In a post on social media on Friday, November 16, Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Chee Soon Juan was responding to allegations made by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
In his post on the SDP blog, Mr Chee said, “ESM Goh Chok Tong has said that I had gone to Williams College where he was awarded an honorary degree in 1995 to “slam” Singapore. Allow me to set the record straight”.
He said that in his speech at Williams College, “I spoke about Singapore’s progress and gave credit to the PAP for taking the nation thus far. Unfortunately but perhaps unsurprisingly, the state media censored much of what I said”.
Quoting himself, Mr Chee continued, ““You cannot deny the politicians who have governed the country all these years the credit for Singapore’s development”.
Citing the incident as an example, Mr Chee added, “But here’s what’s really important. Singaporeans must not to fall for the PAP’s rhetoric that when we criticise PAP policies and style of governance, we are criticising Singapore. The PAP is not Singapore, and Singapore is not PAP.”
He continued, “One is a nation to which we pledge our allegiance, the other is a private organisation entrusted with temporary and limited powers which must be renewed with the consent of a majority of citizens at elections”.
In speaking about the issue as a while, Mr Chee said, “Likewise, we will be vocal in our criticism of the PAP’s policies especially its authoritarian style of governance. But let’s not be small-minded and indulge in the petty politics of character assassination and personal destruction”.
His post on Facebook received almost 600 reactions.