Singaporeans have become increasingly disappointed with the Workers’ Party, resembling more of a PAP Team 2.
There is hardly any difference between the performance of WP before and after winning a GRC: having more MPs in Parliament makes no difference and could in fact be worse, judging from the previous GE results.
Elected MPs are a serious threat to PAP but somehow, WP own self check own self and offers an escape route to PAP on just about every issue. For example, WP’s Png Eng Huat had asked the MOE Minister the total amount of tuition grants given to international students …. and the answer from Heng Swee Keat was a non-answer: there was no dollar figure. When Png subsequently asked Heng how much was recovered, the MOE minister acted blur and again did not provide any figure. Hansard A responsible MP would not have accepted WTF answers in, of all places, Parliament. Png did not pursue PAP for an answer. Many WP MPs are not unlike Png.
Similar to the PAP, WP has learnt the art of repeating half truths: its favourite being the need to have more MPs in Parliament to have greater “bargaining power”. But what WP MPs do is make eloquent speeches in Parliament which have no bearing on flawed policies and expect others, like activists, to assist more of their members to get into Parliament.
A Chee Soon Juan or Kenneth Jeyaretnam in Parliament would have put the entire WP team to shame.
PAP is well aware that the WP under Low Thia Khiang has never been a threat. This is because the WP – not unlike PAP – sees no need for a system revamp and also milks the system.
Low has been an MP since 1991 but strangely, transparency doesn’t seem to be an issue. Isn’t Low aware that the issue of transparency – especially concerning the use of our reserves – is PAP’s Achilles heel?
WP seems agreeable to PAP’s insistence on operating with maximum opacity. It is not bothered with the following:
– Billions in reserves paid to Temasek’s top management since inception.
– Hundreds of millions possibly paid to Temasek’s CEO Ho Ching from our reserves.
– Billions in reserves paid to GIC’s top management and fund managers since inception.
– Billions paid to former GIC employees who set up their own funds managing our reserves.
– Non disclosure of stat board/government agency CEOs’ remuneration, some who are spouses of ministers.
WP is also not interested in the proper disclosure of GIC investments amounting to more than $300 billion of CPF monies.
WP seems to share PAP’s view that CPF members do not know how to manage our own retirement savings; likely to spend on booze and Batam women.
WP has been silent despite the CPF withdrawal age increasing to 65 and the amount trapped in GIC doubling from $80,000 in 2003 to $161,000 in 2015. The arbitrary 100% increase has little to do with inflation.
WP could have lent its weight to CPF protest rallies at Hong Lim Park but there was hardly a whisper. If an ordinary citizen like Roy Ngerng was able to force PAP to return 20% of the CPF Minimum Sum at 65, doesn’t it put elected WP MPs to shame?
If the retention of our CPF was well thought-out, why did PAP need to return billions to us at 65?
Why are WP MPs still silent on the opaque management of our CPF?
Are they in bed with PAP?
According to Low, WP’s role is “to suggest improvements to the policies made by the government” and “it would take at least 20 years before his party can challenge the ruling party’s parliamentary dominance and serve as an alternate government”. link This must be the most preposterous statement any opposition leader has ever made.
It’s a own self insult own self statement akin to an opponent committing hara kiri before the match has even started.
It is the people who decide on who they want in government and Low should not have shot his party members and claimed WP was lousier than PAP.
Even if WP had won by a landslide, running the government would have still been in the hands of perm secs and the civil service.
There are occasions when WP could have put at least a nail in PAP’s coffin but it has chosen not to, eg hold PAP accountable for Operation Spectrum. For 30 years, the PAP government has never proven that the abused detainees had communist links in open court, a charge which the former ISA detainees have consistently denied.
There are lawyers among WP MPs but all have chosen to remain mum on what is clearly a travesty of justice. Didn’t LKY also admit that he did not have any evidence, just his belief?
What about the SPF sending 7 to 8 officers into Teo Soh Lung’s home without a search warrant and subsequently not returning her seized desktop, laptop and handphone after more than 1 year?
A lawyer and former police officer, why has MP Sylvia Lim not spoken up? Hmm … is this case so complex that we need to bring in a Queen’s Counsel?
By not speaking up, WP has emboldened the PAP to cow the people into silence through the use of state machinery. Again.
Unelected SDP’s Dr Chee has proven to be more of a threat to PAP than the entire WP team in Parliament. There is no doubt the issues raised by Chee will gradually forced the revamp of an incompetent government, should he become an MP. This is due to his firm belief in the need for transparency and accountability which seem negotiable to the WP.
On accountability, the WP has allowed PAP to continue playing musical chairs by recycling deadwood among different government agencies. For example, former SPF commisssioner who was coincidentally relieved after the Little India riot, became PUB CEO – with ZERO relevant experience. Isn’t this a promotion of sorts?
After former CPIB assistant director Edwin Yeo was jailed 10 years for misappropriating $1.7 million from the CPIB, his superior Director Eric Tan was merely “redeployed to other duties where his knowledge and experience will be valuable”, according to the PMO.
How is the government accountable to the people when no one knows if Eric Tan had quietly been promoted, ie his pay increased? Or where he has been transferred to.
Failures – especially former paper generals and scholars – are being transferred from one GLC/government agency to another as if they are ready-made CEOs. Why has the WP been completely silent on this issue?
Top civil servants have been helping PAP implement policies to milk citizens and conceal information. For their efforts, a very comfortable retirement is assured, ie they will be promoted to top management at GLCs or become directors. Again, WP seems agreeable to such a convenient arrangement.
PAP has concealed tons of material information to prevent public debates on important issues. For example, how many foreigners are living in HDB flats? Did new citizens contribute to a decreasing TFR? Are we taking in 30,000 PRs annually because 10,000 PRs balik kampong every year? How many foreigners are given tuition grants and how many have stayed on to steal our lunch after graduation? Etc.
By not asking hard questions, WP has done a disservice to their constituents. There are of course many other instances of WP failing Singaporeans.
Leon Perera and his colleagues, if they truly want to serve the people, should not continue to be members of a restrictive WP whose leadership believes in only tweaking an opaque and unaccountable system.
The PAP system has been rotting for decades and we don’t have the luxury of time to plead with PAP to own self change own self. Which of course is never gonna happen.
Former secretary general of NSP Lim Tean has recently resigned because of his inability to make his party a voice for the common man and ordinary Singaporeans. Leon and a few others like He Ting Ru, Daniel Goh, etc should do likewise.
It is meaningless to win arguments in Parliament because most voters have either been bought over or are propaganda lovers.
Why go to Parliament to make some eloquent but meaningless speeches knowing the outcome is a foregone conclusion? How many times did the PAP U-turn on a flawed policy because of WP’s arguments in Parliament?
If WP had participated in CPF protest rallies at Hong Lim Park, tens of thousands of supporters would have turned up and PAP would have no choice but return more than 20% CPF to members at 65, maybe even earlier.
If WP had participated in the PWP protest rallies at Hong Lim Park, tens of thousands of participants would have likely forced a U-turn on the flawed population policy.
Like Lim Tean, WP MPs should consider using “other platforms and innovative methods to achieve the objective of speaking out for fellow Singaporeans”.
Singapore does not have the luxury of time to continue begging PAP to provide solutions to problems, many self-created ones. After more than 5 decades of concealing material information, it’s about time to address the moral and financial rot. 😦
Before PAP takes Singapore further downhill, WP would to well to start asking hard questions. And cease all the wayang.