Speech by Zulkilfi Baharudin

Posted by Zulkilfi Baharudin under Public Forums on 28 January 2000

According to Zulkifli Baharudin, non-partisanship will not change the pattern or nature of party politics. Read his speech below.

Non-partisanship will not change the pattern or nature of party politics.

- PAP is far too strong, any change will come from within. - PAP will continue to insist that those who venture into party politics must join political parties precisely because otherwise they can engage in power without punishment.

The issues government/PAP will face in the future will be affected by non-partisan groups

- Non-partisan groups convinced with certain values that are universal mostly refer to values of society. - E.g. Human rights, environment, gender issues will have larger constituency. - Technology has enable the small, under funded groups to be linked or be part of a more global NGO group, giving them the infrastructure, financial support to carry out their criticisms.

Non-partisan politics will affect opposition more than PAP

In the absence of political ideology, the municipal matters of the constituencies for the moment are not the main factors in people choosing who to vote. Opposition members are generally excluded by their ability to refine politics and find alternatives to current programmes.

- Opposition parties will occupy the same space as NMPs - Opposition parties will become more like NGOs. - Eventually these NGOs will become best candidate for political candidates

Non-partisan role will play an increasing role

- Those with exceptionally high level of seriousness and commitment, whether for government or opposition, will likely to move into politics. - The vast majority of middle ground is likely to remain de-politicised, i.e. remain non-partisan. - Party politics will remain vibrant - NGOs who venture into party politics will be mercilessly treated, as party politics will be punishing. - That's the punishment. - People want to identify/declare themselves as non-partisan because they will be treated differently. If there's any inclination that they venture into territory of party politics.

Ideally, NMPs must be seen as scheme in transition, Otherwise there will be never emerge a serious opposition or 2 party system in Singapore.

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