Singapore—Despite his recent friendly overtures toward certain opposition figures, former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng sought to clarify that his pro-government stance has remained unchanged.
Moreover, Mr Cheng wrote in a Feb 15 Facebook post that he “does not think that the majority of the Workers’ Party’s policy suggestions are credible.”
He also warned against young people developing wrong ideas about politics.
The former NMP seemed to go out of his way to clarify any notions that young people may have that political parties with opposing ideas can work together, which is counter to the very nature of politics.
“Politics is a contest for power,” he wrote, “The power to decide how people lead their lives.”
And while he has “tried to bridge political divides” particularly in the name of friendship, he does not want anyone to get the wrong ideas.
Recently, Mr Cheng made friendly overtures toward Mr Pritam Singh, the head of the Workers’ Party and the Leader of the Opposition, as well as to Dr Jamus Lim, a WP Member of Parliament (Sengkang GRC), against whom he has taken potshots at in the past.
The former NMP wrote that these overtures “were well-received, especially amongst younger Singaporeans, who expect everyone to amicably work together.”
He then called this “Kumbaya Politics, “describing it as a “very idealistic and rose-tinted view of politics.”
Mr Cheng proceeded to school Singaporean youths, telling them that political parties oppose each other since they have foundational differences about governance.
The youth, he asserted, see politics through rose-tinted glasses because they are accustomed to the notion of a PAP in power while the opposition serves as an alternative voice.
“But opposition politicians are not in parliament just to give an alternative voice.
They are there to give an alternative vision of life and death issues – health, education, defence, jobs.
And eventually, to win power so they can execute this alternative vision.”
Therefore, political parties in opposition to one another cannot work for the good of any country during peacetime.
“The PAP and the Workers’ Party cannot be expected to ‘work together’,” he added, reiterating his stance that on a personal level, his “political views align mostly with the PAP.
That means that I agree with their policies that affect my life, and the lives of my close ones.”
And this also follows that he does not believe that “the majority” of the WP’s policy suggestions are credible, nor does he believe their candidates are better or more competent than the ruling party’s.
Mr Cheng’s premise for his attitude toward younger Singaporeans is that he believes they want the PAP to stay in power, even while voting for the opposition, which may not actually be the case.
“People are in politics because they have disagreements, many irreconcilable, about how lives should be run.
It’s not about sitting around a fire and singing songs,” he added.
And while being civil to those he disagrees with doesn’t make him the Dalai Lama, neither does attacking their policies make him Beelzebub, he wrote.
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