Monday, November 29, 2004

Taking MPs to task 

A reader of The Straits Times takes two PAP MPs to task for taking opposition MP Chiam See Tong to task over the mother tongue issue. Excerpt of his letter to the newspaper:

I felt indignant when I read the article, “Chiam: Make language grade count again for varsity entry”. It was reported that opposition MP Chiam See Tong was “taken to task” by two People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs for suggesting that the Government reinstate the mother tongue grade as an enrolment criteria for entrance to local universities. In fact, one of the MPs even questioned Mr Chiam’s motive for bringing this issue up, saying he hoped the opposition MP was not trying to win votes from Chinese voters.

While we may disagree with Mr Chiam’s proposal, we must respect his freedom to raise his concerns and opinions during parliamentary sittings. Thus, the responses of the two PAP MPs were uncalled for. Why should they launch such a strong backlash against Mr Chiam for raising a current and important issue? Why should doubts be cast about his motives when he was just doing his job?
When having trouble rebutting a person’s argument, it is often tempting to resort to attacking the person himself.


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