Nicole Seah: Messiah or False Prophet?
Judging from the number of likes and the comments on her Facebook profile, she seems more like the former. In fact, there is even ridiculous call for WP or SPP to reject their NCMP seats in favour of her. But, is she really the messiah? Will getting her into parliament solve all the problems that Singaporeans are facing?
I would think that a person joins a political party because of the ideals and their manifestos. I took a closer look at the NSP manifestos and there are some points that Nicole’s thongs of worshippers should be aware of. Voting her in parliament means that you agree with the manifesto and want those policies implemented. You cannot thus say that you like the person in parliament but reject her policies. Politics unfortunately does not work that way. Here are a few selected policies that I wish to highlight:
- Employment pass (with no quota imposed) be applied to jobs with a salary of at least $4000 per month.
The NSP argued that since 72% of Singaporeans earn below this pay, it is thus fine for us to have unlimited foreign talents to fill this gap. So do NSP want to increase the capability of Singaporeans so that the median household income increases or are they happy for foreigners to take those highly skilled jobs away from Singaporeans (note: no quota). The current average starting salary for university students is approximately $3000 and it would be a matter of time before they hit the $4000 range. As for the rest of our residents, it is important that skills are upgraded for the polytechnics and A-levels holders so that in time to come, they may draw this salary. Allowing this policy is lacking foresight and very soon, our university graduates would be stagnant in their career as more and more foreigners would be competing in the upper range.
NSP instead argued for a restricted quota for people who earns below $4000. Basically, this move will downgrade Singaporeans to take jobs below the $4000. Since companies can easily hire foreigners to take the higher paying jobs and has lack of candidates for the low paying range, the easiest decision is not to promote Singaporeans and hire people above them.
- Discounts to be given to first time buyers of new HDB flats so that they pay slightly above the cost of building the flats plus a discounted land price.
NSP proposed that the first time applicants should not be paying anymore more than the cost of building the flats plus a discounted land price. The solution is akin to throwing a freezing man into a fire to solve his problem. If we wish to instantly crash the property market and bring about a recession, we can surely adopt this policy. There are more people with a property now versus people without properties. Imagine the price of a HDB 5-room flat dropping instantly to $100, 000. A hurrah for those who are waiting to buy a flat but all the rest of the households would suddenly have a negative equity.
Financial institutions and the government would be suddenly burdened as people default on their loans due to negative equity. For fully paid houses, the drop in prices would eat into their retirement funds. We would have successfully ushered in the dark ages.
- To downsize the Army and build up Navy and Air Force to defend Singapore.
While NSP acknowledged that terrorism (such as Mas Selamat’s escape as quoted) and transnational crimes are important issues and the armed forces must be well equipped to handle these, they recommended downsizing the army. May I ask NSP how would they propose using the Navy and Air Force to help Singaporeans combat those crimes?
Lest most of us had grown old and had forgotten our history, let us be reminded that we have Navy and cannons pointing to the sea while the Japanese took a stroll into town. The only way our Air Force and Navy could defend us against any ground forces would result in heavy collateral damages.
Moreover, reduction in the duration for national service heavily contradicts the aim to build a technologically advance armed forces. To have a technological edge, the duration of national service should not be reduced to a mere 15 months as that would be grossly insufficient to train soldiers besides the basic disciplines. Moreover, it would be naïve to expect that officers could be trained within a short period of six months. Having a half baked defence would put our country in peril.
Personally, I believe that the popularity of Nicole Seah probably stemmed from the unpopularity of PAP’s MP-elect Tin Pei Ling. There is no doubt that Nicole perform better in articulating her thoughts and demonstrated better maturity than Tin Pei Ling, she is still not the messiah that we can hope for. When contacted regarding the Tin Pei Ling’s alleged canvassing on the eve of polling day, Nicole replied that it would be an uphill battle and hence she would not pursue the incident. However, politics would be always an uphill battle. In fact, after elected, the hill would become steeper. Would she quit when the hill is too steep? The answer she gave suggested that she would.
Recently, Nicole also posted a link to support the petition for a by-election for Mr. Chiam. Though she did not comment on the link, it is (and rightly pointed out by people commenting) a form of endorsement for the petition. As someone who had chosen to pursue a political career, such disrespect for the democratic process or the statutes is really unbecoming. Mr. Chiam himself had been very gracious at defeat and distanced himself from the petition. Her irresponsible sharing of the link indirectly told her supporters that she had endorsed it and encouraged them to sign the petitions.
There is even a petition to Worker’s Party to decline the NCMP seats that it had won to allow Nicole Seah a chance in parliament. This proposal showed how immature her fans are. People enter parliament either as independent or through their political parties to push for their own political agendas. Worker’s Party’s agenda is of course very different from NSP. In fact, by giving up the seat, Worker’s Party would have betrayed their voters who believe in their manifesto. Please remember that ‘oppositions’ is just a terminology for politicians who are not in the ruling party. They should not oppose for the sake of opposing. By sacrificing their NCMP seat for Nicole would signal that their manifesto does not matter and they are interested in getting people to oppose the government.
I do believe that we that we need to be adequately represented in parliament. However, we do not need more voices. There are already 87 elected voices and many more including the NMPs and NCMPs. What we need is alternate policy and alternate strategy to run our country. Would Nicole be able to provide alternative strategy or policy? The NSP manifesto clearly tells me that she is not ready for that role.