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Former NMP Calvin Cheng says he and WP head Pritam Singh are “rivals, not enemies”

Mr Cheng called Mr Pritam “an old friend,” saying that they had been “fairly close” before the WP chief had entered the political arena a decade ago

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—Former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng has made no secret of his decidedly pro-administration views as well as his less-than-favourable opinions of opposition figures.

In the past, Mr Cheng has taken aim at Worker’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament Dr Jamus Lim and Ms Raeesah Khan, among others, and on Nov 4, posted on Facebook that he had recently visited Aljunied-Hougang, and felt sick, calling it the “worse (sic) experience” of his life.

Nowadays, however, he seems to be singing a different tune.

Mr Cheng posted a photo of himself with WP head and Leader of the Opposition, Pritam Singh, on his Facebook page on Wednesday (Nov 18), writing that Mr Pritam had treated him to a cup of Teh-C at his ward at Road.

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The Leader of the Opposition had apparently seen the former NMP’s post about Aljunied-Hougang, which under the purview of the WP, and had reached out to Mr Cheng.

He wrote “The Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh kindly treated me to Teh-C at his ward in Bedok Reservoir Road today. This was after he read my post about how frightened I was of opposition-held wards, and wanted to show me it was normal.”

Jokingly, he added, “I found courage with him by my side.”

He then went on to call Mr Pritam “an old friend,” saying that they had been “fairly close” before the WP chief had entered the political arena a decade ago, at around the same Mr Cheng left for China.

The two apparently also have football in common, although they cheer for rival teams in the Premier League. Mr Pritam is a fan of United, while Mr Cheng roots for Liverpool. “Back then, as a Man U fan, he used to disturb me all the time about Liverpool. It is good he can’t do that now.”`

“It was good to catch up,” wrote Mr Cheng.

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The former NMP also highlighted the things they agree on, despite their opposing views. “We agreed that in order for Singapore to be stable politically, the centre must hold.”

Mr Cheng had good words to say about Mr Pritam, writing that he held him in “high regard” as “a moderate and loyal opposition,” ending his post with a quote from US President-Elect Joseph Biden, “We are rivals not enemies. We will continue to have our political differences, but can still be friends.”

And Mr Cheng has also implied that he wants the WP to succeed, writing in a Facebook post on November 6 that “A good opposition is good for Singapore,” but that it must steer clear of  “harmful ‘progressive’ ideologies.”

“If the Workers’ Party wants to be successful, then it has to remember the workers in their name.

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Fight for them. Even if I disagree with the WP on minimum wage, they have the welfare of low wage workers in mind.

This is good.” —/TISG

Read also: Calvin Cheng points to social status of WP MPs Raeesah Khan and Jamus Lim

Calvin Cheng points to social status of WP MPs Raeesah Khan and Jamus Lim

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