Judge character, contributions of candidates

What I look for in an MP is an alignment of ethos, where predictability of character is paramount.

However, another perspective is to view the MP as a trustee, who is bound by mandates or instructions from the electorate.

This concept likens the role of the MP to a hired mercenary in a corporation, working for the good of the stakeholders and board, where trust and alignment are secondary, as long as one's best needs are served.

However, the issues that MPs are expected to pursue are subjective, shifting and unstable.

Thus, the only way we can predict how an MP will govern is to examine what the candidate stands for and if his value system is aligned with ours. This requires careful and deliberate examination of the candidate's history, track record and test of character.

In addition, there must be an appreciation for what he has built or contributed to society in his profession, and what he further intends to build up in society.

The role of an MP is one that is not to be taken lightly; honesty, trust, accountability and strength of character are important virtues they should possess. As we head to the polls next week, I urge all Singaporeans to carefully evaluate all candidates, on their character and their contributions to society, and not be distracted by noise.

Boon Jiahao

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Judge character, contributions of candidates'. Print Edition | Subscribe