The SDP welcomes Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s call to “returning to politics that is honest with the people.” This is good advice. But what exactly is honest politics?
Honest politics is ensuring that the media is not subjugated by the government so that the people read and hear only its side of the story.
Honest politics is making sure that elections are not conducted by a body that answers to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Honest politics requires the ruling party to stop the practice of introducing legislation or amending the constitution to make elections harder for its opponents.
Honest politics forbids the use of the Internal Security Act to arrest and detain opposition leaders, activists and journalists.
Honest politics is ensuring that the police treat all citizens equally and in an even-handed manner regardless of whether they are opposition or ruling party supporters, .
Honest politics is protecting the people’s rights to freedom of speech, association and assembly guaranteed under the constitution.
Honest politics provides a reasonable campaign period for elections, not one confined to just nine days.
Honest politics is making sure that constituency boundaries are re-drawn in a transparent manner.
Honest politics is to not pay cabinet ministers astronomical salaries while they deliver disappointing results.
Honest politics is not politicians saying one thing and doing another.
Indeed, let us return to honest politics.