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PM Lee’s first-class political leadership means “monopoly of political positions by his party”

Political leadership, much like companies in any industry, needed competition in order to excel and be relevant, says WP politician

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Singapore — Workers’ Party (WP) politician Yee Jenn Jong has outlined his journey through Singapore’s politics and contrasted it with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s desire for a “first-class political leadership”.

In a blog post on Sunday (Jan 19), Mr Yee wrote that he was initially reluctant to join opposition politics because of fear.

He said: “One of the ruling party’s key strategy has been to keep the opposition weak.”

“Fear became a powerful factor. People became frightened even to vote for the alternative, even though our votes are secret and I am convinced they are, being a participant and witness to the electoral process. People fear their estates becoming rundown or losing their jobs. More importantly, fear has kept many good people from offering themselves to the alternative camp for a long time.”

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He added that, over the past decade, he had seen opposition parties that managed to attract professionally successful people, but added that an alternative party formed with just the aim of being anti-People’s Action Party (PAP) would not last.

Mr Yee wrote that he found it unreasonable to withhold public monies to opposition wards for estate upgrading, although he added “that has changed post 2011 but even so, biases and challenges remain for opposition wards for funding”. He also found it absurd that computer systems built with residents’ funds could be denied to opposition wards.

Quoting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who said on Friday (Jan 17) that Singapore needed a “first-class political leadership” to work with a high-quality public service, Mr Yee felt that Mr Lee’s interpretation of the former was “a monopoly of the political positions by his party”.

He wrote that political leadership, much like companies in any industry, needed competition in order to excel and be relevant. He added: “Leadership should not be ordained nor should leaders be allowed to stroll into Parliament because of opposition is deliberately made weak.”

Mr Yee concluded his blog post by looking to the future: “2020 will be another elections year. The road to a first world parliament is long. The foundations have to be build. In my journey in blue, I have seen the components being built. Eventually, it is for Singaporeans to decide.” /TISG

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