Nominated MP wrong to knock Young PAP
Tue, Jul 21, 2009
The Straits Times
FIRST. I would like to congratulate Mr Calvin Cheng on his recent appointment as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP).
I applaud his enthusiasm to assume heavy responsibilities. As his contemporary, and also an entrepreneur and media specialist, I appreciate that he will be my 'voice in Parliament', so to speak.
Understandably, with his recent public comments on the Young People's Action Party (YP), that he 'joined out of curiosity...never attended a single branch activity...and in fact, never even picked up my membership card', Mr Cheng has stirred a flurry of interest. At best, it was a brilliant display of his talent as a media spin doctor; at worst, it shook public confidence in his capacity to take on his new appointment.
Having said that, I wonder if Mr Cheng is aware of the damage he has done, by denting the credibility of YP as a youth-worthy organisation.
As a card-carrying member of YP since 2004 and now a volunteer on the YP exco, I am saddened that my soon-to-be voice in Parliament shows no sensitivity or respect to thousands of us who offer our time, resources and commitment to the party and the good work it does.
Mr Cheng's comments seem to imply that YP is not worthy of him, since he did not even pick up his membership card. More disturbing is the fact that he never gave himself a chance to understand how YP works and what it does.
Without any knowledge or basis, he has discredited YP publicly as something he cannot be bothered with. What other statements will he make in future as he does not seem to do his homework before he speaks. If he had done his homework in this case, he would have understood that YP is a vibrant, activity-driven platform that aggressively engages citizens on the ground.
Mr Cheng is well placed to benefit from the NMP scheme. But whether the business community feels he is worthy to be our trusted voice - that must be earned over time.
He has made his kickoff so much harder for himself. Nevertheless, I have faith that he has learnt exponentially from these recent weeks. I am confident his performance in his new appointment will be no less than stellar.
Elaina Olivia Chong (Ms)
Young PAP Exco Member