Government Parliamentary Committees (GPCs) have been announced today, here’s a short graphic from the PAP’s facebook page, introducing the new Chairpersons of the various GPCs:
The one question on everyone’s mind: Simi GPC?
In short, GPCs were created to ‘ownself check ownself’.
GPCs consist of backbenchers (aka MPs) who are grouped into different ministries to provide an alternative voice to Parliament sittings. This was created in a time before the NMP scheme came out and there was close to no opposition representation in Parliament. The role of the GPCs was to be the “shadow opposition” in a Parliament with little opposition voices, and look critically at policies. Looking at the lineup, most of the Chairmen or Chairwomen seem to be newer and younger MPs, who can maybe provide a more fresh perspective on policies and how these can be improved, maybe even a step closer to becoming future office holders.
GPCs not only critique various policies, but also come up with structured recommendations on how to improve policies or even operations. Here’s an example of the recommendations by the Health GPC with regards to healthcare affordability. They reflected the ground sentiments of “it is better to die than to fall sick” (可以死不可以病) and provided suggestions to improve the healthcare system to have better safety nets for those who are unable to afford the growing cost of healthcare.
Actually hor, “ownself check ownself” not so easy hor, cannot say everything is nice and rosy, also cannot oppose for the sake of opposing. Still must write recommendations… hmm…