I am a bit perplexed by Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong's view that the Workers' Party (WP) should come up with a response to the Government's plan to revamp public bus services ("Time for the Workers' Party to grow up"; last Sunday).
The Government, with its civil service and ready access to relevant information, must have researched the issue well.
Unless one is intimately connected with our public transport system, one cannot readily foresee the expected effects of the planned changes, and it seems prudent to hold back on expressing an opinion.
The role of an opposition party is not to oppose for the sake of opposing, but to watch out for any wayward policies a government may embark on.
It may also prevent tyranny of the majority, which is not an entirely abstract concept.
No government is perfect and infallible; honest mistakes are unavoidable. That is why a one-party system is not ideal.
Democracy, however, does not always work because politicians often have their own self-interests at heart.
For an election system to be meaningful, there has to be a well-educated and concerned populace.
The United States prides itself on its democratic system, but only about 55 per cent of its voting-age population exercise their voting rights. India, the world's largest democracy, is still mired in its caste system; and we have the messy political situation in Thailand today.
In our parliamentary system, the members may argue and disagree, but they are all expected to work for the greater good of the nation.
Let us hope our Parliament continues to work this way.
Letter by Ong Siew Chey
This article was first published on June 8, 2014.
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