Johnny & Lup Cheong's Talk Cock Session: Some Thoughts About the NCMP Debate

Low Thia Kiang
 
The following is a conversation overheard at a coffee shop. The names have been changed to protect the conversationalists identity but here's the gist of their conversation.
 
Johnny: You know bro, the more I think about the NCMP issue the more annoyed I feel.
 
Lup Cheong: Why le Johnny?
 
Johnny: I'm just very buay song over how the PAP bullied the WP...
 
Lup Cheong: I wouldn't call this a case of bullying...
 
Johnny: Why would you say that? O ya...weren't you in parliament watching this debate at the time?
 
Lup Cheong: Ya, I was there all week watching all the speeches.
 
Johnny: Why you so bo liao go? Can't you just stay home and watch them on Channel News Asia? 
 
Lup Cheong: Well for one thing you see things in the gallery that you don't see on TV.
 
Johnny: Like what?
 
Lup Cheong: You get to see how the mps visibly react to what is being said. Stuff like that is not reported in the media at all. CNA doesn't cut back and forth to show reaction shots while someone is speaking. 
 
Johnny: I see. But how does that factor into why you think the PAP didn't bully the WP over the NCMP matter?
 
Lup Cheong: Look, when you take out the bipartisan maneuvering, this was essentially a debate. You are supposed to out argue your opponent and use their own words to deconstruct their points during a debate. I don't like the PAP but I have to say that they did very well in using the WP's own words against them to undercut the WP's credibility.
 
Johnny: Huh? What do you mean?
 
Lup Cheong: It's widely known that the WP has always opposed the NCMP scheme. It's previous leaders like JBJ have rejected NCMP seats as a matter of principle. Low Thia Khiang even said in 2011 that he wouldn't take a NCMP seat. Now he's even called NCMPs "duckweed" after PM announced the coming changes to the NCMP scheme. I don't know about you Johnny, but some people can and will argue that Low's duckweed remark was very insulting. That's why I thought Chan Chun Sing's line, “I don’t know how Mr Leon Perera or Mr Dennis Tan feels. But I will guarantee you that none of my PAP MPs will ever call you duckweeds. We value you for your contribution.” was very powerful rebuttal to Low Thia Khiang's comments. 
Johnny: I wonder how all the WP NCMPs must have felt when they heard Low Thia Khiang's remarks.
Lup Cheong: I tell you la at least one of them didn't feel the sting from Low Thia Khiang's words.
 
Johnny: Who was that?
 
Lup Cheong: Sylvia Low la. She champion. Came out and contradicted the WP's 2011 election message.
 
Johnny: What do you mean?
 
Lup Cheong: She said that the ultimate check on the PAP isn't the WP. It's the voters and their vote. I felt very empowered when I heard her say that but then I also thought since the PAP is more afraid of voters voting against them, then why should I vote for the WP then? But I still think that's not the worst thing she did during that debate.
 
Johnny: Huh? What did she do sia?
 
Lup Cheong: Remember that amendment to the NCMP motion that made the WP look bad? Sylvia crushed the paper up into a ball and tossed it on her seat's armrest. She looked damn du lan and frankly it was a very unbecoming thing for a member of parliament to do.
 
Johnny: Wow. She must have felt that she had no other way to express her disagreement with the amendment.
 
Lup Cheong: That's where you're wrong. Yes the WP don't have the numbers to block the passage of the amended motion but they could have amended the amended motion. Former NMP Chia Yong Yong did it before. But instead the WP made it look like they don't know parliamentary procedure by abstaining from voting for their own motion. 
 
Johnny: Wow. I didn't know that amending the amendment was even an option.
 
Lup Cheong: That's why I felt like the WP leadership threw Lee Li Lian under the bus by not putting up a fight to Chan Chun Sing's amendment. But you know...all and all I think this debate will only matter to those who have an interest in politics.
 
Johnny: What makes you say that?
 
Lup Cheong: I'll be frank. I was very annoyed with all the highfalutin and self congratulatory speeches being bandied about in parliament. Who got time to care about SG100 or party politics when we have a recession coming?! 

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