Straits Times Forum, 26 July 2008:
Opposition yet to show it can deliver, unlike PAP
I REFER to Wednesday’s letter by Mr Alvin Tan, ‘JBJ must be careful if he wishes to espouse Singapore’s cause’.
I admire Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam for his fighting spirit. Even though he is 82, he is still actively engaged in politics. I hope he will retire graciously.
I welcome an opposition, provided it is constructive and helps Singapore make progress.
I have been through six or seven general elections. At each one, the opposition candidates always seem to have the same agenda. They criticise government policies and fight for freedom of speech, but they say nothing about how to help raise national productivity or revenue.
The People’s Action Party Government has given us a well-run system. Because of this, all my siblings have at least 10 years of education, they own Housing Board homes, and their children can have a tertiary education and hold stable jobs.
This is what we want for our future generations.
I would like to recount an incident in the 1960s, when I was a secondary student.
I had the opportunity to meet then-prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the official opening of Outram Hill Community Centre. He had walked from Outram Road up Outram Hill. The moment he offered me his hand, I did not hesitate to shake it.
I had the feeling then that Singapore was in good hands.
Voting for the opposition now, in the light of what the Government has promised and fulfilled, would amount to dismantling what it has achieved, and moving backwards.
Lee Choon Wah
As investment advisors point out: Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
I agree that the Opposition has till now not been able to offer plausible solutions to the problems we face, or will face in the future. However, Singaporeans need to be careful not to simply dismiss the need for an opposition, just like the PAP does.
If anything, the best buffer against Singapore’s future slide is a capable and honest opposition that can take over the reins if the PAP should fail — and it will fail eventually, just like the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians did. (Obviously it is inappropriate for me to compare the PAP with the greatness of the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians.)