Don’t laugh, I am dead serious. Politicians are the highest office holders of a country. They run a country and are responsible for the people’s well being, and the number of people can be in millions or billions. The strange thing about this job is that not many people want to be politicians. Maybe because of its bad image that politicians are rascals, crooks. Some even said politicians cannot be trusted, worse than lawyers and salesmen.
The thing is that good politician is a rare breed and must be celebrated, loved and worshipped if you can find one, and be supported or protected. The PAP knows this and that is why they have raised the pay for politicians to a level that some think is crazy, unacceptable. But how, when no good people wants to step up and serve and those who grudgingly stepped out may demand to be paid in the millions? There is no other option but to pay ‘out of this world’ salaries to get the good men and women to be politicians.
Even as we are paying unbelievable salaries, we are still not getting the best out there. Maybe it is time to raise the salaries higher to get the really good and reluctant ones. Maybe we should cast the net worldwide to find the best men and women, citizens or no citizens, no big shit. Pay them what they want and hand them a pink IC will solve all sticky problems.
Ask the PAP for their experience in hunting for the few rare talents and you will know. They are scrapping the bottom of the barrel and still could not get the really good stuff. Look at Hsien Loong’s futuristic team, his best talents and you will get the answer.
And politicians are not confined to only the winning parties. The politicians of alternative parties are also politicians. They are also people, with two eyes and a mouth and a good heart to want to serve the people and country. And not only have they got to face many hazards peculiar to the profession, to step forward, they still need to win the hearts and minds of the people. It is time the people open their hearts to all politicians regardless of the parties they are from, to welcome them to fill these important positions that will affect their life and their future. If the people want more and better people to be politicians, they must take positive actions to tell the potential candidates that they are needed, no matter if they are from the PAP or not from the PAP.
At the moment the PAP is struggling to find the best men and women to join them. Maybe if the people are kinder and more receptive, more good and able people will step forward to serve the parties they feel comfortable with, parties with the right mission and heart to serve the interest of the people. Then only the people will have more and better candidates to choose from.
In the case of politicians from alternative parties, they need all the encouragement and support from the people. If the people want them to represent them, the people must stand up to say so, to walk with these brave and good men and women, to defend them when they are fighting for their causes. If the people do not think it is necessary to support the men and women in politics and let them fend for themselves in this treacherous profession, why would the good men and women risk their lives and well being to step forward to receive the bashing, to have their lives ruined, the lives of their families ruined or compromise to want to serve the people? A good case is the WP, seemingly fighting for survival, alone, without the people showing any care or support for them except during the election.
The people deserve the govt they get. If the people do not stand up to support the good people serving them, they deserve to have the second or third best to serve them, or to exploit them. The politicians are there to serve and not the enemies of the people. Only bad politicians are the enemies of the people and the state. It is high time the people know what they want and go out to support the politicians they want and not waiting for any wannabes to call them and say they are the best to serve them. The people need more choices and this can only happen if the politicians are welcomed and celebrated and supported.
What happened at Hong Lim, the turnout to support the people spending time and effort to speak for them, to fight for their cause and their interest, is pathetic. If the people did not want good people to represent them, to stand up for them, to fight for them, then they must be prepared to contend with mediocrity or worse, to have charlatans and pretenders pretending to serve them but serving themselves.
Oh, good politicians are not those with a string of degrees and earning big monies in their professions. Good politicians are sensible people with their hearts in the right place, to put the interest of the people first and foremost, to improve the life of the people first, not their own interest first. Beware of politicians that demand millions before they are prepared to serve.
Let’s celebrate the politicians together by showing them that the people need them, want them and wiling to support and to stand and fight side by side with them against all odds. The people can only protect their own interest with good men and women stepping forward to serve them, selfless and righteous men and women.
The politicians need the people to support and to protect them as well, especially those budding politicians from the alternative parties. They are very vulnerable and no matter how good they are, they cannot live to fight another day without the support of the people, without the people standing up for them. A politically apathetic people do not deserve the services of good men and women to serve them.
This commentary was written by Chua Chin Leng and first published on My Singapore News.
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