Singapore Media Watch

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Workers' Party: Storm in a teacup

Its newcomers can't escape this lesson: Politics is about staying the course for years, however tough.

By Seah Chiang Nee.Nov 19, 2006

IN the past 40 years, Singapore has produced a good number of bankers, engineers and scholars, etc, but fewer career politicians than other developed nations.

With few exceptions, representatives of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are co-opted from outside the party rather than the best being allowed to come from the ranks.

The politician in most of them somehow never quite emerged from their years of Parliament experience; most remain technocrats and problem solvers.

The fledgling opposition parties are no different. Only a few leaders are battle-hardened, the rest being newcomers who move straight from the professions or business to stand in elections.
As a result, the majority of Singapore’s politicians lack campaign or debating skills or political acumen.

That’s the way politics was designed here. Lee Kuan Yew had long steered the country away from “debate” politics either in or out of Parliament.

There’s another reason. Few citizens are interested in entering – or even discussing – politics, and those who join parties nowadays are mostly young, inexperienced people with questionable staying power.

Recently, the lack of experience has told on the largest opposition party, Workers Party (WP), at a time when its fortunes are looking up after years of struggle. (Read more...)


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