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Jufrie Mahmood, “I have no choice but to campaign against…a party I once” belonged




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Singapore—Former prominent opposition leader Mohamed Jufrie bin Mahmood posted a message on social media warning a party he once belonged to that if things did not change, he will have no choice “but to campaign against them, a party which I once belong to.”

Mr Jufrie, who was active in the political scene in the 1980s and the 1990s as a member of both the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the Workers’ Party (WP) and was chairman of the SDP from 2011 to 2013, did not identify which party he is referring to.

But it’s fairly easy to glean from the context of his post which party he is writing about.

He wrote, “The GE is around the corner. Alternative parties are trying our best to put up a common front for an effective challenge to the PAP, EXCEPT FOR ONE.”

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The first reason he gives for saying he would campaign against this opposition party is that it “is so smug and has consistently refused to respond to invitations for a heart to heart meeting with other parties. In most cases they act dumb and did not have the courtesy and good sense to even give a reply.

“They think they are the Bramins while the rest are pariahs.”

At this point, his post could be about any of the opposition parties, but in the next paragraph Mr Jufrie all but identifies the WP by name.

“They seem to forget that whatever lead they are enjoying today is also the efforts and contributions of opposition activists in the past. I have myself made contributions, especially in the eastern part of Singapore, to soften the ground for them. Are they forgetting that in the last elections they won just by a whisker.

And I can confidently say that without the support of the Malay community there was no way they could win.”

The only opposition party that won seats in the last General Election was the Workers’ Party. 

Mr Jufrie’s main issue of contention against the party is their failure to lend support to “their Malay MP” when he spoke against the PAP’s  “discriminatory policies.”

He writes, “I am saying this with sadness. When their Malay MP got whacked in parliament for raising issues pertaining to the PAP’s discriminatory policies, not a single one of the other MP’s, not even the party chairman and SG, stood up in his defence. If I were in parliament and my colleagues behave the same way, I would immediately tender my resignation because I come into politics not for personal gain or glory.”

Mr Jufrie ends his post warning the other opposition parties to be careful.

“Other alternative parties must beware. This party I am referring to have said that if the PAP does not get enough seats to form the government they would cross over to join the PAP and form a coalition with them. Singaporeans will then have to go back to square one.

If they persist in their attitude, I have no choice but to campaign against them, a party which I once belonged to.”


Read related: Asia Sentinel: Singapore Could Get its First Real Election

Asia Sentinel: Singapore Could Get its First Real Election

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