Be a Turun Padang MP 24/7
Published on: Sunday, November 20, 2022
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Lee: Set the golden standard for all MPs.
CANDIDATES make campaign promises that they hopefully have every intention of keeping if they get elected. 

Most of these promises relate to improving the lives and livelihoods of the voters in the constituencies they would be standing in.

But, one promise that is hardly heard, but that must be the bedrock of public service, is to serve the people on a full-time basis. 

That means turun padang or be available to meet people’s needs all year. That also means that winning candidates should not have any other obligations during their term of office.

They should relinquish all their other duties and commitments for the next five years – whether they are doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, teachers or businessmen. 

Being a Member of Parliament should and is a full-time commitment. 

These days, many of the constituents, especially those in the B40 group, need help on a daily basis.

After all, MPs have all their needs taken care of. They are adequately compensated to meet their own and their families’ needs for the duration of their tenure as MPs. 

In the past, some politicians dedicated their time and lives to the service of their constituents, even at a time when the allowances they received were a fraction of what current MPs receive.

One such MP is Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, a four-term former MP. It is public knowledge that Lee worked 16 to 17 hours a day serving the people in Bukit Bintang and beyond. 

Whenever there was a fire, flood or a disaster in any part of his constituency, Lee would always be at the scene rendering aid to the victims. 

A reader who reviewed Lee’s recent biography, Call Lee Lam Thye, wrote that on one occasion, Lee arrived at the scene of a fire ahead of the firemen.

While it may not be possible for every MP to emulate Lee, it is certainly within the means of those elected to office in this election to be ready to serve full time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

My appeal to all candidates is to forego opportunities to earn additional income outside of their MP’s perks and remunerations.


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

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