I held off writing this about the AHTC saga, lest it turn into a full-blown “screw-the-WP” slingfest.
Much has been said about it from both sides, but what amazes me is that suddenly, everyone has become an accounting expert, with comments akin to “COI siolllll” or “KPMG kelong”. Guys, we’re talking about a professional, reputed accounting firm here. To be fair, how many of us actually KNOW what the report is talking about? Honestly, I can’t say I fully do. Let’s save the technicalities, shall we?
What is certain, however, is that the WP should stop trying to DENY these mistakes. If a mistake is made, fix it, come clean about it, and learn from it – that’s how it SHOULD work. For the sake of their political reputation, and moreover, for the sake of the residents of Aljunied and Hougang, I sincerely hope that the WP adopts this approach. This is how you start being a constructive opposition that is, in Mr Chiam See Tong’s words, honest and patriotic.
It also showcases the importance of the following.
1) Being aboveboard when it comes to residents’ interests, financial or otherwise. We don’t want to get caught with your pants down, and with the advent of social media and the internet, such elaborate schemes are even more likely to be uncovered. We’d be safer having nothing to hide.
2) Putting the interests of the people first always, above all else. Politics is about power – no denying, but the question is, as Minister Chan Chun Sing has put it, what do we use our power for? If it is but for our own benefit, I say we do not deserve that power. The people of Singapore are not stupid, and they can see who truly deserves their political support. Once again, if we have been truthfully doing what we can to serve our people, we have nothing to fear.
3) The importance of what Mr Pritam Singh calls “ownself check ownself”. Humans are fallible creatures, and we should never be exclusively reliant on our own judgements. This is a case of “iron sharpens iron”, and appropriate, reliable checks and balances on oneself should never be resisted. This helps serve the above purpose too, for that is how we find our shortcomings, and improve on them to better serve our people.
All in all, for the sake of our country and our future, I just hope that all of us involved in politics adhere to the above, elected or activist, regardless of party line.
As PM Lee had mentioned at last year’s election rally, just because you don’t wear white doesn’t mean you needn’t be white. Being constructive and people-centred is how we have kept Singaporean politics special for so many years, so let’s keep it that way, shall we?