Workers’ Party (WP) secretary-general Pritam Singh has revealed that his father was not against him joining an opposition party, in an interview with the Chinese daily.
Mr Singh’s father, 69-year-old litigation and dispute resolution consultant Amarjit Singh who specialises in criminal law, has served as defence counsel, district judge and deputy public prosecutor in the past.
The elder Mr Singh, who served as an officer in the Singapore Armed Forces from 1970 to 1986, now has a consultancy practice and counsels inmates at Changi prison during the weekends.
The sole breadwinner, the elder Mr Singh not only juggled being a father and a husband with his professional duties, he also took night classes and sat for his A-Levels as a private candidate before going on to read law at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Revealing that his father would always put a smile on his family’s faces no matter how tired he was, Mr Singh told the Chinese daily that he enjoyed listening to his father’s stories from work as a child and even got to accompany his father to the law firm on weekends on the condition that he would not disturb his father.
Calling his father’s parenting methods “old school,” Mr Singh also shared that his father used to cane him when he was young. But when the WP leader turned 10, the relationship between his father and himself changed.
His father began trying to persuade Mr Singh and his sister to change by discussing issues with them and explaining his views to them. Mr Singh said: “After I graduated from university and started working, he became my best friend and confidant. It’s still the same now.”
While they do not necessarily agree about everything, Mr Singh said that there is nothing he can’t talk to his father about.
Revealing that his interest in current affairs developed from a young age when he would overhear his father listening to British radio broadcasts, Mr Singh said his father didn’t stop him when he decided to join the WP a decade ago.
He recalled: “In my father’s eyes, his son is just serving Singapore in a different way.”
Sharing that he was touched by his father’s acceptance of his decision, Mr Singh affirmed his love for his father and said that he is very blessed to have Mr Amarjit Singh as his father.