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Changing System Not the Answer
The Straits Times (2013)
  • Jack Tsen-Ta LEE, Singapore Management University

SMU Assistant Professor of Law Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee responded to Dr Ker Sin Tze’s proposal ("Picking out the winners in electoral systems", The Straits Times, 23 March 2013) to alter the Non-constituency MP (NCMP) scheme. Dr Lee said that increasing the potential pool of Members of Parliament (MPs) by ten will not really help to address the issue, because the true challenge that all political parties face is finding suitable people to stand for election in the first place. He said that it was rather difficult to see what the proposal adds to the existing NCMP and Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) schemes, suspecting that people would see it as merely introducing token alternative voices in Parliament with no real clout. He also said that it was inaccurate to term the NCMP scheme "inactive" until Parliament revised it in 2010. He added that it was already possible under the present constitutional system for any MP, including an NCMP and an NMP, to be appointed a minister, or even prime minister, if that individual commands the confidence of a majority of the MPs.

  • Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP),
  • Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP),
  • Parliament,
  • proportional representation,
  • Singapore
Publication Date
March 27, 2013
Publisher Statement
Letter published in The Straits Times on 27 March 2013.
Citation Information
Jack Tsen-Ta LEE. "Changing System Not the Answer" The Straits Times (2013)
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