Singapore — Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong during a preliminary assessment sharing of the election results, noted that now that Workers’ Party (WP) has 10 MPs in Parliament, it cannot continue to question and ask for changes to government policy.
“It is also their duty to put forward serious policy alternatives to be scrutinised and debated,” said Mr Wong at the press conference.
He added that WP’s continuous rhetoric of wanting to provide a stronger check on the PAP government is “a message they know voters want to hear,” but the “WP says that their long-term aim is to deny the PAP two-third of the seats in Parliament.”
“But I have no doubt that they want to displace the PAP and form the government one day — except that they find it inconvenient to acknowledge this now,” he added.
WP’s unprecedented win in Sengkang GRC in the July 10 general election and the two remaining Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) seats are taken up by Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wait, whose West Coast slate emerged as the best losers.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also announced the morning after the election that WP chief Pritam Singh would be formally designated the Leader of the Opposition, with given appropriate staff support and resources.
PM Lee also said that he looks forward to the 10 new opposition MPs and two NCMPs participating in parliamentary debates, as well as to the national debate, to deal with the coronavirus crisis and economic fallout.
Mr Wong also added that there is nothing wrong with having the ambition to one day form the government, as that is what political parties in parliamentary democracies exist for.
“To win over voters’ confidence and support in order to win power, form the government and carry out their policies – it is part of a democracy at work,” he said. -/TISG