A video of an old rally speech Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered years ago, on how he will have to spend time thinking how to “fix” the opposition, has resurfaced on social media and is going viral as opposition politicians, Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh face the ongoing Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) in court.
In the speech, delivered more than a decade ago when Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong and Steve Chia were the only opposition politicians in Parliament, PM Lee urged the people to refrain from voting in more opposition lest he is forced to focus on how to “fix them” instead of focusing on the nation’s challenges. He asserted:
“What is the opposition’s job? It’s not to help the PAP do a better job! Their job is to make life miserable for me so that I screw up and they can come in and sit where I am here and take charge.
“Right now we have Low Thia Khiang, we have Chiam, we have Steve Chia. So can deal with them, it’s ok. But supposing you had a Parliament with 10, 15, 20 opposition members out of 80.
“Then, instead of spending my time thinking of what is the right policy for Singapore, I’m going to spend all my time – I have to spend all my time – thinking what is the right way to fix them, what is the right way to buy own my supporters over, how can I solve this week’s problem and forget about next year’s challenges?”
PM Lee’s words were widely circulated when he made the speech years ago and became quite infamous in it’s own right.
Yesterday, Facebook user Cinorom Elicebmi re-posted the video online, quicklu garnering over 22,000 views on social media. Sharing the video on multiple Facebook groups, the netizen reminded his fellow citizens that “opposition parties keep our country’s politics contestable.”
The netizen also noted Lee Hsien Loong echoed these sentiments that the opposition cannot be allowed to grow as recently as this year.
In April this year, the head of government said, “It is neither wise nor workable for the People’s Action Party (PAP) Government to purposely let the opposition grow bigger when most of the population supports the PAP.”
Likening a political system that makes life easier for opposition politicians to a performer’s safety net, PM Lee had added: “The more you have a safety net for the performer, the more dangerous the stunts the performer will do. Because there is no risk, so you will push further.”
Read the netizen’s full post here:
Dear Mediocres, "It is neither wise nor workable for the People's Action Party (PAP) Government to #purposely let the opposition grow bigger when most of the population supports the PAP": PM Lee Hsien Loong, 6th April 2018 As a citizen of Singapore, I look to gov.sg to grow our economy, create job possibilities and expand our horizons. Individually, it must also mean improving the life of every #Singaporean, in a #fair, #open and #cohesive society. Gov.sg today has lost the plot, regrettably. Let me explain why. Granted, I give credit to the ruling party that our gross domestic product has grown more than 40x since 1965. And our per capita income is higher than Japan's. We can see it in all our lives. Be that as it may, growth alone is not enough. Individual Singaporeans must see progress in their lives, must feel that their future is bright, and must know that each one of us has our stake in it. Gov.sg is #not sharing growth widely and equitably. There is #no social mobility and our meritocracy isn't working anymore. There are now rigid class distinctions or barriers that keep good people down. In one swift tear, Indian-Muslim President shredded our social fabric, unlawful withholding of #CPF caused untold misery especially the ones who suffered illness and the cloak-and-dagger GIC, Temase Holdings financial health attract unnecessary duress. I hasten to caution that as an opposition party, the Workers' Party plays a role in our political system. Opposition parties keep our country's politics contestable. In other words, government of the day #does_not have a monopoly of power, does not have the right to rule Singapore indefinitely. Well, PM Lee, there's no need to show off, and we are not impressed. If you succeed, remember, it is not purely the result of your own hard work or even of your own talent. It is #we_Singaporeans the bona fide citizens of Singapore who sweated and tolled. Thank you.
Posted by Cinorom Elicebmi on Wednesday, 24 October 2018