Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat is the latest ruling party politician to express positive sentiments towards Workers’ Party (WP) secretary-general Pritam Singh, who was recently made Singapore’s very first Leader of the Opposition (LO).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appointed Mr Pritam as LO a day after the 2020 general election, in which the WP won an unprecedented 10 seats in Parliament in its very first election under Mr Pritam Singh’s leadership.
After Pritam Singh was made LO, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin met with the opposition leader for lunch and the pair reportedly had a friendly chat – a rarity, given how members of the ruling party and the opposition generally do not mingle together.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, who was newly appointed Leader of the House, also said that she looked forward to working with Mr Pritam. Fellow Cabinet Minister Lawrence Wong, who is in charge of the Education portfolio, also said that he looks forward to members on both sides of the aisle in the House working together.
Mr Tan, Ms Indranee and Mr Wong are all members of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) cohort of leaders. On Monday, the leader of the PAP’s 4G publicly congratulated Mr Pritam on his new role as LO.
Mr Heng, who is widely considered PM Lee’s presumptive successor, wrote on Facebook: “I thank President Halimah Yacob for opening Parliament today, and congratulate our Speaker of the House Tan Chuan-Jin on his re-appointment. Congratulations too to Indranee Rajah on her appointment as Leader of the House and Pritam Singh on his appointment as Leader of the Opposition.”
He added: “I look forward to working with every member of the 14th Parliament of Singapore.”