Monday, November 2, 2009

PAP Convention: Quote of the Quotes

Keeping this article for posterity sake. Some of the key quotes:

DPM Teo Chee Hean: "We must be open to ideas and open to people. So long as they subscribe to our party ideals, our values "

PM Lee: "This leadership for Singapore can only come from the PAP" ..... "we must produce such a line up by the next General Elections - 2011 or 2012.""

Some promising PAP candidates identified for next election: PM Lee
01 November 2009 1200 hrs (SST)

\SINGAPORE : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the People's Action Party (PAP) has identified some candidates, including potential office-holders, for the next General Election due by February 2012.

They are mainly in their thirties and forties. Mr Lee, who is also the PAP's Secretary-General, was the main speaker at the party's convention on Sunday.

He highlighted why Singapore's next General Election will be crucial, as it must produce leaders who can take over his generation of Cabinet colleagues.

Mr Lee said: "We have made progress, we have got people who will be part of this team, but we do not have a complete team and we must produce such a line up by the next General Elections - 2011 or 2012."

By then, Mr Lee believes Singapore will have a new slate of leaders who can instil confidence among investors and Singaporeans and lead the country for the next 20 years . Mr Lee said:

"We have kept clean, resolutely against corruption, in the Party in the society, in the government, at the grassroots. "If there is a case we will investigate; if a wrong has been done, we will act on it...If you do not keep the party clean, you are finished."

The PAP brought in 24 new Members of Parliament during the last General Election. On the new candidates, Mr Lee said they grew up in the years of prosperity and did not experience turbulence and hardship.

But he believes they are just as committed as the earlier generations of MPs. Mr Lee said: "This leadership for Singapore can only come from the PAP, and if the PAP lets Singapore down, we are all in big trouble, not only PAP but (also) Singapore.

Therefore, the PAP must never let Singapore down; (we must) make sure when we press the button, things work." He added that the new MPs have done well and have established themselves with voters.

Mr Lee also told his audience of party activists that the new office-holders have made significant contributions as well, and have gained confidence in presenting and defending policies in Parliament and on the ground. Prime Minister Lee also reminded the party convention that

Singapore will be amending the Constitution, which will result in more Non-Constituency MPs, smaller Group Representation Constituencies and more Single Member Constituencies. That means there would be more contests in the next General Election.

So Mr Lee's message to the party activists is: never assume that your division will get a walkover. Party activists asked questions about the selection process of candidates after Mr Lee's speech.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Second Assistant Secretary-General of the PAP, said: "If you look at our party, we have got a successful blend between people who have come up from the ground and people who have come in from outside the party, and come in as MPs in the last elections; we have several who have come from the ground.

"Lim Biow Chuan and Sam Tan were branch secretaries, so we have people who have come from the ground and who are able to hold their own in Parliament and represent the people. "But we also need to make sure that we bring in talented people from outside.

We must be open to ideas and open to people. So long as they subscribe to our party ideals, our values and want to do well for Singapore and Singaporeans, we should be prepared to accept them." The PAP leaders stressed that the party's success formula is to ensure that it gets its politics right so that it can attract good people to enter politics. - CNA/so/ms

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