Worker’s Party (WP) secretary-general Pritam Singh has put out an appeal for donations for his party, as the General Election (GE) looms. Political analysts and members of the public alike are speculating that an election may be called as soon as July, after prominent ruling party ministers hinted that the next GE is around the corner.
In a Facebook post published on Thursday (18 June), Mr Pritam wrote about the nature of opposition politics in Singapore and the role the WP plays in the political landscape.
Pointing out that local politics is adversarial to the point of looking like a blood sport at times, Mr Pritam said that the members of the WP still decided to step up because they were concerned with fairness, justice and equality.
Alluding to the unfair playing field local opposition politicians have to grapple with, Mr Singh added that opposition politics in Singapore is “not for the faint of heart.” He wrote:
“Everywhere, politics is adversarial. Growing up in Singapore, it looked like a blood sport at times. But that did not stop ordinary Singaporeans from stepping up to stand as candidates for The Workers’ Party.
“After all, a desire for fairness, justice and equality is a human emotion, felt by all, and it extends to politics too. These emotions probably explain why many of my colleagues and I, and those before us, decided to join politics.
“But opposition politics in Singapore is not for the faint of heart.”
The WP has maintained that it seeks to be a constructive party and that its aim is to be an effective check and balance to the Government in the interest of the nation.
Sharing that the WP deliberately took this approach in 2001, under the leadership of his predecessor Low Thia Khiang, Mr Pritam said that his party is committed to remaining a credible opposition force:
“Since Mr Low took over the WP in 2001, the Party has had to pivot very differently to ensure that an opposition can not only survive, but thrive and play an effective check and balance role in the national interest.
“Mr Low decided. The Party agreed. It was going to be rational and responsible opposition politics, no matter what.”
When Mr Low took the helm of the WP, he was the party’s sole elected MP. Today, nearly two decades later, the WP is the only elected opposition party in the nation’s current term of government and has six elected MPs and three NCMPs in Parliament. It is also the only party in Singapore’s history to ever clinch a group representation ward.
As to what the WP’s approach to politics means in the uncertain future ahead, Mr Pritam said that the party sees a need to look beyond partisan politics for the sake of the nation. Echoing a sentiment he made in recent parliamentary speeches, he said:
“Looking ahead, and more than ever in an uncertain world, this approach will require us to see beyond the horizon, beyond partisan politics, so as to fight for the betterment of Singapore and Singaporeans.”
Mr Pritam added: “For the Workers’ Party, the constitutional oath all Parliamentarians take when they are sworn into Parliament will be an important guiding light as we walk with Singapore. To faithfully discharge our duties, to the best of our abilities, to bear true faith and allegiance to Singapore, and to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.”
The Aljunied GRC MP urged Singaporeans to make a donation of any size to support the WP on its mission. He appealed: “Make a donation, no matter how big or small, so that a rational and responsible opposition is always there to keep our politics fair, just and balanced. Since 1957. All-weather. Through thick or thin.”
The Road Ahead_________________Everywhere, politics is adversarial. Growing up in Singapore, it looked like a blood…