Law Minister K Shanmugam recently noted at a forum on the elected presidency, that the Workers’ Party tends to field Chinese candidates in Single Member Constituencies in parliamentary elections.
According to TODAY, Mr Shanmugam said
“While the opposition parties here have been critical of policies supporting the multiracial tenet, such as the GRC scheme, the Workers’ Party has consistently fielded Chinese candidates when contesting for single seats in the General Elections”.
When the late Mr J.B. Jeyaratnam was the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party, it fielded non-Chinese, minority candidates in Single Member Constituencies during the General Elections:
But after Mr Low Thia Khiang took over as Secretary General of the Workers’ Party in 2001, the party had not fielded a single minority candidate in any of the General Elections:
Even in By-Elections, the party has not fielded a minority candidate in recent years:
The last minority candidate fielded in an SMC, is Mr Jeyaratnam himself in the 1981 Anson By-Election.
We all know how Meritocracy and Multi-racialism are two concepts that the government has had to finely balance since our independence. And it cannot be mutually exclusive.
Much has been done in the last 50 years to ensure the rights of minority communities are protected.
And for Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Pritam Singh to denigrate all that effort in a Chinese media interview is just unfair and negligent.
(Translated: He said “Having different people in important positions warms the heart of some people, but people of our generation have different views. If all our leaders come from the Chinese community, as a minority, do I have a problem with that? The answer is no.”)
So it looks like WP will continue to send Chinese to contest in SMCs to guarantee a win for the party, after all, in the same interview, Mr Pritam Singh has said:
“We have to make certain difficult decisions, and I can only share with you that I will be, my first duty is to the party, and to make sure that we can put up a person who will hold the party in good stead”