Opposition parties ‘can’t get along’ and make constant U-turns, warn PAP candidates
Come Polling Day on Friday, voters in Singapore should scrutinise the intentions of opposition candidates based on their track record and past actions, People’s Action Party Ministers said at the party’s rallies on Tuesday night (Sep 8).
Speaking at a rally in Yishun Stadium, Law and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam brought up the example of Workers’ Party (WP) candidate Gurmit Singh, who had earlier left his party to join SingFirst because they promised him candidacy. Mr Singh then quit SingFirst and rejoined WP again after it asked him to return to stand for elections.
“His priority was the candidacy,” said Mr Shanmugam, who is leading the PAP team in Nee Soon GRC.
The WP performed a similar about-turn with its proposals on foreign workers, Mr Shanmugam said.
“First they said we should go slow on cutting back on foreign workers, meaning the government was tightening too fast … Then within a year, when they saw the popular mood, they changed it and said zero growth for foreign workers. And then within a month or so after that, they came back and said you should allow more foreign workers in specific sectors,” he said.
“You cannot be a responsible opposition, let alone a responsible government, if you make U-turns like this and say whatever is politically popular for the moment.”
At a concurrent rally in Pasir Ris, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that in the past week of campaigning, several opposition parties have been engaging what he called in “the politics of division, the politics of envy”, to the point where they “even encouraged betrayal between political parties”.
Said Mr Teo, who is leading the PAP team in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC: “They dream of a coalition of parties and personalities, (but they) can’t even get along with each other, let alone form a team to lead Singapore.”
At a rally in Toa Payoh stadium, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen said that the airing of views from Singaporeans and political parties indicate a maturing democracy.
“I may not agree with all the views … but we have to engage them because those in their 30s and 40s are the ones who will take us to SG100,” said Dr Ng, who is leading the PAP’s team in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
“After the election, I will continue speaking to these people that I met, even some in the opposition parties.”