MP must also be a Man for the People

I agree with Mr Patrick Liew Siow Gian that a person who is elected to be an MP should be competent, compassionate, committed and be of good character ("The 4Cs of an MP"; last Friday).

There are several more Cs that I would add to the list.

First, the MP should always aim to have a clear conscience.

In its most elemental form, he should follow the golden rule, namely, to do unto others what he would want others to do unto him.

Besides jealously guarding the integrity of his conscience, he should aim to consistently inform it through reading and reflection.

Second, as a representative of the people in his ward, the MP should have courage and not shirk from speaking out on issues that are against their interests.

He should have the fortitude to stand firm against peer pressure, even if it goes against his party's line, always remembering that his loyalty should primarily be to the people.

Third, the thoughts, words and actions of the MP should always be to promote the common good, so that the well-being of his constituents improves substantially during his tenure.

Even if he cannot achieve this, due to external factors beyond his control, his constituents will appreciate his effort.

Finally, we should remember that the process of declaring a person an MP is a brief one.

To become truly a Man for the People is a totally different proposition altogether.

Daniel Ng Peng Keat (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'MP must also be a Man for the People'. Print Edition | Subscribe