The 4Cs of an MP

A voter casting a ballot during the 2011 General Election.
A voter casting a ballot during the 2011 General Election. PHOTO: ST FILE

As we face an upcoming general election, we need to think through how we should vote and ensure that we choose the right candidate to be an MP.

Let us look at the qualities needed for such a position.

  • Commitment. We need an MP who is totally committed to serving the people. He has to be strong enough to respond to growing expectations from Singaporeans and to help manage the complexities of positioning Singapore in a globalised community.
  • Character. The candidate should be able to command our admiration and respect. We need an MP who will be able to unite the people and harness our energy to build a better future.
  • Competence. As the MP holds an important key to fine-tuning and approving policies that will shape our society and future, he must be professional and courageous enough to stand up against other leaders, if need be, to advance the interests of the people.

To do so, he must be experienced and wise in managing complex socio-economic matters.He must also be adept at handling community, national, and international affairs.

  • Compassion. We need an MP who has a heart for the people.

Shaking hands and carrying babies should not just be a public relations exercise.

The candidate must be responsive to the needs of the people and be able to take the initiative to improve our quality of life. More than anything, he must work with the Government to look after the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged in our midst. This is to ensure that nobody will be left behind as we progress as a nation.

We need to set our standards high and be objective, balanced and pragmatic as we exercise our right to vote.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'The 4Cs of an MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe