TL;DR – All signs point to “yes”. #ICYMI Pritam Singh put up an ultra arrogant, aggressive stance with serious allegations against the Government in Parliament yesterday.
Singapore’s reputation for integrity and incorruptibility has earned this little red dot a spot on the international stage. It has been the lifeblood of our nation since the days of Mr Lee Kuan Yew – one that PM Lee is defending with all his might today. ICYMI, yesterday in Parliament, Pritam Singh went on an aggressive attack where he tried to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Government. What were his motives, and what are the potential impacts?
Did Pritam realise that in his bid to score political points, he might have severely tarnished Singapore’s hard-won reputation for integrity and incorruptibility on the international stage? Now, why are investors attracted to Singapore, and why are they setting up businesses here? This is not by chance. A result of strong governance over the years, there is trust in our Singapore system. Our incorruptibility, stable, progressive legal and regulatory framework are just some of the reasons that make us appealing! These bring us the investments, the good jobs and economic growth for our people. In Pritam’s attempt to score short-term selfish political points, he has forgotten about our national interest. Disappointing to say the least. It’s obvious that he sees it as his one chance to take down the PAP with all the recent series of unfortunate events? Smart, or so he thought, but Singaporeans can be the judge.
AHTC? “Hide.” Affairs and other transgressions? “I didn’t know.” Lies after lies? “Take it to the grave.”
Things might just have caught up with the Leader of the Opposition. Now, transparency and accountability are what voters want from the people who govern the country. The recent events have shown us how differently the two major political parties handle sensitive matters. For the PAP, DPM Wong and even PM Lee himself have over and over again put themselves out there to answer to Parliament and Singaporeans with thorough, transparent explanations. PM even took responsibility for making the wrong judgment call when it came to his approach regarding Cheng Li Hui and Tan Chuan Jin’s affair. This, is accountability!
Pritam’s handling of party members’ misconduct and his obvious attempts to cover up instead of being upfront, confronting issues head on suggest a different approach. AHTC? “Hide.” Affairs and other transgressions? “I didn’t know.” Lies after lies? “Take it to the grave.”
The way he had thrown Raeesah Khan under the bus when things blew up was telling too. He had probably thought that could get away with hiding the truth. If you recall, ex-WP member Daniel Goh, had also said in a Facebook post before that the party’s leadership must take some responsibility for allowing Raeesah Khan’s transgression to persist. At that time, he added that the committee said his posts had “revealed the inner workings of the parliamentary caucus of the WP MPs, allowed political opponents to have an inside understanding of how the WP operates, and cast a cloud over the character of the leadership of the party”. He was eventually expelled from the party – again, thrown under the bus.
Pritam’s handling of the affair between Leon Perera and Nicole Seah also shows his lack of integrity – and reinforced his usual modus operandi to cover up rather than confront when it comes to sensitive matters. Let’s not forget about Yaw Shin Leong who was told by the party to “stay silent” about his affair back then. Some track record we have there? Where is the integrity, Workers’ Party? It’s clear that their approach has always been “hide until you can’t hide”.
In contrast, the PAP had consistently come clean to the public even when it could be politically costly and embarrassing – after all, the ruling party has always been held to higher standards.
Leader of the Opposition, Pritam Singh – An unworthy leader
Back in 2020, if you recall, the Leader of the Opposition was provided with the appropriate manpower support and resources to perform the parliamentary role. It was a significant move. But since then, Pritam Singh has put up a rather lack-lusture performance. Today, he has shown himself to be a “leader” who prioritises self-preservation over national integrity – definitely not a worthy one. Singapore deserves better leaders, not those hankering after selfish political points.
“Casting aspersions on the independence, performance and integrity of our institutions, without any valid basis or justifications, for partisan or even personal purposes, is a dereliction of leadership and responsibility. This is especially when the gratuitous attacks are laced with self-righteousness, even as, ironically, the same standards are not being applied to oneself.”
Royce Wee, Public Policy Leader