Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Political Role of Singapore President



Our Elected President Nathan had a recent pay rise of S$4,267,500 in March and it was a hush hush affair when announced in Parliament. The Straits Times carried a pathetically small coverage fearing it will further anger Singaporeans over sky high President and Ministers' pay. Of course, the PAP government says that American President actually earns more; after their terms via public speeches, writing books etc. But that is America and Singapore is million times smaller than America.

In the latest concern shown by many Singaporeans, the PAP had already put up the PAP Flags around many places in Singapore, such as Bukit Batok, Jurong East, Woodlands, Hougang, Toa Payoh and Kovan, flouting the Election rules.

The Onlinecitizen ran an article on this issue and a blogger Rachel Zeng had contacted the Election Department and they answered that they are overseeing election rules and regulation being followed during the START AND END of Election period. Before and after election, the jurisdictions are under other department such as HDB or Town Councils.

The following are from the Parliamentary Elections act taken from Ms Rachel Zeng's blog.

Chapter 218 of the Parliamentary Elections Act on advertising whereby it reads:

Definitions
2. In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires —
“banner” means any election advertising that is a flag, bunting, ensign or standard;
“campaign period” , in relation to an election, means the period —
(a) beginning with the closure of the place of nomination on nomination day after the election is adjourned under section 34(1)(a), as the case may be, of the Act to enable a poll to be taken in accordance with the Act; and
(b) ending with the start of the eve of polling day of that election;

Of course, the Election Department is under the Prime Minister's office, you cannot tell your boss to stop doing things that are not right. The people working in Election department simply do not have the balls to question the master. They are there to catch the opposition parties candidates doing things that flouted the election rules. Anyway, they do their jobs only once every 5 years. I suspected civil servants posted there are considered condemned.......

PAP candidates flouting the rules are exempted.

IMO, the Election Department should be under a Independent body such as the British system where they ensure fair and square battle field for the various political parties, no matter how small a party is.

It can be also under the President;'s charge because he (IMO does not) suppose to look after the National reserve.

The Election Department independent from any political parties should be able to effectively draw up policies, rules and regulations for elections.

Pork Barrel politics such life upgrading, the recent announcement of HDB massive plan for new flats by ruling PAP should be banned during election period should be banned.

In this way, the President should be justified to be paid such high salary and it should be money well spent!

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