Rereading the PM’s letter to PAP MPs on Rules of Prudence for salutary effect. It is recommended reading for all would-be politicians and volunteers of all political colours. Amidst the crisp prose, I discovered a gem of glancing praise for opposition MPs. This is as good as it gets!

“28. Your honest, informed views are an important political input to Ministers when they formulate and review policies. Ministers will accept valid, constructive suggestions, but they have to challenge inaccurate or mistaken views. Over time, the public will see that PAP backbenchers are as effective as opposition MPs, if not better, at holding ministers to account, getting issues fully debated, and influencing policies for the better.”

In contrast, in his latest forum letter to Zaobao, MOS Sam Tan seems to be going against the grain of the letter by dismissing WP on the high horse of strong electoral mandate, even saying WP did not perform the role of a responsible opposition party in Parliament.

Why did Mr Tan, no less than a MOS, think it necessary to interject in an ongoing debate in the newspaper between a citizen and Mr Low? Does Mr Low’s defense of WP’s parliamentary record mean he did not listen to the people as Mr Tan alleges? Mr Low was after all re-elected by the people, a fellow servant of the people, does that not count for something? And goodness, where did being humble in victory and modesty go?

I don’t like the way this is going … I thought the PM’s letter will change the discourse and reshape politics for the better.

Daniel Goh

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