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30 Sep 2020  (518 Views) 
Movement for change

How to restore Parliament to its important role
Parliament has an important role to play in the governance of a country.

Here are my suggestions on how to restore Parliament to carry out its important role.

Parliament should be the place where the important questions about the future of the country - the economy, the well being of the people are recognized and possible solutions are debated and decided.

In solving a problem, attention should be made to identify and understand the problems. We need leaders who have the time and the mental capacity and perspective to deal with these problems. These leaders should have experience in dealing with similar problems during their previous careers. 

We need leaders with broad based experience and knowledge, and not a narrow scope.

These leaders should have the time to deal with the problems. It cannot be a part time job. 

While the elected members of parliament have to rely on the civil servants to deal with the technical details, the MPs need to have the ability  to evaluate the recommendations of the civil servants and technical experts. the MPs bring in a different perspective, namely, an understanding of how the government policies affect the people at large.

We cannot understate the important contribution of the MPs.

We have to recognize that the MPs play a very important and critical role. They should not be distracted to deal with the day to day affairs of the town councils or the management of the estates. It is wasteful to ask them to be estate managers.

I hope that the MPs can 

* work full time as MP
* sit in Parliament at least two days a week, except for holiday recess
* sit in committees to deal with the policy recommendations submitted by the civil servants and technical experts

For Parliament to work effectively, it has to get away from party politics. All MPs, regardless of the political party that they belong to, can and should work together to find better solutions for the challenges facing the country and the people.

We need a new start to address the gigantic problems facing Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian


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