38 Oxley Road dispute: Special ministerial committees ensure national interest prevails, DPM Tharman says
SINGAPORE: The practice of setting up unique ministerial committees, like the one established to consider the future of the late Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road house, is how the Federal government guarantees that crucial issues are offered in-depth attention, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated on Thursday (Jun 22).
Mr Tharman included that the committees ensure the Federal government is not one that “operates in silos” and that national interest prevails, even when there are legitimate personal interests.
At the centre of the conflict amongst Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his brother or sisters is the removal and subsequent re-insertion of a provisionin their late daddy’s will, stating his desire that the Oxley Roadway house be demolished after his death.In a viewpoint piece, The Straits Times’ editor-at-large, Han Fook Kwang questioned Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s decision to establish a ministerial committee, asking if there was a requirement for Cabinet ministers to obtain associated with the dispute.Elaborating on this in a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Tharman said:” It’s how we make sure that we are not a Federal government that operates in silos, that the nationwide interest prevails even when there are valid sectoral or personal interests, which the viewpoint dominates over the short view anywhere possible.”Mr Tharman’s post is replicated listed below: I need to state there is no secret regarding
why a Ministerial committee was established to check out the alternatives for 38 Oxley Roadway. DPM Teo, who chairs Cabinet on matters to do with your home, has discussed straightforwardly why he set it up.We in fact do this frequently-establishing special committees comprising a group of Ministers. We began the practice several years ago, and it has evolved. It’s how we make sure that crucial concerns are offered in-depth attention, and the options are weighed up by the Ministers closer to the concern, prior to Cabinet makes its decisions and takes cumulative obligation. And it’s how we make sure that we are not a Federal government that operates in silos, that the nationwide interest prevails even when there are valid sectoral or personal interests, and that the long view prevails over the brief view wherever possible.That’s a challenge in governance that will never vanish, and is a difficulty all over in the world. We have never ever got it perfect in Singapore, and let’s be frank, we’ve had our share of policies that have actually turned out rather incorrect at various points in our history.But we have a system of maintaining the rule of law, and of policy-making that stabilizes public against private interests, and the long term against the brief term, that’s still a rarity in
the world-and is at the core of how Singapore has actually been successful. Beginning with the foundation that Lee Kuan Yew and his group constructed. And continuing through federal government under Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong and their teams.We have ministerial committees on an entire range of concerns. They assist us believe through tough choices in Government prior to they concern Cabinet, and to canvas views outside when suitable. I chair numerous of them, specifically when they concern social or financial concerns
; in the last month alone I met five Ministerial committees that we had established to develop policies on crucial issues.Some Ministerial committees may sit for simply a few months, due to the fact that the issues can be figured out rapidly. There are also committees that have actually to stay engaged for years-sometimes with brand-new Ministers coming in-such as on foreign worker policies, and financing healthcare and retirement needs.To give an example, since 2014 we have had a Ministerial
Committee on Changi East Developments, to coordinate strategies for the airport growth, its manpower and security needs, the moving of Paya Lebar airbase, industrial chances, land transport arrangements, and housing advancement. It brings numerous Ministers together, supported by their civil servants, to discover
the very best balance between different demands and prepare our alternatives for 10, 30 and 50 years ahead. That’s how long-lasting our planning needs to be.So have self-confidence, no matter today’s sad dispute. We have a system of governance that Lee Kuan Yew and his group built, and it isn’t really going away. You can depend on PM Lee Hsien Loong and all of us in his team for that. You can depend on the fourth generation leaders to keep to a system that promotes the laws of the land, prioritises the common great and seeks to the long term. Never thinking Government has actually got everything right, however constantly wanting to do right for Singapore. And depend on Singaporeans to ensure Federal government adheres to those concepts- and to play our part collectively to keep Singapore joined and inclusive.”