Opposition's bright sparks can be tapped outside of elections

Like most Singaporeans, I followed the build-up to the 2015 General Election with great enthusiasm.

While I was greatly heartened by the quality of the opposition candidates this year, I cannot help but feel that the overwhelming victory of the PAP might not necessary be a step forward for the political scene in Singapore.

This election has been a platform to bring up several pressing national issues, such as the widening income gap, national healthcare policy and wage structures in Singapore.

I applaud the opposition this year not only for their eloquent addressing of these issues but also for having coherent alternative solutions to offer to the incumbent party.

This is the very spirit of opposition politics in Singapore - not to form pointless coalitions to replace a government that works, but to form a collective voice that can offer alternative solutions to help the existing government work even better.

This election has resulted in even fewer alternative voices in Parliament than in 2011.

The PAP has certainly done well in securing the people's mandate.

On the other side of the fence, the quality of many of the opposition candidates has been unmistakable.

When all the dust has settled, it would be prudent for the incumbent ruling party to start recognising the contributions that our current opposition parties can potentially offer in national policymaking and consider ways to increase their representation in Parliament.

It would be a pity if such talent in the opposition pool were viewed as a threat, rather than an opportunity for synergy.

The Nominated MPs (NMP) system was a baby step in the right direction.

Perhaps now is the time to consider increasing the transparency of the selection of NMPs, revising the qualifying criteria for Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) and increasing the parliamentary rights of the NCMPs.

We have seen many bright sparks from the opposition camps during this election. They need a platform to work on for Singapore.

Don't let them fade into darkness again for the next five years.

Ng Yau Hong (Dr)