atans1

Budget debate: No more Wayang pls WP

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 27/02/2013 at 6:06 am

(Esp since govt stops Wayang on COEs and properties)

I was surprised to learn from DPM Teo last yr, that the WP MPs voted in favour of the 2012 Budget. Given the passion that they spoke against things they didn’t like about the 2012 Budget, I had tot that they would abstain. Voting against the Budget would be expecting too much of a party that sees itself as a “co-driver” with the possibility of sharing the driving one day (Dream on Baiyee).

Still I tot that abstaining would be a principled stand (Not opposing for the sake of opposing), that reflects the realities: there are gd bits, and any way PAP will win the vote. But support the Budget was two-faced by any standard, especially given that there were strong speeches against bits of the Budget. (And talking of two-faced, Baiyee and Auntie voted for the govt’s bill changing the law on mandatory capital punishment, after waxing impassionately against it).

So come the time, I expect the WP to be principled: either abstain or vote against the govt’s Budget. I’m of course assuming that there are things in the Budget that the WP strongly disagrees with. If the WP has only minor quibbles, and supports the Budget, in general, I expect it to say so openly, loudly, and to vote for the Budget. Don’t attack it, and then support it. In short, no more Wayang please.

The WP MPs should show us that they got balls they can walk the talk, not talk cock sing song. For the latter, we got PAP MPs like Inderjit Singh. The voters of Punggol East and Aljunied did not vote for WP MPs, only to discover that they voted for PAP clones who dress in light blue.

Penultimately, PritamS had a great suggestion for the govt that he should suggest to WP Low. Practice what you preach: set an example.

“Member of Parliament (MP) Pritam Singh has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to better highlight Singapore’s stand on controversial issues.
He said this was not only to solicit public feedback, but also to remove the chance for misunderstandings among the public to occur on such matters.” CNA on 4 February 2013.

The WP should better highlight WP’s stand (and voting record in Parliament where applicable) on controversial or complicated issues to remove the chance for misunderstandings among the public to occur on such matters.

Finally, nice to see that the govt has stopped its wayanging on inflation caused by COEs and property rentals (Remember Tharman’s and Hng Kiang’s,”Inflation? What inflation? Don’t rent, no new car, no inflation leh.”) Why did it  take the govt so long to introduce these measures http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1256373/1/.html. I also like the new car financing measures. Shumething should be done similarly on residential property financing, other than first homes. SLimit the loans to 10 years, given that interest rates are low.

Update: WP groupie JG (see comments) has a gd point on voting records. This is something that the WP should explain to S’poreans as per Baiyee’s suggestion.

 

  1. As a Workers’ Party supporter,I agree with you.

  2. I see the budget as something “better late than never”. It seems they finally realized where the drive behind inflation was coming from – i.e. influx of cheap capital driving up prices of non-tradeables. But looks like Tharman and Khaw together are still cautious and not wanting to do the same (limit loan periods) for public housing.

  3. Even though I do not like your perspective on Auntie’s fertility promotion agenda, I agree with your viewpoint on WP growing balls (possibly associated working (sic !) hardware too) to fight the double speaking lying morons in the parliament.

    Looks like co-driver needs a slap, to get their act straight. Recalling Hunger Games novel trilogy, WP cannot behave like President Coin of District 13 to let Singaporeans fight their political wars and reach political nirvana in a silver platter. Either side with Mocking Jay or get someone within the party who has equivalent passion like JBJ at the helm.

  4. I know this is not popular to say (“Just vote no to everything, damn it”) but here, I disagree with you.

    First, I’m still not sure if WP voted yes in the budget debate. Most votes in Parliament are taken by voice calls. Only in special cases, is there a formal roll-call. Its so rare that in the recent White Paper debate when they used it, the system malfunctioned in that some “buttons” were not working. So unless I can verify this as a fact for myself, I won’t believe everything I hear.

    Lets assume WP did vote “yes” in the last budget debate. Are they hypocrites?

    This question has to be answered in relation to what kind of fuss have they raised in the actual debate. The bigger the fuss you raise, then you jolly well walk the talk. But if you’re not making a big fuss of it, are you expected then to always oppose for the sake of opposing? I didn’t recall WP making a big fuss on the last budget.

    If I were the WP MP, I would recognise that the last budget and this budget have seen evolutionary changes in the PAP direction. A little more heart, a little more pro-people. Is the pace as fast as what you or I would like it to be? Probably not. Is it in the right direction? Yes. Are there things to like in the budget, such as expanding spending on pre-school (an area YJJ has a heart in) or elderly (an area CSM has a heart for)? Yes. Are there things not to like? Probably.

    So the question always come down to – is this so unpalatable that you vote no to the whole thing? Are there enough parts you like that you vote yes? Is the opposition expected to always vote no for the sake of voting no? How is that First World? Unless you get 100% of what you want, you will always vote no?

    The track record of WP is that they always draw the line when its obvious PAP crosses it, eg : the White Paper, ministerial salary, AIM, etc. They’ve always said they want to be a responsible opposition.

    This kind of stand will not please the rabid left. Nothing short of total opposition will do.

    But there’s a broad middle who kinda like the PAP, but wants a gentler, milder version. WP is appealing to the middle. This has been their angle all along. So voting yes to a budget, and voting no to major crossing of red lines is consistent with their promises to the electorate.

  5. Yes, the new rules on car loans is correct. The price of new cars ( and 2nd hand too ) has gone so high and yet getting the loans is so easy. Personal loans are more onerous!

    People may cry foul that they need the vehicle for the only profession that they know ( be it sales etc) but the market will correct and adapt to these new rules. I am certain prices will correct accordingly.

    Another effect: there will be clear distinctions now on who are the ones with the cash. One can appear rich & wealthy simply by borrowing. Cash is king.

  6. […] Government to help employers pay Singaporeans more – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Budget debate: No more Wayang pls WP – Yours Truly Singapore: Correction to 10 things every Sg should know about White Paper – […]

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