Singapore—The most enduring of opposition parties in Singapore, at least so far, marked its 63rd anniversary on Tuesday, November 3.
In its Facebook and Twitter pages, the Workers’ Party marked the occasion by writing, “Today, we commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party in 1957 by David Marshall, to champion greater Justice and Fairness for All in Singapore.
Today, we commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party in 1957 by David Marshall, to champion greater Justice and Fairness for All in Singapore. pic.twitter.com/Qf4it6LoPK
— The Workers' Party (@wpsg) November 3, 2020
Tomorrow in Parliament, we will hear the Ministerial Statement on Ms Parti Liyani’s case. We will debate on how to ensure Justice for All in Singapore, as we seek to address challenges faced by the disadvantaged and ensure the same mistakes are not made again.
The late Mr Marshall founded the WP in 1957, who had served as Singapore’s first Chief Minister from 1955 to 1956. Later, under the WP, he served as a Member of Parliament for Cairnhill and then Anson.
After some relatively quiet decades, in 1981 WP leader JB Jeyaretnam became the first opposition MP to win an election since Singapore’s independence in 1965, defeating a candidate from the ruling People’s Action Party in a by-election in Anson, where he served until 1984.
WP kept steadily on and in 1991, then Organising Secretary Low Thia Khiang contested and won as MP for Hougang SMC, winning over incumbent Tang Guan Seng from PAP. Hougang has been under the party since then.
In 2011, the party won in a group representation constituency (GRC) for the first time. At Aljunied GRC, the WP fielded Mr Low, who anchored the team and was by then the party’s secretary-general. With him were current party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh, WP chair Sylvia Lim, Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap and Mr Chen Show Mao.
The line-up repeated its victory in the General Election of 2015.
For the 2020 GE, with Mr Low and Mr Chen retiring from Parliament, the WP’s Aljunied team was joined by Mr Leon Pereira and Mr Gerald Giam, who had both previously served as Non-Constituency Members of Parliament.
In a historic win, the WP team won 59.95 per cent of the vote last July, a gain of nearly nine percentage points.
The WP also won its second GRC, with lawyer He Ting Ru, economics professor Jamus Lim, activist Raeesah Khan and research analyst Louis Chua winning over 52 per cent of the vote, and unseating three PAP MPs and political office orders in Sengkang GRC.
On its website, the party says that its five-decade-long survival has “been no small feat.”
The WP also wrote, “Today, after nearly 6 decades, Workers’ Party’s members, supporters, well-wishers, voters who have been supporting the Party, as well as many others who have played a part in contributing to the survival of the Party, are all proud that they have helped to preserve a vital part of Singapore’s political culture and to have kept the the Party alive today for the benefit of all Singaporeans.
But even with such a long history behind the back of the Party, it is not the end of the road. There is an even longer road ahead. There is work to be done – to build a home and future that belong to all of us.” —/TISG