Francis Yuen, a member of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), wrote an opinion article posted on the PSP website yesterday (June 10), titled “Fear and the Status quo”. The article explores how fear can spur people to take bold action. Mr Yuen expressed in the article his wish that Singaporeans will take courage and change the status quo despite and because of the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis. The article debunked some of the common fears people have about changing the status quo.
Some of the fears Mr Yuen mapped out in his article are:
That having more opposition party members in parliament will distract the ruling party from doing its job;
That changing the status quo will bring Singapore to a halt;
That international confidence in Singapore will be affected;
Having opposition in parliament is not a distraction
He debunked the first fear by citing that many policies and constitutional changes have been passed in parliament without rigorous debate. The alternative voices that many fear are ‘distractions’ are in reality “constructive and collaborative voices” that have the power to “bring out the best in legislation and policy making”. He writes that Singapore has nothing to lose at this point in the midst of uncertainty, and thus should take this opportunity and take the leap to step out from the status quo.
Changing the status quo will not bring Singapore to a halt
Mr Yuen made a clear distinction between the country and the party that is governing it. He emphasised that “The party can come and go but Singapore as a country, remains.” Agreeing with the importance of loyalty, he argues citizens should be loyal to their country, but that they do not owe any loyalty to the party that governs the country. Bringing this further, Mr Yuen stresses that by this logic, the social institutions and the system in Singapore has its loyalty to the people of the country and therefore changes in the parliament will not break the country apart.
International confidence will not be lost
Lastly, Mr Yuen reassures people that foreign investment and trade will not suffer as a result of changing the status quo as these are not determined solely by seeing who the country is run by, but a host of other factors. Furthermore, he clarifies that changing the status quo does not mean changing the entire government, but the inclusion of more voices and checks and balances for the people in power.
Contrary to the concerns that people have, Mr Yuen writes that he believes having more alternative voices in parliament would be seen in a positive light internationally, as it marks a significant step to a more “robust democracy”.
PSP has been advocating for a united Singapore, and in the article, Mr Yuen highlights that a united Singapore is one that accepts and encourages other voices in politics.
Mr Yuen ended the article off with “You deserve better”, a phrase that PSP commonly uses as a tagline.
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org