International Asia Mixed reactions from netizens on PAP's criticism of WP Pritam Singh on...

Mixed reactions from netizens on PAP’s criticism of WP Pritam Singh on the Alfian Sa’at issue

Despite some support for Mr Pritam, some netizens also went against Mr Pritam's defence of Mr Alfian, while a good number of people felt there were "more important matters" to worry about in the coming General Elections

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore– Netizens have gone online to react to the online dispute between Secretary-General of Worker’s Party Pritam Singh, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and playwright Alfian Sa’at over PAP’s Dr Tan Wu Meng’s article criticising what Mr Pritam’s had said about Mr Alfian in Parliament.

Netizens remain conflicted with torn and diverse reactions as some support Mr Shanmugan for speaking up for Dr Tan, while some praise Mr Pritam, while still others have completely gone against Mr Alfian and Mr Pritam’s views and called this a trivial topic to debate about when there are “more important” things to worry about.

The issue began when Mr Pritam quoted Mr Alfian in Parliament whom he called a “loving critic”. Dr Tan’s article questioned Mr Alfian’s loyalty to Singapore by pointing out that Mr Alfian had been releasing “pro-Malaysia” comments over the years. Dr Tan also said he doubted Mr Pritam’s “side” in politics.

Mr Pritam said that the term “loving critic” was mentioned by Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh to defend Mr Alfian, as well as other critics and intellectuals, in a commentary by The Straits Times in October 2019.

- Advertisement -

Mr Pritam felt that the backlash received by both Dr Tan and the PAP could be due to two reasons: Dr Tan’s “belated but calculated decision” to bring this up nearing the General Elections, and also Dr Tan’s “leap in extending Mr Alfian’s artistic expressions to an endorsement by the WP of every controversial view Mr Alfian has made”.

He also said that “For these reasons, it is my view that Dr Tan’s questions, cloaked as innocent ones, were politically motivated to divide Singaporeans into those who are for or against — not Singapore — but the PAP, and to paint the WP in a negative light.

Netizens mixed reactions can be seen on Facebook. There are some who support PAP, Mr Shanmugan and Dr Tan. One netizen stated that “It is great that the [Mr Shanmugan] has taken up this issue.”

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

However, Mr Pritam’s reaction to Dr Tan’s article on the PAP website was, “A loving critic. A son of Singapore. Not perfect. As imperfect as you and me Dr Tan, maybe more, maybe less.” Some netizens supported Mr Pritam and called Dr Tan out for being “irresponsible” for raising this “in d midst of a looming election”.

Bryan Yang also noted that this situation is like “saying people who listen to black rappers must be bad because of their swearing”.

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo Screengrab from Facebook under Mr Shanmugan’s Post

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Despite some support for Mr Pritam, some netizens also went against Mr Pritam’s defence of Mr Alfian. Philip Sim noted that “[Mr Alfian] was attempting to deny our national identity and history” while another netizen pointed out that this was “usual WP tactics”.

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

Many netizens, however, noted that there are “more important matters” to worry about in the coming General Elections. Jing Quek noted how “People are losing jobs, we have to rebuild our economy, and this was considered important enough to get involved in?”

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook on K Shanmugam Sc’s Facebook Post

Photo: Screengrab from Facebook

-/TISGFollow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

MOH asks hospitals to delay non-urgent surgeries to conserve resources for Covid patients

Singapore— With Covid-19 cases rising, the Ministry of Health (MOH) asked hospitals on Monday (May 3) to delay non-urgent surgeries and give priority to the treatment of Covid patients. In a statement, MOH said it is "working closely with all public and...

5 KTPH staff disciplined for ‘error’ that led to unnecessary treatment of breast cancer patients 

Singapore—Five staff members of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) have been disciplined for a laboratory incident that led to inaccurate test results and unnecessary treatment for some breast cancer patients. The staff members were disciplined for "not adequately performing their duties and...

MOH confirms 17 new Covid-19 cases, five linked to Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster

Singapore -- The Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed five new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection that are linked to the cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Tuesday (May 4) also saw another 12 imported cases. It is the ninth...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent