Singapore — On Friday (June 19), People’s Action Party MP Tan Wu Meng published an article on the PAP website, which was also posted on its Facebook page. Entitled, “Mr Pritam Singh Supports Alfian Sa’at”, Dr Tan criticised the WP Secretary-General for speaking in support of playwright Alfian Sa’at in Parliament on June 5.
Many believe the article may be the first pre-GE attack as different political parties get ready for the upcoming elections.
Dr Tan wrote: “There are many Singaporeans who criticise Singapore out of patriotism and genuine care, including opposition leaders like Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang.” He added, however, that Mr Alfian is no “loving critic”.
He said the playwright had “consistently praised Malaysia to illustrate his disdain for Singapore” for almost ten years. He gave examples of this from Facebook posts by Mr Alfian dating back to 2011, as well as some of the poems he had penned.
Dr Tan’s article has been widely criticised online, and many have also spoken out in support of Mr Alfian, including activist Kirsten Han, fellow playwright Joel Tan and writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh.
Many buddies have messaged me this morning, outraged that a Singaporean politician (and medical doctor) would use an…
Mr Vadaketh, who wrote a scathing post in defence of the playwright, said: “I do not know very much about our little red dot but I do, for different reasons, have some insights into our medical, political and artistic communities”. He noted that the MP is not considered a star in either the medical or political establishments.
Perhaps, he wrote, Dr Tan, who is also a medical doctor, “simply wanted to hijack a news cycle gushing with praise for a genuine medical hero”. He cited the achievements last week of Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, the first Singaporean slated to head the International Society of Infectious Diseases.
(Dr Tambyah is also Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party.)
Mr Vadaketh added that, whatever the case, “a Chinese politician attacking an Indian politician and a Malay artist with allusions to treachery is, if nothing else, political suicide in today’s volatile, BLM world”.
The writer added that while Dr Tan’s piece may only find publication on his party’s website, the award-winning playwright’s name “will, for years to come, be sung in corridors low and high”.
One person who commented on his post wrote with dismay that the “ugly season is well and truly on its way”.
Another, however, disagreed with the writer that the issue was about race.
Someone, in response to Mr Vadaketh calling the PAP MP mediocre, pointed out Dr Tan’s credentials.
To which the writer replied: