Speech on “Parliamentary Elections” By NMP Siew Kum Hong: 27 August 2008
Thank you Mr Siew Kum Hong for that great speech.
As a Singaporean living in Jurong GRC, I felt ashamed after I heard your speech when I didn’t voice out my opinions and my support for your call. I support the motion. I feel that there should be a by election in Jurong GRC. But I didn’t say a word on this blog.
Because deep down inside, I knew that we won’t get a by election in Jurong GRC. No matter what we say or what we do, there will never ever be a by election in Jurong GRC. As a citizen living in Jurong GRC, I know exactly the reason why.
I didn’t know that MP Dr Ong Chit Chung is from my GRC until his death. I knew he is a Member of Parliament, but never knew he is from Jurong GRC. In fact, it was only recently that I knew that the Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam is also from Jurong GRC. All these while, I only knew Mr Lim Boon Heng. As for the remaining 2 MP, I only know they are female (1 Malay, 1 Chinese). I don’t know really remember their name and definitely don’t remember their looks. Seriously, I wouldn’t even know that they are my MP if they walk pass me. That is the sad state of the MP in Jurong GRC.
And it is not because I don’t bother about Singapore politics. But because I don’t see them around Jurong GRC at all. You don’t see them going to the market to visit the people. You don’t see them go house to house to talk to residents. They only do this kind of things during election period. And Jurong GRC was having a walkover during the last election period. So what happen was that Mr Lim Boon Heng went over to help Aljunied GRC while Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam was at other GRC. The remaining 3 MP were never seen. None of them bother to go around Jurong GRC to thank us for our support. None of them bother to walk around to see if there is anything we need. It was a walkover. Who cares anyway?
And this isn’t really a very good time for a by election. Inflation is everywhere. Oil prices hitting the roof. New ERP gantries being set up. The Singapore stage isn’t ready for a by election. Jurong GRC itself isn’t ready for a by election too.
The market upgrading at Jurong West is in a mess. We almost didn’t have a temporary market when the market is being closed for 6 months for upgrading. I think it was the last minute when they decided to have a temporary market. It was build on a temporary shelter. And the temporary market only sells raw food. No cooked food store. And the Jurong Lake project, which was being announced a few months before the last election, has just started constructions. That is 2 years already.
And based on what I’ve seen in Jurong GRC and Singapore, I don’t think there will be a by election. PAP will not get a good result if there is a by election. They might even lose this GRC. That is why I think they will not put themselves in such risk. And I was right.
I knew that whatever we said is useless. The survey done by The Online Citizen already showed that a majority of the residents in Jurong GRC wants an election. The four remaining elected Member of Parliament choose not to listen to the residents of Jurong GRC, the same group of people who voted them into office during the 2001 election. The Parliament rejected the motion for amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act 62 to 5.
We voted you into the Parliament to represent us. And we want a by election. But you turn a deaf ear to the resident of Jurong GRC.
Democracy is about the people, about how they have the power. And the people have spoken. They have spoken, their voice rings loud and clear, and they want a by-election.