K Shanmugam – Politics Is Not A Popularity Contest


Suggestions made by Opposition politicians – such as the Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang – that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be raised should the People’s Action Party (PAP) be returned to power are “scaremongering” tactics, said Mr K Shanmugam.

“Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been very clear there’s no raise. So this is really a scaremongering tactic, ignoring what the Finance Minister has said,” said the Law and Foreign Affairs Minister.

On comments made by the Workers’ Party, which is fielding a team to contest his Nee Soon GRC ward, that more Opposition MPs were needed to serve as “checks and balances” to the PAP, Mr Shanmugam said that changes to policies had started “a long time ago” – before 2011, when the WP won a GRC in the General Election.

“If you look at the record, PAP MPs raise a wide range of topics (in Parliament),” said the Minister. He used the example of policies to help people rise in income, regardless of their starting point in terms of their family background.

“This is because of policies that started a long time ago, the active moving up of people and levelling up of society, rather than pulling people down. These policies didn’t start in 2011 – they couldn’t have started in 2011 because there’s no way you can see the results now.”

This happened due to vigorous debate led by Members of Parliament from the PAP, said Mr Shanmugam, pointing to another Nee Soon GRC candidate on his team, Ms Lee Bee Wah.

“Are PAP MPs contributing? They give a lot of intense feedback, and raise issues in Parliament which ministers have to answer in public. (For example,) Ms Lee is known as a person who raises a lot of questions, fights for her residents, gets things done. So the residents benefit, national issues also get debated,” he said.

What Shanmugam is trying to say is that, if politics is a popularity contest, then all politicians should be like this guy:

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