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Tan Cheng Bock backs Pritam Singh, calls out those criticising LO’s intentions

"It is far better to be gracious and welcome the gesture, than to continue to try to score political points."

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Singapore — Progress Singapore Party () Secretary-General has backed Workers’ Party (WP) chief for pledging to give to various causes 50 per cent of his additional earnings from his appointment as official Leader of the (LO).

Mr Singh had announced that he would be donating half of his pay increase to various causes, including the WP, residents of WP-held constituencies and charities.

“It is an honour for me to serve as an elected MP in Singapore. Equally, it is a privilege to be appointed as the Leader of the ,” he had said, before disclosing that he and his wife “felt strongly that a percentage of the should be used for a greater purpose”.

He then stipulated the allocations of his donation: “To assist low-income residents in Hougang SMC, Aljunied GRC and Sengkang GRC through the WP Community Fund (WPCF) and/or the WP Grassroots Committee; or community programmes in Hougang SMC, Aljunied GRC, Sengkang GRC; or charitable or worthy causes; or Workers’ Party specific needs.”

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LO __________It is an honour for me to serve as an elected MP in Singapore. Equally, it is a privilege to be…

Posted by Pritam Singh on Tuesday, 28 July 2020

After the initial post garnered clarifications as to whether he would be donating half of his total salary or half of his salary increase, Mr Singh added an afternote. “For clarity, 50% of the additional LO salary amounting to about $96K per annum is dedicated to the above purposes,” he said. “The actual amount will be less after income tax deduction. It is important I make this clear.”

However, some people have hinted at their negative view on this news, such as the pro-establishment Mr Calvin Cheng, who threw a few written jabs at Mr Singh, taking the WP leader’s announcement as an attempt to “participate in political theatre”.

People have also speculated whether or not Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ms Ho Ching, was throwing shade at Mr Singh in a recent post where she discussed donating salaries.

Screengrab from Facebook

However, leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock stood firmly behind Mr Singh, sharing his thoughts on the matter in a Facebook post published on Thursday (July 30).

“Pritam Singh was recently appointed the Leader of the Opposition (LO). I am very happy for him and his appointment represents a significant maturing of our political process (though we still have some way to go),” wrote Dr Tan, before zeroing in on the salary issue.

“On July 28th, Pritam announced that he would be contributing 50 per cent of his additional salary (coming up to about S$96,000 a year) to various causes including charitable ones,” he said. “This is a wonderful and generous gesture and sets a good example for Singaporeans to emulate.”

Furthermore, Dr Tan called out the speculation on Mr Singh’s motives, saying: “It is sad and unbecoming, that some people have chosen instead, to cast aspersions on his intentions. People make donations publicly and privately all the time, on both sides of the political divide. It is far better to be gracious and welcome the gesture, then to continue to try to score political points. This is very disappointing.”

Making donationsWorker’s Party chief Pritam Singh was recently appointed the Leader of the Opposition (LO). I am very…

Posted by Dr Tan Cheng Bock on Thursday, 30 July 2020

/TISG

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