Nominations for NMPs closed earlier this evening.
As there is always an NTUC NMP, I hope NTUC asked, its nominee, Ms Mary Liew Kiah Eng, Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union, this question, “Are you willing to talk more in Parliament than comrade Terry Lee?”, and her reply was “Yes”. For the record, Terry Lee, a unionist and a NMP in the last parly, was the “King Skiver” when it came to speaking in parly. He made 10 speeches in 20 months (an average of once every two months) or S$4,000 a speech.
And, I hope, the committee in parly selecting the NMPs will ask all nominees, “Do you plan to beat Jos Yeo’s “tuang” record?” She spoke seven times in 20 months (an average of once every 2.9 months), earning S$5,700 a speech.
Nice work if you can get it. Remember the cliche, “Talk is cheap”? Err when it comes to Jos and Terry, talk ain’t cheap. They cost the taxpayer serious money.
Seriously, nominees should not waste taxpayers money if they have no interest in being NMPs except to collect their monthly allowance. NMPs are there to raise issues and provide views. This can only be done by opening their mouths and talking sense like Siow Kum Hong, who when NMP outperformed the WP’s Low and Sylvia. Silence is not an option. MPs who don’t talk much or raise issues in parly can always fall back on the reasonable excuse that they prefer to focus more on serving the needs of the people in their words. NMPs don’t have this excuse.
It’s all about dignity, the dignity of the position of NMP, and personal dignity.