NMPs must engage in active debate on Singapore's larger interests

It is heartening to see 41 people aspiring to become Nominated MPs ("41 vying for maximum of nine NMP seats"; Feb 24).

But only nine NMP seats are available. The 32 people who would ultimately be unsuccessful shouldn't be demoralised.

They should continue their work in advancing the interests of their groups and Singapore.

It is not necessary to get into Parliament in order to do good.

The majority of the 41 people are representatives of different functional groups, such as business and industry, the labour movement, social service organisations, the civic and people sector, tertiary education institutions, media, arts and sport.

When the final nine NMPs enter Parliament, it is hoped that apart from speaking to enhance the interests of their respective functional groups, they would actively participate in debates concerning the larger interests of Singapore.

They should be cognisant that their appointment as NMPs is not just to take care of their own functional groups, but to join the other elected MPs to debate the issues and problems facing Singapore and come up with workable solutions.

Being NMPs, they are not beholden to the ruling party or the opposition, and hence, they should speak their minds, devoid of any inhibition.

The survival of Singapore should be uppermost in their minds.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'NMPs must engage in active debate on Singapore's larger interests'. Print Edition | Subscribe