Free Cabinet ministers from municipal duties

I have often wondered how an MP can juggle his full-time job and serve his constituency properly, especially if the MP is also a Cabinet minister.

For instance, it is hard to imagine how Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew was able to function effectively in the dual roles of overseeing our transport systems, and tending to the needs of Moulmein-Kallang GRC residents ("Lui Tuck Yew decides to leave politics"; Aug 12).

And with terrorist threats looming, more than ever, our Defence Minister should give his undivided attention and energy to administering his ministry, rather than be distracted by domestic municipal needs.

Group representation constituencies (GRCs) consist of a team of full-fledged Cabinet ministers as well as other MPs.

Perhaps the Government should consider removing municipal duties from full-fledged Cabinet ministers, and delegating their duties to other full-time MPs or backbenchers serving in the constituency.

The minister would then be free to focus on the duties of his Cabinet portfolio.

The GRC would benefit by having a full-time MP who is able to debate and present issues more insightfully and holistically.

Some argue that being an MP for five years is not worth trading an existing stable career for.

However, I have observed that most MPs have no problem going back to the corporate world after leaving politics.

Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2015, with the headline 'Free Cabinet ministers from municipal duties'. Print Edition | Subscribe