can change everything including the Constitution. However, Singaporeans must make sure the elected government rewrites the Constitution to abolish those ill clauses and introduce check and balance clause. Also, to ensure Constitution is not allowed to change without referendum. Otherwise, the next non-PAP government may have the chance to abuse the Constitution as well.

    Basically, this GE2011 is not about local town upgrading, FTs, or cost of living, etc. It is about whether Singaporeans would like to take back the political power and have a say on the future of Singapore. Once the people take back the power, they can then have a say on how to run this country and all those policies and problems will be resolved to their preference.

    Singaporeans must vote wisely on 7 May to decide what they want in the future.

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