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Lydia Lim
Monday, May 19, 2014

Singapore

Constructive politics: Debate is important, but avoid gridlock

The Straits Times | Lydia Lim | Monday, May 19, 2014

Senior research fellow Gillian Koh believes the President's call for constructive politics is the "usual cautionary note that is made to the public to always think seriously about the value of political debate - how does it make for better lives".

"With each debate, hopefully enough people see the merit of different sides of the argument, and find creative ways to pick the best of each side (to) serve... the common good," said Dr Koh of the Institute of Policy Studies.

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Chia Shi-Lu sees it as a timely warning against being too confrontational: "If you look at politics globally, there've been more extreme factions and gridlock.''

Worker's Party MP Lee Li Lian, of Punggol East, said "any negative feedback should be taken with an open mind. We've said, 'Don't oppose for the sake of opposing.' But if there're other ways of looking at things, why not?".

Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam said her Singapore People's Party will play the role of a "constructive opposition that... agrees to disagree". "We'll make sure the Government carries out fully the policies it puts up and that they reach all Singaporeans.

This article was published on May 17 in The Straits Times.

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