Singapore – Two top leaders of the People’s Action Party (PAP) took time out on July 27, Saturday, to refute some of the statements made by Dr Tan Cheng Bock the day before concerning the ruling party, saying that while the former PAP MP is entitled to the opinion that the PAP has gone astray, on the contrary, the PAP Government has “delivered a better life for Singaporeans.”
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing were visiting East Coast GRC on Saturday morning together, and spoke to members of the media. The visit was hosted by MP Lim Swee Say.
Dr Tan has said on July 26,
“I worry because I see the foundations of good governance eroding. Specifically, there is an erosion of transparency, independence and accountability. Yet these are the three foundations for creating trust between the government and the people. We all want a good political system.”
In response to these comments, Mr Heng told the media,
“We fundamentally disagree with Dr Tan. But of course he’s entitled to his opinions just as all Singaporeans are entitled to opinions.”
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the crux of the matter is which party can actually deliver results to the country, and that through the years, people have come to trust PAP because of these results.
“The trust that Singaporeans have placed in the PAP Government over the years is because (it) has delivered a better life for Singaporeans.”
Furthermore, he asserted, what is important is facing future challenges such as the economic situation, employment, and the issues of an aging society.
“We would need to focus on what are the major challenges ahead. Our ability to think long term and address issues early will be key.”
Dr Tan had also called out the ruling party for insufficient transparency, accountability and independence in the appointment of Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as the head of Temasek, as well as Parliament as the venue of debate of the future of the home of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore´s founding Prime Minister, at 38 Oxley Road.
However, regarding the latter point, the Deputy Prime Minister said that Dr Tan had actually contradicted himself.
“He said that there’s no transparency but at the same time he attacked the fact that the issue of Oxley Road was raised in Parliament.
Now that is transparency, the fact that (the) Prime Minister was prepared to have this issue debated in Parliament, clarified in Parliament, is a very important aspect of our governance.”
As for Mr Chan, he said that PAP´s ministers are “not distracted by whether there’s a new party here or new party there”.
“Our record is here to stand, I think fellow Singaporeans can make up their minds.
As long as we are in Government, our commitment to Singapore and Singaporeans is that we will work our hardest to bring the country together to stand out from the competition and if we do our job well, the results will take care of itself.”
In a Facebook post dated July 27th, Mr Chan wrote, “We are committed to build a leadership team that can take Singapore forward, working in partnership with all Singaporeans. Our commitment to them is that we will continue to work our hardest with them to enable Singapore to stand out from the competition.”/ TISG