Worker’s Party: A most agreeable party

 

If you read any of the debates in the Parliamentary Hansard, you’ll find this sentence occuring very often throughout any of the Worker’s Party MP’s speech:

“While I am in support of the Bill…”

Seriously, you’ll find more provoking material from PAP backbencher MPs.

What perturbed me a little was that when public sentiments against the banning of shisha, Thaipusam instruments and public drinking was so strong, the Workers Party merely sat by and voted in support of it.

little-india-alcohol

Said Pritam Singh about the Public Drinking Control Bill: “Mdm Speaker, the Workers’ Party supports the principle of the Bill to empower the Government to regulate the supply and consumption of liquor in public places.”

There is no need to oppose for the sake of opposing, but look at what Mdm. Lina Chiam argued for: “Mdm Speaker, I am not agreeable to the proposed laws of this important Bill concerning national policy together with its regulations and restrictions that do not entirely reflect the will of the people of Singapore. I feel that this Bill has been hastily drawn, leaving such a short notice for the House to debate properly and being also so close to the coming Chinese New Year period.

Have a read at this quote and guess which Member said this: “Madam, while this Bill is somewhat blunt and not everyone will be pleased with it, I can appreciate its intent and how it can prevent certain social problems from escalating. The key now is in its implementation and how the enforcement will be carried out, which I trust that the MHA will address.”

It’s Parliament’s youngest Member – Tin Pei Ling.

On foreign worker measures, the Workers Party had once suggested a one-in-one-out restriction to foreign workers. This means that no new foreign workers will come in, if one doesn’t leave. This suggestion had placed a lot of anxiety on the business community as its implementation is unreasonably absurd. However, this suggestion was made closer to the elections of 2011. In a previous debate with the Prime Minister, they seem to have retracted this policy suggestion.

Of late, there is the confidence defeating checks on the Workers Party controlled town councils by the Auditor General.

I won’t repeat much of what is already written by many critics, but I am terribly upset with how Sylvia Lim brushes off public scrutiny.

WP2

If they think we are doing something criminal, get the CPIB to check on us” and “Let the public check through the facts and decide for themselves”.

That’s it? Having failed audit twice, that’s the response from a political body that may take governance of this country?

And what about their election battle cry to keep the ministers in check? To reduce their salary? At the end of the day, they still took the government’s recommendations on salary of ministers. The debate that ensued showed poor performance on Gerald Giam’s part.

However, there was one occasion where they actually did disagree with the over and make a counter proposal. This was during the time of the population White Paper.

In objection to the White Paper, they put out a rhetoric filled “table of solutions”.

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The only constructive thing I could see in this, is the 4th point – get senior citizens to come back and work. Can you imagine the backlash if the PAP said that?

Pritam Singh did support one other (controversial) event: “Save Palestine”. But he was quick to withdraw it later, probably realising it was not popular opinion.

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I’m not here to attack the Worker’s Party. It would be a great disappointment if they viewed this piece of commentary as an attack.

Like all my fellow citizens, I only want an opposition party that would put forth proposals, views and make clear what they want to see for the country.

Enough of tired rhetoric, enough of old complaints, enough of childish finger pointing. “In a serious Parliament, the Government presents its policies, the Opposition presents its alternatives,” said Lee Hsien Loong.

I’d like to hear the Workers Party speak plain, speak simply and put forth their views and suggestions on many of the problems that plague us today:

  • HDB prices. HDB has a plethora of subsidies and has increased the building of more houses. The Singapore Democratic Party has suggested that HDBs should not be used for investment and is trying to lobby the government to change.
  • Retirement. Everyone and their Roy Ngerng has an opinion on what to do with CPF. What about our biggest opposition representation?
  • Healthcare. With the introduction of Pioneer Generation subsidies and increased subsidies to medical bills, we are also seeing more hospitals being built. Lina Chiam of the Singapore People’s Party has spoken much in Parliament about this issue as she was in the healthcare business herself, and with Chiam See Tong possibly facing medical issues himself, she knows what she wants for the country. What was the Worker’s Party solution to our healthcare issues?

The Straits Times has listed no less than 20 issues that are bothering Singaporeans, what are the solution to these problems?

I see the Hammers giving out rice, food and supplies to residents. This is very clear on their Facebook page. But so is everyone else.

A political party is not a welfare agency, it is a body of talented people who can take over the business of government when they get voted in.

 

 

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About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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