Barely a fortnight has passed since the end of the elections, that two PAP MPs have made a fool of themselves for making inappropriate comments, one on Facebook and the other on mainstream media, no less.
Obviously not taking a lesson from Tin Pei Ling to be careful of what to say on social media, Tampines MP Irene Ng made a comment on Facebook complaining about the extensive media coverage of the Meet-The-People sessions of the Worker's Party in Aljunied GRC (implying she's not getting any):
Her sour grapes comment brought her no small amount of flak, since being the incumbent in Tampines GRC (to which unfortunately I belong), the RC with its air-conditioned office and hordes of eager grassroots leaders at her beck-and-call will be as she left it before the elections. So of course she can start work two days after the elections.
Compare that with Low Thia Kiang and team having to take over Aljunied GRC (which will take another 1~2 months pending account audits) from scratch, and having to conducting MPS in void decks Hougang-style sans air-conditioned offices, which one is more newsworthy?
Irene Ng, your constituents are not stupid, we will know if you have served us well whether or not your trumpet it on social media (and shooting yourself in the foot in the process) or not. It's your mindset that the mainstream media is the sole entitlement of the PAP that is really off-putting.
Not wanting to be outdone, barely two days later, MP for Nee Soon GRC Dr Lim Wee Kiat expressed how he felt about cutting ministerial salaries to the Lianhe Wanbao:
“If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain abit of dignity.”
After recently starting a review of the contentious issue of ministerial pay, it seems that PM Lee is really serious about reform. But all that effort (whether going through the motion or not) will go all tumbling down if more MPs like Dr Lim continue making such stupid remarks that clearly do not show that they're not in it for the money. In fact, money equals dignity in the value system of your average PAP MP, which I'm not sure if the kind of characteristics we are looking for in our future leaders.
In a rally speech at Raffles Place on May 3, PM Lee once remarked:
“Supposing you have a Parliament with 10, 15 or 20 opposition members out of 80, then instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I will spend all my time, I have to spend all my time thinking of what is the right way to fix them, what’s the best way to buy my own supporters over”.
If PM Lee is really serious about reform, he should get his own house in order really soon, to avoid further embarrassment by his own party MPs. Otherwise, instead of spending his time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, he'll have to spend all his time thinking of how to stop the nitwits within the party from embarrassing themselves and the PAP.
Time to get the Whip out.