Tag Archive | "pritam singh"

Pritam Singh responds

Pritam Singh responds

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Plus, read PAP Nee Soon GRC MP’s Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim’s cheap shot and SMU Eugene Tan’s pointless punditry.

Here is what you should know:

Workers’ Party’s MP Pritam Singh gets quoted saying things that are uncharacteristic of him in a Lianhe Zaobao article by Yew Lun Tian on Jan. 1.

Pritam is read to have reportedly said that relieving and helping Singaporeans of difficulties and hardship is the job of the government, not the MPs to bear and that the opposition’s role is to raise questions in parliament.

This caused a bit of grief.

Without bothering to get to the bottom of things, a couple of people conveniently chose to get ahead with their cheap shots and political punditry.

Guilty: PAP Nee Soon GRC MP’s Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim

What he said on Facebook:

Guilty: SMU Assistant Professor Eugene Tan

What he said to mypaper a.k.a. mainstream trolling: “Political observer Eugene Tan feels that many Aljunied voters will be disappointed by Mr Singh’s comments… He noted that if as Mr Singh says, helping the poor is the responsibility of the Government, then Mr Singh would not need to meet his residents, as he could well put up a notice outside his office asking them to directly approach the Community Development Council. Assistant Prof Tan said when residents approach opposition MPs for help, these MPs should not “conveniently” push the responsibility to the Government.”

What Pritam really meant?

The gist of what Pritam had to say to Lianhe Zaobao can be summarised as such: Politics goes out the window the moment you want to help the needy. The Community Development Council, which is set up to help those who need assistance, will always be there regardless which party people vote into parliament.

Moreover, regardless who the vote goes to, the government’s responsibility is to take care of the people and the Workers’ Party is not going to spend its resources COMPETING AGAINST EXISTING outlets that offer help. They are here to HELP through existing means, even directing people to CDCs, not win votes through their Meet-the-People sessions.

The article also notes in a quote by Sylvia Lim that suggests there is no need to duplicate efforts when the Workers’ Party has established effective working relationships with various government agencies.

Here’s the real problem: Perhaps the problem stems from the original Lianhe Zaobao article being written and edited badly or purposefully to cause misunderstanding. (However, don’t give us the crap that Pritam is translated and misinterpreted. It’s not as if Lianhe Zaobao uses Google Translate to write articles!)

But the real problem is when Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Eugene Tan can weigh in with their sophistry without getting to the bottom of things first or waiting for Pritam to issue a proper response!

Scumbag much?

Read the previous article where this issue was first highlighted.

Updated: Did Pritam Singh really say that?

Updated: Did Pritam Singh really say that?

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Quotations supposedly attributed to Pritam Singh in the Chinese press sound uncharacteristic of the Workers’ Party MP.

Scroll down for new updates.

Below is a Facebook note that was published this morning regarding certain comments made by Pritam Singh to Lianhe Zaobao on Jan. 1:

Pritam’s Disillusioned View on Being an MP

On 1st Jan, Lianhe Zhaobao quoted Worker’s Party Member of Parliament, Mr Pritam Singh as saying that relieving and helping Singaporeans of difficulties and hardship (mostly relate to economic problems but not limited to) is the job of the government, not the MPs to bear.

The report went on to quote Pritam saying that the main function/role of the Opposition MPs is to raise sharp burning questions which the ruling party’s MPs may not be willing to raise due to certain restrictions instead of handling out payments.

Errr… Am I missing something here?Let me get this right! So if I am a resident meeting say Pritam at his MPS sessions with a financial problem. Is he going to say “Wait let me ask the Minister of Finance this question?” or is he going to say “Let me see how I can help you by tapping into some of the finanical assistance programmes out there? Let me also write in to find you a job so that you can feed your family…”

Is pritam telling the voters that all along, WP’s 6 elected MPs are never going to lookafter the needs of both Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC’s residents as one of their primary role? Do they think that their role is simply just to rebut and voice their residents concerns in parliament?

