Opposition is best check against graft? MPs rebut Low’s claim

I refer to the Straits Times report (27 May 2009) by Mr Zakir Hussain “Opposition is best check against graft? MPs rebut Low’s claim.”

In it, Ms Indranee Rajah asked why so many countries with multi-party systems still see deep seated and endemic corruption. If she is truly objective and unbiased, she should also ask the question why, with the exception of Singapore, all the least corrupt countries in this world have multi-party systems.

So while she is right in saying that it doesn’t mean that every country which has an opposition will be squeaky clean, it is true that nearly all the countries that are respectably clean have an effective opposition. The fact that Singapore doesn’t follow the norm doesn’t detract from the fact that an effective opposition is a key feature in nearly all clean nations today.

When she says that the PAP expects the highest standards of integrity, she must not forget to add that the PAP cabinet ministers and its MPs are paid the highest salaries in this world. Seems like when you pay the highest salaries, you get the highest standards of integrity. We should ask ourselves, if we are paid such high salaries, why do we even need to risk corruption? If the money is already served to us on a silver platter over the dining table, why is there a need to take money from under the table?

The value system from the time of internal self government is no longer the value system now. Now, the value system is about million dollar salaries and constantly asking for more millions each and every year. I really don’t know what has that got to do with integrity and honesty.

She says that the people has the liberty to vote out the PAP. But when you allow each minister to contest for five or six seats that leads to massive walkovers, what chance is there? Furthermore, isn’t the PAP policy of tying lift upgrading to voting a form of vote buying too? Is that her so-called example of honesty and integrity?

She says that the possibility of future PAP corruption is mere speculation and that people shouldn’t vote on the basis of speculation. But the PAP just withdrew a large sum of money from our reserves on the possibility that this recession could get worse. Is that speculation? So we shouldn’t draw from our reserves based on speculation? Surely, speculation is a mere word that she and I use for our own purposes that does not necessarily mean anything.

The fact that the CPIB reports to the PM means it cannot be above any possible corruption by the PM can it, Ms Rajah?

She says that the opposition should earn their constituencies. Does she mean that all those vitrually unknown PAP candidates that have since become MPs have earned their contituencies? Surely she must be joking? Did she earn her constituency? Or did she merely ride on someone else’s coat tail?

Is it too much to ask to be fair Ms Rajah? In the first place, why would one need to ask for fairness if one is dealing with a gentleman? Only when one is dealing with a ruffian or a bully does one seek fairness.

Mrs Josephine Teo says that very often an opposition wins against corruption and becomes corrupt itself. Has she seen Mr Obama becoming corrupt? He just won back the USA from the Republicans, has he become corrupt?

Mrs Teo champions the need to make the PAP the strongest team so that it does not fail Singaporeans. What has that PAP strength brought to Singaporeans? ERP, COE, the world’s most expensive public housing. Sadam Hussein was the strongest man in Iraq, a fact that helped him extract the most from his fellow countrymen.

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