I’ve followed the Straits Times’ last two Saturday Insight articles — last week’s was about the Opposition’s plans for the coming election; this week’s was a report card on the 24 PAP MPs who were brought in for the 2006 election.
Overall I feel that both articles were relatively balanced. In a rare departure from the ST’s usual reporting style, the two articles extensively quoted sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Given the political climate in Singapore, where fear of retribution runs high, I am not surprised that these anonymous sources provided some of the more juicy tidbits about political players on both sides.
Of the interviewees who were willing have their names quoted, I think SMU law lecturer Eugene Tan appears to have the best grasp of the issues:
On the P65 MPs:
They and others urge the younger MPs to go beyond ‘the mere stylistics and cosmetic branding’, as law academic Eugene Tan puts it.
‘They need to connect at the cognitive and personal level and I don’t think we have seen enough of that – well, not yet,’ he says. For instance, politically, the younger MPs have imbibed the party attitudes such that they are almost indistinguishable from the pre-65 MPs.
‘In Parliament, they have not distinguished themselves at articulating the younger generation’s perspectives, concerns and thoughts on national matters.’
On the WP:
Like it or not, the hammer is the most recognisable symbol after the lightning. How well they do will depend on whether they are able to bring new candidates and raise the calibre of candidates.