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Pritam Singh refutes claim suggesting that WP aims to form govt in next GE

WP Chief Pritam Singh refutes claim made on a ST opinion pierce suggesting WP aims to form Govt in next GE. He stressed the party’s medium-term goal to ensure 1/3 of Parliament isn’t under PAP’s control, aligning with Singapore’s interests.

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SINGAPORE: Pritam Singh, Leader of the Opposition and Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party, rebuked a claim insinuating that the WP would lean towards a strategy of striving to form the government in the upcoming General Election (GE).

He reiterated the party’s medium-term goal of ensuring that at least one-third of Parliament is not under the control of the PAP, underscoring that a better-balanced political system aligns with Singapore’s fundamental interests.

On 15 April, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will step down on the 15th of next month and hand the mantle of leadership to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

On Wednesday (17 April), Singapore state media the Straits Times featured an opinion piece by Dr Gillian Koh, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies at the National University of Singapore, titled  ‘Creating forward momentum for next GE when Lawrence Wong is PM‘.

In this exclusive article for ST subscribers, Dr Koh delved into various aspects of the leadership transition, discussing the anticipated qualities of the new PM, DPM Wong’s immediate priorities, such as forming his first Cabinet and fostering younger political talent, and the socio-economic measures outlined in initiatives like Forward Singapore and the 2024 Budget.

She suggested that DPM Wong should time his first election strategically, taking into account the country’s outlook, global events, and the readiness of the party and its candidates.

Addressing the political landscape, Dr Koh noted that Singapore’s alternative parties are active, suggesting that the WP’s stance may incline towards striving to form the government in the next General Election.

“The incumbent party will have to deliver some of the promised effects of the new social compact and develop fresh ways to connect with the populace it acknowledged it needs at its past two party conventions,” she said.

Dr Koh, along with Singapore Management University’s Associate Professor of Law, Eugene Tan, has frequently contributed to ST’s coverage of Singaporean political affairs, offering insights and analysis on various issues.

Mr Singh suggests influence of similar rhetoric on swing voters

In response to Dr Goh’s opinion piece, Mr Singh, also the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC, promptly refuted her claim regarding the WP’s purported strategy of fighting to form the government in the upcoming GE.

Employing a similar tone to the correction notices often issued by authorities under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), Mr Singh highlighted ‘Correction Notice’ in his latest Facebook post, categorically stating that such a suggestion would be false.

He emphasized that until and after the PAP Government announces the formation of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, similar unsubstantiated ambitions and agendas attributed to the WP may surface more frequently.

“Perhaps there is a view that such rhetoric will cause swing voters to turn conservative and vote PAP. ”

He reiterated that the WP has openly communicated its electoral agenda for several years, with the medium-term goal of ensuring that at least one-third of Parliament is not under the control of the PAP.

This message has been consistently conveyed by him and other WP MPs both within and outside of Parliament.

“In our view, a better balanced political system is in Singapore’s fundamental interests, and it will play an important role in giving birth to a more united Singapore going forward. ”

“Like many Singaporeans, the WP seeks an evolution, not a revolution of our political system. We will do our best in this endeavour. ”

Pritam Singh stressed importance of opposition in Parliament and responded to accusations on alternative proposals

During the debate on the Singapore President’s speech in April 2023, Mr Singh responded to accusations by DPM Wong, arguing that if the Workers’ Party were merely advocating for populist and unrealistic policies, the Singapore government would not be considering their manifesto ideas on anti-discrimination legislation, minimum wage, and redundancy insurance.

He suggested that the 4G PAP leadership should be more open and not dismiss the opposition’s requests for information, as this openness will be crucial for building a strong social compact with Singaporeans.

Mr Singh highlighted that the true beneficiaries of the opposition’s proposals are not the WP or the PAP, but the people of Singapore, and that the party welcomes the PAP’s adoption of their ideas.

Regarding the challenges faced by the opposition, Mr Singh pointed out the information asymmetries the WP faces in comparison to the ruling party, as they do not have access to the same resources, such as cabinet briefings, classified public surveys, and the civil service. This puts them at a disadvantage when coming up with alternative agendas and budgets.

“The political reality in the Singapore context – a combination of the first-past-the-post system, the size and footprint the opposition parties, certain grassroots organisations manned by PAP apparatchiks, and an Electoral Boundary Review Committee that comes under the Prime Minister’s Office, amongst other factors – all these reveal that the real prospect for a change of government during general elections today, conceals the advantage of PAP incumbency far more than the DPM cares to let Singaporeans in on.”

Despite these challenges, Mr Singh emphasized the importance of the opposition’s presence in Parliament as a necessary check on the PAP’s power.

“The political reality in the Singapore context – a combination of the first-past-the-post system, the size and footprint the opposition parties, certain grassroots organisations manned by PAP apparatchiks, and an Electoral Boundary Review Committee that comes under the Prime Minister’s Office, amongst other factors – all these reveal that the real prospect for a change of government during general elections today, conceals the advantage of PAP incumbency far more than the DPM cares to let Singaporeans in on.”

Despite these challenges, Mr Singh emphasized the importance of the opposition’s presence in Parliament as a necessary check on the PAP’s power.

“Singaporeans want an opposition to check the PAP because in their heart of hearts, we all know that ‘ownself check ownself’ is not realistic,” he said.

Ensuring Parliamentary balance

Mr Singh also emphasized the importance of a balanced political system and the necessity for an opposition presence in Parliament. He clarified that the WP is a small party with a long way to go, and its primary objective is to ensure that at least 1/3 of the seats in Parliament are not in the hands of the ruling party.

He cited an instance from 21 March 2023 when a constitutional amendment was passed with only 67 MPs present, including seven Workers’ Party MPs. Without their presence, the amendment wouldn’t have passed since only 60 PAP MPs were present.

“I want to emphasise that the Workers’ Party’s intention is not to block all changes to the Constitution proposed by a PAP Government. Far from it. ”

“If Constitutional amendments are in the interests of our people, we will support them. But if we assess that proposed changes to the Constitution are detrimental to Singapore and Singaporeans, we will speak against them and vote against them,” said Mr Singh.

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If WP is next govt, nothing wrong lah. Best man wins .tsk tsk tsk

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Last edited 1 month ago by Blankslate

PS refutes claim…..that WP intend to form the gov?
So? What does this show?
Forever only aspire to be a co-driver?
Ownself BO LIAO?
Lost without the PAP, just like those nanny fed loser local voters too?
Cannot even manage their own fucktard members, HOW TO FORM A GOV TO GOVERN THE COUNTRY?
Cannot even manage a TOWN COUNCIL AND WARDS WHICH THEY WON, HOW TO MANAGE A COUNTRY?
Maybe all these oppo fucks also CANNOT MANAGE THEIR OWN PRIVATE LIVES!😆😆😆😆

That’s the way PSingh – deviate, divert, most important, cloak your aims, mislead the PAP and beat about the bush let these Millionaire Bastards guess and guess.

Play their game. They have been far far too cunning, defrauding and lying to voters for too long and too much.

Their bloody catch phrase – give back to society, give back to the system is miles and miles away from the truths, evidently.

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