Singapore—Workers’ Party (WP) head and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh is currently in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of a delegation from Singapore attending the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).
Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, is part of this delegation, along with other PAP MPs such as Lim Biow Chuan, Gan Thiam Poh and Joan Pereira. The group also included Nominated MP Lim Sun Sun. All in all 12 MPs from Singapore attended AIPA.
In a Facebook post, Mr Pritam said that at times he is asked, while on working trips abroad, how it’s possible for Members of Parliament from opposition parties to “operate in a bipartisan manner with the PAP MPs” given that they sit on opposite sides back home.
He wrote that putting Singapore’s welfare first is the key. While they may differ on many fronts while at home in Parliament, overseas, presenting a “broadly united front” for the good of the country is part of WP’s beliefs.
“Everyone, including the opposition, wants Singapore to succeed and envisions a better future for our people. Disagreements, different approaches/philosophies is a reality of the human condition. It is no different in Singapore. Our parliamentary democracy gives us the platform to have different views represented in Parliament and to debate and criticise ideas and policies. But once we leave our shores, a broadly united front amongst all parliamentary MPs is consistent with the better future we in the WP seek for Singapore.”
For his part, the Speaker of Parliament also posted about attending AIPA in his Facebook page, commenting on how busy the Singapore delegation has been, but stressing how important such meetings are because “it gives ASEAN a platform to engage the world” and also “allows us to meet with each other at bilateral sessions, and to further strengthen our ties.”
He expressed his gratitude to the ‘Singapore team.’
“Grateful to our Singapore team here in Bangkok, led by our new Ambassador Kevin Cheok, and also my Parliamentary colleagues and my fellow MPs. Team Singapore in action! 🇸🇬”
Both Messrs Pritam and Tan posted photos of meeting the Thai Prime Minister, and Mr Tan also met with his Thai counterpart, H.E. Chuan Leek Pai, the President of the National Assembly, and who had also twice been Prime Minister of Thailand.
Mr Pritam also added as a point of interest to his constituents at Eunos that he met Thailand’s current youngest Member of Parliament, Phetchompoo Kijburana, who had once lived in Bedok Reservoir Road and had attended school at Bedok North Secondary School in Eunos.
“Eunos residents would be interested to know that Thailand’s youngest MP lived in a HDB flat at Bedok Reservoir Road and went to Bedok North Secondary School in Eunos, leaving in 2010 after her “O” levels. It was a pleasure meeting Phetchompoo Kijburana and heartwarming to know that she continues to keep in touch with her form teacher!”