PM Lee over the weekend put it to WP that they have no integrity over the hawker centre cleaning matter, which in perspective, is getting more and more of a mountain out of a molehill. Vivian Balakrishan already cheekily slapped WP’s face on the right cheek with a glove to provoke WP into a duel that WP would lose. Despite its cheek still stinging, WP was smart enough to do damage control and let the matter rest like asking WP deadweight Pritam Singh to remain stoically silent despite being called out a liar in parliament, rather than their mismanagement of their hawker centre cleaning be exposed more in court.
PAP scored by showing the political middle ground among us that WP is not as great as we thought e.g. PAP has AIM, WP has FMSS. On the other hand, WP also scored as they were seen as being bullied by the PAP over a small matter of asking hawkers to foot the bill of cleaning the roof structures. A small municipal misstep done by WP that would have been seen as a big matter if committed by the PAP.
The PAP could have dusted their hands and walked off pompously knowing that while they were seen as bullies as usual by the WP supporters, the PAP would have rested comfortably because the damage done to WP’s reputation so soon after WP’s FMSS fiasco was palpable. PAP could take a big hit as they normally do, but WP could not, not so soon in a string of mismanagement within the WP leadership that started with Yaw’s scandal, FMSS and now this so-called integrity controversy.
The insistent shove by PM Lee that WP must give an explanation and clear the air is just overkill. For the PM to step in over a hawker centre cleaning bill and said that there was implicit dishonesty is just too much even if true. It’s like the Gomez saga in 2006. Everyone eventually knew that Gomez was mistaken, and made false stupid accusations that the PAP committed election sabotage. However, when the PAP kept clinging on to the Gomez-bashing that was fast becoming stale, the broken record that kept playing the same scratchy tune was just irritating and did more harm to the PAP than to WP after a while. It’s the same broken record now.
We refer to the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on 12 July 2013.
The various allegations against the integrity of Workers’ Party’s Members of Parliament contained in the statement have already been fully responded to and rejected by the Party, both in and out of Parliament.
Regarding the cleaning of hawker centres, we have put forth the facts as we have found them, based on our own earlier investigations. We defended our position in Parliament on 9 July 2013 with a clear conscience.
This matter has been in the public headlines since late May. We have made our position known both inside and outside Parliament and the relevant documents are already in the public domain, so the public can make its own judgment on the matter. We do not find it productive to continue debating and arguing with the ruling party over this issue.
The Prime Minister referred to the Workers’ Party’s slogan for General Election 2011: “Towards a First World Parliament”. The concept of a First World Parliament is not about the People’s Action Party or the Workers’ Party, but about what Singaporeans want for our country and what they believe is necessary to secure our country’s future.
LOW THIA KHIANG
SECRETARY-GENERAL, THE WORKERS’ PARTY
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (ALJUNIED GRC)
13 Jul 2013