PAP needs to grow up, too

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Sunday Times columnist Chua Mui Hoong made a timely and convincing argument for the WP to grow up. Yes, times are changing, Singaporeans are changing and we need a political culture that won’t just engage in shadow boxing — or in beating the opponent to pulp.

But the writer was silent on whether the PAP should also grow up. We hope she will write another article soon on this topic. To help her, here is a list – not exhaustive at all — of what the ruling party should do:

STOP the stone-age rule of having PAP-types run the grassroots organisations in constituencies that have been won by the Opposition.

REMOVE the Third Wold attitude that we need laws to keep the media on a tight leash under the threat of loss of jobs and loss of licence.

GET rid of the instinct to use the draconian libel/slander suit to browbeat opponents into silence. Demolish falsehoods at the intellectual level by tearing them to shreds in the public domain, not in the courts.

RE-LOOK the electoral rules that make the political playing field bumpy and unfair for the Opposition.

MAKE information, other than that which will comprise security, more freely available. Keeping information to oneself is not the hallmark of a modern society.

DISBAND race-based self-groups like Sinda and Mendaki. Let help be given to Singaporeans by Singaporeans, not according to the colour of their skin.

START listening to dissenting voices with an open mind. If the government had done that, we won’t be having a crowded transport system and a crowded city.

BE magnanimous; let those who have been hounded out of Singapore return to live their august years in their country of origin. That will be a fitting gesture as the country celebrates its 50th birthday.