I do not think voters in Singapore had voted for MPs to be mere mouth pieces. Paying thousands of dollars to someone to just ask questions in Parliament is not my idea of value-adding to the nation and the community.

Our political atmosphere is now more open, and ministers from the ruling party warn that PAP MPs must be careful and sensitive to their choice of words. MPs must take responsibility should they say the wrong thing. That said, the opposition should not take the opportunity to vilify the government to gain political capital.

All along, Low Thia Kiang’s careful choice of words has earned him the respect of Singaporeans, hoping that the new leaders from his party do not act recklessly. The vast majority of rational Singaporeans will demand strict and high standards of the PAP, and they pitch similarly high standards to evaluate your party.

I suggest Pritam come’s out to clarify his statement and rethink his own position on being an MP.

Update 1: New Nation has found the Lianhe Zaobao article about Workers’ Party. Still tuned for the translation.


Translation by Chong Zhi Ping:
Pritam Singh sees around 20-30 residents from his constituency every week. When the PAP MP was incumbent the figure was 60-80.

In relation to this, Pritam emphasised WP’s stance: Relieving the people’s hardship is the government’s responsibility; it shouldn’t be borne by MPs.

“We do not hope to get into a situation where we have to come out with our own Comcare plans, because this will divert the citizens’ attention from why the government has not helped the poor, while shifting that responsibility into the hands of the opposition party, which is wrong.”

When faced with requests for financial assistance from residents, he directs them to Eunos Community Centre to apply for aid via the Community Development Council branch there.

Is he not afraid that being unable to offer actual help, unlike the CDC, will cost WP votes?

Pritam said,

“this reflects our people having misconception regarding CDC. If the opposition becomes the ruling party tomorrow, the CDC will still function. Regardless who the vote goes to, the government’s responsibility is to take care of the voters”

He expressed that the function of an opposition MP is to raise issues in the parliament that normally won’t be raised due to the ruling party’s party whip, and not to give out financial aid.

Sylvia Lim added, residents who sought help from MPs constitute only a small fraction of the constituency.

“If we regard the Meet the People’s Sessions as our political base, it is non-representational.”

She is pleased at WP’s effective relationship with the respective government agencies. The various upgrading plans in her constituency are all proceeding as planned without additional red tape.

Read the updated response by Pritam Singh here.

Exposed: Opposition party aims to form government

Exposed: Opposition party aims to form government

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Singapore’s opposition Member-of-Parliament Pritam Singh declares that Worker’s Party has intention to form government; ruling party’s youth wing flabbergasted.

SINGAPORE — The People’s Action Party youth wing, or Young PAP for short, have in a series of Facebook updates exposed the opposition Worker’s Party’s nefarious intentions to form the government in the future.

In their Facebook page, they even dedicated a YouTube video to their “growing appetite for power”, casting aspersions on the opposition party’s true motives.

In Singapore, opposition parties are not allowed to wrestle for political power, or even think about eventually running the country.

Such actions are punishable by Facebook humiliation and sharp rebuke in the nation’s newspapers.

The Young PAP’s actions are in response to comments made by MP Pritam Singh at a recent political forum. He said: “There are 87 seats in Parliament. How many do we have right now? We’ve got six … we will not be ready to form a government till we got 44 good candidates, who are elected by the people.”

Pritam continued: “So, is that something we are working toward? Well, I think the short answer is yes. But at the end of the day, with respect to that decision, it will not be made by the Workers’ Party, it will be made by the people of Singapore.”

For whatever reason, the Young PAP later removed the YouTube video dedication from their Facebook page, instead posting a simple link to a local news report on Pritam’s thoughts.

A political observer, who does not wish to be named, has called the Young PAP’s social media maneuver “brilliant”. He noted that “for a bunch of young puppies who are the future of the PAP, they have done an excellent job of showing that the political party is in good hands.”

Looks like the PAP won’t be relinquishing their powers anytime in the next 50 years.

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