Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is the People's Association a Political Tool of the PAP?

The People's Association (PA), as constituted, was glamourised as a politically-neutral organisation designed to mould Singaporeans into a patriotic citizenry. Its administration was paid out of taxpayers money so it owes its allegiance to Singapore taxpayers and by extension to Singapore voters. The CEO of the PA and his staff should be expected and duty-bound to be impartial when they have to deal with the opposition parties. They have been showing political bias towards the PAP but as long as they do not persecute or harass the opposition parties, the people tend to view it as a natural inclination of a slavish mind. After all, the PAP leaders are their political masters and the prime minister is the chairman of the PA.

The latest bouts of high-handed antics of the PA against the Workers' Party (WP) MP Chen Show Mao and the WP itself are something which any right-thinking Singaporean will feel revulsed. They are going beyond the realm of propriety and decency to please their political masters and no decent Singaporean would believe them if they disavow that their deplorable actions are not politically-motivated and an abuse of power.

Let's examine the facts. WP MP Chen Show Mao was invited in his capacity as MP by residents of his Paya Lebar Ward in Aljunied GRC to a Seventh Month dinner celebration . The Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC) (which comes under the PA) in his Paya Lebar Ward told the organisers that they could not invite the WP MP to the dinner if it was held at premises under the CCC charge. As a result the invitation was withdrawn. The irony is that the defeated PAP candidate Madam Cynthia Phua can attend such dinners under the guise of PA's appointed grassroots adviser. We leave it to the people to judge if this kind of interpretation is not cockeyed and politically-motivated.

To make sure that the WP is politically ashyxiated, the PA in collusion with the Housing Development Board (HDB) transferred the management of 26 open spaces - mainly fields and hard courts often used for community events - from the WP Aljunied Town Council to the PA without giving WP any notice. This move would give PAP candidates a ground advantage and permanent presence in Aljunied GRC in advance preparation for the next elections.

As if all these are happening without his knowledge, if not at his instructions, PM Lee Hsien Loong is adopting the untenable attitude of "seeing no evil and hearing no evil". Neither the PM nor the relevant minister has the civility of saying anything in explanation or clarification, much less justification. They may bank on the possibility of Singaporeans not remembering this whole episode over time. But it still begs the question whether the PA is a political tool of the PAP.


jackie said...

Without a doubt, the PA was set up to be a tool of the PAP. PM himself is the chairman, other ministers and PAP MPs sit on the board. How much more political can it get? The PA can try to justify their position all they want but it is sheer blatant abuse of power - using taxpayers' money to advance ONE party's interests. They have got away with it for so long because we had allowed them to do so. Hopefully with alternative media and alternative voices, that will change in the not too distant future.

jeffgoh said...

"Tis a Mistake to think this Fault [tyranny] is proper only to Monarchies; other Forms of Government are liable to it, as well as that. For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There it presently becomes Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many." -- John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist

Tan Tai Wei said...

And yet, Tony Tan said, just two days ago, that we should not be "cynical"!

cruisedenning said...

Dear Mr Yoong,

I am an avid follower of your blog.

As the former director of ISD, may I please ask for your views/opinions with respect to Malaysia's decision to repeal the ISA? Do you think that Sg should follow suit?

Thank you.

patriot said...

How the Peoples Association has behaved all along and its symbiotic like relationship with the Ruling Party has never been a secret. But, by and large, Singaporeans never make it an issue, be it from the Political Angle nor the Social political perspective and their implications.

Even though many bloggers and netizens had highlighted the less than normal relationship between PA and PAP, Singaporeans are non-chalance.

In reality, it is Singaporeans that support and participate in PA Activities all these years. Personally, I think those busloads of cheering oldies, school children and PA Members attending PAP Organized Activities at CCs and Election Rallies were all voluntary attendees, meaning these people support the Partial Relationship of the Two. So, who is to be blamed? PAP, PA or the Citizenry? Is there any official objection by the People? Does voters take exception to the PAP/PA Relationship and chose not to vote for Pap Candidates as protest?

Having asked some Questions, I like to say that the Peoples Association is clearly partial to PAP.