Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wikileaks : PAP recruits from lower tiers...

Charles Chong on poor quality of PAP candidates and inablity to
Link] 7.
(C) PAP MP Chong admitted that the party had not succeeded
in recruiting a number of "high-flying" business leaders to
run.  In fact, the party had to reach down to some of its
second and third tier candidates
to fill out its ticket.
Those new candidates will all run in the Group Representative
Constituencies (GRCs) helmed by higher profile
ministers -
- for example, four of them will run in Senior Minister Goh
Chok Tong's uncontested district.  Overall, the opposition
will compete in only 7 of the 14 GRCs.

This is an admission by a PAP MP of the difficulty of recruiting good people to fill MP positions. The PAP has to pick "second and third tier" candidates and bring them into parliament using the GRC system so they can ride on the coat-tails of a higher profile minister.

There is nothing new here and most discerning voters are able to judge the quality of the candidates. The frustration of voters being "forced to vote" for candidates they did not want in parliament using the GRC system is causing this scheme to backfire as voters start to vote against the whole team if there are candidates they really do not want in the team.

In the past few elections, a growing number of ministers are recruited from the SAF and civil service - typically from highest echelons. It is hard for career officers who benefited greatly from the PAP system to say no when asked to join the PAP even though they probably prefer to be parachuted into jobs in GLCs such as Singapore Technologies, SingTel etc where they can escape public scrutiny and criticism. In the long run this is a unhealthy trend for Singapore - it undermines the ability of the govt to transform and changeas they recruit senior people from their monolithic power structure into govt.

In order to overcome its recruitment problems, the PAP govt used financial incentives - high ministerial salaries, pensions, high MP allowance etc. Given the private sector is seeing the same "over-compensation" problems as we see in US - the US is the only developed country with a comparable income gap - the astronomical ministerial pay cannot attract \talent from the private sector into govt and the PAP has to get ministers from its network of GLCs, SAF and civil service. As a result there is a lack of diversity of ideas and a tendency for inertia to preserve the status quo. Singaporeans wanting diversity of ideas and debate in parliament have little choice but to vote for a capable opposition willing to push for change and question the status quo.

In recent years, the PAP has lost its attraction for people who truly want to serve the community. Its right leaning ideology limits MPs that want to do more for those in need to the current policy framework. A PAP MP can't ask the PAP to shave off 1-2% of the defense budget so that there is more financial aid for the poor and the underprivileged children can have better a pre-school education. They can't fundamentally change  policies related to housing, retirement and medical care - all of which ideologically puts as much burden on the individual and their families as possible to keep taxes for the rich and corporations low....something painful and far less acceptable today because the PAP has allowed to income gap to grow to such an extent that a large segment of the population is unable to shoulder these financial burdens anymore and have fallen into poverty. For this reason, the opposition is again on the rise and anyone seeking to advance our society will seek out ideological alternatives that has greater potential to solve the social problems Singapore faces today.


Anonymous said...

The only reasons they are tapping into the 2nd/3rd tier becos increasingly the smarter and more conscience ones don't want to have anything to do with PAP. This is only good thing..and I can only hope more will come out by 2016 and make a real difference and game-changing situation to help progress SG's democracy, but more importantly, reclaim our country! We need more of CSW, TJS, Ben Pwee Pritam Singh etc...but please don't make the elitist mistake of PAPs..have a good mix of people from various social mobility.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia Lim has already said PAP is doing inbreeding. But did they 60.1% hears it?

Yes,I hope the opposition parties recruit people wisely.Then they can win more seats next GE.Opposition parties must know that the swing voters,as opposed to the hardcore opposition voters,are very discerning and will only vote if you have sincere and capable people.
As is evident by the PE where more than 34% voted for TCB.

Anonymous said...


Go watch the RazorTV where LKY told the young ones "We now have 50% more graduates. You tell me the population is now 50% cleverer? The rules of genetics do not change"!!

This damning man will not change his position even at this death bed. Let's just say this. If going by his logic, then the current cohort who have already made it (plus their elitist descendants) will be the ONLY ones qualified to rule. Let's all just go migrate now. Why even bother with farcical elections at all.

In fact, even as they pretend to be recruiting from the 2nd/3rd tiers of talents, the top 1% who rule the GLCs and the Economy/govt will all belongs to the familee.
All just a social mobility farce they like to tout.

Singaporeans need to ask themselves if such divisive labelings" 2/3rd tier talents" versus "1st tier" that's all made up by PAP.

The Pariah said...

Birds of a feather flock together.

When the PAP grassroot organizations have tiered levels (Platinum, Gold, etc) for their volunteers to avail of different types of benefits/rewards for such "volunteerism", what does it tell you? Ditto for so-called parental "volunteerism" in popular schools.

When the PAP bussed-in rally attendees, offered free dinner food packets, lined-up rows of seats to seduce attendance, what does it also tell you?

Isn't the above a distinctive PAP pattern or trend?

Essentially, the message is that if you don't pay these ministers millions of dollars, they won't step into public service.

Such "quid pro quo" PAP model/values only repel those with convictions, passion and sincerity to give without taking (or expectation of taking).

Why is PAP even surprised that they are only trawling the third-liners? Not even the 2nd best if you think about it.

Cheep-cheep, as the birds say?
Cheap-cheap, as the PAP say?

