Singapore – It is really important that Singapore has an alternative party that can one day form an alternative government, according to Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Hazel Poa.
On Sunday (Jan 31), Ms Poa took to Facebook to share the points she made during an event hosted by PSP’s Women’s Wing for their official launch.
Ms Poa was asked why she did not join the People’s Action Party, to which she highlighted her belief in diversity in Singapore’s landscape.
“It is really important that Singapore has an alternative party that can one day form an alternative government,” said Ms Poa. “The one-party system is really not sustainable in the longer term – there will come a day when we need a backup, and that is where I want to help build up.”
She noted there would always be areas for improvement, and that is where alternative parties could pitch in and offer alternative ideas as a value-add to the whole conversation.
More women needed in politics
Another topic of discussion was the challenge in encouraging women to participate in politics. Ms Poa mentioned hurdles such as the potential lack of support from family and the fewer women currently in politics.
“If you have more female politicians, you get in contact with them more regularly, you see them more frequently, and perhaps you are actually friends with some of them. It becomes a less scary prospect, and you are more likely to get involved.”
Politics is something that affects all of us, said Ms Poa, urging more women to step forward and get involved in politics.
“Studies have shown that there is a high correlation between the number of women legislators and the number of legislations that help to improve work-life balance, family-friendly policies, and minority rights. I encourage more women to step forward and play a part,” she added.
In line with female politicians, Ms Poa shared that she looks up to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for how she has handled the whole pandemic situation and how she has communicated with her people in the process. She is “keeping everybody informed and always explaining the decisions of the government so that everybody is on board,” Ms Poa explained.
The NCMP also provided a glimpse of the issues that she would be pushing forward for women in Parliament. She plans to promote gender equality, protection from harassment and violence and greater recognition of the contribution of caregivers.
“Being the NCMP means that I am the people’s representative; we are their voice in Parliament. We will be listening, getting feedback, and raising those in Parliament.” -/TISG
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