In light of the coming elections, the People’s Action Party (PAP) is trying to sweeten the ground. Yesterday they passed amendments to Singapore’s constitution on the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme.
The NCMP scheme is unique to Singapore politics. It is offered to the losing opposition candidates with the highest percentage of votes as a way for them to enter parliament. The idea of the scheme is that this will encourage Singaporeans to vote for the PAP as they know some opposition figures will enter Parliament through this backdoor. That way any Singaporeans who would otherwise vote for the opposition as they want more diverse views in Parliament would now vote for the PAP. There was some debate over the amendments but in the end, it passed as usual.
Frankly, I don’t see why the PAP bothers because no one takes the NCMP scheme seriously. Even PAP members don’t take the scheme seriously. Of course that might be the reason why the PAP is fighting so hard for it, but it also makes them look bad doing so.
Take the debate yesterday between Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, Wong Kan Seng, and Workers’ Party leader Low Thia Khiang. When Mr. Low said that the PAP is trying to have a cake and eat it, that they were trying to tell Singaporeans to vote for the PAP as they would provide you with NCMP. Guess what; he was totally right!
Whereas the best Mr. Wong could come up with in rebuttal is that the PAP is trying to make the cake bigger and give the opposition a piece of it. Which of course make no sense because the PAP is the ruling party, so why would they want to give the opposition any piece of Parliament? Even if this is true and the PAP is so kind, why bother making the cake bigger? Why not just give a piece of the cake you currently have and give it to the opposition?
I can understand why the PAP wants the NCMP scheme but it is a waste of time and the scheme doesn’t really works. I mean be serious; I have yet to hear of any Singaporean who is fooled by it.