Former political detainee wants Government to be more transparent, accountable
SINGAPORE — Dr Wong Souk Yee joined the Singapore Democratic Party back in 1995 but is only now standing in the General Election because she believes in the need for more opposition Members of Parliament.
“Even after the celebrated 2011 elections, we have only seven opposition MPs out of 87 seats. It is no wonder that we have a lopsided Parliament as laws are passed without any meaningful debate or challenge. It is no wonder that many people feel that Parliament is not a meaningful representation of our concerns and aspirations,” she wrote in her biography on the SDP’s website.
Dr Wong, who lives in Marsiling, said she will champion accountability and transparency if she is elected.
“Accountability means that the Government must explain their decisions and actions to the citizens,” she said. “It also means taking responsibility, for example, for the constant breakdown of our MRT trains. When problems at such a national level happen, the government must appoint an independent inquiry to find out what has gone wrong. And I stress the word, independent inquiry, not just people appointed by themselves to check on themselves.”
The Government must also be transparent by providing the public with the “right information” to make informed decisions. “Does the Singapore public know how much money we have in Temasek Holdings and in the GIC and how the funds are being used? Is there proper accounting?” she questioned.
Her academic expertise is in English literature and creative writing, but Dr Wong is also a fan of Hong Kong dramas and said she would be able to communicate with residents in Mandarin and Cantonese. An animal lover, she dubbed her six cats and dog her “seven children”.
Wong Souk Yee, 56
Adjunct Lecturer at the Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore
Has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of New South Wales; also has Bachelor of Accountancy from the then-University of Singapore.
Was a political detainee for 15 months in the 1980s and has written a play about detention without trial
Single, has six cats and a dog
“I am standing in this General Election because we just need more opposition MPs in Parliament. People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs cannot and do not check on the actions of their own party. How many PAP MPs have the courage to vote against their party when a Bill is proposed in Parliament?