Singapore — In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct 13), the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) shared that historian Thum Ping Tjin was invited to deliver the keynote address at its fund-raising forum on Oct 1.
At the gathering at PSP headquarters, party leaders Francis Yuen and Leong Mun Wai introduced the evening with their thoughts on the recent General Election.
Dr Thum, who is the Managing Director of the New Naratif website, then took the floor to outline three major ideologies which underpin People’s Action Party (PAP) governance in Singapore and explained how the PAP has tied these to the country’s national identity.
Dr Thum said the ideologies were, first, “that we the people don’t have rights, we only have privileges granted us by the government”. Second, “that political accountability derives from moral virtue of political leaders, not the will of the people, not laws, regulations, constitutions and that this virtue can be determined through state-sponsored meritocracy”. And third, that “rationale problem-solving should be favoured over political competition and contestation”.
The PSP shared that close friends and supporters “enjoyed Dr Thum’s thought-provoking reflections, in which he emphasised the importance for PSP to live its values for the next five years and beyond”.
Also present at the forum was Professor Paul Tambyah, NUS professor and Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party.
In a clip of Dr Thum’s speech shared on the New Naratif’s Facebook page, he also explained how the Workers’ Party had positioned itself in relation to what he terms as the PAP’s ideologies.
Dr Thum challenged the PSP and all other political parties to articulate a coherent alternative. He argued that, until a political party has formed a coherent platform and articulated clearly what its values are, it cannot attract loyal members, have committed supporters, or develop a coherent, sustainable party.
The PSP post shared a clip of Dr Thum’s speech, with a footnote that “the opinions expressed in this speech are PJ’s personal views and are not endorsed by the Progress Singapore Party”. /TISG
On 1 October 2020, PJ Thum delivered the keynote lecture at the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) fundraising dinner. In…