PM Lee said in a forum recently that Public Trust in Singapore is important, in order to have a stable and cohesive government. Being that a general Election is just around the corner, it is no surprise that leaders of the PAP starts talking about public trust and how the government will always work hand-in-hand with Singaporeans in order to make Singapore the best place for Singaporeans. But does this still ring true? Is there still unflinching public trust in the government? And does the government really work hand-in-hand with Singaporeans?
Consider this. Each year, the AGO report finds multiple lapses across ministries they audit. Alarming, recurring lapses were found in many ministries. These issues identified will either compromise the governance of these organisations or involved questions on how millions of taxpayers money are spent. But, was anything other than hand slapping done by the government? Was there any decisive action taken, such as the one where Parliament unanimously voted for the WP MPs to be recused from AHTC’s financial decision making?
The incumbent party have emphasised over time that they want to build and strengthen Public Trust. To achieve this, an accountable and responsible party and government is needed. While being questioned in parliament by WP, many of the issues raised by AGO were brushed off lightly or acknowledged and promised changes would be made. However, the same and similar mistakes occurred. So where is the accountability and responsibility?
At the Public Service Leadership Dinner held recently, PM Lee said “Just as public service leaders must understand the political context, Ministers must master their ministries and the policies they are accountable for.”
There is only so much the only opposition in Parliament can do. Though with only 6 elected MPs and 3 NCMPS in Parliament, WP have raised many questions over the lapses but more needs to be done to hold the incumbent accountable. As announced by Pritam in 2019, WP aims to challenge for one third of the parliamentary seats to make a real difference in the policies making process. This is because with the mandate of the people, WP will then have the ability to provide a good check and balance on the work of he government with voting rights to protect the interests of Singaporeans.
Let’s make this happen.