Singapore—After National Development Minister Lawrence Wong commented over the weekend on GE2020, saying that the opposition Workers’ Party (WP) “did not seriously engage on the key issues with workable alternative solutions,” one netizen took to Facebook to remind Mr Wong of his roots in politics, which are in actuality, not as deep as he may want them to appear.
In a post that has now gone viral, Gerard Ong addressed the Minister, seemingly taking exception to the tone he used in speaking of the WP.
Come on Lawrence Wong, the Workers Party MPs are not school boys and girls elected into parliament. Neither are you a…
Mr Ong reminded Mr Wong that just like WP leaders Pritam Singh and Sylvia Lim, Mr Wong started in Parliament in 2011.
“Come on Lawrence Wong, the Workers Party MPs are not school boys and girls elected into parliament. Neither are you a school prefect watching over your charges. Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and you were elected into parliament in the same year in 2011.”
And unlike Mr Pritam and Ms Lim, Mr Wong had won a seat in Parliament “on the coattails of two ministers in West Coast GRC.” Mr Wong had contested in West Coast GRC together with S Iswaran, who has served as both Minister of Trade and Industry and Minister for Communication and Information, and Lim Hng Kiang, who had been Minister of Trade and Minister of Health as well as Minister for National Development.
On the contrary, the netizen wrote, “Pritam and Sylvia had to fight to their darndest with Low Thia Khiang and his team, to wrest Aljunied GRC from two cabinet ministers and one senior minister of state.”
He continued, “Please stop acting as though you are the grand sage of the PAP with all the years of political wisdom and worldliness coupled with lengthy experience in parliamentary and contentious debates in policy proposals and issues. Those titles are reserved for the very few in Singapore’s parliamentary history.”
Mr Ong then asked Mr Wong what right he has “to admonish the WP and remind them that they cannot just continue to question and ask for changes to government policy,” adding that elected Members of Parliament not only “have every right to continue to ask questions of the PAP government,” but it is their “job to do so,” as “true representatives” of the Singaporeans who voted for them.
He added this pointed reminder: “Remember the blank cheque which Jamus Lim spoke about in the TV debate? It resonated well with many Singaporeans.”
Mr Ong also wrote that the WP has been putting forth alternate policy proposals all along and that the party will surely “continue to do so despite the inaccessibility of govt data, reports and statistics.”
“We live in hope that the newly elected opposition MPs will receive the respect and support that they are entitled to in a parliamentary democracy,” he added.
Mr Ong ended his post, which has been shared over 600 times in less than 24 hours since it was posted, by writing that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged to give Mr Pritam, as the official Leader of the Opposition, the support and staff that he needs. “He also looks forward to the 10 new opposition MPs and two NCMPs participating in and contributing to parliamentary and national debates – we shall see if the PM and his cabinet will be truthful and respectful partners in this endeavour.” —/TISG