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Friday, 15 January 2016


The one thing that stood out in yesterday's Presidential Address was the remarks about possible changes to Singapore's political system.
As I have argued before, whilst the PAP still has its 2/3 majority, it needs to implement constitutional changes to safeguard the future of Singapore, and ensure we avoid the degeneration that Western political systems (and those who have adopted them) have seen.
Our own system is also largely based on the Westminster system, although we have important aspects that now differ. For example, LKY changed our system to prevent elected members from changing parties and still retaining their seats. More now needs to be done to ensure that we improve on our system even more to ensure the stability of our system.
Some changes I would like to see:
1) Elected Presidency - As I have argued, the elected presidency has become a proxy for partisan politics. Short of scrapping it, at the very least the bar needs to be raised to prevent unqualified populists from degrading the office of the Presidency.
2) Upper House? - Some academics have suggested an Upper House. I think this may be an overkill for a small country like Singapore. It is however worth discussing.
I think better to more deeply entrench the NMP system by increasing the numbers and making their term the same as elected MPs, instead of the half-terms currently. NMPs of the second session always see their terms cut short. The last cohort only served for a year as elections were called early.
Both an Upper House and the NMP scheme functions on the same principle - non-elected voices are needed to check populism and politicking amongst professional politicians.
As lessons from the West has shown, countries with unelected legislators like the UK are less likely to go down the populist route as it acts as a brake on demagoguery.
3) Age of Voting - I would like to see the age of voting increased to 25.
I believe that older citizens are more likely to have an economic stake in the future of the country. It is also with age that experience tempers the naive idealism of youth.
The Scottish National Party for example has proposed a lowering of voting age to 16 in the same vein of reasoning. They cynically believed that young kids with fanciful dreams and a tenuous grasp on reality was more likely to vote for an Independent Scotland, even if that dooms the country to financial ruin. The grassroots movements for Independence were mostly run by kids.
The kids in HK who took to the streets in Occupy Central are another example of youthful idealism gone wrong.
4) President Tan specifically mentioned that our system prevents narrow minority interests from gaining a foothold in our legislature.
This is why also the supporters of these interests have always clamoured for Proportional Representation.
In a country like Singapore where race and religion are important, PR would be a recipe for disunity.
Western-puppets in Singapore have also been pushing their rights-based agendas lately. Social media has amplified their voices, but fortunately they are still in the minority. We need to make sure they will always be.
PR and any form of PR should be constitutionally excluded permanently in Singapore.
Singapore has done well partly because our Founding Fathers were willing to move beyond the political system we inherited from the British. The West tries to propagate the lie that their political systems are universal truths that 'less developed' nations must adopt. This has been proven false in recent years. In order to safeguard our future, we must not trod down the same paths they have taken.
Most importantly, we need stability in order to constantly improve the lives of the people. Bread and Butter issues must ALWAYS come first. Not hifalutin ideals.