Anonymous said...

The good thing is that the opposition also cannot attract many good candidates to form a credible alternative.

That's why the opposition cannot get majority votes in elections. Don't blame GRCs, even for SMCs, save one, the opposition also cannot win any.

So no matter what, PAP not only win but also win big lah.

Therefore so what if PAP recruits from lower tiers...?

Anonymous said...

To Pariah

That's why I object to the parents-volunteering as well as the live-within-2km mile schemes. They are nothing more than just another filter to push the rich higher, and the poor lower at the rank where they should be. Not saying we want a non-meritocratic society, but the current way things are, everything is too biasedly and wrongly skewed against anyone who is not "within" the "circles" or "influence/connections". In other words, legalized corruption and nepotism.

Anonymous said...

The opposition particularly fools from SDP should crack their brains and use their ingenuity and genius to figure a way to get through to the masses instead of blaming on the mainstream media. We all know it's the STATES TIMES and not the STRAITS TIMES. But what is SDP and WP doing? I see WP is making progress but SDP needs to focus more than the internet to get percentage increases in votes to actually securing a seat. SDP should from now have a strategy. Shadow budget doesn't count when you're overshadowed and can't get a seat in parliament. The first law is to get into parliament 'cos there's where the action amplifies.

I would like to comment on the speakers for SDP.

Thus far, the speakers are good. But the main problem in the last election is that we didn't see enough of these people off stage. So, GE 2016 would be a better shot for SDP if they focus on winning seats.

The people of Singapore still want to see a unified opposition.

Anonymous said...

As for WP,

in the next GE, they better come up with a better slogan than towards a first world parliament as the PAPies are waiting for WP to actually up the stake and actually have enough candidates to form the government. Should WP fail to field such candidates, it should be prepared to lose the seats it has already won.

Anonymous said...

For all the good they have done, the PAP has quite lost the plot 5 years ago. I attribute it to a leadership problem. The S'pore branding for efficiency seems to be eroding particularly in the civil service. We had duds for ministers with their megalomanic policy making and the head who apparent allowed things to deteriorate. The uncoordinated influx of foreigners is one good example.

Anonymous said...

If they are second/third tier candidates, why are they being paid First Tier salaries.

Anonymous said...


They 2nd & 3rd tier in terms of ability BUT they are 1st tier in terms of self interest.

They will demand 1st tier pay in return for 1st tier loyalty.

In other words, 1st tier pay in exchange for following party line.

Ghost said...

Sorry Lucky (and most ppl leaving comments here) but you cannot blame the PAP for this. The difficulty of recruiting good people is not just a PAP problem, the opposition also has the same problems. Most Singaporeans do not care about politics, they are more interested in making money. The fault lies not in PAP or any opposition parties, but in Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Listen to Ghost!

The poor and middle class locals need the likes of you to stand up and be counted!

Remember: even the "3rd Tier" candidate (TPL excepted) are already as good (on paper) as the best the opposition can offer.

IF u guys dun start raising funds and working the ground, GE2016 will be another PAP landslide.

PS: Kee Chiu if this is too difficult for you to understand.

Money is King said...

We aint got nothing here except human being... and human being need food to survive. We aint got land to produce food too.. so we need to buy.

To buy, we need money.

So of course we chase money.
What else you want me to do?
Sit at Botanic gardens and wait for tourist to throw peanuts at me?

We chase car, condo, club, credit car and china gal... because it shows we got money... in singapore, money is number 1 reason for anything.. inlcuding health.

You got money, you pay to be first in line to see doctor, get x-ray, blood test, surgey.. meet me at Mt Elizabeth.. I will demonstrate to you for free.

You got money, you get into school of your choice.. dont believe me?
meet me I demonstrate to you for free.

You got money, you get to have bigger discount to buy condo, first bite of cherry.

Money, money, money,and more money is the only way here... dont talk cock.. money, just money.

Alex the Peasant Boy said...

I remember in the olden days, being an MP is really something & most people would kill to get into that position. They could screw up the simpliest thing & yet get away without much punishment or they could use their power to ensure only the good things come their way.

However, this isn't happening anymore, with social-media, we could see how stupid or clueless certain individuals are by the things they do or say. From taking a 5-week French cooking class to calling us daft & lesser mortals, we could see that many of these MPs are just there for the money & have no heart for the citizens.

During the last GE, we have a few ex-SAF generals, I am not sure how capable these people are but looking at how the SAF operates over the years, I doubt we are talking about top notch dynamic folks here. And I dont think I need to touch on our Sarah Palin here at all!! Anyway, I just think the good ones are already in the oppostion camps & if PAP is to get really good people, then they will have to lift the Party Whip & start fighting fair. Their reputation as a bully is really hurting them.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Just listen to Alex the peasant. Sounds like fantasy? Do you think peasants like him can make a difference?

In the meantime ...

Remember Mr Lucky ... its the likes of you (the potential leaders) ... by not standing up ... that makes this possible.

Good job.

Anonymous said...

it's pretty simple. those so called high flying executives, CEOs for MP candidates are absolutely wrong to begin with. This rot will produce even more rot. Don't you get it? Elites recruiting elites means these ex businessmen, greedy doctors, surgeons will just make our lives even harder. You need to pick people with right background: i don't mind even if it were a teacher. These common folks understand our problems better than anyone else.