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Musings, The Straits Times

A Second Chance For Miss Tin Pei Ling

Miss Tin Pei Ling continues to receive flak online for her purported inabilities to be a competent Member of Parliament (MP).

Even though the dust has settled after the 2011 General Elections, there continues to be a chorus of dissent and dissatisfaction over the election of Miss Tin Pei Ling into Parliament. From the conclusion of Polling Day, a plethora of FaceBook pages have sprung up, and have respectively gained tremendous popularity on varied calls asking or petitioning for the removal or resignation of Miss Tin.

On a personal note, I do agree that her performance to date – from an assortment of press conferences, media interviews, and campaign assertions – leaves much to be desired: beyond her grassroots experience, she has not exhibited constructive traits as a parliamentarian; she has under-delivered rhetorically; and has not displayed the independence and maturity expected of politicians.

Nonetheless, it is a matter of choosing the lesser of the two evils. Many Singaporeans have expressed their dissatisfaction with her incoming Member of Parliament (MP) allowance – affectionately termed as her “tuition fees” – even though Miss Tin has not proven herself to be fully competent. Though overly-demanding for some, individuals should take that leap of faith to trust that her learning processes would be accelerated considerably. Continued squabbles and open expressions of firm opposition would only be disproportionately detrimental for the residents in the constituency; for they simply require a conduit to articulate their woes and correspondingly seek assistance. The aforementioned propositions for removal or resignation would also not be well-received by voters who had genuinely supported her for her personality or potential.

Continued squabbles and open expressions of firm opposition would only be disproportionately detrimental for the residents in the constituency.

Naturally, given Miss Tin’s relative inexperience, constituents do have the right to expect more from her performance, as well as for additional manpower and resources to be dedicated to bolster her purported shortcomings. But, at the very least, instead of engaging in fruitless debate about her abilities, credentials and qualifications, she should be given a chance to show what she can do in office.

In the bigger picture, her election and the following articulations of disagreements do send out strong signals in two areas: first, whether the People’s Action Party (PAP) should be more judicious in its candidate selection process, so as to field more capable and well-received individuals for future General Elections. Second, it is then worth contemplating whether the group representation constituency (GRC) system continues to be justified, especially since it has been perceived as a mere political tool to allow weaker candidates to ride on the coattails of prominent ministers.

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About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “A Second Chance For Miss Tin Pei Ling

  1. /// first, whether the People’s Action Party (PAP) should be more judicious in its candidate selection process, so as to field more capable and well-received individuals for future General Elections. Second, it is then worth contemplating whether the group representation constituency (GRC) system continues to be justified, especially since it has been perceived as a mere political tool to allow weaker candidates to ride on the coattails of prominent ministers. ///

    Kwan Yin Temple – you asked 2 questions, but the answer to Q2 will make Q1 irrelevant.

    Abolish GRC. Despite the red herring of wanting minority participation, the GRC was conceived and implemented to smuggle in Mah Bow Tan and Ng Pock Too after they were defeated.

    Posted by T | May 11, 2011, 11:25 am
  2. Yes, her constituency should have the benefit of their MP starting work as soon as possible. And, while I agree with the philosophy that people should be given second chances, for her case, it goes beyond that. To give her a second chance to prove herself, she must first be deemed to have been fairly elected (albeit in a team) as an MP, without question to her legitimacy.

    There were reports of her possibly infringing electoral regulation by starting her campaign before nomination day and continuing it into cooling off day. The Elections Department was quick to disqualify an opposition team for being a minute late (and I believe no police report was required?). But there were no further mention of her case. Did she break election rules that could have disqualified her? This has not been clarified. To legitimize her claim to her position, I feel there should be an explanation and/or judgment on whether she breached the rules. If yes, then what are the penalties that she should face? If not, then at least she has rightful claim to her position and perhaps she can then have that second chance to prove her worth and prove her critics wrong.

    Posted by Y | May 11, 2011, 5:55 pm
    • I agree with the point on legitimacy; given the questions raised by her opposing team and members of the public. The Elections Department has the responsibility to clarify the matter.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 12, 2011, 5:42 pm
      • Dont forget the Elections Dept is under PM’s office and that crown TPL is the wife of PM’s PPS. With such connections, do you think the Elections Dept will do something about it? Abolish GRC and bring Elections Dept out of PM’s office for next GE.

        Posted by PlayFair | May 15, 2011, 4:25 pm
  3. I would just like to stress that its not about giving her a second chance, but its that people has NO CHOICE but to live with her in Parliment for the next 5 years.

    If you talk about people in the ward/GRC who voted for her/the team, then who is looking at those who did not? It is not clear what is the reason for the big drop in the votes for PAP in Marine Parade. Who knows what is the % votes in Macpherson ward, the very ward that TPL is looking after.

    Also, I totally agree that TPL will be given a wealth of resources to work with, to ensure that she has some success stories to tell in 5 years time… but is this efficient usuage of resources? Could these resources be put to somewhere else where it will be more meaningful?

    Having said all these, I DO NOT agree to remove her from office, simply because there is no easy way out for the PAP. They will have to swallow the bitter pill for the next 5 years, and bear the consequences of their own actions (i.e. to field an inadequate person in Parliment). I have nothing against TPL.

    Posted by Brian | May 19, 2011, 3:04 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 11 May 2011 « The Singapore Daily - May 11, 2011

  2. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Daily SG 11 May 2011 - May 14, 2011

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