- Let’s bring ‘MARUAH’ into GRCs [image: DMCA.com] August 23rd, 2013 | Author:Message 1 of 1 , Aug 23, 2013View Source
ASEAN Human Rights NGO raised valid points in calling for the abolishing of the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) system in Singapore and a return of full Single Member Constituencies (SMCs). They released a position paper on this issue:
The key points against the GRCs are that it was not decided by a referendum by voters but by a Parliament dominated by the PAP, Singapore had until its’ implementation never voted along racial lines, its high cost to contest (at around $15k per candidate x the number of seats) and of course GRCs allows less capable or popular MPs to be elected.
The GRC system was introduced to ensure that sufficient number of minority MPs were elected to Parliament so as to ensure their ethnic groups had a voice in lawmaking. Although I’m from a minority, I would not simply vote for candidate based on his ethnicity but rather the party he represents, but more importantly his suitability (his educational or work background) and his capability (can he be the voice of the people and manage the constituency) and I believe the Singapore electorate is mature enough to vote in the same fashion.
However, I won’t disagree that by ensuring sufficient minority representation we can avoid a situation where Parliament could by some fluke be filled entirely by Chinese MPs leaving no representation by Malay, Eurasian and Indian MPs. Although I have sufficient faith that even if that were to happen, these Chinese MPs would not hesitate to pass Bills that would ensure fairness to all races and to raise whatever issues faced by minority groups, it would be better that such a scenario is avoided. Racial tolerance has long been a way of life here, and we should not give extremist groups a chance to form or gain ground and preach policies or race issues, that could or would create angst even hatred among the racial groups.
In that sense GRCs serve a good purpose in ensuring minority representation. 2 political analysts have also spoken out against MARUAH’s proposal which also demands that certain seats be reserved for minority contests or if that isn’t done, allowing ‘best loser’ minority MPs to take their seats to ensure the percentage of minority representation is maintained:
Both have voiced concerns about MARUAH’s proposal to bring in defeated candidates with full membership rights just in order to ensure balance. In fact I would go further and suggest the Non-Constituency MP scheme that allows the best losers a place in Parliament but without full voting rights, to be scrapped altogether. We don’t need defeated candidates in Parliament period. Even if it were to serve as platform for people like Sylvia Lim or say Vincent Wijeysingha to raise their public profile, the NCMP scheme just doesn’t square up in a functioning democracy or parliamentary system. Richard Nixon describe it best with this quote – ‘in the Olympics, second place gets you a silver, in politics – oblivion’. Defeated candidates could either lick their wounds, work harder on the ground and make a comeback or retire. There is much life after politics and much which one can still serve their country, I think George Yeo has demonstrated this.
Coming back to MARUAH’s plan, one of those anlaysts, Asst Prof Eugene Tan instead proposes a ’2 man GRC’ in which 1 of them has to be a minority candidate. I think this is a better manner to deal with the GRC system, which incidentally if you buy into my argument that NCMPs are a no-no, then GRCs should be as well. I was until very recently entirely against the GRC system and the manner in the PAP has worked it to their advantage. MARUAH rightly points out that not everyone is happy with certain PAP MPs being parachuted into Parliament either by walkovers or riding on the coattails of their more experienced GRC members, all of which are helmed by at least 1 Minister. Macpherson MP Tin Pei Ling will be the clearest example of this.
However having a percentage of seats reserved for minority candidates in GRCs is not a bad thing but it should not be in the manner that it’s currently being done. In the last elections there were only 27 contests for 87 seats. Furthermore unlike SMCs, where the PM is obliged to call for a by-election, this is not the case in a GRC, where by-elections will only be called if all the members therein vacate their seats.
The best alternative I believe is a marriage of some of MARUAH’s plans and what was proposed by Asst Prof Tan. We should have ’3 man GRCs’ and these should not number more than 10 or slightly over half of the Parliamentary seats. If we have 10 ’3 man GRCs’ now, that would work out to only 45 seats of the 87. This would bring the total contests to 52, and you could work the ratio out for Malay MPs to number at least 8 in these GRCs with Indians and Eurasians taking up the other 7. And there is nothing to stop parties from fielding these minority candidates in SMCs. I’m sure Ministers like Tharman and Shanmugam would be more than confident on retaining their seats in an SMC, just as I believe Worker’s Party MPs, Muhammad Faisal and Pritam Singh, would be a match for any opponent whatever the race in the divisions they currently represent.
Singaporeans tend to look at parties more than the race of their candidates and being a minority is no real handicap. However having smaller and lesser GRCs, will still guarantee representation of minority races. And the caveat must be that should the minority member vacate his seat for whatever reason, a by-election must be called. If the Govt is really serious about being in tune with ordinary Singaporeans as the National Conversation suggested, then bringing in Maruah (which means dignity in Malay) into the GRC system is the best proof that they are doing so.
* The author blogs at http://anyhowhantam.blogspot.sg-->>>>>>>>>> TO HELP ME, COMPLETE THESE STATEMENTS, THANKS: http://roberthorequestforstatements.blogspot.com/My wife, an accountant, then a manager in an MNC drawing a 5-figure salary before she retired, can confirm that I write the Truth in all these. <<<<<<<<<<RH: LKY LHL WKS ELECTION RIGGINGS EMAILED TO ALMOST ENTIRE GOVT:
ME ON VIDEO DESCRIBING lky lhl wks NUMEROUS ELECTION RIGGINGS + PoBoB and CCTV Ideas:
MY ACQUAINTANCE, MR DAVID DUCLOS, A FORMER POLICE INSPECTOR, AND HIS LAWYER FRIEND, EYEWITNESSED LEE KUAN YEW RIGGING THE 1997 CHENG SAN GRC ELECTION. READ MORE AT MY BLOG ENTITLED "I CAME, I SAW, I SOLVED IT" :http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/
MY ONLINE POLICE REPORT ON LKY LHL WKS CHEATING ELECTIONS:
a. MY SWORN AFFIDAVIT OF 16 JULY 2010:
http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-sworn-affidavit-of-16-july-2010.htmlb. SWORN EXHIBIT IN SUPPORT OF AFFIDAVIT:c. SOME LEGAL PRINCIPLES ON WHICH I GROUND MY CASE:d. THE PATTERN OF CRIMINAL WRONGDOINGS THAT PROVES MY CASE;e. 3rd EMAIL TO UK PM FOR OBSTRUCTING, PERVERTING JUSTICE:LEE Kuan Yew, LEE Hsien Loong, Tony TAN, HO Ching corruptions and theft of billions:
"POWERFUL POLITICIANS WHO CANNOT CREATE, INVENT, SOLVE PROBLEMS AND CHANGE THE WORLD CAN ONLY TAKE SATISFACTION BLOCKING, DEGRADING, THOSE WHO CAN."