Not for love of money, but of Humanity. "Greater is he who works for the good of all, then he who works for the good of himself only" ~ Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"- (NIV). I live in Singapore where the Emperor must not be disturbed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Re: 'PM wants TOC gazetted as Political Association '

'Grassroots Organizations should stay non-partisan'

The PA is a Stat Board. Making it an arm of the government. Government bodies serve the people under the guidance of the ruling political party.
To ask PA to register as a political association would be to akin to asking all ministries and Stat Boards to register.
Whats the point anyway? You really think stat boards are funded by foreign entities?
The point is that since implementation of the GRC system of elections, elections in SG have become increasingly partisan and myopic.
"guidance of the ruling political party." is supposed to be incidental and non-prejudicial.

Imagine if all laws were set out in parliament were skewed at the whims and fancy of the ruling PAP govt (you can do that if U control 75% of parliament).
i.e.: they could in all authority, change the constitution after wining one election and tell you that the next election would be conducted at 50yrs intervals; so what are you to do then? Protest? - sorry that's not allowed, neither is 'deflection' (i.e. N Korea).
The point is to ensure that stat boards serve not the interest of the ruling party but the interest of Singaporeans by not getting hijacked by partisan interest.
[See doctrine of separation of powers (wiki)]
I.e., they (HDB) should 'disobey' the Minister if he says: "this precinct should get upgrading bc they voted for my friend Mr E Low" rather then "this precinct should get upgrading because by meritocratic criteria, this precinct is deserving of upgrading"

'Advisers and MPs have different roles' Lim Yuin Chien, Press Secretary to the Ministry of National Development [ST,27Oct2009]: "the government-appointed adviser, his main role is to assist in implementing national programmes, such as government campaigns, and HDB's upgrading programmes, including the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP)... Opposition MPs cannot be appointed advisers, because they do not answer to the ruling party."

'‘Adviser over MP’ raises many questions'[ST, 22Oct2009]: "PAP MPs are appointed as advisers to the grassroots organisations in their wards by the People’s Association (PA). In the two opposition wards, the PA picked the PAP candidates who contested but lost in the wards in the last two polls as the grassroots advisers."

'Grassroots Organizations should stay non-partisan'[TR, 03Nov2009]: "By appointing PAP candidates as grassroots advisers in Opposition held wards, the government is effectively bringing partisan politics into governmental institutions. Using the PA as a vehicle for PAP candidates as grounds to gain political capital so that they may fight their next battle with more goodwill, the governmental risks costing itself the position of Singapore as a Parliamentary Democracy; and put Singapore in par with communist states like Cuba, China and North Korea."
Notwithstanding the fact that the concept of 'grassroots advisers' is quite ridiculous besides being un-statutory in the context of s24, Town Council Act (Cap.329A), (see: 'Is Mr MBT (and HDB) quite mistaken regarding the statutory requirements for the Lift Upgrading Progamme?' [A1forum13Jan2011])
The statement "Opposition MPs cannot be appointed advisers, because they do not answer to the ruling party." implies that the 'grassroots advisers' from the Peoples Association (PA), are appointed by HDB for the purpose of managing the LUP precisely because they, in the words of MBT's MND press sec: "answer to the ruling party"

BREAKING NEWS: PM wants TOC gazetted as Political Association
The Prime Minister of Singapore has revealed his intentions to declare The Online Citizen as a political association. ...This means that TOC is barred from receiving funds from foreign donors, letting foreigners take part in its events, operating as a political party and being affiliated to any local or foreign political party.
It is also not allowed to use its funds, premises and new media platforms in any election here, including the sponsoring of any candidate or member.
Perhaps Singapore's 5 'political associations' (none of them affiliated to any political party by statute), are held to higher standards of political integrity then the civil service (which itself seems to operate as the extension of the ruling political party).
What a pity, Singaporeans ought to do better then to put all their eggs in one basket.

- 'Upgrading should be a separate issue from the General Election': "It is important not to turn our parliamentary elections into local council contests. The government should be elected based on their policies and plans for Singapore - not municipal issues. To intimidate voters with withholding upgrading programmes seems to suggest that the ruling party is trying to avoid serious debates on national policies. " []

At/ related:
16Jan2011: PM wants TOC gazetted as Political Association
16Jan2011: Re: The Online Citizen to be listed as political association

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