No room for Nimby mentality in elections

In his letter on Sept 22 ("Expectations of opposition, ruling party cannot be the same"; Forum Online), Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan said that a true democracy necessitates a viable and effective opposition representation in Parliament.

A true democracy means there is neither "proposition" nor "opposition" representation in Parliament. All elected representatives owe it to their fellow citizens to seek what is best for the country over and above any ethnic, religious, political, social or personal affiliation.

Second, the writer said that fears of a freak election outcome are misplaced. But that depends on, as he wrote earlier, the electorate being "intelligent, discerning and sophisticated".

What constitutes being "intelligent, discerning and sophisticated" is extremely subjective.

Third, in a general election where the majority of the seats are contested, no responsible voter should presume that the candidate he supports will be part of the minority, instead of majority, in Parliament.

It is irresponsible to presume that other constituencies will vote in the government on his behalf and hence, he is voting to ensure there is "opposition" presence in Parliament, or simply registering a protest vote.

This is simply another form of the "not in my backyard", or Nimby, mentality - wanting one party to form the government but expecting others to vote the party in for him.

In a small country like Singapore, every citizen has the opportunity to express himself.

Elected representatives should bear in mind that they should represent their voters instead of merely interpreting the election as the voters giving them blank cheques.

And voters should choose who they want to represent them, period.

Chen Junyi