Commentary: On “Free Riders”

Dear Editor,

As I listened intuitively again to the PM’s speech on Wednesday to the Presidential address of our 14th Parliament, I can’t help but feel the current incessant attacks on the PM’s remarks about “free riders” have been taken out of context. It seemed as though the PM was desperately trying to buy his way out of the argument on the reason not to vote for the Opposition, as perpetuated by Mr Khaw Boon Wan in 2015.

What PM actually said, was not to vote for the Opposition out of spite or with the view that the PAP will be returned to power from other Constituencies. But he did say to vote his own colleagues out if they’re not performing well in your respective Constituency. In my opinion, those PAP free loaders from West Coast, Bukit Panjang and especially Bukit Batok should have been voted out additionally on July 10th, for they are taking their resident’s mandate for granted in the absence of stronger contenders.

Political discourse here should be shaped by sharp acumen, logic and sound reasoning rather than just jumping on the bandwagon to draw blood. For this, the SDP candidates of Marsiling-Yew Tee (MYT) should be commended for keeping the fight clean by focusing on the track record of the 2 MND office holders and checking the MND Parliamentary Committee on their failures of estate duties owed to all MYT residents.

We should not only emulate the MYT SDP candidates but also not be easily swayed by the so-called “political commentators” who blog all day long without putting their words into action as Mr Low Thia Khiang says: “Why not join a political party and walk your talk?”

We must also guard against cronyism and double standards in our system to prevent abuse as I note that appointments to key positions like the chief of CPF, Commissioner of Police, Judges, AG himself, Auditor-General etc. are still shrouded in much mystery. Some positions appear to be helmed by relatives and friends of sitting PAP MPs and Ministers. Their invocations of POFMA or judgments rendered against political opponents and civil activists will always be called into question and much doubts on their impartiality, cast!

Mdm Alice Ho

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